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A new festival encourages kids to read, turn storytellers

You’ve given the joy of gaming and smartphones to your kids. Now, let them attend a reading and storytelling festival, especially curated for them

more lifestyle Updated: Dec 10, 2016 08:44 IST
(Photo: Getty Images/iStock)

You’ve given the joy of gaming and smartphones to your kids. Now, let them attend a reading and storytelling festival, especially curated for them

Author Soha Parekh (51) grew up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Her fondest childhood memories are of listening to a professional storyteller’s tales every Sunday. She would wait through the week for those sessions. Today, she feels disheartened when she sees kids burying their heads in tablets and smartphones.

Earlier this year, when she met writer Lubaina Bandukwala (45) at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, the two brainstormed and the idea for Peek-A-Book, a children’s literature and storytelling festival, was born. “The festival is for kids aged between three and 10. That’s an impressionable age. Families are nuclear these days and parents don’t have the time to sit and read to kids. At the same time, the culture of professional storytelling is booming in the country (making for a good career),” says Parekh.

Read: How India learnt to let kids -- boys and girls -- into the kitchen

The curated arts and literature festival brings writers and storytellers from across the world. The reason being that Parekh, who grew up reading Amar Chitra Katha and Panchatantra tales, believes that with changing times, literature for kids has also altered. “I notice that reading shelves nowadays don’t only feature Shakespeare, Dickens or the classics. There’s so much happening with graphics and illustration these days. Stories are becoming visually enriching,” she says.

The two-day event will include an interactive magic show by Mumbai-based illusionist Neel Madhav (23), a storytelling session by author Devdutt Pattnaik. British storyteller Craig Jenkins will share his humorous take on a collection of European fairy tales and fables. Children can attend the sessions conducted by the authors, and also meet the writers.

Peek-a-Book will be held on December 10 and 11
At Mount Litera School, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (E).
Entry fee is Rs 200 per person.