Romi and the Wildfire
Ruskin Bond
Prasun Majumdar
age group: 
7+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Red Turtle, Rupa
value education nature and wildlife forest fire caring
realistic fiction


A match lit and carelessly thrown away; a fire lit to keep warm and not properly extinguished; can both lead to disastrous consequences, for it soon conflagrates into a raging fire that will destroy everything in its path – man and beast, flora and fauna.

Romi lives in a little village and is on his way home a journey of a mere forty minute bicycle ride through the forest. He sees the glow of a distant fire and assuming that it was far away pedals harder to reach his destination.

But the fire seems to be closing in faster than he anticipated and several wild animals, birds and reptiles cross his path as they flee from danger. On the way, he bumps into a little boy, Teju the milkman who is also trying to get out of the jungle as fast as possible.

What lies ahead of them? How will they escape the towering flames now rising above the treeline?

Simple and yet eloquent, the story talks of kindness, caring and pluck as Romi tries to reach to safety and at the same time highlights the dangers of a forest fire.

A great book for children just graduating from picture books. 

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee