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    R Amarendran’s latest children’s book mixes fun with some learning

    After the publication of Siri’s Smile—a book on a little girl’s discovery of her reason to smile—in 2011, Chennai-based author R Amarendran is now launching his next, Salim the Knife-sharpener. “I wanted to introduce traditional Indian jobs to today’s children,” says the 51-year old, who is also a theatre director and actor. The multilingual book (in languages like Hindi, Tamil and Bengali) revolves around Salim and his adventures as he tries to make enough money to have one good meal a day. Inspired by his childhood memories, the author says he has adopted a humourous narration that ends with a twist. The fun-filled plot, together with catchy illustrations by Ashok Rajagopalan, has been published by Tulika books. “There are a lot of exciting things happening in children’s publishing—books for different age groups, poetry, translations, graphic novels, young adult books and so on. There is a lot of experimenting going on in the digital space, too,” says Radhika Menon, the name behind Tulika. Besides Salim the Knife-sharpener, the publishing house is coming out with a collection of poems, Dhum Dhum Dho, for children above four and Olugutu Toluguti, a multilingual book of rhymes. “Unlike children’s literature in other countries, which revolves around themes like supernatural beings, Indian writers have succeeded in bringing children closer to the intricacies of the country and its people,” concludes Amarendran.
    Tomorrow, at ABC Playschool, at 4 pm. Rs 200 (includes a signed copy of the book). Details: 26163032

    Rini Baby Thottil

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