Advaita The Writer


The sonny and I grabbed yet another opportunity to meet another wonderful author, Ken Spillman, and got to sit through the book reading of ADVAITA The Writer.. It was a wonderful experience to watch Ken Spillman field the questions from inquisitive kids at the end of the book-reading session.

Ken shared a tip with the kids on how to remember his website and used a water bottle to demonstrate ‘Spill’ in his name and then of course ‘Man’ and said, the website was Ken-Spill-Man-dot-comπŸ™‚

The Event

The book reading event was again organized by Binita & Gargi of Spring & Zoom, a Centre for Literary Arts, Chennai.

The Book

Title: Advaita, The Writer
Author: Ken Spillman
Illustrator: Menon
Publisher: Tulika.
For Age 9+ (Does not count Valar though ;-))

The story

Pic: Tulikabooks.com

Advaita is apprehensive about what life at Dunham Girl’s School has in store for her.. The fear of wading through unknown territories, home-sickness, her initial experience at school and the loneliness result in her slow withdrawal. Fortunately for Advaita, her love for books helps her sail through the loneliness.. Books are her refuge and she lets her imagination grow wings, unmindful of the things around her.. Just when she begins to think that things aren’t going to get any better, she, to her delight, discovers that her favorite author Ruskin Bond lives close to her school, at Mussoorie! Does Advaita get to meet Ruskin Bond? What changes Advaita’s world from Grey to Green? Read the book and find out what inspires Advaita to become THE WRITER!

The illustrations by Menon are lucid and subtle at once and merge with the story without distracting the reader..

What this book meant for us

When I tried initiating Vyas into reading Ruskin Bond, he did not show as much interest as he did in reading R.K.Narayan, Sudha Murthy etc.. besides the endless Blytons, Dahls, Stiltons.. But things have changed much after his meeting Ken Spillman, something akin to Advaita’s tete-a-tete. Vyas is now reading Ruskin Bond and we both have sulked enough about not having met the author, Ruskin Bond, when we had been to Mussoorie just last May! We attribute it to our poor GK! Vyas, much like Advaita, cherished a vague notion about book authors like Ruskin Bond belonging to a different planet, not from our present, not contemporary πŸ™‚ But then, we are pretty thrilled about having met another wonderful author, Ken Spillman!

Pics credit: Spring & Zoom

In Bon Bibi’s Forest


The boys and I were lucky to meet three stars on one platform- author Sandhya Rao, illustrator Proiti Roy, and the super story-teller Craig Jenkins. Spring & Zoom (where Vyas attends a workshop), had arranged the event and Vyas and I were looking forward to it.

It was a work-day evening and I had to literally rush home to pick up the two boys and hit the venue in time, and we almost made it. Craig Jenkins had begun his story-telling of Ramayana and we missed the first 10 mins:( We got to listen to the story of Bon Bibi fully. His voice and actions had the kids and adults hooked till the end! So much that Varun and his friend Shruti (from his play school) were paying attention too without fidgeting, and what’s more, Varun was having a ball imitating the actions by Craig which included making a face like ‘Dokkhin Rai’, grunting like one, and also threatening to tear me with the imaginary claws:)

It was a treat to say Hi! to Sandhya Rao and Vyas was super excited to get his copy of the book autographed by Sandhya, Proity, and Craig:) Chrishelle David from Tulika was around over-seeing the proceedings. Varun did a ‘Hi’ and hi-five to Craig and then followed a ruckus.. He wanted the tea that Craig was having and wouldn’t end the tantrum even after reaching home.. Before the others got to judge my poor parenting of initiating a child into the ‘tea-habit’, I scooted out of the venue with Vyas in tow! But all that was after the event:)

The Event

The book launch was organzied by Binita & Gargi of Spring & Zoom, a Centre for Literary Arts, Chennai.

The Book

The Book

Title: In Bon Bibi’s Forest
Author: Sandhya Rao
Illustrator: Proity Roy
Publisher: Tulika

The story

Dokkhin Rai, a monster with striped skin, sharp claws and teeth, ready for the kill, terrorizes the settlements bordering Sundarban. The locals live in mortal fear of falling a prey to Dokkhin Rai’s hunger and anger. It is then that Bon Bibi, and her lost and found brother, Shah Jhongoli take it upon themselves to protect the people and other lives in the forest.. Why does Dokkhin Rai terrorize the people? Will he mend his ways? Are Bon Bibi and Shah Jhongoli successful in taming the wild monster? Read the story to find out more!

The kids and I have fallen in love with this book and the little one enjoys when it is read aloud to him:) What has caught our fancy is the names of the characters with a distinct Bangla touch. If Varun knows a monster, its only Dokkhin Rai now! With the lush forests of Sundarban as the back-drop, Sandhya Rao has doled out a beautiful mix of mythology and a message which the kids can relate to so well. The story is supported by brilliant illustrations by Proity. If you want to tell your kids about co-existence, environment conservation and mutual non-interference, this book is a great fit!

Read more about what inspired the story of Bob Bibi’s Forest on the Tulika’s blog here.

Pictures: Courtesy- Spring & Zoom