For over 20 years the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) located in Oakland, California has been providing hands-on learning experiences for children and adults in 5 program areas: Museum Programs, Artists in the Schools, Early Childhood Programs, Professional Development Programs, and Community Programs. As well as advocating for arts as an essential part of a strong, vital and diverse community, MOCHA emphasizes outreach to children in low-income communities that do not typically have wide access to the arts; and works towards their mission of ensuring that the arts are a fundamental part of the lives of all children. Last year over 35,000 children took part in MOCHA programs!
The first Saturday of each month, MOCHA links literacy with art-making in a free event known as Saturday Stories. First, a children’s book is read aloud and then participants engage in an art activity that highlights the themes of the book. On Saturday 12 September, from 1 – 2pm, MOCHA visitors are invited to join author Anjana Utarid. She will be reading her picture book Roti Rolled Away (Virtualbookworm.com Publishing, 2007): the story of Asha, a young girl in India who encounters unique and exotic animals as she chases down a runaway bread roti.
Anjana, who has an MA in Counseling Education, has traveled around the world several times and is an active advocate for at-risk children. Roti Rolled Away was her first children’s book and was derived from watching her mother teach her daughter to make rotis. Teri Sloat reviewed the book and says:
Roti Rolled Away allows us to follow the Roti, instead of the Gingerbread Man, as it rolls away from Asha. Anjana Utarid uses a familiar pattern and wonderfully rhythmic writing as Asha pays her respects to the animals of India while following the Roti through the jungle, only to watch the Roti disappear into the river. A wonderful grandmother story and bridge between cultures.