Bookaroo was a time where we were catching up with old friends as well as meeting new friends. During Bookaroo, we finally got to meet Mohan Rao. We've known Mohan for a while now since he has used a few of our books on the Storytruck platform. But, this was the first time we were meeting him. Mohan agrred to write a guest post about his Bookaroo experience for our readers...
Bookaroo in Delhi may be over this year but the experience will remain with me forever like the scent of a flower that outlasts the flower itself. The experience at Bookaroo was quite pleasant and memorable for a few reasons.
1. Well Organized Event: The event was very well organized. The organizers made sure that the festival was all about creating an environment that encouraged children to read. I guess nothing beats an open outdoor environment like Sanskriti Maidan. Most of the sessions were held outdoors under the beautiful green trees. With a temperature hovering around 25 degrees celsius, there was nothing to complain about. The organizers also made sure that anyone hungry for food or books were not deprived. One could easily find both good food and books at the venue.
2. Focus on Reading: The focus was all about encouraging children to read and less about selling. None of the sponsors except Aviva were allowed to setup a booth at the venue. I was a little surprised about this but I feel that it made a big difference.
3. Fantastic Sessions: This kind of an event is only as good as its guests/speakers. In this case, Bookaroo made no mistakes. Fantastic storytellers like Jeeva Ragunath and Margaret McDonald captivated the audience. Authors like Sandhya Rao, Ramendra Kumar and Samhita Arni engaged the audience in their own unique ways. Artists like Tapas Guha and Shweta Mohapatra helped kids and adults explore their creative abilities on the doodle wall. These sessions were filled with such great experiences that I can devote a complete blog post to each.
4. Opportunity to interact with aspiring artists: This festival was not only attended by established artists and well known names from the industry but also by aspiring writers, illustrators and storytellers. I had the opportunity to meet some of them and see their energy, passion and potential to create something wonderful. I won't be surprised if I find them at a Bookaroo event in the future. I had the opportunity to meet a few of them and learn from their experiences as well.
5. Fabulous audience: What good is an interactive event like this if it doesn't bring in great audience? Thankfully, the audience was great as well. Parents were seen running around with their kids from session to session. They sang and danced along with their kids in all the sessions. The kids actively volunteered and participated in discussions when the guests called them on stage. The younger ones listened and joined in reciting the rhymes while mimicking the author's. Parents couldn't have found a better family outing event than this for free.
Mohan Rao is the founder and CEO of StoryTruck. He is passionate about helping children discover the joy of reading at an early age and his website is focused on making children's books available in digital form online. If you enjoyed the "Oluguti Toluguti" session by Sandhya then you can find this book online on StoryTruck at http://www.storytruck.com/indianrhymes/tulika
Everything here is the personal opinions of the authors and is not read or approved by Pratham Books before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.