Book fair to have children’s hour today

Mohiuddin Alamgir

new04Book fair authorities declared children’s hours from 11:00am to 1:00pm today at the ongoing book fair with unprepared children’s corner that housed stalls of publications for children and keeping Bangladesh Shishu Academy stall outside the children’s corner.
Amar Ekushey Book Fair drew a good crowd on its fourth day on Thursday. Stall attendants, however, said that sales were slow.
Publishers expect huge crowd today as it is the first weekend since beginning of the fair on February 1 and coinciding with children’s hour.
For the past few years, the book fair have been having children’s hour, when general visitors are not allowed, so that children can buy books without facing hassle usual on other days. A guardian can only accompany a child visitor.
Fair committee member-secretary Jalal Ahmed said that the fair would have children’s hours from 11:00am to 1:00pm on weekends February 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20.
The authorities set up children’s corner at Suhrawardy Udyan and publishers and organisations publishing and selling juvenile literature got allocation of their stalls there.
This year about 40 publishers along with Bangla Academy set up stalls at the children’s corner. Duck publishers, World of Children Book, Chalantika Boighar, Shishu Kishore Academy, Tuntuni, Toitumbur, Chhotoder Boi, Kishore Bhuban, Patabahar, Shishu Prokash and Sisimpur set up colourful stalls and are selling children’s books.
The authorities planned to make a place that would be decorated with various types of toys, alphabets, beside a painting corner, but failed to complete the work till Thursday evening.
The place was full of nails, woods and bamboos and people preparing the place told New Age that they would need two or three more days to complete the decorations.
Jalal Ahmed said that they would complete the work by today.
Bangladesh Shishu Academy, however, set up their stall not at the children corner, but on Bangla Academy premises, where all government organisations set up their stalls.
Government-run Bangladesh Shishu Academy with several hundred publications for children and juveniles is usually on the list books for buying by children.
Shishu Academy stall attendant Manjur Morshed said that book fair authorities allotted their stall on the Bangla Academy premises.
Jalal, however, said Shishu Academy choose Bangla Academy premises as all others government organisations had set up stalls there.
Publications fit for children and teenagers are available at almost all publishing houses on the fair’s Suhrawardy Udyan portion.
Over 200 new titles based on science, fictions, comics, adventures, detective stories and educational tales fit for children and teenagers have arrived at the fair so far.
Fairy tales, ghost stories and comics are on the priority list of children, said stall attendants.
While 93 new titles hit the fair on the day, 20 collections of novels, led the tally of new arrivals followed by 17 short stories, 13 poems and 13 essays.
Bangla Academy held a discussion on past and present of research at the academy.
It would hold a discussion on past and present of dictionaries and grammar studies of Bangla Academy, which would be followed by cultural programmes at the main stage of the book fair.

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