KE Priyamvada was a BBC Mastermind India winner in 2000. KE Priyamvada is also an author these days.
I had picked up Animal Antics with some scepticism. What can I learn from a children's book on wildlife that I am already not aware of?
The poems caught my eye even before I reached the Contents section: the first was a dedication; the second, a small summary of the contents of the book. Both in poems. This might be good, I thought, as I flipped through the pages.
Animal Antics is, in short, a beautiful book. There are 26 chapters, one for each letter of the alphabet, dedicated to an animal whose name begins with that letter. There is also a bonus chapter at the end, dedicated to the planet we love and are hell-bent to destroy using various methods. If this doesn't sound cool enough for you, let me add: in addition to the excellent illustrations the entire book is written in verse.
If that doesn't catch a child's attention I have no idea what will. This is a Mastermind winner at work, so be rest assured that there will be all sorts of intriguing facts. To add to the fun there are two more sections in each chapter: the first provides a concise idea about the animal; the second, called Tidbits, asks you simple questions.*
* I guess I should be ashamed, but I must admit that I couldn't get several of them; do not be worried; the appendix of the book has all the answers.
In short, this is the kind of book that is bought for children but may end up being read by the parents instead, so buying two copies is perhaps a better idea. Nobody, after all, wants a domestic tussle.
PS: If you've rued not having known the name of an animal whose name starts with a Q or an X during one of those Name-Place-Animal-Thing contests, this is your chance.