Holidays are just round the corner, and here’s how to bring back the storytelling era with a new-age twist — read-aloud books. The Little Readers’ Nook offers such books for kids aged up to six. It was set up recently by Mumbai-based Devaki Bhujang Gajare, an engineer from New York when she realised the dearth of good books for very young kids in the Indian market. She sourced books from abroad for her son and his friends who were hooked. Little Reader’s Nook sells theme-based book kits delivered across the country. Each all-inclusive kit has three age-appropriate books on a theme, in addition to reading tips, vocabulary builders, activity ideas, a worksheet and a video guide.
“We work as a partner with parents in engaging their child with our books with our reading enrichment tools” says Devaki. The books are open-ended with subtle messages that provide scope for imagination and encourage children to think for themselves. The books aim to nurture the joy of reading and not come across as preachy.
As books for very young children are still considered somewhat of a novelty in India, the project initially faced resistance. Now, the readers are growing in number with overwhelming responses from parents. The project’s team of storytellers conducts weekly interactive story sessions for three- to six-year-olds in Mumbai with role-plays and conversations.