'Children's books should create awareness about Indian culture'

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 22, 2014 17:20 hrs

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Children's books shouldn't merely be the retelling of mythologies or unnecessary lecturing but should have relatable content and

illustrations that are in tune with modern culture, an Indian publisher said Tuesday.

The national capital's well-known Full Circle bookstore has been publishing books on mind, body and spirit and French translations since 1999, and since the beginning of this year begun focussing on nurturing a children's book section after directly understanding the needs of children and parents.

"Having a bookstore is an advantage because we get direct feedback from the customers and that helped us to understand where the gap is and what we can offer,"

Priyanka Malhotra, director, Full Circle and Hind Pocket Books, told IANS.

"Children should relate more to what is created in the books. These days, with ever changing and easily accessible technology, children are more aware; they use different languages and words. So they need something that is interesting and relatable," said Malhotra.

And this is why the alumnus of London College of Printing and London School of Economics is keen on expanding this particular section, and from publishing two books a year, she is aiming at publishing 12 children's books by the end of the year.

"The idea is to create awareness about our culture using simple narrative. Publishers should be talking about history to the child in an inspirational manner," she added.

This commitment is reflected through two recently launched children's books: "The Making of Dog" and "Ganesha's Sweet Tooth".

While the first book emphasises on importance of equality among human beings and God's love for every creature on this earth, the second book has colour vector illustrations and in a light manner informs how the epic Mahabharta was written using Lord Ganesha's tooth.

The quality and content of these books hint at a strong backend team, but Malhotra pointed out how their business still has "organic structure".

"We are still a family run organisation where everyone, including writers, illustrators and designers, come together and discuss the making of a book," said


For book lovers in the capital, Full Circle and Cafe Turtle – also owned by the Malhotra family - are one-stop-destinations to soak in the company of books and

coffee. Apart from their Khan Market store, they have book stores in Greater Kailash and Nizamuddin East.

Considering the debate that digital publishing is threatening existence of book stores in the world, Malhotra feels bookstores are going to play a long innings.

"Parents want their children to read. More parents are bringing their children to the bookstore. This shows that digital books can never take away the joy of reading from a real book," she concluded.

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