Cartoons add fun to Bangalore Book Fair

It rained, it poured and roads got jammed, but that did not deter Bangaloreans from coming to the recently concluded Bangalore Book Fair 2009 at the Palace Grounds. Publishers and booksellers had put up over 300 book stalls, and most of them got excellent foot falls during the 10-day fair.

It was wonderful to have visitors at our stall, Stall No.199. And what made us even more happy was the fact that there were more hundreds of people milling at book stalls than at the food counters! This is not to say that the food at the stalls was bad, only that more people seemed to prefer to feast on books!

Pratham Books had two events during the Bangalore Book Fair. On November 8, we had a ‘Happy Maths’ session where children made friends with numbers. We threw paper balls, learnt to use our fingers to do multiplication tables, read out the story about the slow horse race from the ‘Happy Maths’ series of books, and more. Between trying to wrest the mike from a little girl who got attached to my mike, and trying not to stumble over a 19-month old child who managed to dance all over the stage, we did manage to have Sum Fun. At the end of the show I asked the kids, “Hope you all had some fun?” Imagine our plight when the mike-loving girl said clearly into the mike, “NO, I did not have some fun, (our hearts stopped)…I had lots of fun.” Whew!!

On November 14, Children’s Day, architect and teacher Arun Swaminathan engaged children in a cartooning session. He drew characters from our recent books, ‘Yakkity Yak‘, and ‘Manee Myaw’ and showed how children could make up characters easily. We had an impromptu naming session: children had to give a funny name to the yak. Soundarya got a prize for naming our yak Yak-chik, Kshitij won the lucky dip prize, and little Atharv got the prize for showing amazing promise as an artist. Thank you, Arun! Chocolates and sweets on the house when you drop into our office next!

Thanks to all the people who came to our stall, and to all the children who participated in the two events. And a big thanks to all those who bought books. And an even bigger thanks to those who gave us suggestions on topics for books and on how to improve our work! We’re all in this together, you know….the mission to put a book in every child’s hand!You can see all the pictures here.


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