“Good morning Mumma!” Hama said as he sleepily walked down from the stairs.
“Good morning kiddo. Get down here quick. We are going to get ourselves really dirty today.”
“Huh?” Hama let out a startled sound. “Dirty?”
Mumma laughed. “Do you know what day today is?”
The little one shook his head.
“Today is plant a flower day. And thankfully it’s a Sunday. So let’s do some planting flowers and plants today and have some fun!” Read more…
“Mumma Cleo said he is fasting for Lent. What is Lent? ” Hama said keeping his bag on the table and sitting down on one of the kitchen chairs. “He refused to have ice cream with us at school today.”
Cleo was a few years senior to Hama, a fourth grader. But a very good friend at school. He was a tall lanky fellow and a very good basketball player. Common interest in the sport had brought them close.
“Hama you remember buying an Easter egg last year?” Mumma said as she set the table for lunch.
“Well, these days before Easter is called Lent. And during this time Christians, like Cleo, fast.”
“Mumma I am not eating this jam and bread again today.” Hama-Guri whined. “You promised me yummy food today.”
Now how would Mumma tell him that she overslept because of the medicines and so didn’t have time to make his favorite pancakes. It rarely happened but today was just one of those days. She had been feeling it for the past few days and she had been right. The weather change had finally made her get the fever. Read more…
“What happened?” Hama-Guri came and sat beside a new face who sat looking at the blue sky. He had seen him sitting like that for more than ten days now. Every day he used to think that he would come and ask but break time used to get over so quickly that he never got the chance. And he was not in his section so Hama never saw him otherwise.
“What are you doing Mumma? Why are you keeping those potted plants under the water pipe?”
“Because then the water that comes out of this pipe will water these plants and we won’t have to water them separately.”
Hama-Guri remained silent. He wondered why his Mumma would want to do that. Why couldn’t she use the watering pipe from the garden?
“What happened Hama? Why are you sitting there on the garden bench with a frown on your face?” Mumma asked.
“Because I don’t know why you are doing what you are doing.”
“No Hama I will not go!” Wailed his cousin Ba-Chaa. She was four and his maternal first cousin. And they loved each other immensely. They didn’t meet often though because, although in the same town, their homes were quite a distance apart. It was only during times likes these when school was closed for the summer vacations that they met.
“But sis, you love dancing. And aunt told me that you were the one who wanted to join this class.”
Ba-Chaa looked at her big brother, her expression a mix of worry and sadness.
“Something’s happened. Right?” Hama asked. He had been staying at his aunt’s house for more than a week now and he had been noticing that his otherwise extremely chirpy baby sister had turned all quiet. Now he understood that her dance class was the culprit.
Many a children’s book has often described a character with magical powers and yet they have been made believable because of a weakness. For example while Jack in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ gets the magical beans he is a poor and a stupid boy. This form of creative writing where there is a combination of magic with the human nature delights kids. And thus is born a favorite fictional character.
Characterization is important and creating memorable characters it is not easy. And more so when it is for young readers. The more completely you are able to develop your characters, the more interesting the tale will be. Here are some pointers to help you.
Contributed By: Rudrajyoti Nath Ray
About the Contributor: He is an advocate working with the Supreme Court of India. He likes writing poetry or blogging about various legal matters when he is not working. He loves children and think that they ask smarter questions than judges! “Convincing a kid is more difficult than getting an order from the court,” he says.
Children are full of questions. Sometimes they do not know and hence they ask. And sometimes the adults are not particularly good at answering – hence begging more questions.
Studies have revealed that even foetuses can recognize their mother’s voice. In that case, why not read aloud during your pregnancy too? And once the little one arrives, just continue doing so.
More than the story, babies understand a parent’s warmth. So when you tell this age group a story fill it with lots of cuddles and snuggles. And research has shown that, while an infant does not understand words, hearing the mother’s voice develops his interest in sounds.
They also like sounds which have a rhythm to it. So tell the tale, either from books to read online or from the print in a sing-song fashion and with a smile on your face. Also, vary the pitch of your voice as you tell the tale.
“I’m bored.” Hama yawned on a Saturday morning. School had just closed for a short spring break. But that was not the cause of his boredom. His best friend had gone off to visit his granny with his parents for a week.
“I’m bored too!” Mumma joined in, copying his tone.
“Mumma! Stop that. Don’t copy me.” Hama replied. “I truly am bored. Father’s busy with the cows and you have been cooking all morning.”
“But I’m making the apple pie for you kiddo.”
“I know Mumma. Still…” He couldn’t complete the sentence because another yawn escaped his lips.