On my historically geographically challenged past…

Here’s a blog piece that I wrote for my publisher Duckbill’s blog regarding history, geography and more such. Ooty and Orissa Natasha Sharma, the author of the History-Mystery series, on her struggles with history and geography at school and beyond! There is one bit of history that I recall clearly from school – the Indus Valley civilisation. It intrigued me. The layout of their cities, the thought put into buildings and public spaces, the drainage system, the statue of the dancing girl, the seals … it all built up this world in my head that has stayed with me ever since. On my earliest visit to the National Museum, I remember heading straight for the Harappan section and getting goosebumps on seeing the relics from thousands of years ago. And that’s really where all my fascination with history ended back then. History, apart from that first chapter, was my most dreaded subject. Okay, probably second from the bottom of my list, geography being the lowest. I was extremely geographically challenged back and even at the risk of being ridiculed ever after, I shall reveal the moment that I look back at myself in utter horror… Read ahead here … http://theduckbillblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/natasha-sharma-ooty-and-orissa/ Visit the History Mystery series page to know more about the books and for links to buy the books or ebooks. Click on the book covers below to read the first chapter from each book.      Share...

History and mystery at my book launch at the Kala Ghodha festival

‘Pa-pa-papa-pa-papa-pa-paaaaa!  Dham-dham-dhadha-dham-dhadha-dham-dham!’ sounded out Kitab Khana bookstore yesterday at the launch of my new History Mystery series with Akbar and the Tricky Traitor and Ashoka and the Muddled messages. About the trumpets and the drums. Bring together a bunch of enthusiastic kids, make them jump into history with the makings of a mystery and they’ll trumpet and beat out the rhythm anywhere. As we pa-paaed and dham-dhammed together, it was time to reveal the strange ways of a writer’s mind. It was time to bring on to stage … THE THING! Kept carefully in a wooden box, covered with a regal red cloth, a brave soul came forth to hold the tongs (for it was rather doubtful whether THE THING had been washed in a  while) and pulled out … … THE SOCK! (At this crucial point, the photographer froze in shock and missed clicking the all important photograph. Be thankful … for the stench, even over the web, might have made you faint.) Ques: Where did the sock come from? Ans: A bag full of props at a Duckbill reading workshop. And then? Well … socks relate to feet that relate to footsteps that connects to the mystery in the Akbar book. I cannot say more for fear of giving the mystery away, but you can learn more about the books by clicking here. The children giggled through the introductory video to History Mystery. We followed it up with trick questions on the Super Six and the Tremendous Ten investigators and I read out the first chapter from Akbar and the Tricky Traitor. We then went on to the...

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...

Hello world!

Hi everyone, This is my first post on my blog…though I have been blogging rather religiously on my Icky, Yucky, Mucky book blog. 2012 has been exciting to say the least with the release of my first two books for young children – Icky, Yucky, Mucky (Young Zubaan) and Kaka and Munni (Pratham Books). This blog is a space where I look forward to sharing my experiences in the wonderful world of children’s literature. For parents and teachers, you can find out more about my published books, follow new releases of books written or illustrated by me, and get to know my reading schedule for children. I also plan to add links to children’s book reviews, reading programs and to other resources for children’s literature, whenever I come across something wonderful. I’ve discovered gems of books for my own children and I hope that it will help you discover and decide what your own children would like to read. For aspiring writers in India for children’s books, I will, not too far in the future, share my experiences and thoughts on how I went about getting published. Every persons journey is unique but I do hope that some of my experiences will give you ideas on what could help you find your way forward. And for the most important group, all you lovely children wide-eyed in wonder, heads buzzing with endless possibilities, the section on my books would be an interesting space to browse through with your parents. You can view book trailers, find links to other fun blogs, discover ideas for activities around my books and so much more. Stay...