Help Baby Walrus by Ilia Tversky is my today’s treat for you. But, before I tell you what this book is about and how it is, I would like to first mention to you that it is a translated version of the original book which is written in the Russian language. And I must tell you that despite being translated from one language to another, the book doesn’t lose its actual meaning, message and context. Amazing! Now, you must be curious to know more about this book, right? This book is a poetry collection primarily written for children, but definitely can be enjoyed by adults too. There are so many poems evocative of childhood that will bring back memories for many readers. At the same time, there are secret yet important messages which they can easily decode and conveyed to their kids. I believe this is my very first REAL poetry book aimed at children. By REAL, I mean it is perfect in all sense. And without any ifs and doubts, I call this book one of the best poetry books that are aimed at kids in the recent times I have read.
Whether it is language, tone, words, rhyme, rhythm, the flare of emotions and elements of fun, joy, and education, Help Baby Walrus offers everything to its readers. I would like to highlight how beautifully the author has designed the conversation in verse that works not only to entertain but to teach lessons of life and motivate them (the readers) to live a thoughtful life.
They thought, wouldn’t it be nice
To eat tangerines instead of ice?
To dive and swim in a warm blue sea,
Read a book under a coconut tree?
In a verse, two penguins discuss between themselves how good it would have been that if they lived in a hotter region, they would not have to suffer from the cold.
Two peacocks discuss between themselves how good it would have been that if they lived in a cold region, they would not have to worry about heat.
On a tropical beach in the tropical sun,
Two peacocks dreamed of having fun
In a cooler place, with snow and ice.
Yes, that would be a paradise!
The above two conversations clearly explain how dissatisfied we are in our lives. We don’t celebrate what we possess but feel bad for what we don’t have. Through these simple conversations, the author has tried to give an important message to the readers.
I will share a glimpse of another poem from the book which I liked a lot. It inspired me too. It is about a rat and a cat. They are both trying to learn English. However, the poem also extends a message of perceptions that we have for people in our surroundings, neighbourhood or those who are our supposed adversaries.
Rat Margarita was learning to speak English.
She learned ‘beautiful animal, beautiful rat’
And ‘terrible animal, terrible cat’.
After each word she learned, she got to eat fish.
And the cat thinks:
And Dasha was learning her English, too.
She learned, ‘wonderful animal, wonderful cat’
And ‘fearful animal, fearful rat’.
And when she was done, she ate barbecue.
This poem, in its entire length, displays many funny scenes that kids will like. The alert kids and readers who are mature will also get the messages that the author may or may not have intended to extend.
To sum it up, Help Baby Walrus by Ilia Tversky is a funny book. Collection of poems that has plenty in the store for kids and the images make it even more interesting, amusing and attractively active. A must-read… do get a copy from Amazon India and you will find it very suitable for kids around.
Review by Paridhi for Read by Critics platform