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 –...

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...

Yipee! Junior Writer’s Bug Literary Fest in Mumbai next weekend April 22nd…

Will be at the Junior Writer’s Bug Literary Festival to be held next weekend April 21st and 22nd in Mumbai. SO glad to see someone putting together a children’s lit festival here. I am conducting three sessions on Sunday, April 22nd 2012.  10am -11am: A first reading from my book Kaka and Munni (published by Pratham Books) followed by children making a collage. Ages 4-7 years 11:15am – 12:15pm: Time to create your own Rhyme and Rhythm. A workshop for children on writing poetry. Ages 7-10 years 12:30 – 1:30pm: Dramatised reading of Icky, Yucky, Mucky (published by Young Zubaan) accompanied by many a slurp and burp. Reading to be followed by children making their own monsters. Ages 4-7 years. Venue: St. Anthony’s Girls High School, Chembur. There is a lot more scheduled in the festival, from illustrations, story writing, script writing, puppetry and more. For more details on the event, the complete schedule and registration form (pre registration suggested since workshops have limited seats) visit the Writer’s bug website. Looking forward! Share...