A swishfizzing Saturday at Bookaroo

Swishfizzing Saturday. Snadoodly Saturday. Superbilify Saturday. I had, what I can say without doubt, the most fun I have ever had at readings last Saturday at the Bookaroo children’s literature festival in Delhi. Bookaroo is above all a wonderful time to catch up with authors, illustrators and editors who remain an email address for most of the year. There were a couple of firsts of putting a face to a name. Squiggle Takes a Walk (or was that a leap, hop, screech, yelp…) The afternoon had me as Squiggle, alongside three lovely ladies from Zubaan – my editor Anita Roy, Meghna and Ishani – as punctuation marks. As we enacted the book, we leapt off a knee-knockingly-high stage with wild abandon, pummelled into each other as Squiggle and Exclamation Mark, got looked down the nose by Colon and got dragged back up on stage by the annoying Quotation Marks. And this was just a bit of the mad romp through the session. Since no party can be complete without some games, this punctuation party had its very own version of Punctuation Dumb Charades followed by the children and me attempting to do justice to Vikram Nandwani’s artistic Squiggle. AND we did a count down to throw four free copies of the book into the crowd to officially launch the book! She’s here and I love her ūüôā ‘Who am I?’ wondered Squiggle Some of the lovely punctuation Getting hooked by the rather annoying quotation marks Doodle time! Some of the lovely illustrations Book signing time! ¬†Going hysterical with the History Mystery series The Duckbill platypuses and I went¬†hysterically historical...
What I’ve learnt in 50 readings

What I’ve learnt in 50 readings

I conducted my 50th book reading, yesterday!¬† I can still recall, rather vividly,¬†the sheer terror that threatened to overtake me at the launch reading of Icky, Yucky, Mucky! at the Kala Ghodha Arts Festival in 2011. The moment when the tremor in my voice stopped and I was enjoying being Maharaja Icky, juggling rosogullas. Since then, I’ve published eight books across different age and genre and tailored readings to suit different groups. It has been a tremendous learning experience and even though I still get collywobbles the night before, the moment I am in front of a group of kids, everything else falls away¬†away and I’m there to have fun.¬† So what have 50 readings helped me learn? School readings work differently from readings at festivals and in bookstores. In schools you read to a¬†group that is homogenous in age, in a controlled environment conducive to a reading and where the children are in their comfort zones. At festivals and in bookstores, you have to account for a varied age group, a kid crying for his mother, late arrivals, kids kicking each other and higher ambient sound.¬†Hence, they need to be planned differently. For readings at festivals and bookstores, I simplify, plan for it to work across a broader range of ages and work in shorter activities that I can pick from, during the reading. Unless you have an assistant, plan something you can manage yourself. However, don’t hesitate to ask for help from teachers and parents in distributing activity sheets, pencils, wobbly eyes and such. Have a backup for everything, even when you have asked for it –...

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...

My sessions at Bookaroo in Pune and Junior Writers Bug in Mumbai

Two fun-filled weekends ahead! Join me at Bookaroo in Pune next weekend, Nov 30 – Dec1 or at the Junior Writers Bug festival on December 8 for some crowing, barking, burping and more madness. Details of my sessions: Bookaroo in Pune,¬†at Sambhaji Park Jive to Rooster Raga November 30th, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, The lawns at Sambhaji Park, Pune Time to go Bonkers! November 30th, 3:30pm – 4:30pm, The stage at Sambhaji Park, Pune Let’s get Icky, Yucky, Mucky! December 1st, 2pm – 3pm, Crafty Corner at Sambhaji Park, Pune Junior Writers Bug, at Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai Opposite Dharavi bus depot Jive to the Rooster Raga December 8th, 11:45am – 12:45 am, in the Kahaani Corner, Maharashtra Nature Park Time to go Bonkers December 8th, 4:15pm – 5:15pm, in Nisarg, Maharashtra Nature Park To know more about each session read on: Jive to Rooster Raga. For children 4-7 years. Jump, jive, shake and sing with me as I prance about and read from my most recent book Rooster Raga. Then make your own roosters to take back home. Time to go Bonkers. For children 6-9 years. Join me as I read from my book, Bonkers! and enjoy an utterly mad session as I transport you to the world of doggie fun and my childhood home with 39 animals and 6 adults. Learn how to draw your very own Bonkers dog. Woof! Let’s get Icky, Yucky, Mucky! For children 6-9 years. Meet a Maharaja with the worst table manners ever, a nibbly Maharani and indulge your senses in a session of burps and slurps. Join me for an animated reading...

Ruru’s Kukaroo-Kuroo at Bookaroo in Delhi and Pune

Ruru’s Kukaroo-kuroo at Bookaroo Delhi¬†   Move over, lungi and singham dance, we say, because the simply spectacular¬†Jeeva Aunty¬†is here with a foot-tapping (soon to be chart topping) number with so much zing it‚Äôll also make you sing! Jeeva Aunty will flag off¬†andfinish the celebrations at¬†Bookaroo, Delhi with¬†Rooster Raga. When:¬†Saturday, 23 November, 11 am Where:¬† The Stage, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) Ages:¬†4 ‚Äď 40 When:¬†Sunday, 24 November, 4 pm Where:¬†The Stage, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) Ages:¬†4 ‚Äď 40 A sneak peek below! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw6tOUYghj8&w=320&h=266] Pune welcomes Bookaroo (30 November – 1 December) Ruru Kukaroos On! Clap and tap along with writer¬†Natasha Sharma¬†and skip, stretch, stamp and roll with Ruru‚Äôs friends as they teach him to find his¬†raga! When:¬†Saturday, November¬†30,¬†12:30 -1:30 pm Where:¬†The Palms, Shambaji Rao Park, JM Road, Pune Ages:¬†4 – 6 Share...