Author : Geeta Dharmarajan
Illustrator : Srivi
Publisher : Katha
Katha has come up with yet another endearing tale and this time it is about Ranga, a little Rhinoceros. Ranga is a newborn baby when the story begins. She enjoys the gentle, loving and warm touch of her mother. Her Ma tenderly nudges the reluctant little baby to stand, but Ranga just wants to get back into the comfortable confine of her Ma's belly. Slowly she learns to stand on her legs, to drink milk, and to take rest. Ranga's babyhood phase is filled with listening to stories softly narrated by her Ma, taking mud baths, playing, learning to speak and laugh. Ranga feels proud that she is able to do all these things like how her Ma does. Gradually the horizon of her small world expands and she starts acknowledging and understanding her surroundings, meets other rhinos and makes friends. But the bond that she has with her mother remains unparalleled. Time flies and now Ranga has a baby brother. Ranga, a loving and protective elder sister wants to keep her Ma and her baby brother safe from all sorts of dangers. The three of them want to revel in the beauty and tranquility of the grasslands but their Ma feels the need to teach them to run from humans because 'rhinos are scared of no one else but humans'. Ranga does not like living under the threat of humans destroying the grasslands and killing animals like her. Ranga wants to grow up, to walk majestically in the grassland, to have her own baby but she wishes for a new and different future, 'hopefully I won't ever have to teach the baby to run from humans.'
Story of Ranga lets the readers peek into the life of this majestic and graceful member of the grassland. Peace loving Rhinoceros do not demand much, they just want to be safe and happy. Run Ranga! Run! Brings out the plea of Ranga and all wild animals in general that they want humans to respect all forms of life. The precarious balance that exists in the nature is under threat because of greed of humans.
Mahatma Gandhi very rightly said, 'Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.' The other living creatures are silently paying the price of human greed.
The book is a wonderful way to introduce young readers to these Big Fat friendly creatures who enjoy their solitude in verdant grasslands . It is a great step by Katha to ignite awareness for nature and for all significant aspects of the nature in young minds so that they grow up to be responsible and compassionate citizens of Earth.