To tell you the truth – I didn’t know what to make of the title of the book – Chaos at Keoladeo, after all Key-O-La-Deo seemed like a weird name. However, I had full trust in the author of the book, Priya Fonseca, who was a city editor with MyCity4Kids long before it transformed itself to Momspresso.
Once I started reading the book, my trust was justified. Three young kids, Sameera, Alex and Tarun accompany their Uncle Avi to Bharatput. They have heard that the Siberian cranes have returned to Keoladeo National Park after more than a decade and a half. In the train to Bharatput, they meet an interesting old man who narrates them the legend of a hunter who has hidden precious gems and stones in the National Park.
At the park, the young explorers have a lovely time spotting rarely seen birds and experiencing the charm of jungle life. They meet wildlife biologist Rauf Ali, grandnephew of famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali.
However, all is not hunky dory at the park. There are some strange things happening at the park. The young kids sleuth around and help in cracking two mysteries. Find out which?
After reading the book, I learned quite a few facts. Firstly, Bharatput Bird Sanctuary as it is popularly known was actually renamed Keoladeo National Park. Keoladeo is named after the temple of Lord Shiva found inside the park, which is called Kevla-Dev. So there, now the title doesn’t sound so weird.
Apart from the facts, I also learnt a lot of facts about birds. For instance, did you know that there is a state bird? Well, I didn’t know. And being in Maharashtra, I was happy to know that the state bird of Maharashtra is yellow-footed green pigeon, though I haven’t ever spotted one.
Siberian cranes once regular visitors have not been spotted since 2001-02. It is assumed that they have lost their way to India. Though experiments were made to get them back, but in vain.
The pied kingfisher is the largest bird that can hover in still air, just like a helicopter or that peacocks are among the largest flying birds and that they sleep in trees to avoid predators. I mean I can go on, but it’s better if you fetch your own copy and read it. All birds and animals are promptly depicted through pictures which makes it easier to identify them.
Chaos at Keoladeo is an entertaining adventure, travelogue, encyclopedia and birding guide all rolled into one. While the facts and figures are interesting, the story is entertaining too, and the fiction is cleverly woven with the facts.
I would recommend you buy this book for yourself and your kids. You will love it. My daughter is already after my life to take her to Bharatpur, oops, Keoladeo National Park. Let’s see.
Age Group: 8+
You can read more children book reviews –