A confirmation call from the Principal of the Junior School of Sharada Mandir School had us setting up our boxes with a range of pre selected books from various Indian Publishers.
On the 5th of October we were busy displaying and arranging our collection in the school.
From previous experiences of book fairs we had no clue of what to expect. We were in for a surprise, a pleasant one. Based on recommendations and guidance for age-appropriate titles parents found books for their children. Some children on the other hand made confidant choices and adhered to their decisions.
I found the response of the parents very encouraging except for a very few of them who retreated from the tables and showed an indifference.
I was impressed to see the school librarian and Principal actively involved in choosing books to upgrade the school library collection.
But it is the Art teacher who had my attention. From the moment she saw our display she was able to identify the different art styles she saw in the illustrations. She picked up each book and turned the pages as if it was a new found treasure. Considering her enthusiasm I suggested the ‘Looking At Art’ series from Tulika and how she could use these books to cultivate children’s interest in arts.
I also hinted that she could club the book with a slide show of the artworks of the artist and have complete hands on session in art. I could see the sparkle in her eyes and her mind already racing in that direction. It was something that she took to instantly.
It is the realization that we need to start making use of storybooks to enhance the subjects being taught at school that needs to come. This would educate the imagination of children, fuel their interests and expand their awareness all in a fun way.
Books are magical. They create something truer than life itself.
A big thumbs up to this new beginning!