On 22 December 2010, Karadi Tales conducted a storytelling session at Landmark at Citi Centre in Chennai. Malavika P. C., illustrator of the four mouse stories, conducted the session and had the kids in splits!
The illustrations also show lots of details of Indian village life, especially the way the people dress and carry out their daily jobs. We loved getting this wonderful book from Sandhya and her daughter and the story made us smile. My eldest son, who is a budding fisherman, appreciated the way the rumour got more and more elaborate as the tale was retold (just the way that fish get bigger as you tell people about your fishing trip).
Have you ever heard of a book swap? Here's how it works: you send me a book that you think I'll like and I send you a book that I think you'll like - and then we talk about both the books! Pretty simple, right? Well, here's a very interesting international book swap that happened with one of our very own Karadi Tales titles!
Artnavy sent usLittle Vinayak, by Shobha Viswanath and illustrated by Shilpa Ranade. As a special bonus, the book contained a wonderful CD audiobook read by Vidya Balan and with music by 3 Brothers & A Violin.Little Vinayakis the story of a small elephant who is frustrated because he constantly trips over his trunk. His friends and other jungle inhabitants try to help him fix his problem until a wise old elephant, Tembo, teaches him how to walk and swing his trunk so it doesn't get in his way. It's a book that is about learning to be comfortable in your own skin, a message I think we all (yes, even adults!) need to be reminded of once in awhile.
Recently, we worked on creating a book on the Royal Bengal Tiger. Author Anshumani Ruddra wrote a beautiful story about a Bengal tiger who escapes from the Sundarbans into Tibet and is taken in by a kindly group of monks. But this tiger is particularly unusual because he has only two stripes on his body. One morning, when a third stripe appears on his body, the monks investigate... and they're shocked by what they find. This is the story of Dorje's Stripes.
Illustrated beautifully and vividly in striking water colours by Korean artists, Gwangjo and Jung-a Park, Dorje's Stripes is not just a beautiful story - it is a real work of art.
We showed the book to some conservationists, and here's what they had to say about this gorgeous book:
Dorje’s Stripes is a moving tale that touches the heart. The exquisite watercolour illustrations complement the text, creating a work of art that is a joy to see and read. At a time when wild tigers are disappearing due to human greed and callousness, this small book reminds us of our humanity - and our responsibility towards the magnificent creatures that share our planet.
Valmik Thapar, natural historian and conservationist and one of India's foremost tiger experts, writes:
Dorje's Stripes is lovely. It is great for children to absorb both the tragedy of the tiger and a glimpse of hope... beautiful illustrations and an enchanting story - a must read for all!
We also received extremely positive response on this book from the international market at Frankfurt this year. And by spring 2011, this beautiful book will be available in the USA, Canada, the Philippines and some parts of Latin America through Kane/Miller Book Publishers.
The book will also be available soon in Indonesia through Kid Classic Publishers as an Indonesian-English bilingual edition. We'll keep you posted on this edition.
We're hoping for this book to travel soon to all parts of the world, because we believe it is important for all children to learn about and understand the value of one of the most beautiful creatures in our planet.
This book will soon be available from us in India. Watch out for it!
Someone recently sent us this video of a child watching ‘Eid is Here’ from Karadi Rhymes on his father’s phone. His mother refuses to believe that the hyperactive child can sit without being distracted. So she keeps trying to distract him. But the boy’s attention never wavers from the video and the rhyme.
You know how a rumour spreads from person to person? Well, now it looks like The Rumour from Karadi Tales is spreading from country to country!
That's right. This hilarious story written by Anushka Ravishankar and illustrated by Kanyika Kini is now travelling to Korea! Earlier, we showed you the Korean editions of The Lizard's Tail and When the Earth Lost its Shapes, both of which are published in Korea by Maeng & Aeng Publishers. Now, take a look at the Korean edition of The Rumour with its bold yellow cover and charming cover artwork.
We're very excited to have our books travel to other countries and to other languages. We love knowing that children from all parts of the world get to read these beautiful Indian stories.
Oh, and here's a secret... The Rumour will soon be published in English in Canada and the USA by Tundra Books, a Toronto-based publisher of picture books from around the world. We'll keep you posted on this edition.
In October 2010, Shobha Viswanth and Manasi Subramaniam represented Karadi Tales at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2010. Here's a quick report!
