Monday, April 27, 2015

New Books on the Pratham Books Mobile App

For World Book Day, we released our entire batch of new titles online - for you to read and download for FREE! Now most of the books (except the bilinguals) are up on the Pratham Books Mobile App

8 titles X 6 languages = 48 books
Read on the go with the Pratham Books Mobile App

Don't have the Pratham Books Mobile Reading App on your phone yet? 

1. Follow this link to download the app or look up Pratham Books on the Google Playstore. 
2. Register with your child’s age, your name and email id. 
3. Select your child’s Reading Level and preferred language to start reading.

You can also read/download our latest books here
If you want to buy these books, they are currently on a discount too (for a limited period only).

Urdu Authors' Workshop

A few weeks ago, we held an Urdu Authors' Workshop in Delhi. The workshop was featured by The Hindu

This past weekend, at a workshop-cum-brainstorming session organised by Pratham Books, 22 Urdu authors, academics and playwrights came up with stories for children based on universal but out-of-the-box themes. The non-profit publisher, which aims to give children access to books written in their mother tongue, organised the workshop for Urdu writers.

Poonam Girdhani, who manages Pratham Books’ Urdu programme, said the aim of the workshop was to encourage writing for children and improving the themes of such writing.

“Among the top themes in children’s literature are kings and queens, detectives or spies, and animals. Plus, all stories end with a message about what an ideal girl or boy should be like,” said Ms. Girdhani.

The participants questioned the need for that kind of message. Urdu research scholar at Jamia Millia Islamia Saleha Siddique said stories should make children think and not tell them about good morals.

“We keep telling children that good girls and boys do not do this or that. Why don’t we let them think and understand for themselves,” she asked.

An average of two stories was written by the participants and some may be published by Pratham Books.

“Many children are not autonomous readers. We want them to pick up a book and be interested in the story,” she said.

From stories about everyday objects like the toothbrush to a more heavy subject matter that is the environment, the workshop, held at the Urdu Academy here, left the authors pleased.

One of Ms. Siddique’s stories was about a girl who liked to pluck leaves and flowers, while her mother liked gardening. On a hot day, she takes shelter under a tree and is forced to think about her actions. The next day, her mother finds her watering the household plants.

Three More Days to Send in Your Stories for the Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest

We are drawing close to the end of our annual Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest. If you've not yet started writing your story, you need to start NOW! Our inbox is full of stories and some remixers are already taking their stories out into the world and sharing them through storytelling events (more on that soon). 

Head over to our first post on the contest to see how you can participate.

Mala Ashok, a remixer who has participated in a few of our RRR contests shares why she continues to participate and also has a little message for others :
I love entering the "Retell, Remix, Rejoice," contests - this is the third year I'm entering it. Each year there is a theme and I make sure I use the theme as a guide for writing my story. In the year 2013 I repeatedly brought in "trees" in my story "no school today." This year I've been more subtle about using the theme "wishes," in my story. Whatever I write, I have a great time creating the story and later reading the prize-winning story. Do write a story,  you too will have a lot of fun!
She also adds,
"If I remember the Mathematics I learned eons ago, you can select 10 pictures from 30 in 100,15,005 ways - that's right over one lakh ways! So, what are you waiting for just pick 10 of those pics and write a story about them. Go on, I did and I may even write another one; so there's 100,15,003 remaining ways for you to select the pics and write a story. Believe me it's a lot of fun!!"
We hope you take Mala's advice and we get to see the fabulous stories you can come up with.

Read Mala's stories from the previous years :
No School Today
The Tenth Wicket

Friday, April 24, 2015

Buy 'Books by Weight' at the Book Bonanza

If you live in Bengaluru, you may want to check out the 'Book Bonanza' happening in Jayanagar. We tweeted about it yesterday and then heard from someone who had seen the tweet :

We haven't been there yet, but after this - we may just head there over the weekend too.

Via The Hindu

The ongoing book fair at ‘Book Bonanza’ at Jayanagar 4th block consists of nearly 10-lakh book inventory sold by weight! “This has been our forte to reach connoisseurs, students and the poor to make even ‘classics’ affordable. Our book fair has the ‘books by weight’ offer with a better price-slash as we are moving to a new building,” says Tipu Waseem Pasha, owner of the book store.
The 4000 sq feet store on 11th Main Road has loads of books piled up with both new and used ones, without a trace of the old smell or discolouration seen in them. Since the collection, mostly by foreign authors, is too varied and dense, they are not segregated under subjects and themes. So the only way out is to have sufficient time to browse through the many halls of the stacked wonder and take old books at Rs. 150 a kg! New books are given away with an 80 per cent slash in prices. So take away a Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon or even Rowling’s Harry Potter for a measly Rs. 200, Kane & Abel’s ‘Honour Among Thieves’ for Rs. 200, Robin Cook’s ‘Fever & Brain’ for Rs. 200 or Stephenie’s Twilight series for as little as Rs. 300 for all the 4 volumes! “These books cost nearly 8 to 10 pounds, but since we have people to source used-and-spotless-books from the U.K and the U.S., we are able to offer at street-sellers price,” says Mr. Pasha.

Book Bonanza’s collection is mind-boggling. The Readers Digest series, DK publications, King-Fisher publications, nearly 100 varieties of dictionaries, medical books from across the world, psychology, history, math, arts & crafts and books for special children that attract most school and college students. Pop-up Scholastic publications and western music books for children and books in nearly 10 international languages are amongst the collection. “We even source new launch foreign books for connoisseurs, we allow exchange or swap of books too,” says Mr. Pasha.

The book fair is all set to go on for three weeks more due to public demand, says Mr. Pasha. Call 97413 25687 or

Read the entire article.

If you head to the fair, tell us what you thought of it and if you found some interesting books.

Marching Back to School with Mala Kumar

Friday the 17th of April, 2015 brought the Bookalore team to Army Public School for a fun activity-filled morning. Amidst shouts, squeals and peals of laughter, Mala Kumar conducted a storytelling session with the little, high-energy second graders. The junior library rang loudly with "I want that one!", "I want this one!" and "On your mark, get set, go!!!"

I time-travelled back to school and fondly remembered the rare storytelling sessions that we used to have. To see the enthusiasm and joy on the children's faces when Mala played the part of an angry Anil was a treat indeed. The children could relate with Anil and were very curious to know what Anil's Amma wanted. Why did "No, no, not that one!" become "I want that one!"? Multiple guesses were made at the answer (some funny :)) and when the right one was revealed shouts of "I knew it! I knew it!" could be heard.

A fun Friday morning left us in high spirits throughout the day. Mala's awesome ability of interacting with children and her transformation into angry little Anil brought the session alive. We got what we wanted - to spread the joy of reading and to colour the young minds with stories. :)

And just in case you are wondering what Anil wanted, you can read Mala Kumar's story for free here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Celebrate World Book Day with New Stories

Today is World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day a event organized by (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing and copyright every year on April 23rd. For us at Pratham Books, this day holds a special place in our hearts as it combines everything that we stand for.

It’s about the joy of reading good books, the joy of publishing good books put together by our talented authors, illustrators and translators and the joy of sharing these good books with a large audience, thanks to the Creative Commons license our books carry.

Our journey with Creative Commons started in 2008, when we realized that the way to make our story books travel to far off places was to free them from the limitations that copyright brings with it. The gap of good reading material for Indian children was wide, and we wanted to fill the gap as fast as we could. We got our wheels via the Creative Commons license which allowed our stories to be translated and adapted multiple times, taking its reach further than we had imagined.

And then came 'Muchkund and his Sweet Tooth', our first book to be launched digitally and made accessible for reading even before it was printed, thanks to the CC license. Our beloved Sringeri Srinivas made an appearance on ‘Too Much Noise’ digitally and is soon going to be available in print. After that, we printed the entire Adikahani series under a CC license. 

In all these years, our belief in the power of ‘Openness’ and ‘Sharing’, through Creative Commons has only increased. Our extended family of Authors and Illustrators are recognizing it too and are getting on board the CC bandwagon. For the first time since we've adopted these licenses, we've printed an entire batch of new titles under a CC-BY license. 

On World Book Day today, we couldn’t think of a better gift for our readers than this:  All our latest 10 books (in 6 languages) are available for reading and downloading on Scribd. 

That's 58 new books for you to read and share! 

Not only that, you can get your very own copies at a discounted price* too. Because we know you love books as much as we do.

Celebrate WORLD BOOK DAY today by curling up with a beloved book. Whether it’s a print-copy or a bright glow of a device – Books are friends we all need.

All the books (except the bilinguals) are also available on the Pratham Books Mobile App. So, you can now read on the go :)

*The discounted packs are available for a fixed period of time only.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Duckbill Workshop : Writing for Children

The folks at Duckbill are conducting a workshop on writing for children. If you've been following the books being published by Duckbill, you'll notice that some of the authors were participants of the previous workshop held by them. So, if you've been toying with the idea of sharing your stories with the world, this workshop may be of interest :

Via Duckbill

Duckbill is happy to announce the next in their series of workshops on writing for children.

Duration: Friday, July 17 to Sunday, July 19 2015, 9.00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m

Number of participants: Maximum 20

Conducted by: Anushka Ravishankar and Sayoni Basu

Scope of the Workshop:

Fiction for children; the target ages can be anything between 7 and 14 years. We are not, therefore, working with picture books or YA books. The workshop is structured to give an overview of contemporary children’s literature, genres and trends, and an understanding of the craft of writing for children. The goal is to enable each participant to explore the kind of stories that they want to tell. The participants have the option of submitting a synopsis and/or a few chapters of a book they want to write. We will give one-on-one feedback on each submission.

Find more details about the workshop here.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Reading Picture Books And More

If you follow the group called The Reading Raccoons on Facebook (managed by Tanu Shree Singh), you definitely know that Tanu is a wealth of information - on books, authors, reading and more. We get a glimpse into her world of books through this post on RivoKids :

We read books. Secretly. No, I am not talking about the Fifty Shades of Grey. We read picture books and enjoy them immensely. They are teenagers and there is a limit to which you can challenge the teen boundary of cool and not cool. Reading picture books falls on the opposite side of the boundary. 

 I have two bookworms at home that are a perfect example. There has never been a transition; there only have been additions. So our shelves are full of picture books, beginner chapter books, middle reads, and YA, absolutely not in that order.

Picture books are not just a rung of a reading ladder. There are some excellent ones out there which are sufficiently layered to be enjoyed by all ages. The boys loved chewing on the board books when they were babies. As toddlers, the pictures told a different story each time they turned the pages. The book also became a weapon in case of a disagreement. By the time they were in first grade, they started sticking their chest out in a bid to look older. The picture books started gathering dust. 'It is for babies!' I was told. I continued picking the ones that I fell in love with anyway.

In the last few years, they have come back. They read everything, from blood curdling YA reads like 'The Bunker Diary' to their all time favourite 'Where the Wild Things Are.' The only difference is, we have the pact. They are not ready enough to go against the tide and declare to the peers that they love picture books. So I do not egg them to come out of the closet. I sit there with them and ogle at the goodness between the pages. We discuss how the illustrations transform from the beginning to the end. They point out the nuances they spot, the character that appears on each page despite her not being a part of the narrative yet, the way the text swirls around, and the tiny poster they noticed in the background when they read the book n+1th time. These books are a journey for them - with each extra mile, they discover something new.

Deadline Extended : Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest

We looked here and we looked there,
we looked in our inbox and we can't find it anywhere. 
Where are those stories hidden?
They are just waiting to be written!
Oh dear parent, teacher, adult and child...
let your imagination go WILD!

No time to write you say,
the deadline is extended, the last day to submit, now far away..

30th April... the new deadline for the Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest,
Lets get together and make this a fun story fest!

*Click here for more details on the contest
*Join the event page for updates, news and more

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kidsstoppress Recommends ...

... our ten new books to 'freshen up story time this summer'

Via Kidsstoppress

If you are trying to add some zing to that Bookshelf then here are 10 books from Pratham Books that will do just that. Pratham Books is a non profit publisher that produces children’s books in Indian languages and they have published 250 titles in over 11 languages. I absolutely love reading to the kids in all languages and here is how you can do the same. With simple language and close to real life illustrations, these books will give kids a great reading experience.

Grandma’s glasses (Rs 30): Grandma loses her glasses all the time, now she needs a smart detective to find them for her. Suitable for Level 2. This one is an absolute favourite with the kids and could relate to the story completely.

Veeru Goes to the CircusNo Smiles Today

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mala Kumar at Bookalore's Friday Book Feast

Our editor and author Mala Kumar is conducting a session at Bookalore's Friday Book Feast (17th April, 2015). Mala will be reading from her new book : 'I want that one'. This session is only for parents, teachers and kids of Army Public School. However, do follow the Bookalore page for updates on future sessions.