Coverage of The Tiger of the River since publication has reached beyond expectations. From professional book reviewers to eager young readers, feedback has been very positive.
One intention in publishing this book was to engage youngsters and help them to think about the issues facing both rivers and mahseer fish. From feedback and reviews it is clear that this is being achieved.
"This book is non-fiction at its best" said Amardeep Sodhi for Kids Book Cafe. "I wasn't sure we could finish reading this slightly long-ish book peacefully. I was quite wrong. We started reading this book at 7pm and had a discussion based on it till 9pm... So much to discuss - food chains, migratory fish, water pollution, importance of dams and the problems posed by dams."
Similarly, Dhanishta Shah for Booked for Life believes that "In bringing out the story of one lone fish, the book addresses a larger topic in a very simple manner for the youngest of readers." The "larger topic" being the "role of sustainability and the importance of preserving our natural heritage".
Adrian and Maya both appeared in a 30-minute video interview for Kahani Takbak channel in the series Creative Writers and Illustrators on YouTube. Questions ranged from how the idea was formed to the difficulties of adapting writing style from scientific papers to a kids' book. Prize-winning children's author Shyamala Shanmugasundaram pressed Maya on her
illustration style, asking "when you design a character, do art directors try to get you to make the characters more 'cute or cuddly'?" Maya answered: "No. I think children should be exposed to nature. When they look at the reality, they are able to see the 'cute and cuddly' for themselves."
In the weeks since the first publication and the initial rush of publicity events, our team have been discussing how to move forward with another of the key objectives for the book: driving the inclusion of freshwater habitat and species in education. As Dhanishta said to close her review of The Tiger of the River, it is: "a great addition to school and class libraries since it can be used to invoke many discussions and follow-up activities."
Claire Pinder, who advises our team on education matters has been working on activity sheets which will be available to both teachers in schools and freelance educators. Problem solving, in particular through shared working, and reading the book within a threat context are both key themes for lesson extension planning. Curriculum areas covered will include art and literature as well as the increasingly important environmental and social planning areas within India's mainstream exam syllabuses.
Feel free to contact us if you are interested in helping to develop or share lesson plans.
Can you help?
We are in the process of negotiating publication rights for local language versions of The Tiger of the River, although it is in the very early stages. It is important to us that the book is read by as many children as possible and that it has a long life. To further those aims, we want to publish copies in Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil.
If you or someone you know can help with proofreading translations; distribution of copies into schools; or helping us to self-publish the local language versions, please get in touch.
On any mahseer-related topic, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and your email will be sent from our secretary Andy straight to the most relevant member of our team.
Don't forget that our newsletters are published quarterly (approximately) and they contain extra information covering our activities and updates to the science and conservation of mahseer fish. Email Andy to be added to our mailing list, or fill in the subscribe form at the foot of this page.
Read all about Matisha, a mighty hump-backed mahseer in The Tiger of the River, from Speaking Tiger Books of New Delhi. Available direct from the publishers or from quality bookstores and online sales outlets.
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