Children’s Literature in India: Growing Pains


by Sandhya Rao and Radhika Menon, Editora, Tulika Publishers

What do we mean by Indian-ness? And in children’s books? A strongly visual quality, for one. Indian storytelling comes in verbal and nonverbal flavours. There are proverbs, riddles, jokes, lullabies, folk tales, family stories, songs, ballads, hero tales, epics, narratives in prose and verse, dances and games, kolams and torans, wall paintings, painted scrolls, toys, craft objects made of stone, metal, terracotta, grass and so on, street theatre, acrobatic tricks, yoga, magic, meditation, all-night theatre and other-world experiences — all these weave in and out of life in India everywhere. Not for the Indian consciousness the separation into areas of activity and endeavour: art, science, religion, economics, music, learning, everything coalesces into one and is expressed as one.
What better way can there be of expressing Indian-ness in children’s books than by a natural progression of growth, of a continuum of tradition? Other cultures have shown the way, shown how to use the wealth of verbal and nonverbal material, to transform it and to pass it on in new and continuing ways.

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About G...

Evolving and revolving! Douglas Adams & Woody Allen are my soul mates from another era. My quirkiness is an eclectic mix of Jess (New Girl), Dharma and Carrie Bradshaw. Sharing my birthday with Paulo Coelho & Stephen Fry, i'm always reading a book and enjoy having engaging conversations about life and love. I take children, wit and play seriously, very seriously. I'm a renaissance soul who enjoys yoga, vodka with cranberry and doodling. Working in the field of Education and Story-telling, there are only two things i look forward to: Knowing myself and Everything that matters!

2 responses »

    • Hi Malar, I have recently developed an interest in reading children’s literature. i also am impressed with Tulika a lot. Will soon buy a couple of Tulika books for myself. I do keep checking Tulika’s books on a regular basis.

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