With the first Shishu Prohor (special hours dedicated to children) of this year's Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela yesterday, little children and their parents thronged the fair.
The event, arranged every Friday and Saturday at the book fair, continued from 11am to 1pm at the children's corner in Suhrawardy Udyan. Member secretary of book fair's organising committee Dr Jalal Ahmed inaugurated the Shihu Prohor event.
Mascots of popular characters of Sisimpur (the Bangladeshi adaptation of Sesame Street) welcomed the children at the Shishu Prohor. Halum, Iqri and Tuktuki performed skits and interacted with the children, much to their excitement.
“I love Tuktuki. She is so nice. I hugged her and she hugged me too,” said four-year-old Zenia, who came with her parents to the fair.
Zenia's father Md Rashid was seen smiling seeing her daughter's excitement. “I wanted to give her surprise so I brought her here. She is so happy, and so am I.”
The children made merry with other children at the designated corner at the book fair.
“I brought my daughter to the fair so that she can play and enjoy. As the day is dedicated to children, it is drawing their attention and helping them learn as well,” said Fatima Akhter, who came with her five-year-old son Akash.
The children's corner also has different stalls selling varieties of books targeting children. The little ones, holding their parents' hands, were browsing the stalls and nagging their parents to buy books.
“I love books of Meena. So I have bought a book on her. I want to meet her when I grow up,” said four-year old Ryan Siddique.
Ryan's father Adbul Siddique said, “My son loves to watch cartoons. So we bought him some books on cartoons. It's his learning stage. Therefore, we do not push him. He reads whatever he likes.”
There was a stall of Sisimpur at the corner, which saw the largest crowd.
Razu Ahmed, a salesperson at the stall, said, “Children are happy to see their favourite characters, and they are buying our books.”
Meanwhile, a total of 81 new books hit the stalls yesterday at the fair. Today at 4pm, a discussion titled “1969 er gono-obbhutthan” (Mass uprising of 1969) will be held at the main stage of the fair on Bangla Academy grounds.