EtonHouse Inspirations: Saarth, Youngest Bilingual Author in the World-Guinness Book of Records

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Saarth Khanna Sohum is the youngest bilingual author in the World-Guinness Book of Records. He was only 5 when he first narrated the story of “Giant Twoe and 100 Beanstalks” on 14th July 2017. A student of EtonHouse International School Sentosa, Saarth conceptualized the picture book, the play script and the 2 songs that were published after 108 days of hard work in 3 editions - English, English and Hindi as well as English and Mandarin on the 2nd of November 2017.  

He worked with Darel Seow, a well-known illustrator in Singapore, to bring his story to life over 10 workshop sessions. The English and Hindi editions are authored in Saarth’s words. He worked with Cecilia Chee, a translator featured by the National Book Development Council of Singapore, for the version in English and MandarinWe speak to Saarth, and his parents on their inspiring journey.

Saarth, why did you pick this story and what were your inspirations?

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I wanted a story about a friendly Giant. 

Who did you work with to make the story happen?
I imagined the story on my own in my room with drawings on paper. I did workshops with Darel for drawings, paper cutting with scissors, sticking it with glue to make the artwork. We also used the tablet for some drawings.

What was your favourite part of this project?
The play rehearsals with my friends at home on weekends were fun. My favourite was when I played all the roles myself - Giant Twoe, Yuppy, Kuppy, Beanstalk, parents and the narrator. 

How does it feel to be an author?
I feel nice. But, I do not like being the youngest. I want to author a big book.

Will you sign the book for EtonHouse to keep as a Momento? 
Yes! :) I will sign the first book for EtonHouse on 13th December during the book launch


We also took the opportunity to speak to  Saarth’s parents on their thoughts about the book. Here is what the proud parents had to say. 

How did this project begin?

This project began with Saarth’s enquiry - why are giants always bad and scary? Saarth took up the challenge to make his own story about a friendly Giant. He narrated the detailed plot of Giant Twoe and 100 Beanstalks on 14th July with inspirations from all the magical elements of golden eggs which had to be painted and planted, the golden bows and arrows. 

How did it progress and evolve?

Sentosa Book Launch  (3).jpgOn 15th July we approached Darel Seow for a meeting to illustrate the story into a book. The author and the illustrator met for the first time on 31st July and Saarth shared the detailed storyline and the characters with Darel. After 108 days of focused project work and over 10 hands-on workshop sessions with Darel, the storybook, the songs and the play were completed and published on 2nd November.

What do you think Saarth has learned/gained from this experience?

Saarth has gained the confidence to express his story and ideas in multiple languages and art forms including drama, music, dance, illustrations. Saarth has gained valuable end to end experience of the entire book creation process - the creative as well as the practical aspects. He had a say in the size of the book, paper quality, gloss vs matt finish, binding style etc. He signed the order and delivered the first 100 books to Kinokuniya by hand.

Sentosa Book Launch.pngHow do you feel as parents watching Saarth take on this project that has transformed him into an author? 

We are proud of the way Saarth could naturally collaborate with people in different roles throughout the creative process - the co-illustrator, the music score writer, his music coach and Tabla teacher as well as the discussions with Kinokuniya. Saarth showed respect for other roles in the team and yet retained complete authority and leadership of his role as the author. It has been especially entertaining to see Saarth play the lead role of Giant Twoe during the weekly rehearsals for the play performance on 13th December at EtonHouse International School at Sentosa

Come and experience a school that celebrates and nurtures creativity through the 100 languages.

EtonHouse Sentosa Book A tour