The beautiful Gulmohar Tree is a familiar sight in India. I have fond memories of gazing at one right outside our window, while I was growing up. The flaming flowers add to the beauty of this tree. But, it’s not just the flowers alone…. what also appealed to me, as a child, were the long pods from the trees which we would use as toy shakers! It was thus a feeling of nostalgia that overtook me when I first lay hands on My Gulmohar Tree by Ekta Ohri. Published by LitJoys, an early learning venture that seeks to connect children to their natural world, the book has a nurturing feel about it, as if it is gently drawing you into the world of nature.
The picture book tells the fascinating tale of the Gulmohar tree. It all starts with little Abdu finding a Gulmohar flower on the ground. This leads to a series of questions that don’t only pertain to the Gulmohar tree but also cover nature, seasons and much more.
Abdu is an urban child, but one whose curiosity in nature is nurtured by his family. As one moves through the story, one can see how Abdu gets hands-on with nature. He seeks information about the tree, ends up foraging natural objects from the garden, nurtures his own sapling, plays with flowers, hugs a tree and gets closer to nature.
The Gulmohar Tree is commonly found all through India. It is also quite striking because of its beauty. Hence, children can easily identify it, and will be immediately attracted by the theme of the book.
As you delve deeper into the book with your child, you will also notice that it indirectly has several pointers that help parents instilled a love for nature in their children despite being in urban settings and concrete jungles.
My Gulmohar Tree has a mix of illustrations as well as some pictures. The photographs by Shailja Shandil add to the delight of reading the book.
Bookedforlife recommends-My Gulmohar Tree by Ekta Ohri is a great starting point to initiate a conversation about nature. Read it once with your child at home, and then, if possible, take it along with you and reread it under a tree…and definitely so if you have access to a Gulmohar tree in a park nearby! Try and replicate some of the activities that form a part of the book. You will realize that a simple book that actually spiral a whole new connection with nature!
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