When I was five, I was baffled to open a wrapped gift under the Christmas 🎄 🎅 had offered me,my first children’s book ‘Toto et Titi’. The black and white pictures were amazing. I started to dream of a color picture book and a story about little girls, birds, flowers and fruits. I entertained a thought about a witch too! In those days, when we were a British colony, often there was no electricity in the night and children slept in their mother’s lap,listening to stories of beautiful princesses and ugly witches. No wonder, now a mother and a grandmother too, I have written a story book for children, illustrated with pretty, color pictures. The Princess and the Crow will make the perfect Christmas gift for a child if you, my friend and reader, is looking for a lovely book to offer this Christmas 🎄 Published by Austin Macauley Publishers London earlier this year, the book is available for purchase worldwide on Amazon.
A child with a toy dreams,
A child with a book travels.
Photo credit -Rekha Dookna
In the picture, Malachi and Kayla are reading the story book ‘The Princess and the Crow’. They are the grandchildren of Rekha and Jam Dookna. Their grandparents are born in Mauritius Island. They are now settled in Stratford, London. Their father, Kiran is born,educated and married in England. The kids have not yet traveled to Mauritius or to any other part of the world.
They are discovering an island surrounded by the sea for the first time. They learn that children born on an island have darker skin, that tropical birds, fruits and flowers are different.
Rekha babysits with the kids on school holidays. She gives them books to read instead of a remote control to watch tv.
Reading books helps children to learn about the world around them,broaden their imagination,vision and knowledge. It also awakens their love and compassion for others.
Education begins at home.
I was happy to learn that I sold the first copy of my children’s book,The Princess and the Crow,within few days it was put for sale on the online store Amazon.
The customer lives in Parlika, a village in Rajasthan, known as the birth place of Hindi poetry writers and shayari composers .
In the picture below, children are reading at home. Home is where education begins. When we teach our children to read and write, we open their eyes to the beautiful people and things in the whole world around them.
The second picture is that of the Noble Prize Winner of Literature in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore.
‘The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.’ Rabindranath Tagore
2 APRIL is a very important date for writers of children ‘s books. So it is for me, a debut writer of children’s books.
Since 1967,on or about Hans Christian Anderson’s birthday ,2 April, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire the love of books in children and to call attention to children’s books.
Activities on this special day include writing competitions,announcements of books awards and events of children’s literature.
Parents are encouraged to read to their children at home, to stimulate their love of books for children, to encourage literacy and arouse the growth of their imagination.
My readers may call this a coincidence but I did receive by courier from Austin Macauley Publishers London the author’s copies of my newly released children’s book on the 2 April.
The Princess and the Crow was officially published on 29 March.
See book trailer below
One may wonder how does the writer’s mind work. How can he focus both on writing a story for children and simultaneously pen down about love, passion, disloyalty ,break ups, happiness, joy, sadness et al, which makes up a collection of love poems for adults. The answer is as simple as this, writing can be compared to cooking. You give a good cook a bag of grocery and he will make you a fantastic meal!
From my early childhood, I am a book person, or a book worm ,if you prefer. I hate to go to school though and prefer to sit down in a corner, to dream and to play at imaginary games.
My eldest sister, Romila started schooling at 5. I was only three years old then. My Papa bought Romila her first book. I still remember clearly the name of the book, its color, white with black and brown images on the front cover and on the pages. The title of the book was ‘TOTO ET LILI’. A book written by Augé in French. Romila was overjoyed with her book. I asked to touch, to hold and to smell the book. I fell in love with books! It was love at first sight. I can still smell, after numerous decades past, the heartwarming odour of a new book as it penetrated my young nostrils on that memorable day.
In no way was I motivated to go to school! I loved the book, the words, the images. They had the power to journey me into wonderland. I was Toto, smoking his pipe. I was Lili, laughing.
My Papa was delighted to observe my interest in books. He offered me my first illustrative story book for my birthday.
As I grew up, I loved to imagine stories about animals, children, ghosts and fairies and to relate them to my younger siblings, cousins and other children. I kept this habit after I was married and had children. In turn, I invented magic stories to tell to my children at bed time and any time that called for a fantasy story. Years after, I gathered new listeners around me. My grandchildren became very fond of my fables .I started to pen down these stories and to store them in my computer.
However, after I published my first poetry book, Soul Poetry, in 2015, my son succeeded in convincing me to write a story book for children. He believes that my stories have the potentials to stimulate the imagination, the curiosity and the love for reading of children of all ages. From a good story teller, his dream is to see his mom as a good story writer!
My first illustrative children book which is dedicated to all the children of the world will be released soon.
Wish me luck, dear readers and bloggers!