Started about a year ago, in 2012, Sanjana Tadepalli, 18, says, “The idea of Storybook Me is to create unique, personalised books where each child is the ‘hero,’ and more importantly gives the child the thrill of seeing their names in print.” She believes that through the storybooks and reading sessions, it can change the way a child views reading.
What's Storybook me all about?
We wanted to make reading more interesting and exciting for children who are literate but rarely read on their own. For the pilot project, we worked with Ashwini Charitable Trust, an education based NGO in Bangalore.
Are you targeting a particular set of children?
Many of the children we work with are first generation learners and don't own any books apart from their textbooks. Somewhere along the way, we also became a self-esteem project. Providing stories in which they are the heroes. It makes the children we work with believe in themselves.
Can you tell me how a story is created?
We have one writer and one illustrator working on each storybook, profile a child, and create a story of about 500 revolving around the child. Going forward, we might change the model to make it more scalable.
How many publications you have so far?
We’ve printed 13 storybooks so far. Each story is personalised to the child and completely unique. Ranging from sporting idols to dream travel destinations and cartoons, each book revolves around the interests of the child.
What lies ahead?
Future plans will depend on the amount of funding we get and the cooperation of our partner NGOs. I am starting college at Yale NUS (National University of Singapore), in Singapore in July, but ‘Storybook Me’ will continue and make every effort to grow bigger and reach out to more children who need this.
A few of their books can be found at ISSUU - Storybook Me.
‘Choco Champ’- Paul Gupta & Sangeeta Das
‘Varsha’s Trip to Mysore’ – Shruthi Rao & Manoj Nath
‘Priya and the Tiger’ – Anu Ghanasyam & Maitri Dore
‘Dream on Monisha’ – Vinitha Ramchandani & Kasturee Kailash
‘Chaitanya Travels the World’ – Sabira Choudhari & Shruti Jain
‘Mary Jennifer – Queen of the Magic World’ – Ayesha Siddiqi & Sadhvi Jawa
‘The Adventures of Code M’ – Vaishali Shroff & Sahana Srinivasan
‘The Girl Who Scared the Lion’ – Rupa Gulab & Shruthi Jain
‘Anju’s Greatest Day’ – Arathy Kushalappa & Vasundharan Vasavan
‘Meenakshi – The Princess of Egypt’ – Radhika Meganathan & Priyanka Kumar
‘Charan’s African Adventure’ – Nanada Ramesh & Manoj Nath
‘Joyce Saves the Day’ – Pearl D’Silva & Aditi Laddha
‘Monisha Saves the Day’ – Sonali Pota & Varsha Lakshmanan