Venkat Raman Singh Shyam
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Pratham Books
monsoon Gond art elephants baby animals
picture book, fiction

When dark clouds loom up and it begins to rain in the forest, the experience is a frightening one to Ambili, the baby elephant, who is just four days old.

A frog strikes up a conversation with her, and realizing how very young and naïve she is, decides to have some fun at her expense. He tells her that he is Maakadi, king of the forest and, not only that, he also had the power to make the rain stop. Ambili believes him and readily obeys his commands.

The rain continues to come down. Other frogs join them and soon Ambili forgets her fears, as they all sing and dance and splash in the puddles.

Tuppa tip-top-tip


Little Ambili realises that she was needlessly afraid, and that her fear was an irrational one of the unknown and unfamiliar.

The story tends to ramble a bit, however, the illustrations in the Gond style, keeps the momentum, alive and kicking. The frogs are vibrant and colourful, whilst the elephants, rain and trees have a special appealing quality to them.

The author has cleverly woven in subtle valuable messages to children. One, warns them not to be gullible and believe whatever people tell them. The other reassures them that, although, new experiences can sometimes seem scary, they are not necessarily so.

All in all, a cute lovable story.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee