Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kavita Singh Kale on the #6FrameStoryChallenge

The #6FrameStoryChallenge fever has caught on. We've already seen frames from 15 different illustrators and some illustrators have even sent in 2 stories. Currently, that amounts to more than 100 new Creative Commons licensed illustrations. How cool is that?

The illustrations we started sharing were by the Illustrator Gurus who got a tiny headstart over the rest. The first entry we received from a participant was sent by Kavita Singh Kale. 

Kavita says - "I really enjoyed the process of creating a 6 frame story and now I look forward to share my joy with the children of the world. ‪#‎6FrameStoryChallenge‬ is a beautiful concept and I want to support it.".

(Kavita Singh Kale grew academically as an artist with a BFA degree in painting from College of Art, New Delhi and PG Animation from National Institute of Design, Ahmadabad. With a decade of experience in original content creation in the field of publication, TV and film industry, she has handled broadcast design, illustrating and writing for children’s books, music videos to short films.)

The #6FrameStoryChallenge is open to illustrators and is on till 30th January, 2015 : http://bit.ly/1IJgRuA

Also read the other interviews by illustrators who took the challenge:
Rajiv Eipe
Kalyani Ganapathy

A story by the pond in Kalkeri

The setting was a dream; green hills against an evening sky, a placid pond, a group of happy children in front of me, the tall trees swaying overhead, and a scary thrill of coming face to face with possible wildlife in the untamed shrubbery all around. Naturally, the best story to share with the children of Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya was Anupam Misra's Dai ka Talaab (The Ponds of Darbhanga). As I narrated the story about a selfless pandit, and an even more magnanimous midwife, I tried not to get dumb-struck by all the sparks of creativity visible around me. A child in the first row appeared to be listening attentively to the story even as he wove a beautiful anklet of grass around his ankle. A child in the last row couldn't stop twirling. Some children were playing with their fancy headgear...crowns and caps made from leaves for their drama practice in the earlier hour. And it was clear from their energetic responses that they were taking in the story quite well.

Learning happens at various levels. I don't have research material to quote from but am convinced that children learn best when they are in a pleasant environment. And they definitely don't need to be sitting ramrod straight in a chair to be imbibing. This is evident when one spends some time at Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya, a free school of performing arts and academics for children from socially and economically disadvantaged families. Children spend hours practising and learning the nuances of Hindustani classical music in this remote school in a dusty corner of Dharwad. 

They learn Kannada, maths, science, history and how to wash their plates effectively with ash. They also learn English through a special syllabus put together by volunteers and the team at KSV. I wondered why they had copied Where is my bat? and My Friends in their copybook, no pun intended...a lesson in handwriting or word recognition, maybe. The child in Dai ka Talaab is a genius. The children in KSV are not far behind! And I am awe-stuck at how every child has the potential to shine if only we are able to give them the right facilities.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Prashant Miranda Takes the #6FrameStoryChallenge

We've been following Prashant Miranda's work for years now and we hooted with joy when he agreed to take the #6FrameStoryChallenge. Prashant's motivations to take the challenge reveal that the challenge is a simple and fun thing to do (Pssst : If you are an illustrator, go sign up NOW!)

Prashant says,
"I am in between illustrating 2 children's books, and I like Pratham Books' mission: A book in every child's hand, so I decided to take up the challenge.
We revealed a few frames of Prashant's story on our Facebook event page yesterday and promised to reveal the entire story today. So, here goes...

So, what are you waiting for? Just 9 days more to submit your 6 frame story for the challenge. Get started!

Also, there is a virtual drawing party happening over at the #6FrameStoryChallenge event page. Join it (regardless of if you are an illustrator or not) to get your daily dose of whimsy and magic.

(Prashant Miranda, grew up in Bangalore, studied at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and moved to Toronto soon after. He spends his summers in Canada, and winters in India, where he travels and documents his life through his watercolour journals, animates films, illustrates childrens books and paints murals. View his work at www.prashart.blogspot.com)

Also read the other interviews by illustrators who took the challenge:
Kalyani Ganapathy

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pratham Books at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival

It's ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival Time and we are excited to be back at this prestigious event! 

We have already started the celebrations by taking literature to 50 schools across Jaipur with our ‘Litmagic in Schools’ programme.

As part of our commitment to reading, Manisha Chaudhry (head of content, Pratham Books) will also be moderating an interesting panel discussion ‘Towards a National Policy’ on 22nd January. 

Also, make your way to our book stall at the Festival. Lose yourself in the colourful world of children's books and take new bookish friends home.

Date : 21st to 25th January
Time :  9.30 a.m to 8.00 p.m
Venue : Diggi House, Sawai Ram Singh Road, Jaipur

See you there!

"I've Been Glued to My Chair" - Kalyani Ganapathy on the #6FrameStoryChallenge

We are hosting the #6FrameStoryChallenge - a challenge for illustrators to come up with a children's story using just 6 illustrations. All the action is taking place on the Facebook event page (so, join the event to get the latest updates and more). Join us to see the new worlds our illustrator friends are taking us to.

