In her upcoming title, city-based author and illustrator Katie Bagli presents 500 intriguing and bizarre facts about nature that kids will dig
Katie Bagli remembers being fascinated with nature when she set sight on potted plants in her home. Then came the caterpillar, that she began rearing. "I have one just crawling around in my kitchen," she says, when asked about her love for them. It’s only one of the many insects that has kept the 68-year-old city-based author and illustrator busy in the past year. This Sunday, she launches a new title, Nature So Bizarre (Shree Book Centre), at a Fort bookstore, detailing 500 intriguing facts about, well, nature in an odd 250 pages.
The call of the Kookaburra
Each fact is accompanied by a fun illustration; no. 8, for instance, explores the question, ‘Do crocodiles really cry?’, coupled with the reptile sobbing. And the truth is, yes, they do cry sans emotion. Although Bagli took a year to do her research for the book after she was commissioned, she also discovered facts on her own. After working as a volunteer with the BNHS about 10 years ago, where her passion reached its zenith, she also began taking her own nature walks. "I really began to see for myself. During one of these walks to SGNP, I discovered that the tortoise shell beetle hides from predators by building a thatch of their feces," she says. Bagli also mentions other facts that intrigued her: the giraffe’s 21-inch tongue that it uses to clean its own ears and eyes, shrews always holding their mother’s tail in times of danger, and the wolf spider’s ability to carry all of her 200 babies on her back for six months after they are hatched.
Bagli hopes that her book isn’t just picked up by children but adults, too. "It can inspire poetry and stories. And besides, it’s always nice to know about the world around you."
Grebes plucking their feathers
ON October 13, 11 am
AT Kitab Khana, Somaiya Bhavan, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort.
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