‘Twas a November weekend. The sun was out, but there was a slight nip in the air – a gentle reminder that winter (yes, Delhi’s infamous one) was just around the corner. Gurgaon’s Anand Gram was the perfect setting for what was easily one of the city’s most exciting events in 2012 – the fifth annual Bookaroo Children’s Festival. This time, around 70 authors, illustrators, storytellers, theatre personalities and other book people from all over the world came together to meet, interact and celebrate books with Delhi’s young readers and their families. Since many of the sessions took place simultaneously, the children were often spoilt for choice. There were stories to listen to under the Kahani Tree, things to invent in the Think Tank, masterpieces to create at the Crafty Corner and the Doodle Wall … you get the picture.
Scholastic sponsored a number of events on the two days of the festival, from storytelling sessions to writing workshops. Our authors had a marvellous time hobnobbing with their enthusiastic readers, sharing their writing secrets, and reading from their recent books.
Sampurna Chattarji read from her upcoming YA novel Ela, to an enthralled audience. The novel’s about a 13-year-old happy urban child whose world comes crashing down when she discovers that she’s adopted. Sampurna also read from the wonderfully quirky This Book Makes No Sense, a collection of nonsense verse and stories, along with Michael Heyman, who has compiled this anthology. Michael’s funny musical performances had everyone in splits. He also made the audience come up with quick and original nonsense words.
Ovidia Yu shared plotting techniques and writing tips with a bunch of budding writers, as did Maria Denjongpa, while Aniruddha Sen Gupta, author of the Fundoo 4 series had his audience suitably entertained with his Fundoo Fundas about our world.
Asha Nehemiah conducted a creative writing workshop in which she let out the secret of drawing and fixing the attention of the reader from the first paragraph. Author Jerry Pinto and illustrator Garima Gupta, who have worked together on the gorgeous When Crows Are White, held a graphic-novel-making workshop.
Here are a few moments from the festival.
Already looking forward to next November!