March 3: Students of the primary section (grades 1-4) at Valley School, Bangalore, were excitedly waiting to meet their “favourite author”. Class teachers had been informed of Radhika Chadha‘s visit a few weeks in advance and they had started reading books written by the Bangalore-based Tulika author. 'Yes, Hutoxi', her latest in the Baby Bahadur series, was printed in February, and she was now going to share the story with these children.
The first graders seemed to know all the regular animal characters and their traits that appeared in her earlier books – right from the teenage elephants, Akka and Anna who play football with coconuts, to Shanmugam, the lion who loves to sleep and eat. They wanted Radhika’s autographs and one child told her, “Aunty, now quickly go home and start writing your next book.” Since their questions just wouldn’t stop, Radhika volunteered to reply if they wrote on chits of paper and gave her as home work!
The next group comprising of students in 2-3-4 grades, were in for a special treat. In addition to 'Yes, Hutoxi', Radhika also read to them 'Basava and the Dots of Fire'. “Why have you not written more Basava books?” they wanted to know. Radhika coolly replied, “He has not shared other adventures with me, yet.”
One teacher had used 'Mallipoo, Where Are You?' as the basis of her creative writing exercise. Radhika had tears rolling down her cheeks when she read the hilarious alternate endings suggested by some of the children. (Read more about it in her future blog post)
All through the three-hour school visit, Radhika was greeted by children – some broke into spontaneous hugs, others gave her handmade thank you cards and one even made her a paper finger puppet that she could “use during her next reading!”
Thank You - Radhika for being such a sport! Hope you have started writing the next book?
- From A Valley School Parent