Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Storytelling Event at San Jose

Diwali celebrations began early for a group of children at San Jose, thanks to Roopa Suresh who organised an evening of Karadi stories, dance and craft at the San Jose Library. Here's a video clip from the event, watch Roopa perform to a song from Hanuman The Mighty.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Recording with Manna Dey

Our Creative Director and one-third of the band 3 Brothers & A Violin, Narayan Parasuram writes a lovely little note about working with Manna Dey.

It took me several attempts to meet Manna Dey during the creation of Bandar Bindaas Bandar - not that it was difficult to reach him but simply because he could not understand why even a nondescript music director would want to record a song with him (he was 82 then). When I finally met him in his house, he commanded me in his most endearing baritone: "Woh udhar harmonium hai, gaana sunao". Just as I was finishing, he picked up the phone and made a call. From the conversation, I realised, to my surprise, that he was speaking with Yesudas. He spoke to Yesudas about the song, about Karadi Tales...as if he knew us intimately for a long long time. He convinced Yesudas to sing the song and told me, "Das koyeh gaana cassette mein bhejo, woh gaayega". Much to my own surprise, I found myself telling him, "Sir, if I wanted Yesudas to sing, I would have done so myself, I want you to sing this song". Surprised at this blunt response, he told me that I would have to come to his home and rehearse the song for atleast a week. That one week where I was supposed to teach him this song, was one of the greatest learning experiences for me. 

On the day of the recording, he refused my offer of a car and came in an autorickshaw to Rainbow Studio, bang on time without any assistant or sidekicks. He recorded the song in continuous takes,refused to punch in corrections and insisted on singing the song seamlessly from the beginning to the end. We spent more than 5 hours recording this seemingly simple "song for children" along with Gulzar who had written it. 

'Nadiyaan Mein Paani' is one of the many testimonies to the absolute imaandari to "sur" that Manna Dey embodied. 

Listen to Manna Dey's 'Nadiyaan Mein Paani' here - https://soundcloud.com/karadi-bear/nadiyan-mein-paani-manna-dey

RIP Manna Dey

We learnt of the death of the veteran singer, Manna Dey earlier today and we couldn't help but think of the lovely 'Nadiya Mein Paani' that he sang for one of our Karadi Katha titles, Raja Kapi. To listen to this lilting melody written by the renowned poet and Hindi lyricist, Gulzar, click here. RIP Manna Dey Saab, your voice will live on.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rachel's Reviews

Eight-year-old Rachel reviews some of our titles for the San Francisco Book Review. Here's what she has to say about The Story and the Song: "I like this book because it had very pretty pictures and it was really nice to listen to. I like the story (and the song!); I think it is fun that stories get told, so they aren’t forgotten." 

And about Revenge of the Puppets: "I thought this book was very interesting because the pictures were so pretty with all their colors. I liked this book a lot. It was interesting to think about the puppets having feelings, and it was good that the owners were able to make the old puppets look new again." 

And about The Mustache Man: "I liked the pictures; they were funny, but you couldn’t see his face. They were very twirly mustaches. I don’t really understand what this story means, but it’s funny to think about all the villagers with mustaches. I think it’s a good thing that they decided to share their secrets. I liked the book because the pictures were so funny."

And about...oh well, just click on these links to have a look at the entire reviews of some our extremely popular titles.

The Story and the Song by Manasi Subramaniam and Ayswarya Sankaranarayanan - http://citybookreview.com/the-story-and-the-song/

Revenge of the Puppets by Nadine D'Souza and Ayush Rajvanshi - http://citybookreview.com/revenge-of-the-puppets-karadi-tales/

The Mustache Man by Priya Ramanathan and Garima Gupta - http://citybookreview.com/the-mustache-man-karadi-tales/

Whose Lovely Child Can You Be? by Shobha Viswanath and Christine Tappin - http://citybookreview.com/whose-lovely-child-can-you-be-karadi-tales/

Tak-Tak! by Soumitra Ranade and Shilo Shiv Suleman - http://citybookreview.com/tak-tak-karadi-tales/

Monday, October 21, 2013

Meet Our Illustrators - Sadhvi Jawa

Who is Sadhvi Jawa, you ask? If you've picked up An Elephant in My Backyard, one of our newest titles, you'd know about this lovely lady and her work of art. If you haven't, head to the Karadi Tales website and place an order for the book right away! 

