Pin It
Monday, April 22nd, 2013

A Children’s Story Set in India: Bijoy and the Big River

By

Bijoy and the Big River

By Meera Sriram and Praba Ram

 

What’s it like to grow up on a river that serves as your family and community’s livelihood? That’s the setting of this story that follows a day in the life of a young boy, Bijoy, growing up in Northeast India along the Burha Luit river.

 

Bijoy loves to swim in the river and spot xihu, an endangered species of dolphin, which is generally blind. He also takes the boat with his deuta, father, to a weaving village where they deliver the silk that his parents, who are silk farmers, grow and produce. His deuta raises eri silkworms in their backyard while his mother spins the silk. Beautifully illustrated with actual photographs, the pictures allow us to better understand the setting, including boats on a calm river, women spinning silk and close-up shots of the silkworm and cocoon—who knew creatures that looked like that produced such luxurious material!

 

The story is both fun for children to follow along since it has elements kids will love—worms, dolphins, boats, a rhino—but it is also educational. As the story unfolds, notes in the margins tell us fun facts about the river and region, which are very helpful to understanding the past and present of the village and culture. For example, one fascinating thing I learned is that “In many methods of silk harvesting, the silkworm is killed before it matures into an adult moth. However the eri silkworm is allowed to develop fully and…is not harmed in the process, eri is known as ‘Peace Silk’.”

 

The book is part of the “Where I Live” series, which explores daily life for children in different settings across India. The authors’ inspiration to write this style of books originates from a blend of their own childhood in India and their own love of children’s books. For Meera Sriram, one of the co-authors of the book, the books she read in school in India growing up were largely always British stories, which did not reflect everyday life around her. This discrepancy was the subconscious thread that later guided her into writing children’s stories set in India that would both mirror the life children experienced around them in India, and be educational for children everywhere.

 

This book is the authors’ third. Both their first book “Dinaben and the Lions of Gir” and their second, “Subbu and the Signal” were included by the Indian National School Board on the “Recommended Reading List” for children—a huge triumph for the authors that Indian children’s books are starting to gain more ground in a curriculum previously dominated by British’s children’s stories.

 

Bijoy and the Big River copy

 

© 2013, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Breastfeeding Around the World

In photos and figures

Are Germans Really Rude?

This German dad shares his thoughts

Is Raising Bilingual Children Worth the Costs?

Fancy schools, international vacations, foreign language books, DVDs and tutors add up fast

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

2 Comments
  1. CommentsMeena   |  Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 11:58 pm

    I love this site, and will be buying this book for my daughter! On the India note, we just finished Nina and the Travelling Spice Shed that is about an Indian girl born and raised in England who has trouble relating to her parents and her Indian-ness until she goes to India. My daughter really enjoyed it and we’re reading it now for hte second time for her bedtime story – and best of all the little girl on the cover looks like her too!

  2. CommentsMeera Sriram   |  Thursday, 25 July 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Thank you, Meena! Hope you and your daughter like the book. And I’ll keep the title you’ve recommended in mind, sounds like a wonderful book!









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



A Children's Book for Raising Global Citizens

Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!
For quite sometime, whenever there were articles that surfaced the internet concerning whether it was appropriate to breastfeed in public, I was so baffled. As a Mongolian, I was so shocked that som...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
For quite some whenever there was articles circulated on the internet concerning whether it is appropriate to breastfeed in public. As a Mongolian, I was so shocked that some countries considered i...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
I live with my Czech in laws with my four children and my Czech is crap I try to learn but the baby doesn't sleep well I'm a constant zombie and the brain just doesn't work. Plus being tired makes m...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
I am so glad I found this site. I am happy to see that I am not alone in experiencing 'family issues' after getting married. I am not from the West but I am married to a Canadian. I never truly unde...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
[…] my most favourite article about breastfeeding called Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan by Ruth Kamnitzer. I have no doubt that Mongolians would find our social stigmas around [R...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] sources and reasons for the rules of these countries too, such as China, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, and Hungary (see above re “Titanic”).  Has anyone got s...
From International Baby Naming Laws–Are They a Good Thing?
[…] Source Inculture Parents […...
From Lotus Lanterns for Wesak (Buddha Day)
If your nerves shat down your hormones , can you get pregnant by injecting a sperm in you to develop a baby . Please let me know...
From Baby-Making the Hindu Way
[…] Diwali Lantern from InCultureParent […...
From Diwali Craft: Make a Lantern

More Multicultural Books, Etc.