Ask 30 giggling children what they did on Oct 3, 2009? They’ll giggle some more as they tell you that they launched a splendid book!
Pratham Books’ lush new title for older children “Asian Splendour-Folktales from Asia” retold by Hema Pande was released at Eureka! The Bookstore for the Young at a delightful event.
Anupa Lal, a dear friend and cherished author of Pratham Books narrated two stories from the book in her inimitable rib ticking style as veteran author Hema Pande looked on smilingly. Her joy warmed us to the core as her age and delicate health keeps her largely housebound but she made a special effort to participate in our book release.
After listening to the filipino tale of Marikita and the Sea King, the children created a lovely, blue seascape with Marikita rowing her boat in the middle. Anupa had them chanting Marikita and Makushiro and they loved getting their tongues in a twist as they chewed over these strange but interesting names.You could almost smell the salt in the air!
Then it was time to listen to the hilarious Korean tale called The Magic Picture. Anupa held up a little mirror that figures prominently as a character in the story and as the children looked at their own faces, they chuckled as they listened to a story about a small town where nobody knew what a mirror was!
The event ended with the very charming sight of the children queing up to get their copies of the book signed by Hema. They all told her that they loved the stories and then patiently spelt out their names for her.Hema wrote an affectionate message in each book.Seeing their heads bent over the same book was like looking at a perfect blend of the ages.
Asian Splendour is available in English, Hindi, Marathi and Urdu and is priced at Rs.90. You can order the book here.
View more pictures from the book launch here.