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The final session of the day which had quite a large bit of hype around from what I could make out of. After all, the author of Nim’s Island, which was converted into a blockbuster Hollywood movie starring Jodie Foster and Gerard Butler, Wendy Orr was conducting the session and it was an absolute crowd puller. Wendy spoke of her basic inspirations for the book. She said she was inspired from the plot for Nim’s Island after her family moved to Australia when she was a child. She then spoke of how she imagined the Aussie flatlands to be islands as a child, and how that gave her the idea of marooning her character on an island. She ended the session by discussing how having a movie made of her book changed everyone else’s perception about the book. She spoke of the challenges faced in the differences of the creative ideas of the director of the movie and author of the book. And at the end of it all, when she opened herself to question, she was bombarded with questions from the large crowd at the Amphitheatre.

Wendy Orr

Exhausted as I was; walking away after yet another tiring day or trying to attend as many events as possible in day, I knew that in Bookaroo I had found myself a festival that would pull me towards itself every year. This first tryst with Bookaroo, which is a children’s book festival, I was surprised by how much fun I had. I had learnt and met some of the most wonderful people I had known and carried back memories from so many sessions attended. And what I came to realise at the end of Bookaroo was that if I had gone on to learn so much from it, I wondered how fun and how much of a learning experience these three days would be for a child.

Jamie Mullick

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Also slated to start at 12:15 was the session by Ken Spillman who wanted to point out the power of imagination in a great author. He made sure he involved everyone present at the Amphitheatre in the activities he conducted. He asked the children individually about their encounters with their imaginations.

Ken Spillman

He also quizzed them about any imaginary friends they’d created. He then talked about the importance of involving memories and logical recollections with that of one’s imagination to create the most detailed and complicated stories. He taught the children and adults alike about the importance of taking metal pictures, remembering the sights, sounds and smell of every memorable occasion they had distinct memories of. And the best part about his session was that how the children spoke to Ken as if he was in fact someone as young as them and treated him as a friend.

Jamie Mullick

My next stop was the packed session at the Studio where I was a part of an event conducted by Robert Sabuda, a world famous pop-up artist. Robert taught everyone how to create masterpieces of pop-up art. After teaching audience the basic shapes of lifts and bends in making pop-ups, he then proceeded to show the people his works. And once he started showing them, the audience was left dumbstruck by the complexities of the shapes made by Sabuda. The intricacies and complexities of his work had to be seen to be believed. So instead of me doing a poor job of trying to define the pieces of arts he created, I’ll just share some pictures from his slide show, which will surely do more justice to his work than any writer ever could.

Jamie Mullick

Next up, I went off to the Studio where Samit Basu was orchestrating the crowd into creating their own plot for a book. ‘Masters of the Universe’ kicked off where Basu talked about the intricacies of writing a book. The audience was taken on a journey where all of them contributed to create a story which had all the necessities expected of a good plot.

Samit Basu

What followed was a session which was undoubtedly the biggest laugh riot of all the events I attended. The children came up with the wildest plots, which included a dragon from Antarctica and deadly penguins.

Jamie Mullick

Then I was off to be the part of a session that had intrigued me when I’d read about it early in the morning. At the Palms, Sonja Chandarchud was conducting an event titled ‘Hilarious Hauntings’. When I read about the event, I remember it left be rather baffled by the theme. When I arrived at the venue, I found Sonja reading an excerpt from her book. However, what was really impressive was that, even after the inclusion of characters like vampires, ghosts and wombats in her stories, she managed to narrate them in the most artful manner which made the stories more fantasy, and less horror.

Sonja Chandrachud

This story session was followed by a whole bunch of games and quizzes for the kids where they won several prizes courtesy of Puffin Books.

Jamie Mullick

What better way to start off the final day than by immersing myself in the beautiful world of poetry? So I opted to go to the Amphitheatre where known poets, Wendy Cooling and Prayag Shukla were going to demonstrate how poetry and words do not have any language barriers. They started off with a translation of one of Wendy’s poems – ‘Who am I?’ which, as suggested by its name, is a poem about finding one’s identity. Mr. Shukla translated it for the children present and they discussed how rhythm has a universal language and how the essential nature and tone of the poem remain intact, despite its translations. The children were completely immersed in the activity and offered their insights and comments on both the translations of the poems, which resulted in an environment of an informal discussion, to the event.