To the sacred valley with Koko
Ayyappan Nair, author
A two thousand eight-hundred-year-old alien on earth! “That is equivalent to roughly twenty-eight human years,” the alien tells the eleven-year-old earthling, Ankit. The alien has disguised itself as Koko, the adorable monkey from a recent movie to befriend Ankit. The extraterrestrial is on a mission to earth from a distant planet located in a far away galaxy. It uses its superpowers to influence Ankit by taking him back in time to the corners of the earth, to jungles, cities and exotic palaces. Ankit’s bedroom is the launch pad for these adventures. With time, the playful Koko turns into a ‘teaching buddy’ and uses these flights to the past to inform Ankit about – discoveries in biology, environmental issues caused by human interference, and about the wonders of ancient civilizations. Current topics in the life sciences and medicine are made clear through contextual stories not just by Koko, but also by John, the enthusiastic teacher, and Ankit’s mother, Ashwathy, a renowned scientist, turned entrepreneur. These journeys and interactions help Ankit go through the myriad of information such as - What cells are? What are diseases? What are germs and how does the body track and get rid of them? What are medicines such as antibiotics and vaccines? In the midst of all this and separate from its original mission, the alien faces an imminent problem that requires human action. It recruits James, the owner of a toy manufacturing company to assist. Someone gets wind of this and plans to capture the alien. What was the alien’s mission? Was the alien caught? Could it successfully carry out its mission? Was the alien alone? The children’s novel is for eleven to fifteen-year-old children to spark their interest in life sciences, and to learn how to solve problems using creative thinking and factual scientific content. The science-oriented tales would help parents and teachers to communicate current topics in the life science efficiently.