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Ayushi Agarwal

IWB Blogger

Bookaroo: Sandhya Rao’s Poetry Captures Children’s Hearts!

  • IWB Post
  •  May 4, 2016


For the first time, Jaipur hosted Bookaroo, a literature festival for children at Jawahar Kala Kendra on April 30 and May 1. It was the second day of this amazingly thought-out event, and we were fortunate enough to witness an ever-increasing level of enthusiasm among small children and parents towards books and stories live!

After Ajay Dasgupta and Rituparna Ghosh’s’ sessions, which were filled with the uber-interesting stories, it was time for Sandhya Rao to belt out some of her poetry!


She read aloud from her latest book ‘Okaasama Otousama, a joyful tribute to multilingualism that says Mother and Father in 18 different languages – from Japanese to Kikuyu, Spanish to Finnish, Tulu to Tagalo!


The phonetics of these different languages entertained the children to no end. They repeated all the words after Sandhya and gleefully laughed along with her! Before the children knew it, they were reciting poems in Konkani, Marathi, and what not!

The entire arena of the “Kahaani Tree” was brimming with excitement, enthusiasm, and energy.

About Sandhya Rao

Sandhya Rao belongs to the premium class of children book writers. She has written more than 20 books, out of which ‘My Friend the Sea’ won the Ambitious Children’s Book Project award at the Berlin Children and Youth Literature Festival, 2005. ‘My Mother’s Sari’ was chosen as an Outstanding International Book, 2007, by the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) and the Children’s Book Council.

JWB grabbed this opportunity to know more about this talented writer with both hands.


Her life

“I started out as a journalist, but I always had a keen interest in books. As a child, I read a lot and so did my mother. I was working with the ‘Indian Express’ when a dear friend of mine decided to start her own publishing house. Hence, started my journey as a children’s book writer!”

Hard-core journalism or writing children’s books?

“Everybody should pursue that career field which rings true to them. Something which comes directly from the heart. As long as I’m writing, I’m happy with whatever!”


Her books

“I can get inspired from anything and take it up as a topic for my books. The language in my books ultimately depends on upon the age group for which I’m writing!”

Bookaroo was truly a surreal experience!

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