Of Children’s world and other things

Sunil Sharma

The prime function of the children's book writer is to write a book that is so absorbing, exciting, funny, fast and beautiful that the child will fall in love with it. And that first love affair between the young child and the young book will lead hopefully to other loves for other books and when that happens the battle is probably won. The child will have found a crock of gold. He will also have gained something that will help to carry him most marvelously through the tangles of his later years.

---Roald Dahl

Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.

– Roald Dahl: Matilda


Enid Blyton.
Chandamama.
Amar Chitra Katha.
Nandan.
Comics.
Harry Potter.
Children's films and literature.

Of the many influences shaping up the imagination and value-system of the kids, these precious resources as aids.

Making them face the grim realities of the adult world, monsters and fairies all.

You can add videos and games and the Marvel Comics universe to this growing list.

Of late focus is back on things that can make the kids integrate with their immediate contexts and express their feelings through songs, dance and painting; the latter, an immediate mode and medium of sharing their internal landscapes through colours and images; trauma and recovery through this outlet of communication.

This month's special section is on the unique world of the children. How do they create it and dialectically, get created by the same.

Writings---prose and poetry and visuals---that comfort them, speak to them and engage the young audience in themes that are as significant to the young-age demographic as for the grown-ups, parents, policy-makers and the early-childhood educators---and, of course, to the creatives, spinning realms fantastic for them.

Guest-edited by the prominent artist and children's author, Meenakshi Mohan, the curated section brings together an impressive array of well-known writers writing children's concerns into literature and art on a common platform.

Pure delight!

Talking of the central aim of such an emerging field, of her overall experience as an editor, writer and illustrator, Meenakshi shares via the guest-editorial an important insight about this kind of literary project for the discerning little readers, alert, curious, full of questions; in brief, alive in every tissue of their body and cell of brain: "Our responsibilities as adults are to expose them to a wide variety of literature – poetry, stories of all genres –mythological, historical, folk tales, fables, fantasies, dramatics, illustrative stories, etc. Children’s literature has the task of transforming dreams into realities."

It is another first for Setu---like the earlier special sections on: Indigenous Voices of India, the British Working-Class Poetry and much more.

Happy to be of some service in the spread of fine thoughts!

Other features add further value to the general section. Roundtable, roundup, pictorial essay, prose, poetry, reviews.

Grateful to Meenakshi Mohan and all the featured writers in this month for extending support to the journal.

Good bye 2022!
Welcome 2023!

With very best wishes,

Sunil Sharma

Editor, Setu (English)
Toronto, Canada

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