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Home Cover Features Getting Connected!

Getting Connected!

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Getting Connected!

If your Children are not hooked on to the world of books, put them on to the magical world of books immediately. The books help a child’s imagination in enriching his knowledge by reading classics, fables and myths galore. A child’s reading journey beings as young as three years which helps him to fire his dreams in his growing up years. Many national and international publishing houses are bringing out good reading material for children. On the occasion of Children’s Day, we take a look at some authors and speak to few kids.Catch up on books at Hyderabad book fair in December.

Gone are the days, when one would get a book as a gift for a birthday. With lot of digitalization setting in, the young generation is hooked on to ipads, mobiles and  TVs. They are keener to catch the stories in the form of cartoons or serials. During earlier times, one would laze around and read the book lying on a bed or sitting in the garden under the shade of tree. All this just to ensure that one is not disturbed from the racy book.

A child is first introduced to a story by the parents or grandparents. Impromptu stories are told to the child with dramatic movements so that the child listens to a story in rapt attention. The stories are mostly related to daily activities or gods and goddesses in their younger days. Thus one takes fancy to naughty Krishna or Big Headed Ganesha or Mithila Princess Sita.

In India, every child is introduced to Panchatantra stories and Jataka tales. Many Indians take these books abroad as gifts to friends. Then follow all versions big and small of mythology – Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagwad Gita and so on. Many children get hooked to Enid Blyton, Hans Christian Andersen, Grimm Brothers, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. But when JK Rowling unleashed her power as a writer, the young and adult got hooked on to her writings. In school, older children are introduced to Classics of William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw and others.

Writing for children is not a cake walk. Holding the attention of pre-schooler with 10-12 pages of a picture book, or that of a young adult through 100 pages is a difficult task. A children’s author said that writing for children was looking at the world through their own eyes and not lecturing them. Slowly and steadily Indian authors are writing for children and catching their attention.

Books for children are categorized according to their ages from 3-5 years; 5-8 years, 9-12 years, Teens and young adults. Founder of Katha, Geeta Dharmarajan has written books for children which they can relate to such as ‘Days with Thathu’, ‘The Famous Smile’ to name a few. Even Nandini Nayar’s writes for children with simplicity like ‘Where is Amma’, a story that a child can be part of. Other authors, who cater to children include Sanjiv Jaiswal (The Royal Toothache, Playtime), Kuntie Ramdat Balkaran (Little Monkey Gets Lost, Mouse Sees the World) Rohini Nilekani (Annual Haircut Day, Too Many Bananas), Anushka Ravishankar (Moin and the Monster, The Rumour) Sudha Murty (Grandma’s Bag of Stories, Magic Drum & Other Stories) Asha Nehemiah (Trouble with Magic Zigzag, Wedding Clothes), Devdutt Pattanaik (Fun in Devlok, Kama vs Yama) who is popular for writing Mythology.

Getting Connected!

Children in the age group of 8-10 yeas are now ready to read books that delve in adventure, humor, drama, mythology, classics, and fantasy. The popular writer Salman Rushdie has penned two books for children. Rushdie’s books Luka and the Fire of Life and Haroun and the Sea of Stories, take the kids on an adventure trip. Of course, the eternal favourite Ruskin Bond stories are part of school curriculum, as children are taught to write descriptively like him. His description of life in the mountains is very mesmerising. The Adventures of Rusty is an all-time favourite for its simple vivid style laced with mild humour. Bond has written for all ages.

Another writer who left a treasure trove for children is R.K. Narayan. His Malgudi Days is popular to this day and how can one forget Swami and his friends? In Malgudi Days, stories are all set in rural India, but they instantly connect with children as it explores childhood and schooldays. The serial Malgudi Days was a hit when it was screened on the small screen. It sent many to bookshops to buy his collection.

Other new age writers, who have made a mark for writing for children are Natasha Sharma (Icky Yucky Mucky, Rooster Raga, Anaya’s Thumb), Poile Sengupta (The Way to My Friend’s House, How the Path Grew), Arundhati Venkatesh (The Adventures of Bala, Book-eating Monster), Shobha Viswanath popular for audio books Karadi Tales, Samhita Arni, Asha Nehemiah (Granny’s Sari, Trouble with Magic, Meddling Mooli).

The well-known International Authors are J.K. Rowling, John Green, Jeff Kinney, Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Cassandra Clare, J. R. R. Tolkien, Julia Donaldson, Richelle Mead, Gayle Forman, Veronica Roth, Terry Pratchett, Rick Riordan, Beatrix Potter, Oliver Jeffers, Eric Hill, Eric Carle, A. A. Milne, Lynley Dodd and Neil Gaiman.

