Children love to imagine things, and as parents, you must encourage that. Experts say that more than screen time, children should be encouraged to read books, so their imagination soars. And if you are trying to get your child into the habit of reading, or looking for something new and interesting for them, here is author Bulbul Sharma talking to Express Parenting about her children’s book Secret Tales from the Himalayas. Sharma talks about her writing process, about how art can help kids with special needs, and more. Read on.
“In this book, I am sharing the experience of being in a Himalayan forest with children. Teaching them a little bit, not too much, and sharing visuals of what we see, what we hear, and I have tried to do it through magical storytelling format,” says Sharma, adding, the message she has tried to give is that we must love and cherish the trees, the forests, and our natural heritage.
She says while children are naturally very curious, if we load them with too much information and bombard them with facts, they switch off.
“But, I feel if you can do it through storytelling, it works better. And the title of the book also tried to catch their attention. I have done a lot of illustrations also; it is like stories within stories. For illustrations, I have used mainly pastel and watercolour mix. I have seen a lot of children copy drawings, so I feel it is important to keep it simple so that the child feels that is something they can do, too,” she explains.
On holding art workshops for kids with special needs, she says: “I organise workshops where these children come and do storytelling and art with me. I don’t really teach them, we just work together. You just have to give them the paints and the paper, and they do their own thing, in fact they don’t like you telling them anything. Art can really help these kids. It’s such a powerful learning tool. I think art is the most important way to get any child to feel better, more confident, and to make them feel they are worth something great,” she says.
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