Reading between the lines

Reading between the lines

When you sit down to read, you don’t just open a book. You also open your mind. This holds true even more so for children, since it aids the process of cognition that helps shape their formative brains. That’s the idea behind an experimental event that will be held this weekend, called Museum in a Book. It will encourage children to look at books not just with the one-dimensional approach of reading a story, but also as a way of expanding their lateral thinking.

Flow India is hosting it, and its director, Arundhati Mitter, tells us that the Delhi-based organisation’s work falls under three brackets — working with schools to use culture as a tool to foster skills for the future; coordinating with cultural institutions like museums to help envision their outreach programmes; and assisting corporate entities that work in the space of education through CSR activities. This weekend’s event, adds Shailza Rai, research specialist at Flow India, is aimed specifically at kids within the ages of 11 to 14 years, in order to help them unlock different corners of their brain through a series of books called Mr Lemoncello’s Library, written by Chris Grabenstein. She is hesitant to reveal too many details about what will transpire since an element of surprise is essential to the initiative, which they plan to repeat in July with a comic book. But Rai does tell us that it will involve a range of activities that have been devised around the books, including solving puzzles and playing word games.

The event will involve a range of activities based on the act of reading

Rai says, “The event is designed to look at a book as not only a product, but also as a beautiful mind that you don’t have access to until you walk into it. It is an object that has a universe of ideas in it, and in this particular series, Grabenstein plays with the very idea of language. He shows how it can be a playful experience, which makes it a useful tool for learning designers like us. It helps us push the idea of cognitive thinking in young minds.”

She adds that the activities are also aimed at understanding what the idea of engaging with a book means for children. Rai says that there are some made-up words in the Mr Lemoncello’s Library books. “But the interesting thing is that for some children, a silly-sounding word can actually make a lot of sense.”

Shailza RaiShailza Rai

On June 20, 3 pm
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Cost Rs 500

Arundhati Mitter
Arundhati Mitter

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