Sadhvi teaches at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology and is currently facilitating a 'textile livelihood project' in Drishya Kalika Kendra, a school for the urban poor. Besides teaching, and illustrating for books and websites, she blogs actively at www.pinkspool.blogspot.com.

Sadhvi loves to paint. Of course she does! Paints, brushes, threads, needles, fabric are her mediums of expression. She collects children's books because they make her grin like the Cheshire Cat. She also loves to carry her newly bought books with her everywhere she goes. She strongly believes in visuals and their ability to evoke a wide range of emotions.

She feels that children’s books are also meant for adults who in the process of growing up have forgotten to be a child. We agree with you on that one, Sadhvi!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Meet the Authors - Anushka Ravishankar

Anushka Ravishankar needs no introduction, does she? We all know that she is one of India's most well-loved children's writers and that she, along with Sayoni Basu, founded Duckbill Books. We also know that she is the head of SCBWI, India. Of course we know about her Karadi Tales books, don't we? The SABA-award-winning RumourThe Boy Who Drew Cats, which was listed in the White Ravens catalogue and The Monkeys and the Capseller? Here we have the acclaimed author talking to Karadi about, what else but, children's writing!

Karadi: What made you take up children’s writing? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a children’s writer?

Anushka: I often say that I started writing for children because I found so few Indian books for kids when I was looking for them, in the late eighties/early nineties. But that was probably the immediate motivating factor. The deeper reason, perhaps, is that I like children's books. I love reading them, so I guess that's why I like writing them. 
The advantage of writing for children is that you can jump from reality to fantasy and from sense to nonsense, and you know the reader will get it as well as you do. He/she will not frown and say, 'but what's the point of this?' 
The disadvantage is that in India, at least, no one takes you very seriously as a writer. It's like they're all waiting for you to grow up and start writing for adults. 

Karadi: Do you have to like children to be a good children’s author?

Anushka: I don't know what people mean when they ask me if I like children. No one ever asks adult writers if they like adults. I like some children, just as I like some adults. I'm not a people-hater and I'm not a child-hater, but I find that each child is an individual, and that's important for a children's writer to recognise. So in fact I would submit that if you 'like children' in a generic and not-thought-out way, you're likely to be a bad children's author, because you're trying to write to an amorphous mass called 'children' rather than to the particular child who is like you, which is the only child you can write for.  

Karadi: What do you like to read? What are your favourite children’s books? Who are your favourite authors?

Anushka: What I like to read depends on time, place and mood. So it could be anything from Georgette Heyer to Amartya Sen. My favourite children's books can take a few hours to list, so I'll just list the first five that come to mind: Hunting of the Snark, Skellig, Saffy's Angel, The Northern Lights, The Butter Battle Book. 
So the favourite authors follow: Lewis Carroll, David Almond, Hilary McKay, Philip Pullman, Dr Seuss. I'll add Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein.

Karadi: Do you follow a writing routine? How do you go about writing a story?

Anushka: I dislike routine, in life and in writing, so no, I don't follow a writing routine. I write in an eccentric, erratic way which I can't really describe. Much of the initial work happens in my head before I actually sit to write, I think. Not in any rational, organised way, but in a sense of there being something that will take shape when I start the actual process of writing. 

Karadi: What are you currently working on?

Anushka: I have some projects I need to complete - one picture book for Tara and the next book of the Zain & Ana series for Scholastic - but I have very little time, so I haven't written anything in a while.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Meet Our Illustrators - Shilpa Ranade

Greetings from Karadi Bear everyone! Starting today, we will be featuring profiles and interviews of Karadi illustrators and authors on our blog twice every week. Today, we want you to meet the immensely talented illustrator, animator and film director, Shilpa Ranade.

