Editor | Children’s Books
Birds love to sing. The most musical of creatures, they have their own reasons to do so. It can be to call out and attract a loved one or to announce a new home. They call when they are alarmed, or simply because they want to sing—alone, in duets or in groups. And some even mimic other sounds they find around them.
Celebrating these avian musicians around us, Puffin brings to you ‘The Jungle Radio: Bird Songs of India’, a picture book for children written and illustrated by Devangana Dash.
A vibrant, lushly illustrated and gorgeously designed picture book, The Jungle Radio introduces young readers (ages 5+) to the bountiful birds found in our Indian jungles and how they can be recognised through their sounds and calls. Featuring 30 of the many species found in India, it is a short introduction to birdwatching for the very young, where they identify birds and find out some surprising facts about them too. With a sprinkle of imagination, this story asks young readers to curiously seek adventures that lie in our national parks and forests.
Devangana, about her book and experiences, says: “Bird sounds are everywhere in nature and to me this rich choir is just like the radio—with the constant chattering and singing. If you listen carefully, you can find this radio in a jungle, a bird or national sanctuary, in a park near you or your own balcony at home! I believe that we can sensitise children towards the sounds of nature, when they look at these sounds as a crucial, intangible component of the forest resource. The book hopes to nurture an audience that is aware and sensitive in its engagement with wildlife and the natural world.”
When curious little Gul hears some strange sounds coming from her radio, she follows the musical clues into . . . an Indian jungle! On her walk, she finds feathered friends who TWEET, TAPP and TALK. There are some who howl and hoot, and others who play the flute. With a KEE here and a KAW there, Gul discovers songs everywhere!
Brought to life by painterly illustrations, The Jungle Radio is a little story about the language of birds-their songs and sounds-with a loud and clear call to listen to the world around us.
About the author
Devangana Dash is a New Delhi-based designer, illustrator and book maker. When she’s not designing books for a living, she reads, draws a little more and collects books for her dream library. For inspiration, she relies on nature (especially birds and sea turtles), picture books by her favourite artists and authors, different genres of music and a cup of chai.
She studied visual communication design at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology after completing a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Lady Shri Ram College for Women. This is Devangana’s debut picture book, and something very close to her heart. She got introduced to the colorful and musical world of birds back in college, where The Jungle Radio was originally conceived as a part of a storytelling project for environment education in schools. She based her research on exploring a few national parks and sanctuaries in India: Bandipur National Park, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (Panjim, Goa) and Manglajodi Bird Sanctuary (Chilika Lake, Odisha). Soon, birdwatching became a fascinating hobby for her. A lot of her research on bird behaviour and calls has been derived from Dr. Salim Ali’s writings on birds and his gigantic contribution to ornithology.
She has previously worked with clients like Child Rights and You, WWF India, the Wildlife Trust of India and the Centre of Environment Education. She has also illustrated Ayesha and the Firefish (published by Puffin Books in 2016).