Mumbai kids get a new literary festival that hopes to bring stories to life and rekindle their interest in the written word
Literature festivals are all about discussing heavy tomes and chasing heavyweight authors for their pearls of wisdom about being and nothingness. Not really. Three women have come together to start a literature festival that caters to children from three to 14 years, and is particularly careful not to bore. So at Fully Booked, children listen to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory with a generous helping of chocolate soon after or they read a book on ballet dancing with some experience of ballet from a trained teacher.
(L-R) Shabnam Minwalla, Lalita Iyer, Shamim Padamsee
The idea, Ruchita Dar Shah, the founder of First Moms Club and one of the organisers of the festival, says is to inculcate a reading habit among children in a fun way. “These days, everyone has a very low attention span and reading habits are visibly dwindling. We want children to grow up reading but are often confused as to how to go about it. In some cases, even when the parents are not readers, they want their children to read. Festivals like this help develop an interest in books,” she says and adds that a children’s literature festival is unheard of in the suburbs and Fully Booked will set a precedence.
The festival has been organised by three women Lubaina Bandukwala, an editor and curator of children’s film festivals, Aditi Shah, founder Kids Club and Musical Bonding and Ruchita Dar Shah. Bandukwala, a former journalist and a children’s writer, said that the events and workshop have been carefully chosen and involves many prominent and upcoming writers from Mumbai like Shamim Padamsee, Lalita Iyer and Shabnam Minwalla. Apart from them, the legendary actor Om Puri will also attend the event as its chief guest. “We were planning the festival as a small event but it kept growing in size as we prepared the schedule and it is now a two-day event,” she says.
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A-Z Book of Beasts: Quirky verse, lots of animal facts and an opportunity to learn bird and animal calls with naturalist Leslie Nazareth based on the book by M. Krishnan — a pioneering Indian wildlife photographer, writer and naturalist.
Around the World in Four Books: A treasure hunt that takes you places through books.
Harry Potter: Walk your way through a maze and sample the world of Harry Potter through Harry Potter Kitchen Basics, Potions Class and more.
When God turns detective: Teenager Ashwathy is asked to solve a murder by no less being than God. Meet Ashwathy and her unlikely God with author Sowmya Rajendran.
Wreck this journal: Want to vent in a journal? Don’t bother writing in it – just wreck it! Parinita Shetty will conduct a session on creative ways to keep your secret diary.
On: June 11 and 12, 11 am to 6 pm (Registration starts at 10 am on both days)
Age Group 3-14 years
At: Kids Club, 11th Road, Madhu Park, Khar (W).
Entry: Rs 250 (Entry free for parents, and kids below three)
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