Tata and the Big Bad Bull is a fast–paced narrative poem about a face–off between an angry bull and a determined boy. Tata is single-minded in his desire to go to school, but his grandmother is too poor to pay for the school bus and the route on foot takes him through a pasture guarded by a fierce bull. Tata’s pursuit of his education turns into an adventure involving other members of his anthropomorphic community as he searches for ways to circumvent the bull and his anger.
Tata and the Big Bad Bull is loosely based on the author’s childhood experiences and reflects his current career path as a literacy advocate and conflict resolution practitioner. Like Tata’s grandmother, Ghunta’s mother struggled to pay his bus fare to school. Determined to go, Ghunta took a shortcut through a pasture and encountered a fierce bull who charged at him. The story is amusing on the surface, but there is a lot to unpack in the simple rhyming lines. The bull and the other characters are metaphors for the challenges Ghunta faced as a child and the steps he took to endure and overcome them. Tata and the Big Bad Bull reels children into a fun adventure and then encourages them to think about tolerance, friendship, and understanding. It introduces children to the idea that there may be more than one way to solve a problem.