Saturday spelt literary delight for more than 3,000 parents and children in the city.
Children listen to stories at Bookaroo, a festival of Children's literature, in Gurgaon, Haryana. HT Photo/M Zhazo
As part of HT's 'You Read They Learn' initiative, Bookaroo — a festival of children's literature —children got a glimpse of the expansive genre of children's fiction, along with a wide array of interactive activities. Yet, authors said that it took a lot more than just writing skills to reach out to children.
“It takes a lot of energy to reach out to children. This is not necessarily about understanding child psychology but you need to be very attentive towards their behavioural patterns,” said Frané Lessac, an Australian author and illustrator of children's books.
As Indian classical music was interwoven with a discussion on various seasons and reading and drawing workshops kept children engrossed, parents too agreed that such interactions were important for children to understand the importance of literature.
“This kind of initiative is very important for children.When they listen to authors and other experts narrate stories at workshops, it automatically arouses the child's interest,” said Ela Kapoor, a parent.
Some authors suggested that while children should not move away from traditional novels, they should develop the habit of reading to get a firm grasp on language.
“One doesn't have to move away from traditional works like Enid Blyton's. But it is important for parents to know that for children to understand the importance of reading, they must sit with them and make the children read out loud. That is what helps them to build on language, because there is a vast difference between talking and writing,” said Penny Dolan, British storyteller and playwright.