Friday, October 30, 2009

Wrapping up CROCUS 2009!

As our first annual children's blog-book festival, CROCUS 2009, draws to a close today, it is certainly an appropriate time to indulge in a little reminiscence. From an abstract concept to hosting some kind of a blog-book festival to foster the love of reading - the seeds for which were sown in our collective minds last spring - to diving into the concept for a theme as Around the World in Seven Days, this past summer, and then to hand-pick books to review this fall, indeed, CROCUS was planted and harvested together as a team.

Truly, what fun it was to come together and plan for CROCUS 2009! Literally, like kids flocking a candy store, the team rushed to the bookshelves in their homes; whisked to their local libraries; shopped at brick and mortar as well as online bookstores to bring you the unique selection of books that we reviewed for the festival. We skipped, hopped, jumped, glided, and slid from one continent to another to present you an array of native tales and contemporary stories. We had one in-house crossword contest - CROCUSWORD, 26 exclusive reviews of multicultural children's books, and two author interviews.

Like a box full of chocolates, we presented reviews of an assortment of diverse tales from different continents representing many different cultures of our world. Together with our readers, we eagerly scrolled from one review to another and interviews, to gobble up every chocolate...err...word that was blogged during CROCUS 2009. We devoured the books for the beautiful cultures they represented. Through the stories, we also celebrated the wonderful voices of authors and illustrators for sharing them with us and our children.

Despite the diversity in our world, through these stories, we realize that fundamentally human emotions are the same across cultures. Human instincts/appetite for story-telling and finding narratives for life to help pass on valuable messages to children, remain awe-inspiringly similar across cultures of the world. Appreciating multi-cultural stories helps validate our cultural differences, while highlighting the similarities we share as human beings. In that, it carries the seeds of peace, as we and more so, our children, come to live closer each day with the different communities of our world.

What a delicious treat CROCUS turned out to be to all of us who are passionate consumers of children's literature! Yes, the energy level was so high among the readers and the reviewers that it felt like we were on a sugar rush upon reading one review after another. But, you will agree with me that it never hurts to read too much, unlike candy! (even with Halloween in the air! :-))CROCUS, sure, helped unleash the hidden kid in all of us. (certainly did in me!)

Well, now it's time for our heartfelt thank yous as we wrap up CROCUS 2009! We at Saffron Tree, would like to thank each and everyone for their time. We greatly appreciate the wonderful comments and emails we received from several people showing their support for the festival.

Please feel free to come back and let us know if you happen to stumble upon the books you savored on Saffon Tree. Also, please don't hesitate to give us your ideas on how we could improve when we get ready for CROCUS 2010 with a theme and unique tales from other cultures! Meanwhile, keep visiting Saffron Tree for a good chunk of delightful children's literature. And to end,(here's an attempt to sound like Mem Fox - thanks to her wonderful book, Whoever You Are),

"Whoever you are, Wherever you are, together, let's pass on the love of books, stories and reading, to children everywhere!"

Have a great weekend everybody! Thanks again!!

16 comments:

ssstoryteller said...

Absolutely Superb wrap up post...
You have captured the entire feel in such a comprehensive package of words...
Especially the para:"Despite the diversity..."...WOW you have a way with words...
I truly believe Story Telling brings us closer to making the world a Global Community...
Please check out a forum of Story tellers, at this URL
www.professionalstorytellers.ning.com, I believe they should see Saffron Tree..
All the best...Keep Telling

B o o said...

*clap clap clap* take a bow everyone! Fantastic work! Loved the idea, the theme, the reviews,... I think you guys should do one more middle of the year festival! Crocus 2010 is a long time away! :)

ranjani.sathish said...

A very well written wrap up for the curtains down on CROCUS 2009 !!

I agree with ssstoryteller that you waev magic with your words :-)

Praba said...

SSS - Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments all through CROCUS. We have loved hearing your thoughts. Thank you so much for the link. We'll check it out.
We all know traditional oral folklore is almost an extinct form of art. Your work as a story-teller is inspiring to us. We would love to touchbase with you, and learn about your work sometime soon. Thanks, once again!

@Boo - It's always fun to read your comments! Thanks to your hi-energy comments - really, makes feel positively charged instantly!Please keep visiting us.

@Ranjani - How sweet! Thank you so much! Have I ever told you what I have always admired in you? here I go...Your mature, balanced tone of voice. I know writing comes to you naturally! :-)

Lavs said...

Clap clap clap-Great job guys. A well planned event executed to perfection.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Three Cheers to Saffron Tree .... Hip Hip Hurray !!
Excellent reviews for the past few days !
Keep it up !

utbtkids said...

Hi five Praba.

A big salute for the rest of ST members. From my part, I know that I didn't do much other than to write reviews.

You guys did all the conceptualization and ground work.

Sheela said...

Wonderful sentiments, great recap, absolutely inspiring! Thanks, Praba!

ranjani.sathish said...

Thank you Prabha for your compliments :-) (blush..blush)

ChoxBox said...

Nice recap Praba!

Poppy said...

Lovely post - have a warm feeling now, simply beautiful Praba !

I had such a fabulous time with Crocus 2009!

Praba said...

@canteloupe's amma - wonderful hearing from you throughout the festival. Appreciate your support! :-)

@UTBT - hi-five! Your positive energy is infectious on ST!

@Sheela - You have no idea in how many ways you inspire us!! :-)

@Chox - Many thanks!

@LAVS - Thank you for stopping by regularly. Your comments definitely will keep us motivated!

@Poppy - same here. Had a wonderful time with you and how neat we have you on the team!

meera sriram said...

Great summing up P! Thanks! Wish ST many more CROCUS-es!

Katia said...

What a great journey this has been ! Congratulations to you all for the hard work (I was there last year, I know the staggering amount of work required to make such an event happen). And I now have a brand new pile of books to order... The only unhappy person here will be my husband, when the new bill arrives :)
Thank you, all.

Praba said...

@ M - thank you!

@ Katia - Wonderful to see you again. Your interview made the event all the more special. Thanks again. Best wishes from all of us!

Kodi's Mom said...

a week late in my comment - but what the heck, it was such a blast, wasn't it :) thanks Praba & team for the brill idea and getting the rest of us inspired and involved.

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