Sixty children got an opportunity to celebrate their love of books, culture and heritage recently, when Cinnamon Grand hosted ‘Once upon a book,’ a novel storytime session with Sybil Wettasinghe, author and illustrator of children’s stories, at Nuga Gama, the village in the city.
The ‘Once upon a book’ session saw children reconnecting with the fast disappearing habit of reading and listening. Fondly called ‘Sybil Nanda’, her session was an interactive one, with children getting an opportunity, to share their views, improve ways of writing and make art that speaks.
During the one-hour session ‘Sybil Nanda’ read two books and laced her stories with plenty of interesting anecdotes. With over 200 publications to her credit, she attributes her love for children “as the force behind her gift of story telling and writing.” There was also art to encourage expression on what they saw and heard, with ‘Sybil Nanda’ promising to select the best work, “that has been drawn with commitment.”
One of the most significant moments at the session was when she handed over a special bookmark created especially for the occasion. The beautifully illustrated bookmark had an environmental message for the children visiting Nuga Gama.
The session included a traditional food buffet in keeping with the Nuga Gama theme, and special prizes and giveaways, to complete an afternoon of learning and celebration of Sri Lanka’s culture, heritage and nature.