The Amar Ekushey Book Fair witnessed a significant turnout of children, accompanied by their guardians, on the fifth Children’s Hours day of the country’s biggest book event on Friday.
For being on the weekends, the children’s hours attracted greater number of guardians who could manage time for hanging out with their kids at the Children’s Corner on Suhrawardy Udyan and Bangla Academy premises where stalls were allocated to the houses publishing children’s books.
Stall attendants selling children’s books expressed their satisfaction over the sales.
They said that comics, fairytales and ghost stories were among the most searched for titles.
According to Bangla Academy information centre, at least 79 children’s books have arrived at this year’s book fair till Friday. Last year, the number was 61 on the 16th day of the fair.
Some guardians told New Age that they had found only a few new titles that attracted their children.
Bank official Md Mahbubur Rahman, who was accompanying his 10-year-old daughter Jannatul Ferdous Maliha, regretted that he had found mostly the old editions of the children’s books that he had bought in the previous years.
‘There are very few new titles helpful for children’s brain development,’ he said pointing to the bookstall of Sesame Workshop Bangladesh famous for publishing Sisimpur
Humayun Ahmed, public relation official at SWB, however, could not provide the number of this year’s new titles brought out by the venture.
Abdul Motaleb, a Bangladesh Shishu Academy official, told New Age that at least 30 titles, mostly reprints of famous children’s books previously published by the academy, hit its stall this year. ‘Due to high demand, the academy has reprinted the books,’ he said.
Among the fresh titles published by the academy are Kazi Keya’s Sonar Meye Nayantara, Imdadul Haq Milon’s Bagher
Kole Harin Shishu and Fazle Ahmed’s Abar Ami School-e Jabo.
Children’s book authors, however, said that there were a good variety of new titles to choose from for the children in the fair.
Sangeeta Imam, who has authored new title Amader Golpo, published by Panjeree Publications, expressed her disappointment seeing guardians imposing their choices on the children.
‘Rather than choosing rhyme and funny short stories, the guardians often search for new books of ghost stories and thrillers, which are often not suitable for children’s soft minds,’ she said.
Panjeree Publications has brought more than 30 age-specific new titles for children aged between 7 and 14 years.
Adiganta stall attendants said that Imdadul Haq Milon’s Onekgulo Bhooter Golpo and Dipu Apaharan Rahasyo were in high demand.
This year, Moyurpongkhi has published Nazia Jabeen’s three children-based titles: Dui Bhai, Taru and Banbhojan.
Intamin Prakashan has published Nazneen Towhid’s Gop-Sop, a collection of 10 short stories for children, and Bhooto Mamar Guptadhan Abhijan, a thriller for the juvenile.
On Friday, 273 new titles arrived at the fair stalls.
In the afternoon, Swapna Reza’s two new titles Ami Here Gele Keo Jite Jay, a novel, and Cha o Chasma ebong Dosti Golpo, a compilation of short stories, were launched at Bishwo Sahitya Kendro in the capital.
Economist Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad unveiled the book while Shireen Naim, singer Ferdous Ara, HelpAge International country director Rabeya Sultana and Mizan Publishers owner Mizanur Rahman were present. Mizan Publishers has brought out the titles.
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