To Squiggle with love

My kids took all of nine months. Squiggle was four years in the making. From sleepless nights with a fuzzy idea about what I wanted to write, to not quite knowing how. From sheafs of paper lying crumpled on the floor, to post-its that got shuffled around each day. From holding on to her, nervous about her first view, to Anita Roy at Zubaan Books writing back: “I LOVE SQUIGGLE. It made me giggle. Let’s do it! Exclamation mark!” From us knowing what she needs as her playground, to finding Vikram Nandwani, the fabulous illustrator who brought her to life. From draft after draft after draft while gazing at her adoringly (and often through gritted teeth) through all her teething troubles, to her blossoming into all her loveliness. From spending hours poring over her at the Zubaan office, to Niyati and all the other wonderful folks at Penguin joining the joyride and helping her zoom her way into this world. Squiggle, I love being your mommy! Go make the world a little more squiggly and punctuation friendly! To get commas in place and help children end their sentences, buy Squiggle Takes a Walk online here: Amazon, Flipkart Natasha Sharma is currently back to sleepless nights with a fuzzy idea for the next book with Squiggle. Share...

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 🙂 ‘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...

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...