Naturalist Ruddy: Adventurer. Sleuth. Mongoose.
by Rohan Chakravarty
Publisher: Penguin (2021)
If you are hoping for a tiny mongoose to climb through your sofa and walk seductively in the imagination of kids and adults alike, unearthing the hidden treasure chests of knowledge preserved in the deep forest of India. Then you got the perfect opportunity to do so with this little well-illustrated book about the adventures of Mr Ruddy, the mongoose.
Mr Ruddy native of central India forest has travelled far from Vindhyas and Satpuras holding the hands of his author Mr Rohan Chakravarty. The author describes himself as a cartoonist, illustrator, wildlife buff and creator of Green Humour. He travels with Mr Ruddy to the different wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of India. He makes you meet the endemic flora and fauna of these places through the eyes of a mongoose, the curiosity of a detective and the ink of an illustrator.
What I loved about this book is the simplicity with which the author has unearthed and illustrated the most interesting concepts of nature. The case of the Mummified moths or say the Myrmerco mystery and many others presented in the book would test your wit. You may have read about concepts of nature in high school like animalism, mimicry, reproduction, predation etc. In this book all those tiny concepts walk around in form of say Mormon butterfly or sap sucking woodpecker enticing you to see them twirl and dance. Once you have read this book you can’t go to any wildlife safari without carrying some part of Mr Ruddy’s soul inside you.
The book is well illustrated with beings like stick-horn fungus drawn in all its glory. The stories are presented in the comic strip style with each box building up the mystery gradually. Mr Ruddy’s character is very expressive with childlike curiosity in every case.
This book is funny, informative, well illustrated and tickles the green nerve in your body. It’s a wonderful gift for the tenth birthday, a must have in every school’s library and a perfect companion for you on those boring bus rides. Wherever you are, whoever you are, pick this one and you could feel Mr Ruddy sneaking around you. He is your White Rabbit but are you Alice enough for him to be invited into his Wonderland ?