With the World Book Fair in town and bibliophiles as colleagues, attendance of the event was a given. And so, there we were! On a comparatively less-crowded (bless the lord!) warm Monday afternoon, the DK Education team queued up to see what was in store at the book lover's' paradise.
I've always felt that book fairs have a certain charm of their own. It's like one of those “surprise” parties that you were aware of all along but still cannot help being excited about! Or a birthday present placed right in front of you that you cannot wait to unwrap. You can feel the thrill and the wonder... What is that you will find inside? Oh! The exhilaration! It is, in short, quite an enchanting experience.
With a focus to explore, ideate and get inspired, we decided to scout the children's book pavilion. And what colours and designs greeted us! Said Radhika, an editor with the team, “Publishers this year have very creatively tried to entice the audience. They have identified the target – children – and are using a lot of superhero and other famous characters on story and activity books to lure them.” So we hopped and skipped through colouring books, wowed over 1, 2, 3s and A, B, Cs, swam past sharks, rode with mighty jungle animals and even climbed the complex number ladder. With so many stalls vying for attention, cramped with a brilliant variety of English workbooks, volumes of Mathematics practice and crafty handwriting ones, it was pretty hard to not to jump from one stall to the next.
But there were some critical eyes too! “The DK illustration style seems more refined than the ones in the books aimed at the Indian market. A lot of books here are cramped with too much content, they don't seem like fun activities. I think more can be done to make them colourful and child-friendly,” analysed Roohi, a designer in our team.
Our last stop was our very own DK! Kritika, an editor who volunteered at the stall observed, “Parents with kids aged 5–11 are really interested in activity books with worksheets. They are looking for books that look attractive but are also full of interesting content. The DK Chhota Bheem workbooks are a big hit as they are being offered at a competitive price, have interesting activities, and are full of colourful pictures of beloved Bheem and his friends.” I think I can say this for everyone that it was a proud moment to see children and parents alike pouring over the books that you've toiled over; looking at topics and activities, trying their hand at the workbook timers and inquiring about what else is in store. Suddenly, you remember all the meetings, the passionate discussions, the in-depth research, looking at style guides and the race against deadlines... And then all at once, everything makes beautiful sense.
Well then, until next year!