There are just too many things I wanted to share about Pustaka Bookaroo Festival of Children’s Literature that ended its second edition in Kuching recently. The festival which aims to bring children and books together, culminated in a 2-day fiesta of storytelling, crafts, doodling and activities on 16-17 April.

Here are some highlights from my Pustaka Bookaroo experience.

House-Mate
I checked in at Permai Rainforest Resort and found out that I was to share a chalet with a stranger.  I had arranged to share a room with Heidi, the madam who wrote The Door Under the Stairs series of chapter books that I illustrated. But there were two rooms in the chalet and someone called Valentina Trivedi from India had already checked in earlier to the second room.  Valentina turned out to be great! Valentina is a funny, friendly and gracious storyteller from New Delhi with a passion for educating and bringing kids up right. Now Heidi and I will be plotting for ways to find funding for a visit to a new found friend from India.

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Moments of Self Importance
Actually, there were several…walking into Pusaka Negeri Sarawak on the first day and seeing my name on a card at the author signing table, walking into the Author’s lounge area and getting pinned with a fancy ribbon with my name on it,  being asked to autograph books that people were actually buying, and having all those helpful and eager volunteers from the colleges (SEGI I think) escorting me to the designated venues and addressing me as “Miss” very respectfully. I honestly felt like a VIP!

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My Sessions as a Speaker
This was actually my first big “gig” and I couldn’t help feeling a little anxious especially when I saw the lineup of amazing writers, illustrators, storytellers from India, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.  I worked the sessions around two of my books Atuk’s Amazing Sarong and Menagerie – Fun with Animal Groups. Luckily, I didn’t have to play to an empty room as kids actually turned up for the sessions. In the end, I think they had a good time.  I had a silly song, a silly hat and plenty of sarong action – what could have possibly gone wrong with that?

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Satisfied Customer

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The photo says it all.

Delicious Meal
We were served really tasty BBQ lamb chops at the dinner hosted by Pustaka. The cendol was also very good – soft yet chewy and full of flavours.  The cake deserves an honourable mention.

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Awesome Venue
Pustaka Negeri Sarawak was the perfect venue for the festival.  With a spacious green park right in front and a quiet small lake at the back, the high ceilings, glass doors and windows and a grand glass staircase all made for a very pleasant festival location indeed.  I was also impressed with the spacious layout of the library and the many comfy looking tables and chairs available.

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Amazing Organizers
Kudos to the Pustaka and Bookaroo team for a brilliant organization of the whole festival. It seemed to me that everything ran like clockwork and the volunteers were fantastic.  The happy smiles on the kids and the flustered but appreciative parents said it all.  And I felt really well taken care of. They even helped us squeeze in a trip to Kuching town and back in time for our dinner date.

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New Friends and Old
I had a blast meeting all the generous, friendly and like-minded people who shared their knowledge, experiences and their love for stories and reading and also the chance to interact and get to know better the friends from Malaysia and Pustaka Negeri Sarawak.

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The above post is an edited version of the original post bt Lim Sisters.

Log on to http://www.thesisterslim.com/blog/my-pustaka-bookaroo-adventure

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