Authors, publishers collaborate to make quarantine fun for kids

While parents discharge their professional duties, children can be kept delightfully engaged.

With the lockdown in place, schools all over the country are closed for the interim. This means children are spending more time indoors. As such, they are bound to get impatient and cranky from time to time. So, to make this period slightly more interesting, some celebrated publishing houses across the country have come up with their own resources and activities. So while the parents discharge their official duties, children can be kept delightfully engaged. Read on to find out more.

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* Harper Collins India, for instance, has planned many workshops to bring back the love for books. ‘HCCBatHome’, a writing, doodling, and reading workshop has been started, wherein children are given activity sheets and book readings to pass their time. Talented authors and illustrators like Paro Anand, Shamika Chaves, Shabnam Minwalla, Deepa Agarwal, among others will go online for their readings. You can check out the publishing house’s official page on Facebook. It will also be putting out audiograms of authors reading from their local titles and activity sheets from international titles.


* Publishing house Penguin has partnered with Momspresso — an online parenting community — to launch an initiative called #OnceUponABookWithPenguin. Beginning March 30, 6.30 pm, there will be one author live on Momspresso every day, to tell kids an interesting story from their book. The idea is to make playtime fun for kids, with the focus on animated storytelling, and an activity to do once the story is over. Ruskin Bond for ‘Mukesh Starts a Zoo’, Paro Anand for ‘A Quiet Girl, Anushka Ravishankar for ‘Moin and the Monsters’ , Tanu Shree Singh for ‘Darkless, andn Harshikaa Udasi for ‘Kittu’s Very Mad Day, among others, are part of the initiative.

* Hachette India, meanwhile, has decided to organise an online children’s literary festival. Local and international authors will come together to make this period better for children and parents, hoping to entertain and teach them. Q/A sessions, readings, tutorials and more have been lined up beginning this week, featuring authors Deepa Agarwal, Anupam Arunachalam, Veena Prasad, and more.

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* Children’s book publisher Karadi Tales has been allowing free streaming of some popular audiobooks from the ‘Will You Read With Me’ series. Children can listen to celebrities like Vidya Balan, R Madhavan and Soha Ali Khan narrate stories. Kids can also participate in some fun indoor activities like arts, crafts and colouring.


* Pratham Books has planned read-alouds by authors and illustrators, and is also trying to spread the word about reading on StoryWeaver with a #ReadAtHomeWithStoryWeaver campaign. Parents can check out their social media pages for more information.

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* Scholastic India, meanwhile, has come up with a YouTube channel for read-alouds. The The channel will be curated with a treasury of some great books, read aloud by some of the best storytellers across the country. Scholastic India MD Neeraj Jain has said that in order to enable the flow of learning, many of Scholastic India’s online resources will be available free of cost till May 31, 2020.

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