This month we have been introduced to the wonderful books from the Farmer Falgu series. We caught up with the author, Chitra Soundar, to find out how Farmer Falgu has been bringing India to life in school classrooms around the country.
I’ve just wrapped up a busy month full of half-term festivals and World Book Events across the UK. This year has been special because Farmer Falgu has officially joined me on these visits. Red Robin Books have brought one of my most popular series Farmer Falgu Goes To… to the UK so children here can enjoy what kids in India, France, Japan, Thailand and the US have already been relishing.
The first title in the series Farmer Falgu Goes on a Trip is a book full of sounds and quiet. I tell this story to children with an array of musical instruments that feature in the book – an Indian drum, a pungi (you’ve to read the book to find out what it is) and sounds of nature. We sing Farmer Falgu had a farm, aiy-yai-ai-yo, an adapted version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm… complete with Indian gestures and words. It’s a lot of fun when the children join in to sing and also to act out the scenes – especially the snake dance we do when the pungi is playing.
The second title that has reached the shores of the UK is Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market. This book is full of mishaps and food. The children help Farmer Falgu carry onions, tomatoes, coriander and chillies along with loads of eggs. It’s an eggs-citing book to read because there are pot-holes, waddling ducks and rude lorries that interrupt the journey. But of course the whole journey is worth it because we make wonderful lunch at the end of it. This book works really well with younger and older children. They think about the recipe and rattle it off at the end of it. We also vote for other ingredients that could go into the recipe.
When Farmer Falgu is in the room, you can be sure of noise, smells of good food and a glass always half-full. Most sessions whether at festivals or schools end with colouring the beautiful turbans, drawing the food and remembering the story until the school bell rings.
Want to find out more? Do check out my website at www.chitrasoundar.com and loads of activities that you can download and try, as soon as you get your hands on the books, from here.
Photo courtesy of Tales on Moon Lane.
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Chitra Soundar · Chitra Soundar
Stories are everywhere and are for everyone. Stories are how we understand the world around us and the people around us. We tell stories all the time, knowingly or not. Chitra too, tells stories all the time. Sometimes she puts them into books too. Many of her books are set in India where she was born and brought up. Chitra goes into classrooms, bookshops and libraries to tell stories, and teach creative writing. If you enjoy listening to stories or reading stories and would like to find out more about Chitra’s workshops, then do get in touch.
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And I'd like to add that the Farmer Falgu sing-along worked well with the blind child in our school as well as the other happy infants!