Children’s Literary Fest: Stories from India and beyond

Sunday 24 June 2018, 11am-5pm

Swiss Cottage Library, 88 Avenue Road, London NW3 3HA


Advance tickets: Adults £8; Children (under 18) £12
At the door: Adults £10; Children (under 18) £15

Join us for London’s only Children’s Literary Festival bringing you stories and authors from the Indian sub-continent, and beyond.  A day of unique experiences for children (and adults!), featuring:

* Talks & workshops by famous children’s authors 
* Special guest Shrabani Basu: Author, Victoria and Abdul
* Presenting WOKA – a YouTube channel of short stories
* Illustration and art workshops

* Theatrical performances
*Yoga session for kids
*Book stall by Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill
* Indian street food by Curry on Naanstop
*Slime making, face painting, hair braiding, henna and lots more…



Shrabani Basu is a London-based journalist and author. Her books include the critically acclaimed Victoria & Abdul; The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant and Curry, The Story of Britain’s Favourite Dish. Her book Victoria & Abdul has been made into a major film by Oscar nominated director Stephen Frears starring Judi Dench and Ali Fazal. We are delighted that Shrabani will be joining us at CLF for a very special talk.


Chitra Soundar is an Indian-born British writer, storyteller and author of over 30 children’s books. She often visits schools, festivals and libraries to share her experience of the stories she listened to as a child and her mum’s amateur drama club, which turned her into a storyteller. Enjoy Chitra’s storytelling from her latest books. Pattan’s Pumpkin, a flood tale from India and You’re Safe With Me, a bedtime story set in the Indian jungle during a thunderstorm. After the storytelling, get colouring and making masks.  


Nayanika Mahtani is a copywriter by day and a storyteller by night. Her latest book The Gory Story of Genghis Khan a.k.a. Don’t Mess with the Mongols invites children in for a closer look at this most fascinating Khan. (the book was ranked second in Amazon’s bestselling new releases, after Percy Jackson!) She has spoken at the Jaipur Literature Festival (in Jaipur and London), and conducted workshops at the Southbank Centre and British Library among many others. She is now working on her next book, a web series and a film – and is forbidden from saying any more. Join us for a lively session with Nayanika, where maybe YOU could entice her to reveal more…


WOKA (World of Kira Agarwal): Kiran Agarwal has created and narrates stories for children through her YouTube channel ‘WOKA’. The protagonist is a loving and charming ‘Naani’ with a universal appeal who can inculcate moral values to her viewers. The films start with the grandmother coming with a glass of milk for the grandchildren in their room. The kids wake up every morning with zeal and eagerness to listen to stories from their granny. Every story lasts for about 5 minutes and has a moralThe creator of WOKA, Kiran Agarwal will join us at the Festival to introduce the channel and the films will be shown through the day.


Sonal Sachdev Patel and Jemma Wayne-Kattan are social philanthropists, writers and mothers, who are passionate about working on improving mental health in young children. Their book GITA: The Battle of the Worlds follows the journey of a young boy to raise  important life lessons and, with meditation at its core, equips young readers with accessible mental health tools. Sonal and Jemma hope that the story will not only inspire individual young readers but will give them tangible tools to cope with the struggles of modern day life. Their session will include a few minutes of guided meditation for the kids.

Gillian Gamble is an author and illustrator from Dundee, Scotland, where she grew up being inspired by its creativity, design innovation and lion-hearted women.  She is a self-taught artist who loves big adventures, deep questions and vivid colours. Gillian has won numerous awards for her work and helps runs a social enterprise called Our Story to get children interested in picture books by helping them make their own. 



Outstanding Achievement British Indian Award winner Geeta Srivastava, nurtures a social enterprise called Magic Of India aimed at bringing Indian culture and language alive in a fun and engaging way through classes, school workshops and festive events. One of her flagship events is the widely attended Holi At London, which is a massive community event.  In Geeta’s fun, interactive workshop, pick up Hindi words and explore the culture at the same time. Also, get ready to get your hands messy making animals, shapes and many more things. All material and wipes will be provided.


Sunita Mistry Shah, is a London-based Speech and Language Therapist working with children with speech, language and communication difficulties and the author of The Jaijais book series. She specialises in working with bilingual children and is passionate about kids not growing up too fast and enjoying their childhood instead. In her session for parents, Sunita will talk about the benefit of books and storytelling to enhance kids’ development, particularly for bilingual kids. Sunita will also explain how to use the renowned ‘Blanks Language scheme’ for interactive storytelling with kids and how to choose age appropriate books for them.


A stunning theatrical performance on Indian mythology by Marcina Urvashi. Using music and dance, Marcina will tell stories about Shiva, Durga and Krishna among others. Be prepared to join in the performance!





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