It's party time in the animal kingdom. A turtle just happens to be in charge of making a birthday cake. He's small and he's slow but he has a plan. He started early because he knew speed wasn't his strength.
The story began with our turtle baking a cake, complete with an ingredient list if you want to bake a cake yourself. He set off early in the morning for the party that was to take place later in the evening. He can't be late because the party is for Baagh Mama after all. The tiger. The current and most democratically voted king of the jungle.
Also, I am not sure what gender the turtle is, but we will assign our own as we go along.
Along the way, the turtle came upon all the other denizens of the kingdom. A frog, mouse, giraffe, elephant, pair of monkeys and so on. Each animal asked our intrepid turtle as to why he was heading for the party so early. Some asked him to slow down and chill out. A banana or a slice of cheese was offered. But our turtle was focused, determined. He's not very fast but he is a steady fellow.
Sadly, he just wasn't fast enough as evening quickly approached. How would the others react at the party? Would Baagh Mama get mad? Does the turtle become soup?
Writer Shuchishmita has crafted a beautiful story of friendship and kindness in Baagh Mamar Shubho Jonmodin (Mayurpankhi, 2021). Kids will love the art style by S M Rakibur Rahman. Uncomplicated, large swathes of paint illustrate the animals. These are basic shapes simple enough for kids to mimic with a colour pencil on a fresh, white living room wall, like in my house. My three-year-old daughter got almost all the animals right, except the little ghost. That she thought was a bird with a "chicken nugget" face.
The book has a few extras in store. It comes with a lovely postcard and a couple of bookmarks and ends with an origami instruction on how to fold and create the tiger. But you will revisit the adventure story with an underdog hero or heroine who wins in the end because everyone decides to come together and help. That's what we want from our kids—to work hard, help others, and to make friends who won't leave you stranded.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a writer, marketer, a graphic design consultant, and clueless dad of two.