Engaging Little Minds – The New Indian Express

The Bookaroo Festival, which continues till 4:30 pm Sunday, Nov 28, is bound to capture the hearts of the city’s youngsters and spread the joy of reading to them all.
Published: 28th November 2021 08:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2021 08:28 AM   |  A+A-
Youngsters enjoying a series of innovative sessions at the Bookaroo Festival at the National Railway Museum on Saturday, Nov 27, 2021. (Photo | EPS)
Focusing on spreading “the joy of reading”, the Bookaroo Trust—a public charitable organisation that was founded by Swati Roy and M Venkatesh in 2008—is back post the lockdown with The Bookaroo Festival, a two-day literature festival for children. This event, featuring 46 speakers from different parts of India, commenced on Saturday at the National Railway Museum in Chanakyapuri. The chugging of an occasional toy train on the lush green lawns with a number of enthusiastic children made the first day a fun and exciting one. 
With 50 innovative sessions for children aged between four and 14, this festival is divided into various segments namely Kahani Tree, The Yard, Sky Station, The Platform, Crafty Corner, and Doodle Wall. The Wall of Healing, on which children are urged to write what comes to their mind, makes for an interesting 
addition. The Trust has also set up a makeshift bookstore featuring books and comics by the speakers.

An extension of the Eureka! Bookstore, GK2—it is the first exclusive bookstore for children in Delhi—this festival aims to reconnect the young with the world of literature in an engaging manner. “When we first began this journey, it was to establish a place that would be authentically for children. There were hardly any children’s bookstores during our time. We established Eureka with the thought of doing the opposite, a bookstore exclusively for children with only a shelf or two for adults,” shared Venkatesh.
Keeping the magic alive
“What endears me about children is that their spirits are so pure. They believe in themselves and the world around them, which I feel most adults have lost,” mentioned writer Sutapa Basu, one of the speakers at the festival. She conducted a workshop on Saturday to teach children the technicalities of writing a story through a series of interactive activities. Today, picture book artist Sanket Pethkar will be teaching children how to build multiple narratives with a single image. “Picture books are like a carrier of a vision. During this time of chaos I feel it is necessary for people to be thoughtful and picture books are a medium for that.”
A hit among the young
Riddhima Jain (8) from Kalkaji, who was at the festival on Saturday, mentioned how she had been eagerly waiting for the event. Having attended the Saturday session ‘Topsy Turvy Art’ by Savio Mascarenhas—the art director of Amar Chitra Katha—she shared, “We drew pictures of Shikari Shambhu and a tiger. I was excited to draw one of my favourite comic characters.” This festival, which continues till 4:30 pm today, is bound to capture the hearts of the city’s youngsters and spread the joy of reading to them all.
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