There is already taboo around mental health and when it comes to children, the struggles get accentuated. So many kids and teens have got impacted post the pandemic, and we need to support them as they deal with a range of emotional upheavals. The first step, we believe, is to give them a platform to come forth and bare their souls. They need this safe space to express and hence, we were more than glad to collaborate with WICCI National Mental Health Council for a one-of-its-kind open mic for children held on 18th September 2021. This beautiful and important endeavour led to 20+ kids stepping forward and vowing us with their profound and deep thoughts. Some made us smile, some made us cry and some made us ponder.
Book title – Playing
Author – Sunaina Ali
Illustrator – Debasmita Dasgupta
Genre – Children’s Fiction/Picture Book
Publisher – Katha India
Recommended age – 6+ years
‘Playing’, written by Sunaina Ali, is a short yet delightful picture book for children aged 6 years and above.
Beyond the Box in collaboration with Tell Tales – Where stories come to life conducted a one-of-its-kind Mother’s Day Special “Write & tell” contest on the theme #LetterToMaa. The participants vowed us with their heart-touching letters and soulful narrations. The top 10 winning entries have been published in this post. Get ready to ride high on emotions because the word “Maa” does that to all of us.
When I was growing up, my father’s books were a constant source of fascination and awe for me. Since both my parents were into reading, it wasn’t long before I was baptized too. We moved house often which meant my hoard couldn’t move en masse every time. Besides, like every kid growing up in the eighties, it was a given that there were only as many books the parents would buy.
Desperate souls like me looked outward, borrowed from friends and to make the buck last longer, plan and buy in such a way that our collection never overlapped. Then there were the libraries, a piece of heaven. To this day libraries take me back to my childhood reminding me that there are good things in this world. They are like power banks where I can go and recharge myself.
The Earth is a beautiful home that cares for us like no other. In return, we have to give it the same love that the Earth gives us. This is the basic premise of ‘Dear Earth’ by Avvaiyar. The poem is like a plea that one can not escape. The author showcases a pen’s power in only 25 words. The poem provides for hours of thinking after the first read. The illustrations done by Murali Nagaphuza complement the piece beautifully and are enticing.
This month we got a golden opportunity to have a conversation with a very special person. We are sure that reading this interview will evoke many awe-inspiring emotions in you. You would feel as if you are sitting in a storytelling session which is deep, enriching and profound. The special guest is none other than Padma Shri Geeta Dharmarajan. She is a writer, editor, educator and the Founder and President of Katha, a nonprofit organisation that she founded in 1988. In spite of being a go-getter and someone through whose journey we can learn so much, the enthusiasm in her voice is so childlike and infectious that you can’t remain un-enamoured.
Gatila is a black cow who has low self-esteem due to her black colour. She does find an unconventional, easy way to ‘make’ herself pretty by painting herself in different colours. The story is about whether she finds happiness and satisfaction with a new colour or ends up loving herself the way she is.
‘The Mystery Of The Missing Soap’ is a fun book with an interesting, unique and important premise. An evil figure, Asura Tobakachi, wants to rule the whole of India. He sends his army, ‘The Coronavirus Army’, to attack the happy village of Dakshinpur. In order to win, they make all the soaps disappear so that the virus can attack freely. But the villagers cleverly make their own soap and defeat the virus. They wash their hands frequently and the frightened army runs far away.