Bookaroo in the City (Day 2) : Shveta Kalyanwala and I. Lakshmi
The children enjoyed the session very much, listening keenly to the story. As a matter of fact, according to their coordinator it was the first time that the children sat there for such a long time without moving!
Mrs. I. Laxmi made her debut today as a storyteller at Andhra School, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi. A content translator who speaks English, Hindi, Telugu, Oriya and Bengali, Laxmi is extremely fond of kids and of course, books written for kids. This was surely evident in the way she mesmerized the kids with her stories – perfectly packaged in sweet motherliness and ready laughter.
She says, “Comic situations are a great way of keeping children focused till the end. It’s even better if you can show them amusing illustrations.” Laxmi mostly used Telugu picture books published by Pratham Books. It was refreshing to see less of unnecessary animated gestures and role playing (and over acting) that has become the norm for storytellers these days, and more of traditional storytelling with vivid descriptions of characters and intervals between a story to discuss a particular scene or situation. The way the kids got lost in a story and then suddenly jumped into the real world to share their thoughts with Laxmi, and then gradually got lost again in the story … it was almost as if a child sitting in his mother’s lap was trying to prevent the cherished story-time from ending by asking more and more questions. Don’t believe me? See the pictures and you will know!
Laxmi told me that it was Pratham Books who encouraged her to participate in Bookaroo in the City. “At first, I didn’t think I could do it, but now, after the session, I have to say I loved it.” Well, I guess, this is what Bookaroo is all about: encouraging new talent who can inspire kids to discover the wonderful world of books.
I wish good luck to Laxmi and, as the Andhra School children said, please do come back again, Ma’am – we want more stories!