KALA GHODHA ARTS FESTIVAL takes over!

Every year, February comes around with the promise of much excitement. Chock full of birthdays and anniversaries in my family, it is a month of celebration. The weather is always brilliant. It is still early enough in the year to hope to stick by new year resolutions. Then of course, there is the Kala Ghodha Festival. As with many Mumbaikars, the festival takes over 9 days of my life and has been doing so since the last few years. Be it readings I am conducting, sessions I am ferrying my kids to, attempting to jostle my way through increasingly maddening crowd to get my fix of a kala khatta or a khao suey on Rampart Row, admiring the many installations or oohing and aahing over the quirky merchandise on sale, the Kala Ghodha Arts Festival is really like no other. I do hope that if you are in Mumbai you are planning to head that way on some days. And for those with children, the Children’s Literature Section has really come into its own over the last few years. Do bring your children to be a part of the fun that the black horse whinnies in every year! If you would like to attend any of my sessions, here are the details: Writing workshop: Punctuation fun Wednesday, Feb 5th, 6:00pm, Kitab Khana.  Join me with your kids for an interactive writing workshop. There are no papers or pencils in this writing workshop! Listen, laugh and enjoy the fun. Get the first peek into my soon-to-release book ‘Squiggle takes a walk’. (Age 7+) Register by sending an email to litkidskgaf14@gmail.com with...

Rooster Raga at Auxilium, Carona- Aldona

Rooster Raga at Auxilium, Carona- Aldona. Found this post about an absolutely fabulous session around Rooster Raga conducted at Auxilium in Goa. Thank you Sheena for selecting the book and to bookworm for sharing the details of your session. I am going to take pointers! For teachers, librarians, book clubs – here is a quick recap of the session: As the children entered the library, each had to pick a chit with a sound word written on it. They had to find other children with the same word and form their group. Imagine a class full of meows, quacks, moos and grunts! They sang a song, ‘I am special’. Here’s the Rooster Raga song ready for use at the session. [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/123479546″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /] She read out Rooster Raga accompanied by the many animal sounds all through the book. My favourite part – each child then wrote out what they think is special about themselves and what they are good at. I’d even create a class list and have them put down a word or line about what they like about all the other children in the class. The teacher could collate it for each child. What a lovely list to have! A few years ago, my father wrote this for my son. It is still on our board, and probably time to make a new one, but what better way to celebrate your children and the wonderful things they do each day. In the spirit of saving the best for last, it had to be his hugs that we so look forward to. Share...

A day at the Junior Writers Bug festival

Put together a bunch of writers, illustrators, folk singers, storytellers, theatre people and more such. Plonk them in the middle of a nature park. Drive in hordes of excited kids and happy parents. Add in the lovely Kitab Khana bookstore. Tie it together with scrumptious food and kulfis of every imaginable flavour on site (the strawberry flavour was rather lipsmacking). And you are sure to have one fun festival. The Junior Writers Bug festival held this weekend at the Maharashtra Nature Park turned out to be one such delight. I spent my Sunday morning with a bunch of excited kids singing and dancing to the Rooster Raga. The song turned out a big hit here as well and we followed it up with colouring in some adorable rooster chicks. Some planned to turn them into greeting cards and others into stick puppets for a read along with the story. Here are a few taking shape… With my session on Bonkers! later in the evening, my 6 year old and I attended a session on Uttaranchal folk tales by Suresh Kala and Avinash Lamba. Even though we couldn’t understand all the words, one got a real feel of the mountains. And a sheepish grin as Suresh translated one of the folk tales being sung out – since it turned out to be a song being sung by a man to his fiancé. Ahem! The kids got into the groove with a beautiful song created for the event with a rather catchy refrain ‘bum chiki bum, chiki bum bum, bum chiki bum…’ Tanvi Bhat, one of the illustrators of the just-gone-to-press History Mystery...

The Junior Writers Bug festival in Mumbai, this weekend!

December 7th – 8th, 2013 at Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai With 70 sessions for children over 2 days, this promises to be fun.  If you would like to get your children for my sessions, here are the details: Jive to the Rooster Raga for ages 4-6 Sunday, December 8th, 11:45am – 12:45pm at The Kahaani corner Jump, jive, shake and sing with me as I read from my new book, Rooster Raga. Then create your own little rooster chicks to have them pecking away at your table back home. Time to Go Bonkers for ages 6-9 Sunday, December 8th, 4:15pm – 5:15pm at Nisarg Join me as I read from my book, Bonkers! and enjoy an utterly mad session as I transport you to a world of doggie fun and crazy antics. Share your own stories and learn how to draw your own Bonkers dog. Woof Share...

My woofs, burps and kukaroo-kuroos at Bookaroo

What a delightful and satisfying weekend this was! Bookaroo in Pune had the venue Sambhaji Park packed to capacity, hordes of excited children and lots and lots of storytelling. My session, Jive to the Rooster Raga had delightful moments with the children joining in and dancing with me to the rooster raga. The session on Bonkers had a 200 strong crowd go bonkers as we talked about dogs and madcap adventures, both real and imaginary. We then drew our very own Bonkers dog and after a bit of a debate on whether to give my dog spots, we decided to give him a nice dose of patches. Donning my moustache and turban for Icky, Yucky, Mucky (it was too hot for the robe!) enables me to be that extra bit messy. Burps, slurps and nibbles come to the fore with extra panache once that fuzzy growth appears on my upper lip! We had a riot of splotch monsters come to life at the end of the session with each child creating their own to take home. For art activities around Icky, Yucky, Mucky! do look into the art and teacher kits for the book. A wonderful weekend and I hope that Bookaroo is back in Pune next year. Now, onward to the exciting Junior Writers Bug festival in Mumbai next weekend. Do join me for sessions around Bonkers and Rooster Raga. For session timings and venue click here. Share...