Bulli and the Tiger
Shalini Reys
Nankusiya Shyam
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Pratham Books
tigers nature and wildlife livelihoods Gond art folkart
Picture book, fiction


Part of a series of four books brought out by Dastkari Haat Samiti, an organisation of Indian craftspeople and supported by UNESCO, this book is a great attempt to encourage children to appreciate and enjoy the varied and rich cultural expressions of India's folk traditions.

The story is set in rural Assam, in a tiny village that a basket weaving community. Everything in their homes is made from bamboo - their huts, doors, windows, gate and even little Bulli's toys!

The story begins with little Bulli realising that all was not well in the family. She finds out that the contractor who supplied them the bamboo for weaving, was demanding an unrealistic amount. Nobody in the village could afford to pay that price for that would push the price of their product sky high, resulting in loss of sales. Bulli and her friends decide to help solve the problem and in the process, meet the legendary tiger, who had been the benefactor of the community years ago, and after whom they had named their village - Tiger hill.

One can't help being impressed with the tremendous amount of research that has gone into this book and, the others of the series, as well as the sensitivity to the problems of the artisans. Perhaps the book will motivate children to someday support the crafts and craftspeople of India.

This bright and colourful book is beautifully illustrated in the Gondi style of painting. A style that predominantly uses dots and dashes to create the art.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee