Chennai

Initiating children into reading habit through storytelling

“Once upon a time when the moon was green and the sky was recovering from rainbow measles, there was a magic shop owned by a frightening monster.” Thus began the story of Shreekumar Varma, one of the six story-tellers who narrated the bed-time grandma stories to a group of children here recently.

The storytellers took the children through a world of bizarre characters such as big bad pig, blue cat with orange tail and red whiskers. The event, organised by Scholastic India, had a large gathering of kids and their moms who were treated with imaginative stories of Mr.Varma, Aysha Rau, Shoba Viswanath, Kaushik Viswanath, Anitha Bennett and Jaspar Utley.

Aysha Rau's story also had a social message, on pollution. With animated gestures and effective voice modulation, Anitha Bennett held the kids' attention with her story on ‘Three small wolves and a big bad pig.'

Shoba Viswanath and Kaushik Viswanath rounded off the story-telling session with a story about ‘Seven kids and kozhukattai.'

With their perfect timing and spontaneity, the mother-son duo became instant hit among the kids. As the mother narrated the humourous story, her son brought it alive with amusing expressions, leaving the 50-odd kids in splits.

All the storytellers made sure there was enough room for imaginations and narrated stories that were rich with colours.

A major chunk of children aped the expressions of the storytellers and came up with a number of questions during the session.

A few kids, sporting uniforms and identity cards, rested their backs on their schoolbags to take a quick nap as their moms listened with wide-eyed enthusiasm.

“This is a step towards initiating children into reading habit. Stories are the best way to encourage kids to read books. This is the first initiative of such kind and we are planning to conduct storytelling sessions every quarter,” said Tahsin Chacko, Regional Manager, Scholastic India.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 4:49:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/Initiating-children-into-reading-habit-through-storytelling/article16816576.ece

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