NLF was born out of a simple ‘idea’ that came into fruition. This festival is handcrafted with a lot of passion, love and good intent. From the curation of books available at the ‘Marketplace’, to the Jury members and the ‘Neev Book Award’, the creative look and feel, the list of authors attending and all the logistics , is an outcome of meticulous work by the administrators, teachers, parents , students and friends of the Neev community.

What excites us all is the synergy of the idea of a children’s literature festival coming alive in a school environment, such a natural fit and yet it hasn’t been done before. How magnificent it is for us to celebrate authors from across the world and recognize their contribution to children’s literature, but even greater for us to recognise that our very own voices and stories right here from India need to be heard and shared, all made possible by Indian children’s authors and illustrators. This is their platform.NLF – A simple ‘idea’ that came into fruition

I urge you to be that child again.

My 78 year old mother tells me a story about her growing up years. She was the last of ten kids in a family in Thiruvalla in Kerala. After returning from school she launched into a detailed story about some animal she saw, some encounter or some scene she witnessed. One day at dinner, her father indulged her by asking how her day went and she seized the opportunity- because in those days one spoke only when spoken to. While she rambled on with excitement, one of her siblings cut her off and declared that she was concocting all of it and that she was a liar.

At that moment her father said, “Let her speak. This is not a lie; she is able to share this because she has a vivid imagination and she is an imaginative child.” He encouraged her to go on by prodding and asking her more questions before she launched herself back into the story. She says, she has never forgotten how her father stood up for her, introduced her to the word ‘imagination’ and became her hero forever. I feel we must share our childhood stories with our children and pass on the oral tradition of storytelling. Life is too short for us to be bystanders. Jump in and enjoy the ride. Permit yourself to be happy, to be
children, to be curious and free to explore. Allow thoughts to percolate and ideas to resonate. We are all a work in progress. We want to be better- the idea is to become a better version of ourselves and there is no better place that lets you do that than a
book!

SNEHA IYPE VARMA
CO-FOUNDER NLF & NEEV PARENT

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