In Germany for the Frankfurt Book Fair 2010 earlier this month, we experienced a very unique sort of joy: the joy of showing off our wonderful collection of picture books to people from all over the world. We felt like happy parents, ridiculously enthusiastic and relentlessly pushy, beaming with the kind of sublime pride that can only come from ownership, every time someone paid our books a compliment.
But before we get caught up in that, here's a quick recap of our six wonderful days at Frankfurt.
We left Chennai at an ungodly hour on the night of 4 Octiber and arrived in Frankfurt early the next morning, completely sleep-deprived, but very excited. Not wanting to lose any time, we checked into our hotel and headed straight for the messe (the fair grounds), lugging strolleys and backpacks filled with books and catalogues. Right away, we should warn you: nothing can prepare the uninitiated for the overwhelming largeness of the messe. Buzzing with people, shops and even buses that transport people from one hall to another, it is busy, packed and just alarmingly huge.
We located our stand (Hall 6.0 Row E Stand 922), conveniently placed in the Indian Pavilion, right opposite a cafe and right next to the clients' lounge, and began to set up our shelves and books. With our books lined up against the wall, our stand looked colourful and inviting, but something was missing and we simply couldn't put our finger on it... And then, we realised what it was - the stand needed a plant to breathe some life into it! So off we went to buy a flowering pot. How it livened our stand up!
Once we were set, we began to explore the messe. We dropped in on our neighbours, visited other halls and simply took the whole place in (and what a lot there was to take in!).
That evening, we explored the city of Frankfurt, ate a quiet dinner and slept our jetlag away!
The next day was the first day at the fair - and our schedules were full with appointments every half hour from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM - and a dinner appointment afterwards! The messe was simply swarming with publishers busily rushing from meetings to seminars, from conferences to discussions. Our own appointments kept us completely occupied, with hardly any time at all to take in the books that surrounded us. Several of our meetings were at our own stand, while a few were at the stands of other publishers.
Of course, getting from one hall to another is a time-consuming process, especially if you're constantly finding that beautiful books beckon you every time you go past them! But everyone at Frankfurt has a busy schedule - and no one's going to wait for dreamy-eyed book-lovers, so we rushed, of course, to make it everywhere in time. Another tip for the uninitiated: Don't carry fancy, formal, pointy-toed, high-heeled boots to Frankfurt, no matter how gorgeous they look!
Somehow, at the end of the day, we finally managed to make it (with a trusty road-map to guide us) to our dinner meeting at a Thai restaurant near the city centre. It's almost sinful how delicious food and wine can soothe weary hearts and legs! Tired, but very happy, we returned for a good night's sleep.
The days that followed were no different. Publishers from Germany, France, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, Egypt, Italy, the UAE, the USA, the UK and several other parts of the world trooped into our stand constantly. We alternated appointments between ourselves, often having to take two appointments simultaneously when we were double-booked, and occasionally able to relieve each other from manning the stand. The cafe came in handy when our stand became too crowded with publishers! Translators, illustrators and even book-lovers would drop in on a regular basis when our colourful books caught their eyes and sparked their interests.
We scarcely found the time to grab ourselves a quick bite to eat, although Ranjith Singh, our amiable dabba-wallah, armed with packed thaalis of North Indian khana, dropped off a delicious box-lunch at our stand everyday. Reviving ourselves with regular cups of coffee and tea from our wonderful cafe, we forged right ahead, thoroughly enjoying the prospect of having our days so filled with the books we so love. Our evenings were often occupied with cocktail receptions and parties hosted by various organisations, where the publishing world would get together to loosen ties, relax and unwind after a long day.
We participated in seminars and discussion groups organised by the German Book Office, including a matchmaking session between Indian and Argentine publishers, meeting with a delegation of South Asian librarians and a guided book tour of German children's publishers. One evening, Shobha spoke at a seminar on glimpses of the Indian publishing industry in a panel discussion with German publisher, Renate Reichstein of Verlagsgruppe Oetinger. Her talk was extremely well-received, especially when she regaled the participants with a hilarious storytelling session of Monkeys on a Fast.
