Ekya Book Nook’s first virtual literary fest began with the inaugural ceremony at 2 pm on 21st December 2020. The session began with a couple of prayer songs in English and Hindi respectively; this was followed by a student speech on experiences at Book Nook. The highlight of the event was the guest speakers who took time off to be at the fest. Ms. Varsha Seshan spoke on the importance of cultivating a reading habit, Ms. Anushka Ravishankar addressed student writers and encouraged them to write as much as they can. Mr. Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, one of the Founders of the Bangalore Literature Festival shared his views on the importance of literary fests for children. The Chief Guest, Dr. Sabitha Ramamurthy addressed the gathering and shared her views on the significance of reading and the advances in technology that has given us ease of access to books.

The second part of the fest consisted of four sessions that happened parallelly between 3:00-3:45 pm for the four separate sections- pre-primary, primary, middle, and senior school.
The pre-primary session was conducted by Ms. Renu Chamarthy, a professional Storyteller and Creative Puppeteer. The session was streamed live on our social media platforms. Ms. Renu did a warm-up activity and prepped the students by singing a song. She narrated the story ‘Crocodile and Monkey’ from Panchatantra Tales using props and puppets.

Ms. Asha Nehemiah was the speaker at the Primary session, she is a children’s author and has written picture books, chapter books, short stories, and mystery novels for children of all ages. about her latest release, ‘The Grand Chapathi Contest.’ She narrated the story to the students. She also read out a poem ‘Roll, roll, roll the chapati’ based on the story and later asked the students to write the poem and add new words to it. The students participated in the activity with great enthusiasm.

Mr. Arjun Talwar facilitated the session for middle schoolers. The author spoke about his book “Bim and the town of falling fruits”. He read the first chapter of the book. He showed illustrations in the book. Ms. Anushka Ravishankar was the speaker at the Senior school session and she spoke about her latest book called, ‘Ogd’. She also spoke about her books and what it is like to write nonsense verse.

The third part of the session was held between 4:00-4:45 pm as four separate sessions. The pre-primary session was facilitated by Ms. Subadhra G K, who brought forth an ancient art form of story narration, puppetry, to animate and communicate an amusing story titled, “Elephant lost his tale”. In this story, students explored the importance of friendship and how to be helpful to others. This was followed by a show and tell competition wherein students had to showcase their favorite book and speak about it.

The Primary session was conducted by Ms. Megha Gupta has authored articles for TerraGreen, Careers360, and The Hindu and she has contributed to WWF-India’s One Planet Academy. Ms. Megha works in children’s publishing and ‘Unearthed is her third book. She illustrated a story of India and our environment from 1947. She spoke about movements like Hugging trees and Save the Seeds. She also threw light on how development added to the environmental problem. She showed a short promo video of her upcoming book ‘Unearthed’. She conducted a fun quiz ‘Guess the Name’. Students participated very well during the quiz and they thoroughly enjoyed her session.

Students thoroughly enjoyed participating in these interactions and contributed with vibrant and fun-filled conversations.

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