2021 Jul 4
A Must-have Book on Leopard Conservation for Youngsters.
Sri Lanka’s first creative nonfiction book, Life with Pulli is all about leopard conservation for children in primary grades. Written by Tharanga Gunawardena and illustrated by Lisa-Marie Chambers, this book helps to understand and explore wildlife conservation from a young age. Most importantly, it is aimed at raising awareness in our children about protecting wildlife.
The book takes you through the life of Pulli, the adolescent Sri Lankan leopard. The young leopard is part of our nation’s largest national park, Wilpattu, which we eagerly call a ‘wildlife sanctuary’. The innocence of the childlike narrative style is what creates empathy towards this endemic species, along with the wonderfully detailed illustrations. The writer answers all questions of who, what and how about this endemic species in the simplest form possible.
Life with Pulli or life without Pulli?
It is not another aimless rant or a superficial fact dump about the environmental crisis. With Pulli as your narrator, it genuinely tries to address the threats faced by the leopards and how habitat conservation is a massive concern. How can we observe and help save them so that our future has a Pulli in it? This book will tell you.
“If you don’t cut forests and take over my space, my species will survive. Our habitat is our home. Our survival depends on it.”
As you wouldn’t sit idly if your home is invaded, Life with Pulli is a request from the very heart of our leopard habitat, to help them live without fear. I also appreciated that it addressed ‘regulated tourism’ to reinforce the safety of the species. While the target audience is youngsters, anyone can learn the facts presented in this book. It comes with a range map of leopards and a ‘read more’ page for parents to help them better guide their children through the story.
This work is also supported by the veteran leopard expert Rakshan Jayawardene, a professional wildlife conservationist. Certainly a heartfelt and informative read.
“I love my family just like you do.”