Shonu lives on an island in the Bengal delta surrounded by mangrove forests – an area known as the Sundarbans, where bees build their combs like golden palaces in the treetops.
Shonu’s father is a honey collector and Shonu understands the natural laws of the forest. When indiscriminate logging disturbs the environmental balance, cyclones, floods and droughts ensue.
Eventually Shonu’s hunger overwhelms him and he gorges on the dripping honeycomb. But the forest has its guardians, and out jumps the Demon King in tiger form. It’s all over for Shonu – or is it?
“Gobbling… children will not solve anything,” says the Guardian Deity of the Sundarbans. If Shonu spends all summer as a tree, feeding nectar to the bees, that might be enough to make amends – but will the Demon King agree?
With its eye-catching presentation and dramatic sense of place and pace, The Honey Hunter’s origins as an internationally-inspired dance performance are built into
the fabric of every page.
Karthika Nair’s gloriously visual and poetic text is matched by the brightly-coloured artwork of Joëlle Jolivet, an award-winning French illustrator known for her printmaking but here inspired by traditional Indian paintings.
Part environmental fable and part adventure story, this hugely appealing picture book is full of treasures to be unpacked, enjoyed and used to inspire creative activities of all kinds.
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