By the last day, we were thoroughly exhausted, but delighted with the interest that our books generated from all parts of the world. We were completely out of catalogues and books and had an empty stand to look after - empty except, of course, for our beautiful flowering plant! Leaving the plant as a gift to the wonderful lady who managed the cafe that kept us alive, clutching our beloved appointment diaries and schedules, we said 'Auf wiedersehen' to the messe and returned, almost forlornly, to our hotel rooms for one final night in Frankfurt.
At Karadi Tales, we get a lot of queries from writers and illustrators who want to work with us. And we're always keen to explore these possibilities. But the volume of queries we receive can be quite overwhelming for our editorial team sometimes. Replying indvidually and making sure we have everything we need gets to be time-consuming - for us and for you.
We're proud and delighted to announce that the first batch of Karadi Tales AfterSchool has graduated! Our warmest congratulations to all the Karadi kids and teachers at Sunny Smiles, our AfterSchool centre located in Navi Mumbai.
Ms. Pratima Rao and the kids of Sunny Smiles
Ms. Pratima Rao, who runs the AfterSchool programme at Sunny Smiles, sent us this wonderful email describing the convocation ceremony :-). Had to share it with all of you!
" Here is the email giving details of the convocation ceremony we had on 10th September 2010 to formally conclude the Level 1 Programme of Super Story.
The programme was held at the Navi Mumbai Kannada Sangha Hall in sector 9A, Vashi. We used two home-made canvas backdrops, one showing a jungle scene and the other showing a water scene.
The programme started with a prayer and then a welcome speech. The 12 children danced to the Karadi Welcome Song, wearing various masks of animals and carrying placards of Karadi Tales After School. Then, we had a little miming to the story 'Bablu and the Mouse'. While Pranav and Adhya became Bablu and the mouse, the rest of the children were squirrels, bees, ants and sugarcane stalks.
'The Lizard's Tail' was a reading session. The children wore masks of the various animals while reading their own part. Then we demonstrated the 'Zip-Zap - My Tail is Gone' game. We only did the songs of Little Vinayak while Pratima sang, the children danced.
Then, with the water scene backdrop, we did an activity which we had not done earlier. While fish cut-outs were placed on a cardboard, children took turns to blow bubbles onto the aquarium scenery. If you remember, this was one of the sample lessons you had sent to us before we joined you as a franchisee.
'Fish Friends Three' was again mimed while the CD was played. Four children did the roles of the fishes and fisherman while the rest of the children did the singing of the songs. Our children invited other children to join them by singing the song 'Will You Read With Me?'
At the end of the programme, certificates were given away to all the children. "
A big thank you to Ms. Pratima Rao for her email and the photographs. If you wish to contact Sunny Smiles, dial 022 27820406.
And for more details on the Karadi Tales AfterSchool programme, click here.
Somebody sent us the picture below recently... We have no idea who this little bundle of joy is, but we're sort of in love with him.
So here's what we're thinking. Send us a picture of a child reading a Karadi Tales book. It could be any child - your child, your neighbour's child, a random kid on a bus, doesn't matter. We still think it's cute!
We're going to make a lovely little collection to put up on our blog. And if you send us a really nice picture, we might just decide to be really nice to you! (Yes, this is a bribe.)
Okay? So send us the pictures - add them on Facebook and send us the link, tweet it to us or just attach it and send it as an email.
Yes. We know. The cuteness just might kill us. But we think it's worth it. :-)
'The books have companion CDs and the poems are recited by stage actors - Naseeruddin Shah, Gareth Armstrong, Shernaz Patel and Dhritiman Chaterji. It is an attempt to "resurrect the power of spoken poetry bringing back to life sheer pleasure of listening to verse" and what a pleasure it is!! Listening to poetry is a unique experience and must not be missed when the poems are such gems and the performers are of international fame and repute.'
'When I read the book to my kids, I couldn't help but be influenced by Vidya Balan's gentle, warm, and cheerful presentation as I tried to recreate the magic, minus the songs and sound effects. The inviting Will You Read With Me? sets the tone for this series that helps children read-along as they listen to the CD. The Lizard's Tail together with Little Vinayak have become a recent favorite in our household.'
Our mouse has certainly been making the news in recent times. Read these two reviews to know more about the Mouse Stories!
