The Coral Tree
Mamata Pandya
Pankaj Gorana
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
trees flowers birds
picture book, non-fiction


It’s spring and the vibrant orange crimson flowers burst forth on the Coral Tree, attracting to it, myriads of birds, insects and even a rat snake looking for a tasty meal.

In clear and succinct language that has a lyrical beat to it, the author informs the child about the tree, the various parts of the flower and its flowering cycle. One also encounters the myriads of birds who arrive to feast on the its nectar - the drongos, sunbirds, koel, doves, babblers and tailorbird. As, one reads on the high drama on the treetop hitherto hidden from us, unfolds. A rat snake slithers up the tree to find some bird eggs, perhaps? Bats hanging upside down on the branches awaiting dusk, before they fly off in search of food and perhaps, a langur chomping on its leaves.  

And for a reader who is eager to know, additional snippets of information is also provided on each pageWith the result that the book is a smooth read from start to finish - jargon free and clutter free. Something which is quite rare in non-fiction books.

Adding to the charm are vivid photographs combined with simple illustrations.

What a treat!

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee