Tales of wonder and wisdom

Nine-year-old Sistine Menezes recently released her debut books, ‘Bulbul’s Fables’ and ‘Bulbul’s Verseletes’. She shares her journey from being an avid reader to becoming an author


It was after reading books like ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, ‘Puss in Boots’, and ‘Panchtantra’ that Sistine Menezes was inspired to explore the world of storytelling herself leading to her two debut books ‘Bulbul’s Fables’ and ‘Bulbul’s Verseletes’.

‘Bulbul’s Fables’ is a collection of imaginative short stories with moral lessons, aiming to not only entertain children but also teach them valuable lessons. These stories were written in a matter of two days during her summer holidays in May 2023.

“Initially, I had planned to write 101 stories but settled on 10, with the intention of completing my goal as I grow up,” says the nine-year-old from Raia. “I really love animals, so I wanted to write stories about them. But then I decided to write a story about humans too. I read other stories, added my own special ideas, and wrote them down.”

‘Bulbul’s Verseletes’ meanwhile is a book of poems, mostly centered around nature and her daily life. Through this book, children can gain insights into her life and experiences. The titles for the books were given by Menezes’ parents and both books include a glossary at the end to help children understand new words. “Also, there is space provided for children to write their own stories, poems, and draw pictures, which they can share with me,” says the Class 4 student of The King’s School, Margao.

The books are targeted towards children aged four and above, but younger children can also enjoy them. “My aim in writing these books was to provide stories and poems specifically for children,” says Menezes. The cover designs and illustrations for the books have been created by Sujay Naik, a professional artist, art instructor, and filmmaker from The King’s School.

And Menezes hopes that readers will take away an important life lesson from her books — to follow their passion, regardless of their age. “I believe that everyone can achieve their dreams by listening to their inner voice and acting upon it,” says the young author who is now working on a fiction novel based on her cats, and an adventure, which is expected to be launched next year.

Apart from writing, Menezes is pursuing her musical training in solfeggio, vocals, clarinet, and keyboard under the guidance of Fr. Mathew Rebello. She has received awards for singing, dancing, fancy dress, and
badminton competitions.