The Reasearch team of the innovation project 2015-2016, Miranda House, Department of English and Elementary Education held a workshop, “Children’s Picture Books: Rethinking history, Story telling and Pedagogy” on the 15th of January. Some of the most renowned figures from the publishing industry were invited as speakers such as Deepa Agarwal, Indira Mukherjee, Sonika Kaushik, Bhuribai, Parul Kaushik, Navin Menon and Bharati Jagannathan.
Only Indira Mukherjee, Sonika Kaushik, Navin menon and Bharati Jagannathan could participate in the workshop. Shweta Sachdeva Jha from The Department of English, Miranda House was also one of the speakers.
The workshop was centered around childrens literature especially picture books. The discussion was engaging and it held the attention of the interactive audience for a long time. During the course of the workshop various observations were made. For instance, It was highlighted that wordless picture books need not necessarily have a text. The illustrations speak for themselves and their interpretations are also dependent on the socio economic background of the child reader. An analysis of the Adivasi Artists was also prompted by Indira Mukherjee.
A series of illustrations also suggested a possibility that modern art could evolve out of tribal, child and folk art.
Similarly other speakers, highlighted a shift from popular Soviet Children picture books to Iranian and South Asian ones in recent years. Issues such as irregular grading patterns, the moralising and didactic nature of Children’s literature were adequately discussed. A lot of interesting questions and observations were also pitched in by the audience. They narrated various accounts of their encounters with child readers of various age groups and their subsequent inferences.
The Reasearch team is still working on their project. They can be followed on their official blog, “Children’s Picture Books in India” Innovation project 2015-2016: https://childrenspicturebooksinindia.wordpress.com
Image Credits: Miranda House, Department of English and Elementary Education