This weekend, Delhi will be introduced to Old Tom, the one-eyed cat, who’s trying desperately to free himself from his matron Angela Throgmorton. Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs will introduce his most famous character, besides Horrible Harriet, Mr Chicken, Fiona the Pig, Mr Badger and the FREAKS in 4F, while his Kiwi neighbour, writer-illustrator Gavin Bishop will narrate lores from Maori myths and legends. There will also be Meredith Costain from Oz, who will make children meet Ella and her cheeky little sister Olivia, from her book series Ella Diaries. And Bongiswa Kotta-Ramushwana, a storyteller from South Africa, will chant and rhyme her way through the story of the King of Crocodiles, who needs a monkey’s heart to cure his illness.
With 70 speakers from 13 countries and 105 sessions, children from age group four to 14 can participate in storytelling sessions, workshops, drama, art and craft, and books readings at the 11th edition of Bookaro Children’s Literature Festival, that will be held at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). ‘Alpenliebe-Bookaroo’ has also collaborated with Tata Trusts to exhibit artwork from children’s books by the three winners of the Big Little Book Awards — Atanu Roy, Proiti Roy and Nina Sabnani — at India Habitat Centre (IHC) till today. A panel discussion, ‘Drawing Lines’, on diversity in children’s books’ illustrations, will be held at 6.30 pm, IHC Amphitheatre, with Roy, author Richa Jha, publishers Tina Narang and Piyush Kumar, Claire Hartmann, and Parag Trusts’ Swaha Sahoo.
Children will be introduced to ‘Qissebaazi’, an art storytelling that brings regional stories using a bridge language. This time the focus is on Sanskrit and Malayalam. They can also learn about prehistory through dance, poems and colouring books on dinosaurs.
There will also be Czech puppets, and walls for creating wacky animals, monsters and ocean life. Young-lings can listen to stories of musical genius Tansen, eminent painter Amrita Sher-gil, Krishnadeva Raya and his empire building. Writer Roopa Rai will launch her new book on the Vedas and Upanishads, a prequel to her book, The Gita For Children. On December 1 and 2, at IGNCA, Janpath. For details: http://www.bookaroo.in