It’s International Mother Language Day 2021 and Literacy Champion and Nottingham author Shreya Sen-Handley and her family have made us a special video to celebrate.
Read beautifully by Shreya in Bengali, the film was made by her children Ayana, 11 and Syon, 12 (who created the stop motion and cartoon animation themselves!) helped by their father Stephen Handley who edited it all together.
‘Rimjhim in the Jungle’ is based on one of many bedtime tales their Grandma, Anindita Sen, told Ayana and Syon on their trips to India. Not being able to see them at all over the last year because of the pandemic, their Grandma has set about compiling her magical stories into a book for them to read.
The story follows Rimjhim aged six. As a treat for her birthday, Rimjhim travels to join her scientist parents in the jungle where they often work. Her grandparents accompany them too on this special birthday trip.
Arriving at their jungle bungalow, Rimjhim is full of beans, and wants to play in the garden, and though all the adults are tired, her grandmother volunteers to keep an eye on her.
Rimjhim is soon lured out of the garden and into the forest by a frolicking little rabbit. She runs after it, wanting to play, and finds herself lost in the jungle.
Trying to find her way back, she stumbles across a pond brimming with fish, with a fisherman on its banks. She asks him to help her find her way back to the bungalow.
On their way back they encounter three tiger cubs who are so sweet she wishes she could play with them, but they sense the presence of the cubs’ fearsome mother too, and hotfoot it!
Once back at the bungalow she pleads with her Grandma, who’d been searching for her, not to mention her escapade to her parents. When her Grandma buys the fisherman’s catch as thanks for his help and goes in, Rimjhim is surprised by the fisherman’s parting gift: the playful bunny who had given her the slip. She tries to thank the fisherman but discovers him gone...