We also have 8 Illustrator Gurus who are part of this challenge. Their 6 frame stories will be released through the Challenge and also showcased on the platform. 

Kalyani Ganapathy is the second Illustrator Guru who sent in her story. Kalyani talks about why she took the #6FrameStoryChallenge.

Kalyani : I love the idea of multilingual publishing, I have been with a book in my hand and a story on my lips ever since I can remember. I've always wanted to contribute towards books being available to everyone in some way or the other. As an adult I love being able to bring that magical, imaginary world alive through illustration. So, I'm glad to be contribute via illustration. And, before I get too serious, stringing a story with 6 words has been one of the best experiences I've had as an illustrator, I've been glued to my chair since I started!

Inspired?  Sign up for the #6FrameStoryChallenge and get started!

Don't forget to join the Facebook event page to follow all the excitement and inspiration being shared by other artists.

(Kalyani Ganapathy is a visual story teller. Her illustrations are stories about friends, strangers and herself. She loves patterns found in nature, textile motifs and books of any kind. She actually woke up one morning, got out of her graphic designer avatar, walked into an art shop, bought a bag full of material and started drawing. In the near future she hopes to be a writer and illustrator of a little bit of whimsy.)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Muchkund on the Creative Commons Thing of the Day Blog

The latest buzzzzzz : we've made it to the Creative Commons Thing of the Day blog! Go on and find out what Muchkund is up to on their blog. 

Pssst : If you are a CC fan like us, it is an interesting blog to follow for interesting CC projects and news.

Illustration from the book Muchkund and His Sweet Tooth - Written by Dr. Madhav Gadgil and illustrated by Maya Ramaswamy.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bunty and Bubbly : Now in Spanish


We love being surprised by the little remixes that happen with our Creative Commons licensed content. This time's remix is an animated version of our book 'Bunty and Bubbly' - and it has also been translated into Spanish. Gracias BookBox team!

Other videos that you can watch from the Little BookBoxers' series : The Moon and the Cap (English), Bunty and Bubbly (English), Vayu, the Wind (English), Vayu, the Wind (French), Too Much Noise (English), The Moon and the Cap (Dutch), The Moon and the Cap (Marathi)

Rajiv Eipe on Taking the #6FrameStoryChallenge

We are hosting the #6FrameStoryChallenge - a challenge for illustrators to come up with a children's story using just 6 illustrations. We've already started seeing a few illustrators sign up for the challenge on the Facebook event page and we are really excited to see the new worlds our illustrator friends are going to take us to.

We also have 8 Illustrator Gurus who are part of this challenge. Their 6 frame stories will be released through the Challenge and also showcased on the platform. 

Rajiv Eipe is the first Illustrator Guru who sent in his story. We asked Rajiv what made him participate in the #6FrameStoryChallenge.
Rajiv : #6FrameStoryChallenge seems like a compelling idea, and I can imagine how herculean a task it might be for Pratham Books to build this library of images, so I was keen to contribute. The open-source story publishing platform sounds bold and exciting. Though I haven't yet fully been able to wrap my small head around how the whole thing will work, I'm very curious to see what the end user comes up with by borrowing illustrations from the image-bank. Picking 6 words from the word wishlist and stringing together a narrative is also a fun way to get story juices flowing. I highly recommend it!

So, you've heard it from Rajiv. Wondering what to do this weekend? Well, sign up for the #6FrameStoryChallenge and lets see those stories.

Also, join the Facebook event page to follow all the excitement and inspiration being shared by other artists.

(Rajiv Eipe lives in Bangalore and works on Animation and Illustration projects. He has illustrated books for publishers like Katha, Tulika, Red Turtle, Pratham Books, MantaRay, etc. and has created numerous short animation films for television, film and the internet. He also likes to doodle in his sketchbook, drink more coffee than is good for him, maintain an untidy workspace and gaze into vacant space at short intervals. He posts his work here, sometimes: www.behance.net/rajiveipe)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pratham Books and JLF Outreach : Taking Litmagic to Schools

For the fourth year in a row, we are delighted to partner with the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival and Teamwork Arts to manage to outreach component of the festival. 

The JLF Outreach creates a new generation of lovers – lovers of literature!

Young children in school learn to interact with books in many ways. As they learn language, they also get their first taste of literature in their text books, library books and books that their friends are reading. What can be more exciting for them than to meet the authors and illustrators who create these wonderful magical things called books!

The JLF Outreach takes the excitement of the world's finest literature festival right into their classrooms. Author interactions, readings, exciting discussions, and tips on writing...a truly rewarding experience for children and authors as they come face to face with a new set of readers.

This year local Jaipur students will get to meet and learn from Pulitzer-Prize winners, international illustrators and some of the world-class poets, novelists and journalists who will attend the world’s largest free literary festival next week.