Joanne Kathleen (JK) Rowling popular for Harry Potter series, started writing the Harry Potter series during a delayed Manchester to London King’s Cross train journey, and in the following five years, she sketched the plots for her each book. Some of her popular titles are Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I and II, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them: Hogwarts Library Book - Includes Six New Beasts!,  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

It seems Roald Dahl was not a good student at school and his teacher had said that this boy was incapable of putting his thoughts on paper, but he went on to become a famous writer. Every child would have read his Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They say that Roald Dahl created his stories sitting in an old wooden shed in the backyard, on an armchair, a sleeping bag, an old suitcase and six yellow pencils to keep him company. His books include The BFG, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, Popular Penguins,  Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator, Billy and the Minpins, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, Matilda to name a few.

Getting Connected!

Enid Blyton too has made a name for himself in the Children & Teenagers section with his Secret Seven and Famous Five series, which are a must on every child’s reading list. Some of them are Magic Faraway Tree Stories 3-in-1, The Famous Five Collections, Summer Holiday Stories: 22 Sunny Tales, A Faraway Tree Adventure: The Land of Silly School, The Naughtiest Girl in the School: Real-Life Stories, Secret Seven Collection: Three Books In One, Five On A Treasure Island, The Magic Watering Can . . . and other stories.

Founded by the late K. Shankar Pillai in 1981, Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children (AWIC), a voluntary organization has been working towards the promotion and development of literature for children in India. It represents writers, illustrators, librarians, editors, publishers, and all others interested in children’s literature.

According to the organization, the Delhi-based AWIC has published stories, poems, plays, translations and biographies by its members. It has also spearheaded literacy projects and children’s library projects. The AWIC conducts regular workshops for members, helping them to hone their writing, illustrating and storytelling skills. In 1957, cartoonist Shankar founded the Children’s Book Trust, which has set for itself an ambitious target to promote the production of well-written, well-illustrated and well-designed books for children. In continuance of this objective, the Trust brings out books that are easy to read and easy on the eyes, including books that enable children to have a better appreciation of India’s cultural heritage. The Trust also brings out an illustrated monthly magazine in English, ‘Children’s World’. It also runs the Dr. B.C. Roy Memorial Children’s Reading Room exclusively for children in the age group 5-16 years. It has a vast collection of over 40,000 books on varied subjects, in English and Hindi, and open to members from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all days of the week.

Pen your Thoughts

On the other hand, another publishing house, Penguin has asked children to pen their thoughts in a beautifully illustrated journal which brings Ruskin Bond’s unique world to life. It is a well-known fact that Ruskin Bond’s ‘Words From The Hills’ is a collector’s delight and a companion for adults, and at the same time inculcates creativity in school children and young adults.

Ruskin Bond’s first novel, The Room on the Roof, written when he was 17, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then, he has written a number of novellas (including Vagrants in the Valley, A Flight of Pigeons and Mr. Oliver’s Diary), essays, poems and children’s books. He has also written over 500 short stories and articles that have appeared in magazines and anthologies. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992, the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014.

Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, and grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun, New Delhi and Simla. As a young man, he spent four years in the Channel Islands and London. He returned to India in 1955. He now lives in Landour, Mussoorie, with his adopted family.

To recollect and ruminate. Words from the Hills offers a novel perspective to look at ‘time’ and ‘schedule’—forthcoming and bygone—in a unique way. An illustrated biographical work developed around the life, works and philosophy of Ruskin Bond, in this planner one can catch those moments of pure joy. From the falling of leaves from deodar trees; moments of love and loss; the journey from innocence to awareness; buzzing dragonflies; to stained and torn pages of forgotten notebooks, this planner (of 12/16 months), perhaps the first of its kind, will open a new window to an understanding of self-preservation and remembrance.

Getting Connected!

City Girl Vaishnavi Ria meets Uncle Ruskin Bond in Mussorie

Hyderabadi girl Vaishnavi Ria (13) won an opportunity to master the art of storytelling from the country’s very own William Wordsworth – Ruskin Bond in the quaint town of Landour. The 13-year-old winner, Vaishnavi said, “Ruskin uncle is one of the most jovial and down-to-earth personalities I have met. We discussed many topics, including the authors, childhood and the experiences that led to him to becoming a writer.”

