A student reads in the Centre for Learning Library

Posted on January 30, 2012 by rohan

Filed in 'Book Reviews'.

The Coral Tree – Mamata Pandya and Pankaj Gorana

Photo albums still seem to hold a fascination for children. Perhaps it has to do with recognising people and places, and perhaps it has to do with some progression in time. To me, this book did both. The pictures of familiar birds, insects, animals and even a snake helped me reconnect with the immediate world around me. It reminded me that I too have a window to look out from and discover the exciting happenings which don’t make the headlines, more’s the pity!

In all the years I have worked with children in a school library, one thing I notice is that children are drawn to nature -story books which have a quality of realism and photographs seem to enhance that. There is a directness that they relate to. In fact when I opened the pages of this book, I found myself looking at the pictures first and then turning to the words to see if they matched! Not only did they match, they actually continued to have that visual quality.

The vibrancy of the cover and the shared ownership of the book left me with a warm feeling. The bits of information on some of the pages are not obtrusive and that, for me, is a good thing, because children are content to observe and ‘know’ when they are ready, not necessarily when someone else feels they are! However the interesting information given at the end is captivating, as well as the idea of a tree diary.

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