The Hindu writes:
'Theatre company Evam deserves appreciation for its professionalism in picking the right voices for the stories. Karthik Kumar, narrator, has done a commendable job, conscious of the young minds for whom the work has been conceived. Music casts a spell on the listener, who experiences the mood, setting and characters brought to life by Anil Srinivasan's customary magic on the senses, while the bright and beautiful illustrations by Malavika P.C. draws upon one's attention to participate in the art of reading. Writers Shobha Viswanath, Lavanya R.N. and Pankaja Srinivasan have done their part to add a twist to each tale. Quite an entertaining work from Karadi yet again.'
A review of Kaka and the Mouse on Saffron Tree says:
'The music is lovely and the narration sounds very Indian- English. Easy to relate to and to follow. The illustrations, the colours are dramatic and very energetic. The crow with its toucan like beak is very expressive indeed. The fonts are engaging, filled with onomatopoeiac words, often adding a sense of drama, making for easy and enjoyable reading.'
We don't really want our kids falling asleep to depressing lullabies like 'Rock-a-by Baby', do we? Lines like 'When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. Down will come baby, cradle and all!' are just plain cruel! Especially when we have a treasure trove of beautiful lullabies in Indian languages that celebrate babyhood in all its glory!
That's why we're looking for lullabies! We know you loved Karadi Rhymes, and we're working on a book of Karadi Lullabies just for you! We've put together lullabies in various languages - Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Malayalam, Manipuri, Assamese etc., but we're greedy for more!
So if you remember any lullabies from your childhood (or your adulthood!), send us the words and a translation. If you can sing it, that's even better. Send us an MP3 file. We want as many beautiful Indian lullabies as possible for this audiobook. Won't you help us?
Leave a comment on this post or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if there's a lullaby you want us to include.
A lot of thought goes into the development of any Karadi Tales audiobook. The books use a scientific combination of phonetic words and sight words to increase the child’s vocabulary. A conscious attempt is made to marry word, picture and sound, making it easy for your child to grasp the meaning of unfamiliar phrases. Concepts are woven into the stories and characters. The ‘book and CD’ format is a proven tool that enhances listening skills, reading skills, language skills and attention span.
Still, what struck us as we worked with children was the fact that perhaps these audiobooks were not being used to their fullest potential. While some learning objectives are effectively met merely by the process of listening and reading along, we realized that there was much more that could be done – so much more.
Around this time, we began working with educationists, artists, musicians and theatre professionals to fully explore and realise the potential of these books. An inherent spirit to create tangible expressions using the media of art, theatre, music and storytelling exists within each child. What we wanted to develop was an opportunity for the children to work with skills that they may already have to execute these expressions in a fashion that they might not have had the chance to before.
We found that when we played little games and tried out small exercises built around these stories, an extraordinary spirit rose in these children – they displayed a sense of ownership with the stories and began to use their imagination in unexpected ways. The result was heartwarming – and it was certainly gratifying.
Thus was born Karadi Tales AfterSchool. Developed by experts in the fields of education and the arts, Karadi Tales AfterSchool seeks to offer parents a unique and refreshing option for their children’s all-round development.
SuperStory is our flagship AfterSchool programme. This compact, power-packed programme is structured across 32 entertaining, one-hour sessions and uses storytelling as a powerful tool. The programme is designed to help the child develop an appreciation for creative expression, overcome her inhibitions and become expressive and articulate. The idea is to build a foundation for life-long learning and achievement. And it’s so much fun!
Maureen ByrnesLanguage development, for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Daily reading has greatly improved my son's speech in a way that TV and video could never do. Seeing the written words and connecting the sounds has been crucial for him. Generally speaking though, I don't believe that TV/Video can develop a child's imagination in the same way that books can. My children enjoy visualising the stories they read and creating their own stories, as a result. They are also excellent spellers and have a broad vocabulary, because of the extensive reading they do.
Vidya Sridharan-BalajeReading enriches kids lives. Reading to my kids have helped them become young readers. But, i dont completely agree with the quote that "Television does not let you think, it thinks for you". I think right amount of t.v time with right set of programs can actually be a positive influence on children.
Cp Viswanath"Television does not let you think. It thinks for you. Television does not let you feel. It feels for you." the great violinist Isaac Stern makes a telly-ing point
At a recent interview on a television channel, I talked about the importance of nurturing the reading habit. At the end of the programme, the producer of the show asked me if I really believed what I said. His point was this - when television and videos can communicate information or ideas more comprehensively through words and visuals, why are we so hung up on the written word.
