These two books are all about how the animal kingdom's mamas and pappas love their young 'uns

Launched on January 7, Vaishali Karthikeyan and Vaishnavi Giri's books Mammas in the Wild and Pappas in the Wild are a delight to read and are definitely for keeps. This is why you should read it too
The books | (Pic: Wildpaper)
The books | (Pic: Wildpaper)

Parents are all love when it comes to their children. Whether it's us humans or our friends from the animal kingdom. The books Mammas in the Wild and Pappas in the Wild, which were launched on January 7, attempt to show children this love that moves the world. Written from a place of experience by Vaishali Karthikeyan, Montessori teacher and a TEDx speaker and illustrated with acumen by Vaishnavi Giri, Founder of Wildpaper, these books attempt to prove the same statement with which we started this story, that parenting is all love.

Vaishnavi is absolutely psyched about the self-published book's launch and her energy is infectious. It was three days after Mother's Day (May 10), 2020 that the duo started working on this project. "Both Vaishali and I agreed on the fact that we needed to speak about parenting on a wholesome level so that even a child can understand. There are so many kinds of parents and with them, come different kinds of love. And the best way for them to learn is via nature," says Vaishnavi. The 32-year-old had started Wildpaper in 2019 via which she retails early learning cards (her most popular product) and floor puzzles. It was with the birth of her children Bhumi (3) and Nakshatra (2) that she got interested in designing these cards and puzzles and she used her UI/UX skills to good use for it. 

Vaishali and Vaishnavi | (Pic: Wildpaper)

With the book, the Bengaluru-based mother has transcended to another level. Did you know that the mamma octopuses doesn't budge from her nest, not even for food, after she lays eggs? She might even die in the process, but it doesn't matter. This is selfless love. When mamma elephants birth a baby elephant, all mammas from the tribe help her. This is community love. Examples of all kinds of love, including disciplinarian and tough love, are given in the book Mammas in the Wild. The duo ensured that they pick animals of every kind. Then came the thought, why not a similar book for the pappas of the animal kingdom? "The most undervalued relationship is that of a child and father. Maybe because they don't really express their love. But if you are standing on your own feet and facing the world, no one is happier than them," she says  

But the dads aren't too far behind. Did you also know that after laying the egg, mamma penguin goes away for about four months to feed herself and the responsibility falls on pappa penguin to ensure that the eggs don't touch the freezing cold ground. Then there are the pappa black swans who take care of the baby after the mother leaves it behind. Sometimes, they might even pair up with another pappa black swan to do so. "This helps normalise same-sex parenting or even single-parenting. There are also examples of adoption that we give from the animal kingdom," says Vaishnavi, who pursued her MA in Communication Design from the University of Southampton, UK. She had discussed the idea with her own father, who passed away before he had the chance to look at the final book.

Learning cards | (Pic: Wildpaper)

The duo had released a PDF version of the book on the Wildpaper website which anyone could download for free. It had 2,000 downloads in a week. This is what propelled them to self-publish their own book, which was a whole other beast they had to tame. It involved several rounds of proofreading and going through various samples. Also, Vaishnavi paid great attention to the illustrations to nail the colour and texture. She would surround herself with print outs of the animal she was illustrating in freehand, as opposed to her vector-style illustrations. "For some reason, baby animals were so much tougher to illustrate," shares the artist and laughs. She has now added the title children's book illustrator to her Instagram profile and rightly so.  

"As a child, I grew up thinking the internet was cool. So now when the need for planting trees and paying attention to the environment has arisen, it is difficult to relate because we have not grown up loving nature. With Wildpaper and our every product, we attempt to instill a love for nature in children which will lead them to protect it when they grow up," says Vaishnavi and concludes.  

An illustration by Vaishnavi | (Pic: Wildpaper)

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