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...

Hear here! Rooster Raga has us singing along

If you thought all a writer does is sit at her desk and write, think again! I spent an afternoon with a friend and her talented daughter composing a background score and singing Rooster Raga for my session around my new book Rooster Raga. Hear us croon out the Rooster Raga and join the fun from home as you read the book and sing along to the song. Background score by Kaiya Pandit (11 years) Vocals by Priyanka Pandit Supporting vocals by Natasha Sharma Lyrics from the book Rooster Raga Here’s a sneak peek into the book with the lyrics laid out… I read from the book and sing and dance to the Rooster Raga this weekend at the Junior Writers Bug festival, Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai. Sunday, December 8th, 11:45am. Share...

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...

Get your rooster comb on!

I’m all set with my rooster comb and feathers for my Rooster Raga session at Bookaroo, Junior Writers Bug and beyond. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be putting up a rooster or farm animal themed activity for children. Follow this blog for updates. Read the book, learn all about farm animals, get snipping and pasting and have a kukaroo kuroo good time! Make a rooster comb of your own! Start with an A4 size sheet of red paper. It could be a sheet of red foam like the one in my headgear, or a thick red sheet of paper. If you want to add a beak as I have done, cut out an oval from red paper. Stick the base of the comb onto the oval. Add a beak and eyes. Paste the oval onto a hair band and sing away. You can even attach the comb or a beak to your cap! Share...