Watch Out!
Shamim Padamsee
Ajanta Guhathakurta
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
predators nature and wildlife lions Gir forest baby animals
picture book, realistic fiction


Like most little children, three little lion cubs decide to play truant, as soon as their mother leaves. Enticed by the sounds and smells of the jungle they venture out of their little den, little knowing the dangers that lurk around. The lions are king of the beasts, they rule the forest and yet their little ones are as vulnerable as any other animal. Who are they predators? Will the cubs escape from becoming their next meal?

The drama unfolds in the Gir forest, the last bastion of the Asiatic lion. As the blissfully unaware cubs get up to mischief, they fortuitously mange to escape from the clutches of an eagle, are saved from being mauled by a porcupine, manage to climb to safety inches away from a lurking crocodile and are saved in the nick of time from a hungry hyena, when their mother returns from the hunt and with one mighty roar sends him scuttling away.

The story can be a great tool to discuss with children that danger may be lurking around the corner, even though everything seems safe and beautiful. Children needs to keep their antenna up for signs of predators - human ones, too!

The book can also enable a teacher or caregiver to discuss the cycle of life and of how the food chain works and perhaps also talk about the need to protect and conserve our wildlife. Life in the jungle is hard enough without humans adding to the woes of the animals.

Beautifully illustrated, the pictures are vibrant, happy and cheerful, the lion cubs look adorable and the predators - not in the least bit scary.

A bi-lingual book, the restricted vocabulary of the book facilitates learning for a new English language learner and vice versa. The book is available in translations in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malyalam and Bangla.

A great addition to the collection of every wildlife enthusiasts, as well as potential ones, and to a school library that wants chldren to become more aware of those maginifent beasts of the jungle! 

Reviewed by Sunanda Sharma