Books and music: A summer reading list for kid-litChildren’s literature has evolved in India. We have a variety of books for children these days: From edgy fiction to reference books that do not just aim to ‘educate’ kids.advertisement Next Antara Raghavan New DelhiJune 23, 2019UPDATED: June 23, 2019 03:00 IST Despite the myriad claims on children’s attention spans reducing and the numerous distractions such as YouTube and Netflix, the reading habit has managed to stay alive. In fact, many children can look forward to a variety of books this summer.This is the considered opinion of a cross-section of children’s publishers and writers in Delhi, though warning notes are also being sounded. According to well-known children’s author Paro Anand, best known for The Other and Wild Child, the number of children reading has not decreased.”Despite the new internet distractions, when I go to schools for workshops to talk about books, the level of interaction and engagement is often quite phenomenal.” She adds that schools across India have shown great interest in author visits, and therefore reading.She describes how many students ask critical questions on books ranging from transgenders to bullying. Anand adds that children do not accept things at face value. Echoes Deepa Agarwal, author of more than 50 books including Caravan to Tibet, and Blessed, “The Internet actually enables children to find a wider choice of reading material. With the proliferation of websites such as Amazon and Flipkart, online forums, and other social media disseminating information about new titles and many literary festivals celebrating books are booming.”Anand agrees, saying “My book sales, and that of many others, are actually going up, and a lot of that is due to digital over the past 5-10 years. “Is it enough? No. But it has increased.”Agarwal adds, “Parents and educators are now more conscious of the benefits of leisure reading. And, because of the demand, publishers are bringing out a vast variety of titles. This translates to more choice in terms of genre. Trends in Indian children’s books have undergone a sea change. There is much more imaginatively written non-fiction, historical fiction, and mythology retold in engaging new styles, as well as sports stories and fiction that reflects the lives of children.”advertisementSharon Fernandes, author of The Mystery of The Missing Crown- A Goa Story, agrees, saying, “Kids are reading more regional stories, with local history and mythology thrown in to the mix.” She adds, “Young minds today love nuanced stories, more than what we give them credit for.”Harper Collins Children’s Books publisher, Tina Narang dwells on the impact of technology. “There’s a wider variety of books to choose from and greater access online, but there are also a greater number of distractions. The challenge today is not so much creating books as it is creating readers. But, that’s not to say that young readers are not charmed by books anymore.”Despite this generally optimistic stance, Vatsala Kaul Banerjee, Publisher of Hachette, Children, has a slightly different take. “Children in India tend to get their cues early from the adults around them and very often they are directed to read more non-fiction and reference books that, it is hoped, will translate into marks, prizes or enhance exam performance.”While this is certainly true, the fact is that children’s writing has come a long way in the past couple of decades. Acclaimed children’s writer Subhadra Sen Gupta, author of many books, including Lets Go Time Travelling, calls herself, “a battle-scarred veteran” in the area of children’s writing in India.According to her, it all began with a “magical magazine called Target [published by India Today]. It had an extraordinary editor, Rosalind Wilson, who was responsible for the move away from producing copies of Enid Blyton to doing more Indian stories.Sen Gupta adds, “Indian writing has evolved and it began with a change in the attitude of publishers. We were treated like bored housewives doing cutesy picture books about smiling crocodiles.”The trends in children’s writing in India are indeed encouraging. Sohini Mitra, associate publisher of Puffin, at Penguin Random House India, points to a new custom, which also enhances the reading habit.”There is a lot more focus on doing more parent-child books/activities where they are able to spend quality time together.” She goes on to add, “With a flourishing market for quality children’s books now, especially with so many fabulous new voices and ideas around us, we have a variety of children’s books these days -from edgy fiction to reference books that do not just aim to ‘educate’ kids.”As Anand says, “The bottom line is children want well-written and gripping books, beyond categorising of age groups and genres.” She concludes, “I for one refuse to be all gloom and doom about kidlit.”Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShifa Naseer Tags :Follow Books
Yahoo! Thousands take in the Stampede Parade by Jonathan Muma Posted Jul 3, 2015 7:12 am MDT Last Updated Jul 3, 2015 at 11:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Related Stories Road closures for the Calgary Stampede Parade FridayFirst Stampede parade-goers already lining up Marching bands, floats, clowns, and all sorts of other delights flooded Calgary’s downtown core Friday morning, as the official start of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth was marked with the Stampede Parade.Hundreds of thousands gathered along the parade route to take in the festivities.Getting up early to save a front row seat is a tradition for many Calgarians.Parade watcher Rory said he wasn’t bothered by the sneaky folks who tied chairs to poles along the parade route, and then went home to bed.“The nice thing is those chairs are always within ten feet of a post, so they can be locked to a post, so that always leaves extra space, so, I don’t have a problem with that,” he said.Early riser Paula set up two rows of seats for her family around 4:30 a.m.“We come every year, so, there’s quite a few of us,” she said.The parade was scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The marching bands are by far the crowd favourite at the Stampede Parade. (Jonathan Muma, 660 NEWS)
Brock Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo heads a list of special guests to campus on Tuesday Oct. 4, for two significant events that will further define the University’s soul and culture.At 10 a.m., a special ritual will officially open the Healing Garden that was completed this summer in the planted space on the north side of the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex.Tuesday’s event comes almost exactly a year after Cheechoo helped plant the symbolic white pine tree that is now in the centre of the Healing Garden.Healing gardens are typically green spaces that provide refuge, a place to find inspiration and empowerment, and where people can pause and reflect on the path forward. The outdoor setting and natural plantings create a therapeutic environment that helps people offset stress and connect to nature and thus to their spirituality. Brock’s garden is meant to symbolize the University’s commitment to Indigenous students and issues, and be a focal point for positive discussion.Then at 11 a.m. a special dedication will take place near the Glenridge Entrance to campus, where earlier this year the traffic roundabout and Greenhouse Lane were renamed Suzanne Rochon-Burnett Circle to honour the Métis broadcaster, artist and journalist who became a national icon and advocate for many causes, including Indigenous education, arts and business groups.Rochon-Burnett, who passed away in 2006, established a Brock scholarship in 1996 for Indigenous students in communications and business, and in 2002 she received an Honorary Doctorate from the University in recognition of her contributions to Canadian cultural life. She was also a member of Brock’s Board of Trustees from 1995-2001, and has been followed in that role by her daughter, current Brock trustee Michele-Elise Burnett.At noon, the final event of a day of celebrating Indigenous culture will take place in he northeast corner of Market Hall, with the grand opening of the new location of Brock’s Aboriginal Student Services office.Members of the Brock community and the public are invited to attend all of these events.