Supriya Sehgal, the author of ‘A Tigress Called Machhli and other true animal stories from India’ is a friend and a fellow travel writer. She was kind enough to send me a review copy of the book as soon as it was published. It took me some time to pick it up to read, in between some heavy reads. Children’s books are always a great stress buster invoking the child within you.

A Tigress Called Machhli by Supriya SehgalSupriya takes us around the country through the lens of different animals. She talks about the animals she has met during her travels. The book introduces you to unusual animal lovers who live with animals we find dangerous. She takes us to places where animal lovers go out of their way to feed them, be it in Jaipur or in Chennai.

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Each small story is a small chapter that takes you to one corner of the country. Boxes provide some facts about the hero animal of the story. Towards the end, she gives an exercise that you can do with your friends to learn more about the animals, including recommending some films you can watch. I hope to see some of them.

There are interesting animal stories like that of a vegetarian crocodile or a Tigon that happened by accident – born to a tiger and a lioness.

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There are stories of brave children, rescue operations, and animals involved in doing some jobs like being a part of the army. There are some even at Mumbai airport it seems for people to play around with them.

I am not really an animal person. But I enjoyed reading these stories. Some of the rescue stories get repetitive and you know what is coming. Some of the NGOs mentioned I personally do not really trust as they focus more on marketing and fundraising and have the ability to fool naïve writers easily.

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The language is simple. Supriya has tried to be conversational. She brings in a lot of her own childhood in Dehradun and her own passion for animals. I remember visiting Chitwan National Park with her in Nepal where we almost found us face to face with a single-horned Rhino.

It is a good introduction to the world of animals. So, If you love animals, read it. If you want to introduce the kids around you to the animals, go ahead and gift them a copy.

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