Bookworm in collaboration with the Goa Arts and Literary Festival and Corporation of The City of Panaji, organised the state’s first ever Children’s Book Festival on the 15th and 16th of December.
In 2 weeks of prep time, the team pulled together programs, coordinated schedules, constructed props and got set for the festival. On event day, all hands were on deck to get the Jardin Garcia d’Orta in the heart of Panjim festooned. Buntings were strung, books were set up, a tent was pitched, props were strategically placed….and all was set for the show to begin!
Kids from varied walks of life came over to the festival. Some Mums and Dads joined in the happenings to….and believe us, there were LOTS of happenings those 2 days! There was an array of activities and sessions happening at 5 different venues within the park at all times for people to choose from at all times….bringing books and stories in various forms to the heart of all activities.
The event started of with Jerry Pinto rhyming about the bear with one hair….and he was a hit!
Also taking the center stage during the course of the event was Musharraf Ali Farooqi for the release of his book Tik Tik the Master of Time, Anushka Ravishankar who had the kids riveted with her Moin and the Monster reading, and Mamang Dai who had the kids wrapped up in creating stories.
There was music too! The Garden School, Panaji brought their kids up for a classical guitar recital, Green Lawns Primary School, Neura had their children singing, the Immaculada Singers brought their audience into the festive mood, and Child’s Play Foundation prepared a performance of their own!
No Bookworm activity is complete without Art and Craft……and art and craft there was indeed! Apt to being in the outdoors, Harshada Kerkar had the kids painting trees, Liz Kemp created a beautiful mural in a display of community art, Niquita had the kids do their own stars, the 1000 Crane project by Tara Foundation had the kids painting tshirts, Carl D’Silva had the kids rapt attention as he sketched, and Isa’s clay moulding was a hit! Shiv’s origami session ensured that the kids were walking around holding their craft for the evening! Elaine’s Crafty book corner was a constant buzz with kids lining up to do crafts……
….and even Bindi Su came by for an art session with illustrator Milan Khanolkar!
All around the park, books were being read…..stories were being told….and the kids were ready to listen….MAGIC! Willy Goes had rapt attention as he took the stage. All the little ones gathered around Anita Pinto as she told the tale of Espi Mai. The Bebeanchem Kazar was retold by Pritha and Umesh Sardessai. Purple Jojo came to life with Sujata telling the story…..and all around, little storytellers were rushing back to their parents to tell their own tales…. “Look what I made! Do you know what I saw?!…..”
Excitement was at an all time high with kids deciding what they wanted to do, which story they wanted to hear….then dashing off to get their books signed by the authors…dashing off to another part of the park for the following activity…..the buzz was phenomenal!
The festival came to a close with a spooky story told by Venita Coelho. The kids took no time to get comfortable to listen to the story…..and then she had them spell bound!
The 2 day festival was certainly a step into a new space for Bookworm. Seeing the happiness, the excitement, the enthusiasm that books bring….was nothing short of something that made us want to stop and stare.
Books & stories in a park…..& Bookworm was happy to be there!