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Asian Festival of Children’s Content

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Shouldn’t all children be able to identify with the characters in the stories they read? Publishers share why and how they are diversifying and expanding their publishing catalogues and the challenges they faced in the quest to make every child feel represented.

Diversity Publishing

Radhika Menon

Radhika Menon (India)

Radhika is the brain and spirit behind Tulika, a pioneering publishing house started in 1996 and recognized in India and internationally, for its outstanding range of multilingual children’s books. Inclusive and representative, the books in different languages reflect cultural diversity in every respect. Tulika won the 2022 International Excellence Award for Children’s and Young Adult’s Publishing at the London Book Fair. In 2019 it was awarded the International Excellence Award for Literary Translation Initiative, in recognition of its unique, “ambitious, energetic and inclusive publishing programme.” A hands-on publisher, she is deeply involved in the visualizing, editing, designing and marketing of Tulika books.

Reni Roxas

Reni Roxas (Philippines)

Reni is a Filipina writer, editor, and children’s book publisher. She worked eight years in American publishing houses in New York City before founding Tahanan Books in Manila in 1992. Named for the Filipino word for home, Tahanan publishes books that celebrate Philippine history and culture, and is a 14-time winner of the National Children’s Book Award. Its publist of over 150 titles is sold domestically and abroad. Reni is an award-winning author of two picture books Ay, Naku! and Méme: The Baby Book. She divides her time between Manila and Seattle.

Vanitha Tonn

Moderator Vanitha Tonn (Australia)

சிங்கப்பூரராகிய வனிதா, அவரது கணவருடனும், இரு பிள்ளைகளுடனும் சிட்னியில் வசிக்கிறார். Marketing துரையில் 8 வருடங்களுக்கு மேல் வேலை செய்த இவர், வணிக மேலாண்மைத் துறையில் முதுகலை பட்டம் பெற்றுள்ளார். தன் முதல் குழந்தை பிறந்­த­போது, பிள்ளைகள் தமிழ் கற்­ப­தற்கு முறை­யான தமிழ் புத்­த­கங்­கள் இல்­லா­ததை உண­ரத் தொடங்­கினார். இதனால், 2017-ஆம் ஆண்­டில் ‘வாரணம்’ பதிப்பகத்தைத் தொடங்கி வண்­ண­ம­ய­மான, சுவா­ர­சி­ய­மான தமிழ்ப் புத்­த­கங்­களை குழந்தைகளுக்கு உரு­வாக்­கும் முயற்­சி­யில் இறங்­கி­னார். வனிதா இது­வரை எட்டு நூல்­களை வெளி­யிட்­டுள்­ளார்.

Originally from Singapore, Vanitha lives in Sydney with her husband and two little children. Having worked as a Marketing Manager for over eight years, Vanitha holds a Masters’ degree in Business Administration. Unable to find good quality Tamil books for her own children, Vanitha turned to self-publishing and started Vaaranam Children's Books in 2017. The Vaaranam brand has now grown to eight Tamil books, including books with innovative elements such as lift-the-flaps, touch and feel textures and even an interactive clock! Vanitha is currently working on her next book project.

All programme dates and times are subject to change and existing COVID measures.

* : Pre-registration is required for in-person events. Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.