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 –...
Get cracking! History Mystery code sheets!

Get cracking! History Mystery code sheets!

Am delighted to share the History Mystery code sheets as a do-at-home activity with your kids. Ashoka and the Muddled Messages features a mystery of Emperor Ashoka’s messages being muddled. In real life we had forgotten how to read the script that Emperor Ashoka had his messages written in. We had the mystery of the unreadable script! Along came James Prinsep, determined to decipher it, which he eventually did in 1837. Ashokan Brahmi is India’s earliest deciphered written script today. I’ve created a simplified code and created activity sheets based on letters from Ashokan Brahmi. Decode them and read shortened versions of some of Ashoka’s messages. Follow the link for the sheets and code: THE HISTORY MYSTERY CODE ACTIVITY.   Share...

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...

Going rooster crazy

Ruru Rooster has me thinking, seeing, dreaming up roosters everywhere! Here’s an adorable breakfast rooster and rather wonderful chicks that I came across on the blog site Little Food Junction. Eggs, corn, cucumber seem to do the trick. You’ll have the kids pecking away in no time! Share...