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Dev Draws a Kolam

Expressing a message of shared cultural tradition, mindful practice, and harmonious coexistence between human and non-human life.

Photo of Callan  Hajosy
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Today is a brand new day

Dev and Paati (Grandmother) both wake up at dawn

They stretch their arms up to the sky

And give a great big yawn


Paati (Grandmother) gets the powder ready

Dev runs to the door 

It’s time to make a Kolam 

Just like the day before


A Kolam is a special gift 

For creatures who are small

Va, va! (Come, come!)

Enjoy the feast for all.


<<>>


First, you draw the dots

One, two, three, four, five

Then you draw the loops and lines

That make the Kolam come alive.


Dev and Paati (Grandmother) sit together

And draw each line with care

This simple act of kindness

Is something they will always share


A Kolam is a special gift 

For creatures who are small

Va, va! (Come, come!)

Enjoy the feast for all.


<<>>


The Kolam is now ready 

It's colored red and white

Dev and Paati (Grandmother) smile proudly

What a pretty sight!


Va, va! (come, come!) 

They called out to the ants

And to all of the small creatures

Crawling out from under potted plants


A Kolam is a special gift 

For creatures who are small

Va, va! (Come, come!)

Enjoy the feast for all!

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

Our book expresses a message of cultural tradition and harmonious coexistence between human and non-human life. Our story will resonate with elders and caretakers who seek to engage with their young readers in small, daily pracitces while encouraging the passing down of cultural traditions.

Share your suggested book title

Dev Draws a Kolam

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Today is a brand new day Dev and Paati (Grandmother) both wake up at dawn They stretch their arms up to the sky And give a great big yawn Paati (Grandmother) gets the powder ready Dev runs to the door It’s time to make a Kolam Just like the day before A Kolam is a special gift For creatures who are small Va, va! (Come, come!) Enjoy the feast for all. <<>> First, you draw the dots One, two, three, four, five Then you draw the loops and lines That make the Kolam come alive. Dev and Paati (Grandmother) sit together And draw each line with care This simple act of kindness Is something they will always share A Kolam is a special gift For creatures who are small Va, va! (Come, come!) Enjoy the feast for all. <<>> The Kolam is now ready It's colored red and white Dev and Paati (Grandmother) smile proudly What a pretty sight! Va va! (come, come!) They called out to the ants And to all of the small creatures Crawling out from under the potted plants A Kolam is a special gift For creatures who are small Va, va! (Come, come!) Enjoy the feast for all!

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

This book uses multiple techniques for engaging early childhood readers, including repetition, Tier I and II vocabulary words, show-not-tell and counting. The narrative has a repeating stanza, which can be read as a song between adult and child. It incorporates small amounts of Tamil language to expose young readers to new languages and encourage cultural diversity. We picked the central theme of drawing a Kolam to help the child learn by doing. The book will include a page with a prompt to encourage tracing a Kolam with the reader’s finger in order to engage the use of the hand and develop fine motor skills. According to Maria Montessori’s Absorbent Mind, the hand is used “to express one’s thoughts, emotions, and intellect.” The development of the child’s hand is important for his developing mobility and ability to make use of objects to meaningfully engage with the world around them.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

We have no personal familiarity with Philadelphia; however, one of us is an international student from Chennai, India, and the other has experience working with primary aged children internationally.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

We value the cultural diversity within urban environments. We have crafted a story that describes an Indian Tamil boy and his grandmother (caretaker) living in the city and practicing the daily tradition of making a Kolam as a means of providing food to encourage harmonious coexistence between humans and small creatures. Living in an urban environment can often be overwhelming; our story is intended to encourage empathy and consciousness for the care of smaller life forms to that of the child, who often is the one being taken care of, as well as engaging in a mindful, daily practice between a boy and his grandmother.

Location: Country

USA

Location: State or Department

New York

Location: City

Brooklyn

Tell us more about you / your team

We are graduate students from The New School studying Design and Urban Ecologies. We are dedicated to designing systems that support equity.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Online

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists
  • I am/we are a formal part of a University or Research Institution

1 comment

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Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

A very special opportunity for a toddler and caregiver to get active as they too draw a Kolam.
Interesting and informative.