The young teenager said that she fell in love with the act of reading, when she was gifted ‘The Secret Seven’ on her birthday. Vaishnavi got an opportunity to meet Ruskin Bond, thanks to Landmark Child Reading to Child initiative 2017. Landmark holds the art of storytelling and believes that it lends numerous benefits to children; development of feelings and emotions, learning about a variety of cultures and the act of effective listening. Landmark holds the annual storytelling initiative, ‘Child Reading to Child’ providing a platform for avid readers and storytellers to hone their narrative skills.

“After the success of the initiative by Landmark in 2014, this year the competition was held from 17 – 25 June for age group between 6 to 14 in the cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Vashi. The winners were judged on their storytelling skills by renowned authors in each city,” said a release from Landmark.

Getting Connected!

Three Indians Kids to report News for Kids

Ananyaa Chopra of New Delhi, Roopkatha Roy of Kolkata, and Rohan Saketh Devulapalli of Bangalore were selected from more than 400 total applicants to report from India for the 2017–18 Scholastic News Kids Press Corps.

Delhi-based Ananyaa Chopra loves poetry and journal writing in her spare time. She speaks fluently in English, French, and Hindi. Born in 2004, Ananyaa’s interest in Science and Math has led her want to become a computer engineer. “The two essential aspects of reporting are the meticulous attention to truth-telling and the privilege of listening to the stories people tell,” Ananyaa said.

Born in 2005, Bengaluru-based Rohan Saketh Devulapalli, enjoys reading, playing sports, and debating. Rohan is a member of the Model United Nations Club at his school. He wants to be a lawyer because it requires logic, reasoning, and fact researching. “I feel that writing about an issue can make a difference. As the saying goes, the pen is mightier than the sword,” Rohan said.

Hailing from Bengal, Roopkatha Roy born in 2003 has a travel blog where she documents all the places she has visited. Her favorite school subjects are English literature, Chemistry, and Math. She loves reading, writing, photography, and visiting new places. “I want an opportunity to make people’s voices rise and make their inspiring struggles known to the world,” Roopkatha said. She has already filed her first story on idol making.


I love reading books rather all kinds of books, from comedy to adventure. I am not particular on one author. I prefer to read good books. In my school, we have a journalism class, where we are being taught on how to write a news report, give headings, edit and use of Microsoft templates to make a newspaper. My all-time favourite is Gangster Granny.

Mehak, Class VII, Indus International

Fairy tales are my favourite. In school, we have a library period and every week, we can take a book. I also like the Jataka Tales.

Avni, Class III, Gitanaji Devashala

My parents buy me picture books and I love reading them. In some books, the letters are big and in some small, I prefer the books, where the letters are big.

Saanvi, Class I, Chaitnaya Vidyalaya

Fantasy and adventure books are my favourite. I am bowled over by the racy writing style and the adventure books make me part of the team that is on an assignment. I have four books of Secret Seven in my collection that are closer to my heart.

Naunika, Class VII, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Reading fiction is my all-time favourite. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Roald Dahl are some of my favourite authors. During vacations, I buy books as there is lot of reading time.

Adviya, Class V, St. Andrews

Mystery, thrillers, and fantasy genres, I love reading. My parents encourage me to read books. Once I pick up a book, I don’t want to put it down, till I have finished reading it. Books really engross me. My favourite is Ruskin Bond’s Whispers in the Dark. I also borrow books from friends and share my books with them. I have begun writing short stories too.

Aderiya Kemath, Class VI

I started cultivating the habit of reading books from Class VI. I like thrillers and crime. I have a large collection of Wimpy Kid and Enid Blyton. Recently, I received Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s book ‘Wings of Fire’. We regularly have a Scholastic book exhibition in school and I recently picked up The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I am also reading Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol and Harry Potter’s The Half-Blood Prince. We can take a book from our school library also. Till Class VIII, we had to maintain a Class Library book, where we had to write the synopsis of the book we had read, with new words learnt. Sometimes, our library period is cancelled if we have exams. But, we are allowed to take a book from the library during the recess period.

Roopkatha, Class IX, Delhi Public School

We have a library in school and we are allowed to take a book home every week to read. I have started reading the Harry Potter series.

Amaan, Class III, Delhi Public School

I read all kinds of books. We have a complete set of Harry Potter series. Presently, I am reading the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I have also seen the movie.

Ruhaan, Class V, Delhi Public School

My family introduced me to the habit of reading books. I love to read all kinds of books. My favourite book is Black Beauty. I have seen the movie too. I enjoyed both.

Ananth, Class I, Pebble Creek

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