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 sessions at Bookaroo in Pune and Junior Writers Bug in Mumbai

Two fun-filled weekends ahead! Join me at Bookaroo in Pune next weekend, Nov 30 – Dec1 or at the Junior Writers Bug festival on December 8 for some crowing, barking, burping and more madness. Details of my sessions: Bookaroo in Pune, at Sambhaji Park Jive to Rooster Raga November 30th, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, The lawns at Sambhaji Park, Pune Time to go Bonkers! November 30th, 3:30pm – 4:30pm, The stage at Sambhaji Park, Pune Let’s get Icky, Yucky, Mucky! December 1st, 2pm – 3pm, Crafty Corner at Sambhaji Park, Pune Junior Writers Bug, at Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai Opposite Dharavi bus depot Jive to the Rooster Raga December 8th, 11:45am – 12:45 am, in the Kahaani Corner, Maharashtra Nature Park Time to go Bonkers December 8th, 4:15pm – 5:15pm, in Nisarg, Maharashtra Nature Park To know more about each session read on: Jive to Rooster Raga. For children 4-7 years. Jump, jive, shake and sing with me as I prance about and read from my most recent book Rooster Raga. Then make your own roosters to take back home. Time to go Bonkers. For children 6-9 years. Join me as I read from my book, Bonkers! and enjoy an utterly mad session as I transport you to the world of doggie fun and my childhood home with 39 animals and 6 adults. Learn how to draw your very own Bonkers dog. Woof! Let’s get Icky, Yucky, Mucky! For children 6-9 years. Meet a Maharaja with the worst table manners ever, a nibbly Maharani and indulge your senses in a session of burps and slurps. Join me for an animated reading...

What a fun time with a bunch of enthusiastic kids!

Sunday was a day spent in Chembur at the Junior Writers Bug children literature festival and despite the distance and Mumbai temperature to new highs, a turn into the leafy lane near St. Anthony’s school was a respite to the senses. With three workshops back to back, I had my hands full and my voice supported by many cups of tea. But what a wonderful experience! My first workshop with 40 kids – a reading of Kaka and Munni with a collage activity had the kids curious about the Dhol music that started the reading. With context of a folktale from Punjab, I read out the story with my crow puppet and a tambourine for rhythm. Much sticking followed to give us a whole forest of trees on Earth day! The next one ‘Rhyme and Rhythm in poetry’ was a house full and I was amazed yet again with the words thought up and limericks that children created in one hour. And to round off a fun morning was a packed room full of kids waiting to hear Icky, Yucky, Mucky! and make their own splotch monsters. A big thumbs up to the Junior Writers Bug team and I hope that this can go on to become an annual event. Share...