'Valli's Nilgiri Adventures': This comic book for kids spreads awareness, without being preachy

The book is part of WWF India's environmental education division


Children's books that come in the educational category, or those which carry a message, tend to be preachy. Valli's Nilgiri Adventures, however, steers clear of taking any moral high ground, even as it opens the readers' knowledge vista to the teeming wildlife of the Nilgiris, situated in the Western Ghats.

Set in a graphic novel format, the book is aimed for young schoolgoers—the section that would read Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree. It simply tells the story of a group of schoolchildren who go on an excursion to the Mukurthi National Park. It builds up the pre-depature excitement, the anticipation of the students about the things they will see. Then it skilfully veers the narrative to these animals, and their uniqueness. The readers also get to meet the native inhabitants of the Nilgiris, the Todas, as the schoolchildren chance upon a Toda village and are fascinated by their interesting looking huts and colourful shawls. Locals and visitors together explore a little more, and find another native species— the Nilgiri Marten—hidden away in the branches.

The book is easy to read even though it is loaded with information. The illustrations are pretty and colourful. The message of environmental awareness, and therefore, the need to conserve this unique spot on earth is driven in very subtly. The book is part of WWF India's environmental education division and is available in Tamil also. It makes for good individual reading, and it could also be used as a teaching aid.

Title: Valli's Nilgiri Adventures

Authors: Arthy Muthanna Singh and Mamta Nainy

Illustrator: Aniruddha Mukherjee

Publisher: World Wide Fund for Nature

Pages: 52

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