The Gijjigadus and the Fireflies by Gopini Karunakar | Art by Atanu Roy

A delightful fantasy on how fireflies came into being.

Once golden sparrows called Gijjigadus approached Devuda, a female god, to request her for some light to illuminate the dark nights for their little chicks. ‘Women have lamps that they can light,’ they said, ‘the cobra has a gem on his head and the owl has eyes that shine bright in the night, but our babies live cowering with fear, in their dark nests.

Devuda agreed to help them come up with a solution. Suddenly, one of the gijigadus had a brainwave. ‘The moon rubs against the sky, making moondust. And this moondust flies away, as fireflies.‘ Why not harness their light?

Devuda is pleased with the solution and off they go to request the fireflies to light up the dark nests of the little Gijjigadus chicks.

Whilst the story is a fantasy, it subtly demonstrates the symbiotic relationships that exists in the animal world.

The end pages throw further light on the world of insects and birds.

Printed in an extra large format, the story has beautiful illustrations with a lot of little interesting details that the kids will love to discover as they flip through the pages. Large size font, with minimal words are a bonus.

Available in English and Hindi.

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Reviewed by YoungIndiaBooks