Despite Chennai being home to several children’s literature publishing houses, it hasn’t had a platform dedicated to highlight kids’ authors and their writings. In a bid to give a push to reading habits among children, city is set to witness the first edition of Tic-Tac-Toe Children’s Literary Festival.
Through the fest, publishing houses, including Tulika Books, Karadi Tales, Puffin India and Jellyfish Magazine, authors and illustrators are set to come under one roof. “The fest is built on the premise that well-rounded children need a healthy balance of fun and learning, and the belief that arts are especially useful in shaping happy and smart little individuals,” the organisers say.
From cosy reading nooks, storytelling sessions to panel discussions, the one-day fest aims to make children (aged 4-12) enjoy reading, and explore new subjects and authors.
While renowned storytellers Jeeva Raghunath and Janaki Sabesh and authors Praba Ram and Sharanya Manivannan will use the power of stories to capture children’s imagination, illustrators Roshini Ponchont and Parvathy Subramaniam will show the kids how to illustrate their thoughts.
Children can also design their own book covers and work on their creative writing skills through workshops at the event. A panel discussion for adults will also delve into the role that stories can play in parenting and education.
City-based writer Praba Ram, who will be at the fest reading from her books Thukpa For All and Can You?, says lit fests allow the community to come together for the joy of reading. “Earlier, we had publishers working on books quietly and there were not many avenues for authors to interact with readers. I feel it is an exciting time now to be an author.
Literary fests are being helpful in bringing people together, helping parents, librarians and teachers access more children’s books. In the current day where there are lot of digital distractions for kids, it’s on to adults to bring books to children and promote early childhood literacy,” she asserts.
As the co-founder and publishing director of Karadi Tales, Shobha Viswanath notes that more literary fests help create more curiosity among children and parents. “I don’t think Chennai has a book fest for children. Such literary fests help in allowing parents expose their kids to more books,” she says.
Over the past decade publishers are experimenting with new authors to bring out books set in Indian context than western backgrounds, Shobha notes.
The fest will be held on November 30 from 2 pm to 7 pm at Palladium mall.