I’m grouchy today, and though I was thrilled when my friend Kavita sent me this link, I’m frustrated that so much innovation in children’s literature seems to take place everywhere but HERE! It’s Women’s History Month, of course, so I’m proud that our South Asian sisters are doin’ it for themselves…Visit the Anveshi site to learn more about the Different Tales Project in India—here’s a little of their mission:
Different Tales brings us stories from the lives of children who rarely find place in mainstream children’s literature. This series of thirteen stories addresses issues of marginalization—along the axes of gender, caste, minority, disability. However, the stories are not prescriptive, focusing instead on details that enliven and refresh these issues with the magic of different childhoods.
The fictional and visual worlds in these stories are peopled by spunky children who tend the fields, study and play at the same time… Several of the writers draw on their own childhoods to depict different ways of growing up in an often hostile world, and finding new relationships with peers, parents and other adults.
The stories perform a double function. On the one hand, they provide a mirror where children from marginalized groups may find new and enabling self-images, helping them engage with the world around them with confidence. On the other, they enrich and expand the imaginative worlds of middle class children by introducing them to new characters, new settings, new dilemmas, new sources of laughter and strength.