Chitty is a dog who is taken from the streets of Pune to a life in a forest farm in the Western Ghats. We are introduced to her world at the farm, her growing years, her adventures and her deep, abiding relationship with Serow. The illustrations bring this green, wet, funny, scary world alive. The sensitive portrayal of Chitty’s passing is a mediation on the nature of life that is such a rare opportunity for children to relate to it in writing.
Big environmental issues like mining are not easy to make interesting for children. This book manages to do just that, because the reader identifies with the young protagonist who is not initially very aware or interested in such things, but when he is confronted with a stark reality he actually gets involved in a scheme for deflecting the impending environmental crisis in his home village and surroundings.
This is a lovely, layered story of children’s connections with their lived environment. The story portrays the relationship between a child and an adult in a gentle manner, conveying warmth without becoming syrupy-sweet. The illustrations are evocative with each charactebeing unique in its detail, and the garden coming stunningly coming alive through the pages.