Why is it hot and dry? Two curious Nepali girls embark on a search for answers in a jungle near their home. Did Tiger take the rain?
Far away in Vermont, on a cool but colorful, sunny October 14 I picked up my first box of Did Tiger Take the Rain? – virtually on the doorsteps of Green Writers Press’ office and home near Brattleboro.
I took out a copy for myself right there and held it to my heart. I thought of the trips, the hard work, the sad times and the joy – of days in a jeep, the villages and the wonderful people I met there and those at home who supported, advised, and believed as I put my book together. And now the book is out there. I hope it will be an accessible tool for beginning a conversation on climate change which is equally thought-provoking for children, parents, and teachers.
During the ongoing Brattleboro Literary Festival, I signed my first book: one dedicated to a granddaughter named Kathryn. Kathryn, may Tiger forever be your friend and may you and those of your generation understand Anjali’s message: “When the sun shines, it shines down on humans and tigers together.”
The official book launch was November 11, 2016, at Everyone’s Book Store in Brattleboro, VT. Great questions, and some wonderful kids who, like the adults, were pressed to find the three hidden tigers in the book. Here is a photo. It shows me, two of the kids, and fellow writer Jaimie Scanlon and illustrator Ellen Tumavicus along with their book Ralph Flies the Coop which has been published by Green Writers Press parallel to mine.
Please check out my Facebook page for more specific updates and events as they begin to take shape. By the way, on my Facebook page you will see the following image:
This is a pen and ink drawing that shows Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book as best as I could render him based on Kipling’s original concept. It is akin to the fantastic images drawn by Robert Ingpen in his illustrations for an edition of that book. Kipling spent some time in India and collected material from an area in Madhya Pradesh through which the Seeonee River flowed. He used that information to model the setting for The Jungle Book. By coincidence, during a visit I made to the Wildlife Institute of India in 2015, I was asked if I would be interested in writing a follow up to Did Tiger Take the Rain? based on the re-introduction of tigers into the Panna Tiger Reserve. The Panna and Pench reserves abut the Seeonee region Kipling used as his backdrop for Mowgli, Bagheera and Baloo and the Seeonee Wolf Pack in The Jungle Book. It is my dream to return to the Panna and Pench Reserves in India as a follow up to my book. And if the Mowgli story were not coincidence enough, Kipling actually wrote The Jungle Book in his then home near Brattleboro, Vermont where Green Writers Press is located. Let’s hope that the tiger of my book is a modern, safer cousin of the ill-fated Shere Khan.