Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The many lives of a cat!

The cat is out of the bag! We were delighted to get a copy of the book, Catch the Cat! written by Tharini Viswanath and published recently by Tulika. The story is about a naughty girl Dip Dip, who goes off to look for her friend's cat, Kaapi. Delightful illustrations by Nancy Raj showcase the wheel-chair using Dip Dip's lively and exuberant characteristics.

We are especially happy because the first version of the story was first published online by Pratham Books as an entry in the  Retell, Remix, Rejoice with Chuskit 2010 Contest, held to celebrate World Storytelling Day, and is a validation of our Creative Commons philosophy. This is a contest where illustrations from the book were uploaded, and contestants were asked to mix the illustrations and write a new story based on the pictures. Chuskit Goes to School was written by Sujatha Padmanabhan, illustrated by Madhuvanti Anantharajan and designed by Manisha Gutman. The story, translated by Pratham Books and available as free downloads in nine languages, is about a wheel-chair bound girl Chuskit, who finds it difficult to go to school because the Ladakhi terrain is so hilly. They wanted the story to be copyright-free, and hence they parked the story  in the public domain.

To kick off the Retell, Remix, Rejoice contest our editor wrote a story called Minny Wants a Ride, which featured a cat called Minny, that wanted a ride on a wheel-chair.  Tharini did a very good remix by writing a totally new story about a cat and a girl, called Dip Dip to the Rescue. All the remixed stories had a Creative Commons license. A Creative Commons license means that anyone could publish it anywhere. Tharini, as the author of this story, was free to send it to Tulika Books, who published it by giving it a fresh, new look. So a story in the public domain, gave rise to another new story with a Creative Commons license, which gave rise to yet another story, which got printed by a publisher, and now that story is in the hands of many children!
It's great to see how Dip Dip has joined Chuskit and Minny in talking about issues about disability.
Now this is what we call a really good twist to a story of a cat with many tales!

You can buy the book 'Catch that Cat' from the Tulika website.

Illustration used: by Madhuvanti Anantharajan

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