KathaVana is an annual bilingual children’s literature festival hosted by Azim Premji University since 2012 with active involvement from Field institutes across Karnataka. 

It believes that children’s literature — oral, performative and written — has the capacity to welcome children into the world of pleasure, imagination, emotions, creativity, curiosity, different cultures, play with language, empathy with human lives, and an understanding of self. 

A few key questions motivate KathaVana:

  • Can young children be introduced in meaningful ways to literature?
  • Can teachers be introduced to (and convinced about) its power and relevance to the lives of their young students?
  • Can this be accomplished in the context of government schools?
  • Can we produce useful materials — children’s books, teacher resources — to support teachers’ use of literature in the school context?

Based on these questions, each edition of KathaVana offers a variety of forums where children, teachers and community members can engage deeply with literature— through book exhibitions, storytelling and read aloud events, puppet shows, meet-the-author and illustrator sessions, professional development workshops for teachers, and forums for different kinds of stakeholders to come together and discuss pertinent issues related to literature. 

Each edition of KathaVana takes up a theme and explores issues related to that theme more closely.

The theme for the 12th edition — Kathavana 2023 is Teachers Writing for Children.

Previous editions and themes of KathaVana:

Glimpses from Kathavana 2020 – 21