Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | August 20, 2013

Storylines festival

Last Sunday, we attended the day long Storylines festival in Auckland. The Storylines festival is organised by “The Storylines Children’s Literature Foundation”. As you would see in their website, this is a not-for-profit organisation that supports and promotes children’s literature in New Zealand.  Among its members are parents, families and grandparents, authors, illustrators, publishers, teachers, booksellers, librarians, budding writers and other professionals in the fields of reading, writing, publishing, and literacy. Our friends are actively involved in organising this festival which we as a family support.

The festival was organised over four levels of the Aotea Square event center and was well attended. There were a number of New Zealand authors, calligraphers, illustrators and book binders accessible to each and every visitor, showcasing their work. Selling books was far less important, in comparison to promoting reading, promoting drawing, handwriting, crafting and generally having fun. There were numerous fun-filled events for children as well.

It felt nice to be among so many people who genuinely love reading and everything associated to it. In such events, kids are given a free run – virtually they are allowed to get immersed in books, paper and pencils. The illustrators, calligraphers were accessible to the kids asking them about ideas and drawing them in front of them. Seeing their ideas being represented on paper in front of their eyes the kids were getting enthused too. In sections on book printing and binding, the kids were also encouraged to actually operate a small printing press and learn how to bind a book.  It was brilliant to say the least.

As I said, definitely business was one of the objectives of the event but then it was one among much broader objectives of promoting reading. Hence, lot of free books, balloons, colour pencils, colouring books etc were given to the kids who visited the place.

It was an enriching experience and we have already decided to volunteer our services in the next year’s event.

Finally, we met with Dame Lynley Dodd at the event who is one of the most prominent authors of Children’s books in this country. We are big fan of her work especially children picture books on Hairy Maclary – a fictional dog.

 

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