The Festival has partnered with Pratham Books to produce over 50 interactive sessions from Jan 16-25, 2015 promoting the love of books to schools across Jaipur including Bhawani CDC, Bhawan’s Vidyashram, MGD Girls’ School, Neerja Modi School, The Palace School, SKIT College, Kanoria Girls College, Bright Future English School and several others.

We will also be participating in the main Zee Jaipur Literature Festival. More details to follow soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

10th Annual Status of Education Report Released

The 10th ASER report was released yesterday. The report reveals that there is still so much that needs to be done to improve the basic reading skills of children across India.

  • Overall, the situation with basic reading continues to be extremely disheartening in India. In 2014, in Std III, only a fourth of all children can read a Std II text fluently. This number rises to just under half in Std V. Even in Std VIII, close to75% children can read Std II level text (which implies that 25% still cannot).
  • Some very small improvements in reading are visible in the last few years. For example, the proportion of Std V children who can at least read a Std II level text has inched upwards from 46.8% in 2012 to 47% in 2013 and to 48.1% in 2014. 38.7% of Std III children could read at least a Std I level text in 2012. This number is slightly higher at 40.2% in 2014.
  • In some states, reading levels have improved since last year. For example, in 2014a higher proportion of children in Std V in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Odisha and Karnataka can at least read Std II level text than was the case last year. Tamil Nadu shows major gains in reading over last year for Std V.
  • Looking at trends over time, in many states the reading status of children is largely unchanged. However in some states, like Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra there are visible declines in reading levels over the last 5-6 years.
The good news being ...
  • The proportion of schools with libraries has increased substantially, from 62.6%in 2010 to 78.1% in 2014. In about 40.7% of schools that were visited, childrenwere seen using library books as compared to 37.9% in 2010.
A summary of the report can be seen in the following video:

#6FrameStoryChallenge: Illustrate a Children's Story in 6 Frames

What is the #6FrameStoryChallenge?

The #6FrameStoryChallenge is about telling a children's story through just 6 illustrations. This challenge is open to budding, aspirational and professional illustrators above the age of 16. 

Send us your creative story and our Illustrator Gurus will select the top 3 entries. Winning entries will get paired with published authors who will weave a story around their illustrations, and also get a goody bag from Pratham books. 

These stories will be showcased on the Pratham Books' upcoming open-source, story publishing platform. The platform is one of the steps we are taking to give stories wings and get kids across India reading. This requires the collective strength of a million minds. This platform will grow an entirely new ecosystem of content creation and publishing that can help solve the book drought in India and even globally. It will enable its users to read stories, translate them, create new stories and upload illustrations. So not only will the whole wide world get to see your awesome illustrations, they will also read a story around it!

How can I participate?
It’s simple! All you need to do is create a story in 6 frames of illustrations (no words, only pictures). You can do this in any of these two ways:

1. Create a story using any 6 words from our Word Wishlist below. Remember that you can add any amount of detail as long as you have used any 6 words from the wishlist. (Confused? Click here to see narratives created using words from the wishlist)

(Click on the image for a larger view)


2. Choose one of our 6 narratives to illustrate. 

Take a look at the 6 Frame Story created by Rajiv Eipe, one of our Illustrator Gurus.

Illustrator Gurus for the #6FrameStoryChallenge

Their 6 frame stories will be released through the Challenge and also showcased on the platform. So get inspired and be ready to impress them with your work!

Guidelines for Submission to #6FrameStoryChallenge

  • Contest ends on 30.1.2015. Send us your first few frames as you illustrate them if you would like us to feature you via our social media.

  • Send us your 6 illustrations along with the 6 words you have chosen from our Word Wishlist, and a Story Title of your choice. Email us your entries at storyweaver@prathambooks.org or send it by post to Pratham Books, House No. 621, 2nd Floor, 5th main, OMBR Layout, Channasandra Main Road, Lakshmamma Layout, Banaswadi, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560043. (P.S - postal entries cannot be mailed back)
Format guidelines: 
  • Size of illustrations: 11.17 inches (width) x 6.01 inches (height). Your artwork can be bigger than this, but it must be scaled to the correct proportions. 
  • Files to be handed over in psd in layers or ai along - with 300 dpi / ppi png files. Please send us your illustrations as low-res JPEGs (to share via Social Media) and high-res source files (via WinZip, Dropbox, YouSendIt).
Copyright and other guidelines:
  • The illustrations you submit must be your original work. 
  • By submitting your work to the #6FrameStoryChallenge, you are agreeing to a CC-BY license being applied to it (This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation). To know more about CC-BY, click here
  • Pratham Books reserves the right to accept/vet the illustrations. 
  • For queries, write to us at storyweaver@prathambooks.org 
  • While we encourage participation from all countries, prizes shall be couriered only within India. In case the winning entry is not from India, we will send you a high-res PDF of the book to print locally.

You can also join the Facebook event to view updates sent by other illustrators.