Children’s literature has consistently constituted one of the richest sections at the DLF
Is there a better place for children than the Bangla Academy grounds where they can run or loiter freely, mingling with one another, without the fear of being lost in traffic or in the labyrinth of endless alleys? No, there isn’t, especially when the DLF is on.
Children’s literature has consistently constituted one of the richest sections at the DLF. In fact, some of the richest panels and sessions were geared towards the children, drawing the largest crowd. Lucy Hawking’s interactive sessions with children in 2014, and panels with Welsh Children’s Laureate Eurig Salisbury and Bengali writer Mohammad Zafar Iqbal are still vivid in our memory.
The youngsters this year should look forward to a host of shows and programmes which will keep them hooked. There will be several books featured and launched, and there will be two great shows designed only for children. But more than anything, the celebrated graphic novel artist Nuhash Humayun will interact with them in a long session.
Sadaf Saaz, a DLF director, said, “There will be two great shows for the children, and Brac is going to arrange another programme solely for them.”
Two children’s books will be launched at the fest: Asha and the Magic Moshari by Pushpita Alam, and Hansher Paye Ghuri by Nazia Zabeen. Both the titles are brought out by Ignite Publications Limited, a new endeavour aiming to publish good quality, high standard books for children at affordable prices.
The children will also have an opportunity to meet two more children’s authors: Chador Wangmo from Bhutan and Anthony McGowan from the USA.
Chador Wangmo is a celebrated author of nine children’s books and two novels. She started her writing career with illustrated folktales for children. A teacher turned writer, she dedicates her entire time to writing. She is currently working on her first-ever superhero book, which is scheduled to be released in 2017. Wangmo also volunteers for social causes. She has successfully conducted a Summer Exposure Tour for twenty children from a very remote village in the summer of 2016. Since this project was a huge success, the Rotary Club of Thimphu, which was the major sponsor for the project, has decided to conduct such projects every year.
Anthony McGowan has written two literary thrillers: Stag Hunt and Mortal Coil, and seven young-adult novels including Hellbent, Henry Tumour and The Knife That Killed Me (made into a highly acclaimed film in 2014). He has also written widely for younger children. He will have three new books out in 2017: Everybody Hurts—a young adult novel co-written with Jo Nadin; a picture book, I Killed Santa, illustrated by the UK children’s laureate, Chris Riddell; and The Art of Failing, described by Nick Hornby as “…if young Nicholson Baker had decided to write as Charles Pooter. It’s eccentric, charming, maddening, and very, very funny. It also comes much closer to describing the reality of the writing life than anything you’ll find in the Paris Review.”