Bengaluru: She may be just eight- years -old but Anushka Tonapi is already a professional writer and reviewer with the World Children's Magazine. Besides writing eight stories and poems for it in the last year, she has regularly contributed to the children's supplement of a leading daily and Robin Age, a Mumbai- based award winning children's weekly newspaper.
A voracious reader, the little girl, who is a student of the Sri Kumaran's Children's Home in Basavangudi, is not stopping there, however and is working on her first novel, "The Ant's journey" that is set to come out by the end of the year. "I was watching ants from an anthill one day carrying sugar and I wondered what it must be like to be one of them," she says, revealing that the story is about an ant that sets out to find a queen for her anthill, not realising that she herself qualified for the job.
Ask her who her favourite authors are and the little word spinner says, "Where do I begin? But my top favourites would be Ruskin Bond, JK Rowling, Enid Blyton and Arundhati Venkatesh. I love how simple and good their stories are."
Her journey to becoming an author started when she participated in the British Council Library's reading challenge, says her father, Vivek Tonapi. Participants were asked to read six book in six weeks and were rewarded if they did, he explains. "The initiative has definitely opened up new horizons for her. She recently received a cheque for Rs 800 for her contributions to the children's magazine. I am so proud of her," he gushed.
Children’s lbrary sans children
The children's wing of the city's Central Library has about 2000 books, a couple of computers, and a small children's play area, but barely has any children coming to it, unlike private libraries which draws them in large number over the weekends and after school hours. The draw at these libraries are workshops and other activities ,along with a varied selection of books. "Private libraries are all over the city, and hold several great workshops for kids, but they have a comparatively expensive membership fee. This library has the space, has the books and all the facilities, but is extremely underutilised," said Mr Sanjay JM, who was visiting the library with his four -year- old son.