Children literary festival at its best….
Three days of celebrating books through reading, storytelling, art, craft, panel discussions, songs, a doodle wall and an illustrators' exhibition and much much more…Bookaroo 2011 had everything that kept children glued to one thing – books, books and more books…encouraging and bringing in the joy of reading. Scheduled from November 25-27, 2011, the 2011 Bookaroo, Children’s Literature Festival was held in the beautiful ambience of the Sanskriti Kendra, Anandgram, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, New Delhi. Started in 2008, this Children’s Literature Festival is now an annual event in New Delhi and includes Bookaroo in the City, where book related activities are held in schools across New Delhi. This year Bookaroo hosted 62 speakers from 12 countries and as part of its "outreach programme", organized reading and interaction sessions in a 100 MCD and private schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas (as a part of Bookaroo in the City programme).
Co-produced by Bookaroo and Teamworks Prooductions, the fair aims to promote Children’s literature both locally, regionally and globally.
Children flocked around The "Doodle Wall", the "Kahani Tree" and other spots where they could just have fun and what was more that the parents enjoyed seeing their kids have fun with books.
Children’s all-time favourite author Paro Anand session on book reading was a sell-out as she read out from ‘Wingless’- her book about a flightless bird. Children were equally enthusiastic at other book reading sessions by authors like Deepa Agarwal, Ramendra Kumar, Steve Skidmore and Steve Barlow, Northern Irish author John Dougherty, Poile Sengupta, Kunzang Choden and Anita Roy, Lovleen Mishra and Chatura Rao, Sandhya Rao, Deepa Balsavar, etc gave lively book reading sessions.
The Workshops organized were also a major hit with children. At the workshop of Subhadra Sen Gupta, the children displayed their intelligence quotient as Subhadra talked about history and all things past. It was followed by a quiz and the world map was explored. The session was a very interactive one. While, sliding pictures and moving frames were the highlight of the session with Satoshi Kitamura. The parents and children gaped and applauded as the wooden theatre came alive with moving stories. The guessing game had everybody working their minds and figuring out what the picture shadows meant. It was a very interactive session.
Shamini never fails to bring alive the child in everyone attending her wonderful sessions. She engaged the children in a thoughtful discussion about the steps of writing a story. Presentations were used to bring out the animation in the turtles she talked about.
While, Gregory Hughes’s calm manner always enthralls the audience and that’s what happened at his session too. He talked about how it is not cool to write in a phine voice- a voice that is put on. According to him, flowery writing doesn’t really go down well with every reader and its best to write in your own voice.
Also, the session by John Dougherty -an Irish poet, singer and writer who uses humor to make children happy all around the world, had the children grasping the benefits of reading. He narrated his experiences with books and talked about the three books he has written about the Greek God Zeus. He impressed the audience with animated interaction while informing them about the process of writing a story.
The Amphitheatre was also live with useful and interactive sessions. Samhita Arni talked about her portrayal of Sita in her graphic novel. She explores the feminist issues underlying the Ramayana. While, Arjun Kaul- the vocalist and guitarist of the band Prithvi, interwove music and stories and played music that the children enjoyed immensely. He educated them about different characters from history and folktales. The audience also had a glimpse of his original work as he played a song from his album.
Besides, Campfire organized a puppet show called Puppet Pandemonium. It was an interesting interactive session that had the kids involved with the hand puppets that narrated the stories. The kids enjoyed the different voice over’s as the happy parents looked on.
And there were so many many more…the fun was totally enigmatic.
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