Bookaroo: Capital`s children discover the joy of books

New Delhi: The sprawling lawns of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) here are abuzz with children who are on a single-minded mission - books.
Bookaroo - the third edition of the annual children`s literature festival in the capital - has brought 57 children`s writers from across the globe to promote the culture of reading among children.

The festival, which began Nov 14 - Children`s Day, will culminate in a three-day grand finale Sunday.

"We have always tried to create space for children`s literature. In the first two years, non-profit organisation Pratham Books helped us in hosting the festival. We will bring Bookaroo to other cities as well. It is incredible to see children and toddlers flocking to the festival," an official said Saturday.

The children, meanwhile, were busy buying and reading books, scribbling on a doodle wall and attending various workshops.

The line-up of writers is impressive, with globally acclaimed names like Anthony Horowitz, Robert Sabuda, Wendy Orr, John Shulman, Cindy Jefferies, Francois Roca and Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay - to name a few.

Delhi schoolboy Arjun Vajpai, who became the youngest Indian to summit Mount Everest, was the star attraction with the publication of his book "My Everest Adventures".

More than 1,000 children from 45 schools in the capital visited the festival Friday to take part in various sessions like book reading, story telling and writers` recaps.

The high point of the literary sessions Saturday included a session on "The World of Pop-Ups" by Robert Sabuda. The writer, a paper engineer, took his young listeners on a journey of how his bestselling pop-up books were created.

Sabuda`s books were a rage at the festival, with children and adults alike making a beeline for the cutout books at the book-signing-cum-sale counter.

On a makeshift stage in the heart of the venue, writer Anthony Horowitz cast a spell on a bunch of chirpy children with his teen super-spy character Alex Rider. Horowitz`s Rider series is a worldwide phenomenon among young adults.

An exhibition, Bookart 10, featuring works by the finest of illustrators of children`s books was a huge hit. Artists included the likes of Atanu Roy, Tapas Guha, Vandana Bist and Sujata Singh.

The lavish spread of graphic novels captured children`s imagination with workshops by Campfire - a Delhi based emerging graphic novel publishers.

The festival, presented by the Bookaroo Trust and Teamwork, has reached out to nearly 10,000 school children in the capital, the organisers said.



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