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Attend this day-long immersive literature festival for children in Mumbai

Updated on: 21 February,2024 07:20 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devanshi Doshi |

A one-day-long immersive literature festival will let children be a part of different stories as they explore words through art

Attend this day-long immersive literature festival for children in Mumbai

Representation Pic

Children are requested to come dressed in full character for the third edition of Children’s literature festival Peek A Book, a one-day programme scheduled for this Saturday at the city’s newest museum for kids — Museum of Solutions. Themed ‘Jump into a book’, curator Lubaina Bandukwala says that this year’s edition is all about making reading immersive and engaging for the young readers.

Anand Neelakantan at the Bengaluru leg of his book launch
Anand Neelakantan at the Bengaluru leg of his book launch

“Children love doing activities. Hence, every session planned with different authors will offer an immersive experience [inspired by a latest book by these authors] like dance, humour, art, workshops and more,” she explains. While most books picked up by Bandukwala for the fest were published within the past 12 months, the highlight of the fest will be four book launches in the city by prominent writers including Ashok Rajagopalan (for the fifth part of the Gajapati Kulapati series, Gajapati Kulapati Kweee); Anushka Ravishankar (for her science series, Smarty Pants); Anand Neelakantan (for Mahi, The Elephant Who Flew Over the Blue Mountains) and archaeologist and Sahitya Akademi Bal Puraskar Award-winner Devika Cariapa (for A Children’s History of India in 100 Objects).

Children participate in an interactive session during a previous edition
Children participate in an interactive session during a previous edition

Neelakantan’s session will talk about the importance of introducing literature to children. “Reading is the only way to teach the kids how to be compassionate,” he says over a quick phone call with this writer, “Movies and shows spoon-feed children; they are passive modes of consuming content. When you read a book, you become the character and the music producer; the cast and the crew.” He will also read a few paragraphs from his latest book that he says is relatable to both children and adults, “It is an allegorical book. For children, it is a fun read that teaches them about chasing dreams, environment and the need for compassion towards animals. For adults, it’s a political satire with multiple layers.”

Children will learn to recognise and solve community problems
Children will learn to recognise and solve community problems

The first edition of this festival was in 2016; it’s focus remains unchanged. Bandukwala believes that some brilliant works by these authors are often lost amid the famous titles by international books. “Many kids are not readers simply because they either haven’t been introduced to reading or haven’t found a book that interests them. I have noticed that once they meet the authors, interact with them and can put a name to or associate a memory with these books, they are more likely to read. Hence, we have a diverse curation that will appeal to different age groups, up to 10 and above,” she signs off.

Time: February 24; 10 am onwards (book launch till 10.30 am)
At: Museum of Solutions, Victoria House, Lower Parel. 
Log on to: (for registration); @peekabooklitfest (for full line up and activities)
Cost: Rs 300 (all-day pass for children); Rs 250 (all-day pass for adults)

The Guide’s top 6 picks at the festival

>> Find the problem: Jane Goodall’s all-day long Roots and Shoots will teach children how to recognise and solve issues within their communities.
at Discovery Zone, MuSo

>> Can you Chhau?
Inspired by her latest book The Chhau Champ, author Vibha Batra will teach kids the basics of the West Bengali folk-dance.
Age group 7 years and above
Time 12 pm to 12.45 pm
At Story-Stage, MuSo

>> Calling on junior Sherlock Holmes:
Monika Bhatkhande will introduce the children to her mystery book A Woof in Time as they use their detective skills to solve clues and decode puzzles 
to catch the villain and retrieve a lost treasure.
Age group 9 and above
Time 11.15 am to 12 pm
At Room of Wonders, MuSo

>> What’s in the object?
Archaeologist and author Devika Cariapa will bring objects of archaeological and historical importance to the session for the kids to learn to tell stories not through comics or novels, but through these objects.
Age group 10 years and above
Time 12.15 pm to 1 pm 
At The Library of Solutions, MuSo

>> P for parenting:
Parents, make a beeline for this insightful parenting session with Mansi Zhaveri (founder of Kidsstoppress) as the activities keep your munchkins busy.
Age group For adults
Time 12 pm to 1 pm
At Subko, first floor, MuSo

>> Pack a meal:
Relieve your mom of cooking duty for a day, and pack her a lunchbox full of love with Rea Malhotra Mukhtyar as you explore the story, Tiffin Dost by Sushil Shukla. Learn the secrets and joy of packing a lunchbo. 
Age group 4 and above
Time 1.45 pm to 2.45 pm
At The Library of Solutions, MuSo

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