Here at Nature inFocus, all the Young Tusks and well, not-so-young alike, have been waiting for this day for ages. And not just because it’s Children’s Day. There’s something else to celebrate, too. One of our favourite not-for-profit publishers, Pratham Books, has just launched PhoneStories on their open-source platform, StoryWeaver. And, what’s more, the stories are all about wildlife!

That’s right. With these mobile-first stories, best experienced on a device like a phone or a tablet, the forest has come right to you. It’s so close we can all look, learn and listen to engaging tales from the natural world wherever we are.

“Watch Out! The Tiger is Here!” is the first in a set of four PhoneStories centred around wildlife. It has been written by Sejal Mehta, writer, wildlife enthusiast, and, our very own Editor-in-Chief here at Nature inFocus. “The idea for the wildlife books was threefold: to endear children to the wilderness, to shine the spotlight on lesser-known species, and to show animals for what they are, not what our perceptions might want them to be,” Mehta explained. The tone had to be funny, she added, so that children begin to associate the outdoors, animals and storytelling as fun, and full of laughter, not preachy and tiresome. 

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This refreshing peek into jungle life has been illustrated by Rohan Chakravarty, award-winning wildlife and environment cartoonist, and creator of the wildly popular Green Humour. “Kids’ literature on wildlife is much needed today, to bridge the growing gap between kids and nature, and there isn’t a better way to address this than through technology, as audio-visual books,” said Chakravarty. 

“Watch Out! The Tiger is Here” has been voiced by Rohan Joshi, writer and comedian at All India Bakchod. Joshi hopes it’ll serve as a little reminder that “we’re still very much part of an incredible, complex, crawling ecosystem of birds, animals, insects and plants”, at a time where it's all too easy to disconnect from the flora and fauna around us.

So what are you waiting for? Go on and stream or download it here.


CONTEST ALERT: Mimic an alarm call, with the name of the animal (in an MP3 format) and share it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Or email it to storyweaver@prathambooks.org. The closest mimic wins an illustration from the book signed by Rohan Chakravarty. There's one prize only, so hurry up. The contest is on from November 13 - 23, 2017 and is for Indian residents that are 16 years and above.

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Oh and by the way, StoryWeaver’s Phone Stories can also be enjoyed as audio stories, as well as on the web like regular story books. You can enjoy this story as an audio book by dialling 08033094244. We’ll be bringing you chatter (hot off the treetops) about the rest of the PhoneStories very soon. Watch this space!