Just a little something about Karadi Tales’ beautifully produced “Will You Read with Me?” series of audio-books for children. Vidya Balan, Sanjay Dutt and Rahul Dravid are among the celebrities who have lent their voices to the series, and going by the books I’ve listened to so far (now there’s an odd phrase!), all of them had a gala time doing the readings. Balan relates the tale of a little lizard who loses his tail and goes about looking for a new one before discovering that there’s really nothing to worry about; Jaaved Jaffri describes the adventures of a “wannabe yogi” named Hathaman, who journeys to Tibet to acquire super-powers. Each book has a cutesy first-person introduction – for example, before starting a story about a cap-seller and monkeys, Sanjay Dutt describes having his cap pulled off his head by a monkey during a shoot. (Of course, this is just as invented as the main story, but it provides a nice personal touch.)
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have contributed a catchy title song for the series, which plays on each CD before the main narrative begins, and there are entertaining background arrangements as each story is told. Best of all, the books are great as print publications too – well worth preserving even if the CD wears out. (The contributing authors include Anushka Ravishankar and Shobha Viswanath, and the illustrations are by Christine Kastl, Malavika P C, Chetan Sharma and others.) If these don’t get your indolent, brain-dead, junk-food-and-video-game-addicted monster child interested in stories and storytelling, nothing will. Nothing!
[Also see these posts about German children’s books and illustrators: 1, 2, 3]