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Ameen Ul Haque, founder of The Storywallahs visited the Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Old Faridabad
today for an exciting storytelling session.
The boys aged 16-17 years from the school listened as Ameen told stories and played the harmonica. There followed an interesting discussion of fate versus hard work.
The session was also attended by the school principal and a few teachers.
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Ameen Haque
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 Today children of Queen Mary’s school in Model Town welcomed the Australian writer Tohby Riddle. The children who belong to the book club attended the session. They warmly welcomed Tohby at the entrance of the auditorium and an introduction was then presented by children of the Book Club. The children had prepared a  wonderful presentation about the author. Tohby Riddle began by showing some slides about his life in Australia with his children as well as his creative working place. He talked about his creations and focused specially on his book, Unforgotten. Children interacted a lot with Tohby and asked many questions. Students anticipated the session and had researched about the books written by the author. So they asked many relevant questions as well as for example some regarding the origin of his inspiration before writing a book and detailed questions on his books. All students were so enthusiastic about the session, as well as teachers. A respectful thank you to the Principal, and colleagues who welcomed Tobhy Riddle and organized so well this Bookaroo visit.
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 Chrystèle Gauthier

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Julia Wauters is a young French lady living near the Atlantic Ocean, where she finds inspiration from nature to illustrate children’s books. She began the session showing to the children some of the books she had worked on and began to explain how she loves to illustrate stories. Unfortunately she doesn’t yet have books in English but that was not a problem for the children. After she showed them how she draws an elephant with black ink. The children were divided into groups of three and they received one coloured paper with a road and papers of 2 others colours. Now began the fun: they had, with only the paper and scissors, to make the little piece of road alive. At the end of the session we put the papers together to make a long road story. The children were really creative and the final work was wonderful.

Thérèse Bogdan Duveiller

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With Arunava Sinha it is time for some mental gymnastics. His working line with children is ”take one well-loved story, add a twist here and a turn there to see where it will lead”. This is exactly what he did with the children of grade 6 at the French school of New Delhi. First he invited them to tell a story: one student began telling a story of monkeys in water, then another followed with what he would like the next step to be and so forth till the end with a lot of imagination to finish the story. Students where really enjoying that and participated with a lot of enthusiasm. After that Arunava read “The magic Moonlight Flower”, written in Bengali by the well-known filmmaker Satyajit Ray and translated by him. He stopped suddenly in the middle of the story and asked the students to then imagine the rest and it was a lot of fun.

The session finished with some questions the students had prepared for Arunava about his work and what he likes to do.

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Thérèse Bogdan Duveiller

Rui Sousa visited the Mount Abu Public School in the northwest Delhi metro area on Thursday, November 27.  A group of third, fourth, and fifth graders attended an hour-long workshop where Rui began by talking about the second of his four children’s books, Iceberg Ahoy.  He retold the story of a boy who travels through the major European capitals on an iceberg.  When asked what the moral of this story is, Rui replied that it is important to keep your eyes open in life and experience things for yourself.

The students at Mount Abu used the opportunity to ask a wide range of questions, stretching from how old Rui was when he wrote his first book, to if he was nervous that people wouldn’t like his book, to what he thought of the weather in Greenland.  Rui’s advice for young authors was simply to write.

Rui, who is known in Portugal more for the visual arts, received a chorus of “wows!” when he brought out his watercolors and explained his creation process with his books.  As a special surprise for the children, Rui also drew a thank you picture for them and a quick sketch on the chalkboard.

The children declared him a star and Rui soon felt the burden of stardom as the requests for autographs almost prevented him from leaving!

Dr. Kari Hiepko-Odermann

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Bookaroo in the City today went to Cry Swati in R.K.Puram, an NGO for underprivileged children. All the students and teachers gave a very warm welcome to Suvidha Mistry. She told them that every student should use his or her imagination for drawing and also explained that copying isn’t the same as drawing, The students joined in with enthusiasm. At the beginning of the session Suvidha introduced heself and made the children feel comfortable. She taught them how to draw different types of expressions of the human face. She also advised them that if they go to any place, to record what they see by sketching to remind them later of all that they have seen. Suvidha also helped them to recognise the author’s name in the books. She showed them how to identify who has written the book. Then she gave them drawing sheets to colour with their own creativity. She also shared some ideas with them and students were keen to share their ideas with her. At the end Suvidha advised all of the students to start drawing daily using all those wonderful ideas from their own imagination. The children were all having such fun! Suvidha captured attention of teachers and students by telling them how to draw in a different way. All the students enjoyed the session very much.Today was great experience for everyone and a lot of fun.

