Bookends Books

Bubble Books takes stories written by children and turns them into illustrated books

Nivedita Rajeev with her book on the Bubble Books website

Nivedita Rajeev with her book on the Bubble Books website  

more-in

A scribble, a doodle or a sketch by your child — Bubble Books will bring them all to life

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote — scribbled stealthily, perhaps, on the last page of a school notebook? Or did your doting mother write it down for you with the promise to preserve it for years to come?

A publishing house has taken over this task from the indulgent mother. Bubble Books, the brainchild of a former advertising professional, Arthi Ramaiah, takes up fledgling stories written by children and converts them into fully illustrated story books.

“We go from a raw story to a finished product in approximately four weeks,” explains Ramaiah, who is based in London. “We accept the stories in any format — a picture of the story, a word document, a video or audio recording, a picture collection, even a school assignment. Parents can upload the story on our website, www.bubble.works, or email us directly,” she adds.

Running riot

Ramaiah works with a team of freelance illustrators from all over India. Once she receives the text, she comes up with the appropriate art form, based on the story and the writer’s age.

The printing and production take place in Bengaluru, although Bubble ships books to anywhere in the world.

Since April last year, Bubble has brought 20 books to life and has catered to orders from India, the U.S., U.K., Hungary, Thailand and West Asia. The books, which have a flat pricing model, cost ₹6,000 ($100).

A mother herself, Ramaiah says the inspiration behind the idea was her toddler daughter. “Ever since my daughter began expressing herself and communicating, my perspective of everything changed dramatically. Now I know how inventive and imaginative kids can be. I wanted to set up something that would enable children to let their imagination run wild in writing or making up stories, and then transform the story into an object that would live on,” she says.

She prizes the memory of a seven-year-old customer who rushed down the neighbourhood to show her book to all her friends.

On the website you find authors like eight-year-old Nivedita, who “reminds us to share with all your heart,” 10-year-old Sudeeptha, who “casts her spell with ink,” 12-year-old Shloka, who has her special take on being human. The illustrations are enchanting and the typeface of the texts keeps changing in keeping with the themes.

Starting young

A mother writes in her blog about Ramaiah converting her daughter’s description of the day a fire broke out in the neighbourhood into a beautiful book.

The eight-year-old who wrote it had incorporated her own adventures and those of her friends. The Bubble team asked the mother to send photographs of the children concerned. The illustrated characters in the book were made to resemble the children.

“Children’s stories and drawings are a reflection of their experience of the world around them. Helping them become better artists, writers, storytellers in general, can build their self-esteem,” says Ramaiah.

When the writer is not obsessing over her work, she is usually lost in a book, playing with her two-year-old, or experimenting in the kitchen.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 2:37:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/bubble-books-takes-stories-written-by-children-and-turns-them-into-illustrated-books/article22917395.ece

Next Story