“Thanks to Pustaka Bookaroo for painting Kuching red with literature! “

“Bookaroo is unique – it is the only literature festival for children and that makes it special for me”.

“Young at heart with a warm, generous spirit, there’s always something that’s fun to do at Bookaroo!”

“I love how Pustaka Bookaroo brought stories to life for children, not just through the use of words, but also through music and drawing.  Listening to the storytellers reminded me of my own childhood evenings in the longhouse, when I sat next to my great-aunt begging for her to re-tell a story that she had told me dozens of times before”.

These are a selection of the comments received after Pustaka Bookaroo in Kuching on the 28th and 29th March, however, a festival is for life not just for two days. So, Pustaka Bookaroo is now planning 50 events through the year to reach out to children in every corner of Kuching and beyond as part of its Bookaroo in the City programme.

Building on the success of the visits into 18 schools preceding the main festival in March, more authors, illustrators and storytellers will be going into schools to celebrate the joy of reading. It is imperative that children are not only exposed to stories from all around the world but also storytellers and writers from around the world. Bookaroo gives children the opportunity to discover stories which trigger their imagination, unlock their potential, give them the confidence to be curious and interact freely with the creators of these tales.

With this in mind during the school holidays on the morning of the 9th June there will be a Kuching-wide celebration of stories with storytellers: from Kuala Lumpur – Ng Kok Keong, a school principal by day but a tri-lingual storyteller by passion who has been mesmerising audiences all over Malaysia and the world with stories for the past nine years; from Thailand – Wajuppa Tossa, an established storyteller and writer who began her journey to becoming a storyteller while working as a teacher in North-East Thailand in the early 1990; from Indonesia – Made Taro and Gede Tarmada, an award-winning father and son musical storytelling and writing duo. Made has worked tirelessly over the last 35 years to preserve traditional stories, games and songs.
Ng will travel to the Lan E Tuyang longhouse at Singai to enchant the children from neighbouring kampungs with stories from far and wide interspersed with some local sape and gongs, courtesy of Lan E Tuyang’s very own and much-loved Orang Ulu Matthew Ngau.

Wajuppa will be heading to Padawan to enthral children with her unique tales from Thailand and Laos.
Meanwhile at Pustaka Negeri father and son duo Made and Gede will be weaving their magic with traditional stories, songs and games for children from near and far.

Keep a close look out as Pustaka Bookaroo will be popping up in the most unexpected places in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times. You have been warned!

Swati Roy who is the co-owner of Eureka!, the children’s bookstore in Delhi, Venkatesh, journalist and co-owner of Eureka! and Jo Williams, storyma’am, three of the founder members of Bookaroo and current Festival Directors.

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