Tigeropolis is the story of a group of tigers battling to save their forest from deforestation. It’s fun, yet also with a strong conservation message that should appeal to children of all ages. Bittu and Mattie, our brave tiger cubs, lead the way in a series of adventures using their ingenuity to find a way to save their beloved Tigeropolis from the bulldozers.
Targeted Age Group:: 8-12 years
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The Tigeropolis series was directly inspired by my first ever sighting of a tiger – I’ve seen quite a number of tigers since then, but I’ll always remember that first encounter. We'd gone for days and days without seeing a single tiger. I was really keen to see one. It was my last night in India. I was flying back to the UK the next day and it was late, it was now near dusk. We’d had no luck and so we were driving back to camp, defeated. I was resigned to never seeing a tiger as I wasn’t sure when I’d next be in India.
Just as we were about to drive out of the park a tiger suddenly decided to stir and show itself. In all probability the tiger had been there for hours, laid up in the undergrowth escaping the 40 degree heat of the mid-day sun. It strolled past us for a a hundred yards or so, let us take a few photographs and then disappeared back into the jungle. It was totally in control. Right there and then I thought – why not write a series where the tigers are in control. I started mapping out the first book on the plane back to London.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The stories revolve around Bittu and Matti – brother and sister tiger cubs.
Bittu is about 8 years old in human terms and is enthusiastic, if a little impractical. Matti is a little older (10), fun, but also more of a thinker. The cubs might occasionally bicker, but in combination they are central to the tigers’ success.
In the real world tigers are quite solitary, so the cubs only with live their mother Tala. Her name is taken from the name of the area in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Northern India where I encountered my first tiger in the wild after days of searching.
Uncles Raj and VJ are twins, but very different. Raj is very formal, ex military – he was a mascot in the army, whilst VJ is a kaftan wearing hippy that persuaded the family to turn vegetarian.
The two forest guards – Mr Mistry and Akash – are also central figures. Although sometimes the butt of the humour, they are also an affectionate tribute to the thousands of real Forest Guards who work tirelessly everyday, often during quite demanding conditions, to safeguard tigers and other wildlife in tiger reserves across India.
Bittu was tired… and just a little lost.
He’d been having a great time chasing a little sambar deer through the jungle. They had run past the old abandoned fort, past the tumbled-down whitewashed stone temple, past the old hollowed-out water storage pond filled with the darkest greeny-black water you could imagine, and down a twisty, sandy track to the very edge of the old sal forest where he lived.
He knew he should have stopped. But chasing sambar was such fun and he felt sure that in just a little while more he would have caught him. Twenty minutes later, however, he realized the sambar must have given him the slip and disappeared through a hole in the fence somewhere back
at the little crossroads.
‘Oh well… next time,’ thought Bittu.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy Tigeropolis Print book for sale on Author’s Website
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