Monkeys in My Backyard
Scharada Dubey
Nicolas Chivaillier
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
tigers snakes conservation nature and wildlife
realisitic fiction,

A book comprising of eight short stories about living in harmony with nature and its flora and fauna, this well-written book emphasizes the themes of caring and interconnectedness without lapsing into moralizing. The author very successfully brings to the fore, several animal-welfare-related issues of India; in the wild, in the city and at home.

The stories are stand-alones. Amongst my favourites are: The story of feral monkeys who owing to the destruction of forests, invade the city creating a nuisance value. Turning a deaf ear to an activist on trying to resolve the problem, teaches a local Sethji an expensive lesson. And in another heartwarming story, elephants left with no recourse, raid fields to find food causing damage to local crops. Caring officials work on creating a green corridor, to enable them to move freely in the forests and thus resolve the problem for both man and gentle beasts.


What is special about the book is that after each story there is a note crammed with delightfully presented information for children on what the issues are and how to find solutions to resolve them. Does it always have to be man versus beast, do we always have to be at loggerheads, or can we find amicable ways and means to accommodate each other?

Teachers especially will find this book extremely useful as a discussion starter in EVS, Social Studies and other related subjects. Each story provides food-for-thought and is extremely well-poised for interesting discussions to ensue.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee