The Kovai Bookalatta 2024 in Coimbatore promises to be a literary feast for young minds

The Kovai Bookalatta Children’s Literary Festival on July 13 has author meet-and-greets, storytelling, performances, and more

Published - July 09, 2024 05:28 pm IST

Mamathi Chari, Leon James, Vikram Sridhar

Mamathi Chari, Leon James, Vikram Sridhar | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Storytelling is believed to play a crucial role in child development. It offers children a window to different worlds, encourages creativity, and enhances their language skills. Stories allow children to explore diverse perspectives, understand complex emotions, and develop empathy. As they listen to tales of adventure, heroism, and fantasy, they learn to navigate the complexities of their own lives with imagination and confidence.

In light of this, the second edition of the Kovai Bookalatta Children’s Literature Festival is scheduled on July 13 at the Suburban Higher Secondary School, Sathyamurthy Road. The first edition was held at the same venue in 2019.

“We saw a gap in the world of art and literature for children, particularly those in government schools. They have access to information and knowledge, but exposure to the vibrant world of stories, characters, and artistic expression is often limited,” says Lakshmi Sankar, the co-founder of Atta Galatta bookstore in Bengaluru, which is organising the festival.

“Private schools frequently host their own literature festivals with dedicated funds, but these opportunities are scarce in government institutions. That’s where the idea for Kovai Bookalatta sparked. My partner Subodh, co-founder of Atta Galatta, has a personal connection to Suburban Higher Secondary School – his father studied there. And it’s one of the oldest schools in Coimbatore. So, we envisioned starting the festival there and expand to other cities. But the pandemic put everything on hold,” she adds.

This year’s edition boasts a line-up of authors, storytellers, and performers from across India, many with Tamil connections. Expect favourites like Ashok Rajagopalan (the author of the popular Gajapati Kulapati series) along with Mamathi Chari, Varsha Seshan and Sanjana Kapur. It also has performances by mime artist Kunal Motling, magician Nakul Shenoy, puppeteer Rathy, and Coimbatore’s own musical talent, Leon James.

Participants can look forward to interactions with authors, who will share their writing journeys and inspire young readers to delve into the world of books. Storytelling sessions are set to bring tales to life.

Vikram Sridhar, the festival curator and a performance storyteller, emphasises the importance of literature fests for children. “They offer opportunities for audiences to connect with authors and the characters they have created in the real world. It plays an important role in reducing the distance between the artiste and the audience. It brings them together, providing the platform for the dialogue between the two that creates a magical experience. This creates the excitement and a surge of interest in readers (and reading) and provides the energy for authors and artistes to go forward on their creative journey.”

On July 13, 10am onwards, at Suburban Higher Secondary School, Ram Nagar, Coimbatore. Entry is free. For more details, call 9894793369 or 9945799224.


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