In case you didn’t know, she is the illustrator of two of our phizz-whizzing books, Monkeys on a Fast and Little Vinayak. While the rights of Monkeys on a Fast have been sold to the UK, Ireland, China and Denmark, Little Vinayak was selected as the Outstanding Title for Children with Disabilities by the International Board on Books for the Young earlier this year.

Apart from being a children’s book illustrator, Shilpa Ranade is also a film maker and an Associate Professor at the Industrial Design Centre at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Her most recent animation film, ‘The World of Goopi and Bagha’ (‘Goopi Gawaiyaa Bagha Bajaiyaa’) premiered at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival in September. The film is an adaptation of one of the most cherished Indian children’s classics, Upendrakishore Roy’ s Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne. Supported by the Children’s Film Society of India and featuring music by 3 Brothers & A Violin, the film features many twists and turns that aren't present in the original work. Here’s the link to the trailer of ‘Goopi Gawaiyaa Bagha Bajaiyaa’:

Karadi Bear simply can’t wait to watch Shilpa’s film!

While you are on YouTube, why don’t you also watch and enjoy a reading of the hilarious What? No Bananas?, the English version of Monkeys on a Fast?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Another Karadi in the Jungle!

Say hello to the newest member on our team, Nithya Sivashankar! 

Having completed an MA in Writing for Children at University of Central Lancashire, England, she joined us as Editor Karadi a week ago. Nithya spent four years in the company of bacteria and fungi before taking up feature writing for newspapers. For reasons unknown even to her, journalism rekindled in her love for children’s books, and two years later, she found herself in a small English town reading and writing about them. In between attending lectures and submitting essays, she went on literary pilgrimages to The Lake District (the magical world of Beatrix Potter), Oxford (to the colleges where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien taught, and to Christ Church meadows where Lewis Carroll spotted a (March) Hare and wrote Alice in Wonderland), the gorgeous Georgian town of Bath (to see the Regency Tea Rooms and Assembly Rooms that Jane Austen wrote about) and Edinburgh (where she spotted the graves of one Mr. McGonagall and a certain Thomas Riddle). She also met Paddington Bear at London Paddington, and said hello to The Gruffalo and its creator at New Castle. Now that she’s back in India and is on our team, we welcome her to be part of the wild rumpus in the Karadi jungle! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Wednesday Bazaar

Bela’s lost her Ma at the bazaar! Where could she have gone? With the help of a whole new host of friends including an intrepid goat and a man who walks on air, Bela sets off to find her Ma! Join Bela’s lively afternoon at the Wednesday bazaar in Neha Singh’s whimsical tale, rendered by Sonal Gupta in the jewel-toned hues of an Indian summer.

The Wednesday Bazaar is now available for purchase on our website. Click here to buy your copies!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's Bapuji's birthday!

Happy Gandhi Jayanthi, everyone! Celebrate the day by listening to Bapuji's favourite bhajan here - https://soundcloud.com/karadi-bear/vaishnava-janatho. Do not forget to pick up a copy of Karadi Tales' abridged version of Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography - The Story of My Experiments With Truth! The text is adapted by Anushka Ravishankar and Shobha Viswanath, and the art work is by Thotta Tharrani. The audiobook features the voices of Shekhar Kapur and Nandita Das, and music by 3 Brothers & A Violin. 

Karadi Bear

The Fox and the Crow reviewed by Uma Krishnaswami

Children’s author and teacher of writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Uma Krishnaswami reviews one of our hot-off-the-press titles, The Fox and the Crow on her blog, ‘Writing with a broken tusk’- http://umakrishnaswami.blogspot.in/2013/09/new-books-from-karadi-tales-aesop.html. This dark retelling of the popular Aesop’s fable written by Manasi Subramaniam and illustrated by Culpeo S. Fox is now available on our website.