I gave several arguments to support my point but I am not sure that he was convinced. So shall we try and find 10 clear reasons why a child should read. Or should we aim for a 100 reasons? I throw the field open to all of you to come up with reasons.
And now, we're wondering if you all can help us come up with 10 or 100 or even 1000 reasons why children should read! Can you help us?
Pratham Books has come up with some fabulous reasons of their own! Check it out here.
We're also having a raging discussion on the subject on Twitter! Come join our discussion!
Our friends at Evam blog about their experiences with the Mouse Stories once again. This time, Sunil Vishnu K., CEO at Evam, talks about his own personal experiences dealing with all the people who came together to make this series happen - and it sounds like he had a ball!
Rupa Raman is a mom and a blogger. At Baby Loves Books, she writes about the wonders that can be brought about by the simple act of reading to your child. Her writing is beautiful and balanced - and we've been fans of her blog for ages.
She writes about her experiences with audiobooks from Karadi Tales. She says: 'Whatever it is that Karadi put into its CDs, it sure makes for some very rapt listening on the part of my almost 4-year-old. And I can tell you from the way she observes each sound, word and note, and from the fact that she asks for each CD to be played at least twice in succession, that Karadi Tales is going to be a staple in our home for quite a while.'
Thanks, Rupa! We're thrilled to hear that Baby loves Karadi Tales!
Asha Balakrishnan is another Karadi mom. She blogs at Asha's musings and ramblings. Asha writes interesting notes from Bangalore about anything that strikes her fancy. Her blog is funny, charming and brilliantly anecdotal.
In her latest blog post, she writes about her son and her daughter (Shre and Shar), who grew up reading Karadi Tales and now consider it the best possible gift for any child.
Asha says: 'In today's world of nuclear families, where children don't have the luxury and warmth of the story telling sessions of their grand parents, Karadi tales plays a great role in educating tender minds with Indian heritage,culture and folk tales.'
Thank you, Asha! Karadi wants to give you, Shre and Shar a bear hug!
Parents like Rupa and Asha fill our hearts with joy and help us realise why we do what we do. The experience is both humbling and gratifying.
Ok! Boys and girls! Here is the lateshht from evam … introducing our new friend to all of you – “the mouse”… and please don’t mistake him for an ordinary mouse… though this friend of ours may seem like a “mouse next door” but get closer to him and you will get to know all about his “Indiana Jones” kind of fun adventures. We met him last year .when he was introduced to us by our dear friend karadi and soon became the thickest of buddies! Infact, we had so much fun listening to his adventures that we decided to actually help bring his exploits to all of you!!
Karadi tales came up with the idea of telling his stories in the form of audio books and evam said “Squeak!! Of course!” with a huge smile which went from ear to ear!
So a lot of people got together…
The Karadi Tales team of writers Shobha Viswanath, Lavanya R. N. and Pankaja Srinivasan, Illustrator Malavika PC and the evam team consisting of musical genius Anil Srinivasan, the talented Vedant Bharadwaj, actors Sunil, Kalyani and finally our narrator Karthik Kumar! And lo behold we had 4 exciting fun filled stories ready!!
When there's a mouse in your house, what do you do?
a) Call the exterminator?
b) Set a mouse trap?
c) Start reading!
When our mouse is in your house, we suggest option c!
We have 4 absolutely fabulous new stories for you - the mouse stories! The Mouse Stories feature an extremely wily and unusual protagonist- a tiny mouse! Spunky, witty and with a knack for getting into trouble, out little hero is sure to tickle you pink in these 4 laugh-out-loud stories.
Brought alive with rich music by internationally renowned pianist Anil Srinivasan, these stories have a dramatic narrative with voices from vibrant theatre company Evam. Vivid illustrations by talented artist Malavika P. C. add to the hilarity of these 4 stories written and adapted by Shobha Viswanath, Lavanya R. N. and Pankaja Srinivasan.
Guess what! We have great news! Anil Srinivasan, music director for The Mouse Stories, has been awarded the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Award for Creative and Experimental Music (2009) by the Sangeet Natak Akademi (Republic of India)! See award details here! Many many congratulations to Anil!