Sandhya Taksale (Editor, Pratham Books) shares notes from the ‘Muchkund and his Sweet Tooth’ book launch in Pune
On a sunny winter morning enthusiastic children from different corporation schools in Pune, eagerly lined up at the entrance of the Balgandharv Rangmandir auditorium. In no time the auditorium was packed with 400 school children – all waiting to attend a story telling session. None other than the well known scientist and eminent ecologist, Dr. Madhav Gadgil; was there to tell them a story. He has authored ‘Muchkund and his Sweet Tooth’ for Pratham Books and the occasion was the book release during the Balkumar Sahitya Sammelan on 30th November, 2013.
The book was released in Marathi and English by well known Marathi author Dr. Anil Awchat. The book is about a fictional character called Muchkund and his bright gang of ghosts who negotiate with bees and come up with a clever way to live in ecological harmony.
The children were fascinated by the way in which bees and bears could live in harmony. The children burst into laughter when one of the bears in the story was punished for his wrong doing.
Earlier while sharing the ‘story behind the story’, Dr. Gadgil said that his primary source of inspiration to write a story came from his granddaughters who have been cajoling him for years for some more interesting stories.
Ecological harmony is a subject closer to his heart but the challenge was to hold the interest of children with a strong story line without being preachy.
Dr. Gadgil is more than successful in this task as children were absorbed in the story and enjoyed the antics of Muchkund and his gang.
After the story telling session, Dr. Gadgil visited the Pratham Books stall and signed copies of the book for the children.
Read the coverage of the event on Loksatta