Kritika Malhotra

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Today’s Bookaroo session was at The Heritage School. Rohini by Archit Taneja. He is a software engineer . He is new in writing and he says he enjoys it. The session, Let’s Get Sleuthing! was all about solving mysteries. Archit showed the children various slides and together they hunted for clues and solved the mysteries. The children were really excited for the session and were engaged throughout. The responses to the questions were amazing. They named all the breeds of the dogs and Archit discussed science concepts that were used in the stories in fun way. Anju Nayyar

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Today, the children of Mother’s Global School, Preet Vihar were in for a special treat. Rituparna Ghosh was there for a fun session entitled, When The World Was Young. They began with a game of Chinese whispers. The children mixed up the words or forgot something and it made such a difference from the original line given by Rituparna. There followed two stories, the first a folk tale from Arunchal Pradesh about a porcupine and an elephant. Rituparna showed the children how to draw a female face to look like a trickster or very intelligent. The children drew so many faces and they were very funny. The second story, from Gujarat, was about Shankar a seller of wisdom. He called, “Wisdom for sale!” which was a song.

There was also a message for children to think twice before to doing something. Rituparna asked the children what was the
difference between clever and wisdom? The children gave different answers but Rituparna told them that the correct difference is that clever means a person who gives a quick reply and wisdom means a person who speak always true. The children and teachers all really enjoyed the session!

Kanika Sulani

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Champa from The Storywallahs visited Blind Socila Welfare Society, Punchkuin Road today for a beautiful story telling session. It was full of energy with sound connotations which could be easily visualized by the children. The children were very keen, eager to listen, attentive and responsive. They were wanting to answer all of questions and were quite able in English as well as Hindi. They sang songs and recited poetry for us.

The teachers were involved  and very keen to understand the process of story telling by Champa so that they in turn could use it for their children. The principal would like Champa or somebody from ‘Storywallahs’ to come and train their teachers in the art of story-telling.

Champa was overwhelmed with the response and warmth of the children and, having worked before with children who are differently abled, had a good discussion with the principal and other teachers about methods and attitude that could make a difference to the enjoyment of story telling for these children.

Sushmi Mukherjee

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Eileen Browne had barely stepped off the plane from the UK this morning before she was whisked across Delhi to meet the children of TORCH, an NGO based in Nizamuddin that works with street children.

Although Eileen has never visited Delhi before she has strong links with TORCH. Her book Handa’s Surprise has been so much enjoyed by the children over recent years that she has already replaced their much thumbed Big Book. This too is now showing signs of wear and tear, so as Eileen read the story with the children rather than to them as they know it by heart, she suggested that as the children like drawing  they should produce the missing pages themselves.

She asked if any of them had been to Bookaroo. A flurry of hands shot up and in answer to her question of what they liked best, responses varied from drawing on the Doodle Wall to choosing and buying a book in the bookshop.

A second book, Boo Boo Baby and the Giraffe, was shared with much lolloping, sliding, plunking, cooing and rooing until Boo Boo Baby fell fast asleep.

After all the excitement the children sat transfixed as Eileen brought Handa to life on the blackboard – so much so that one little boy became most confused as to whether she was in fact a real girl living in Africa. It was a small step from there to question whether Shah Rukh Khan was real or imaginary!

Following this slight digression, the children quickly pointed out that the picture was not complete – there were no hens! So Eileen drew four before some of the children took it in turns to come up and add the remaining six. Eileen commented that the children’s were as good, if not better, than hers.

Eileen left clutching a chain of paper children which had been coloured in by the real children and her head was filled with smiling faces.

Jo Williams