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Children's author with a mission

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Children’s Author, Monarose Sheila Pereira, has published her 12th book for children called The Chinese Magician and other stories. Her books provide clean healthy reading and  are full of adventure and fun. Written in a lively and animated style, the characters come alive; something which children instantly love. Her books offer plenty of scope to do voices and dramatics, besides holding the interest of the reader. The cover and illustrations are attractively done with Indian motifs. She also conducts media and personality workshops for children, teachers and parents. She is a faculty at various Mass Media institutes.

What does writing for children mean to you?
I enjoy writing stories. Creating a whole new story, a whole new world has always fascinated me. I just love creating characters, plots and scenarios. An idea comes to my mind and I just have to express it and share it. I find writing very exciting and extremely fulfilling. The very process of writing is a wonderful soulful experience.

What role do you as an author play in a child’s life?
Writing for children is a tremendous responsibility because you are shaping the minds and lives of the future generation. Stories play a very important role in the development of a child – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Stories make your childhood very special and warm. I still remember all the stories told to me and the various books I went through in my childhood. It makes me feel very cozy and comfortable.

How does reading benefit the child?
Stories help children to grow into better human beings. Childhood stories are the foundation of your life. Besides developing the vocabulary and the expressions of language, the very process of reading helps you develop patience and concentration. It fortifies your imagination and gives you an opportunity to be creative. A reader actually participates in the story – by imaging the characters, their costumes, the backdrop, the voice-overs and so on. In a film or video nothing is left to your imagination and therefore the medium, is quite passive. Reading on the other hand is active. It activates your thinking and creativity. It is also very participative. Other media have their advantages, but I think reading scores over them.

Can story books help the child to succeed?
Today, children just move from one class to another. Fast paced life and busy parents have taken away so much of the joy and wonder of childhood. Children are literally growing-up alone. Here is where a good book comes in and gives the child a new world in which to dream, learn and achieve in a happy way. Successful people must come forward and share their skills with the young ones. Just sponsoring events and programmes are not enough. I am on a mission to bring back childhood to the children and teach them in a joyful manner.

Can you explain the physiological process of reading on the brain?
Reading is great for your brain. It challenges your brain cells to work and be active. It expands your horizons. All these activate your brain cells. You can learn a new skill or language, try new cuisines, and travel to new places. All these help to strengthen the neural pathways. While you are reading, your brain is processing each word, recalling the meaning. Besides the mechanics, reading helps you visualize the subject that you are reading about, imagine what voices sound like in dialogue, and more. Reading is like a mental fitness workout. It can stoke the imagination and spike up so many different parts of the brain.

What inspires you?
Children inspire me. I love writing stories for them. Stories make your childhood very special and warm. I still remember all the stories told to me and the various books I went through in my childhood. It makes me feel very cozy and comfortable.

How does Mumbai inspire you?
Mumbai inspires me a great deal. Your childhood plays a very important in inspiring you. I come from an East Indian farmer community, born and brought up in Poinsor and Bandra, Mumbai. I also have nostalgic memories of living in a bungalow in Hindustan Petroleum quarters in Chembur. I have seen Mumbai transform from green fields to skyscrapers. In a way it is a sign of progress that the city has made but it also makes me feel sad. I have fond memories of my grandparents’ fields, horse carriages, sprawling bungalows with huge gardens. I have seen the rustic and the urban side of Mumbai. Our children will not know what it is to enjoy the smells and the sights of rural and rustic Mumbai – the smell of grass, paddy fields, horse stables, poultry farms, huge spaces around the house to play and frolic around, eat fresh fruit and vegetables form the farm, and above all good home cooked food spread on a huge table with the entire family sitting around eating and praying together. My background and exposure to this unique rustic culture close to nature, inspires me and boosts my creativity is a great source of inspiration. Mumbai today, makes you smarter. Our young men and women are no longer domesticated. They are professionals in the echelons of the corporate world and take better decisions, thanks to the education and opportunities that Mumbai offers. Children are the future of Mumbai and we must help them to grow into better human beings.

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