Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Workshop for Kids

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Dates : 3rd September - 25th September, 2011 (Every weekend through September)

(Via Katha)

Storytelling Course

Via Kathalaya (via @tarabooks)

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CERTIFICATE COURSE (Intensive) – Sept 5th 2011 - Sept 10th 2011.
Click on Course Details to know more about it .

Special Workshop on Sept 10th 2011
  • Beatriz Montero : Workshop on Secrets of storytelling by use of special dance movements and non-verbal techniques. Click here for more details .
  • Enrique Paez : Creative story writing. Click here for more details.

Illustration Love

More reading and book-related illustrations we've found across the web.

Image Source : Dani Jimenez (via Thomerama)

Image Source : MarchBallad

Image Source : (via pixiv)

Writers, etc. : Session 6

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Via an email received by fircdel

The French Embassy in India and Alliance Française de Delhi present Writers, etc. Session 6 : Yann Kerninon in conversation with Rana Dasgupta on the occasion of the release of the book "An attempt to assassinate my inner Bourgeois"

On Thursday ,1st September 2011, 6.30 pm

M.L Bhartia Auditorium
Alliance française de Delhi
72, Lodi Estate, New Delhi-110003.

Monday, August 29, 2011

How Do Kids Write a Book Review?

Previously, we've had a few children write book reviews of their favourite books published by us. Is there a book that we've published that your son/daughter loves? Will you ask him/her to send us a book review? Wondering how to start? The Book Chook blog has an excellent list of suggestions on how to get your child to write a book review.

35 - Get Ready, Get Set, Write
1. Choose a book you think you can write about. It may not be your favourite book, but it needs to be one you can describe to others.

2. Read the book. If you read it a while back, read it again, just before you write your review.

3. Think about what you've read. Try to answer SOME of these questions in whole sentences:

What was the book about? Try to describe it in a couple of sentences without giving away the ending. To see examples of this, there's a fun site, Book-A-Minute, that condenses well-known books into a sentence or two.

What was your favourite part of the story? Why did you like it?

Who is/are the main characters? Tell us something about them. What happens to them in the story?

What sort of book was it? Was it a picture book, a chapter book, a fantasy book, a nonfiction book for sport fans?
Read the entire list of helpful suggestions here.

Story Stones

Absolutely love this idea of using something as simple as stones and paints to create stories and other fun activities in the classroom.

Via creativestarlearning
...painted stones are great for story telling. For instance, if you look at the stones in the photo below:

In turn a child picks a stone and helps make a group story....
Once upon a time there was a ladybird called Lucy.
She lived in Scotland.
One day Lucy decided to go for a walk over a hill.
She wanted to see if she could find the end of a rainbow.

Many children also like playing with letters. They can be used in free play and many structured activities to aid the learning of letters and sounds. For example, letter stones can be hidden in an outside area and children can see which ones they can find. If your school is using a synthetic phonics approach then this is a useful way to reinforce the letters and the sounds they make.

The next possibility is to create word stones. Paint whole words on stones. Children can do this for each topic! Again these can be used in different games to help children develop literacy skills. For example, stones can be placed in a school garden. The children have to find the words and use them to make a poem or write a sentence - the level of difficulty depending upon the age and ability of the children.
Read the entire article here. View similar projects here, here and here.

Event : 31st Annual Awards for Excellence in Book Production

People in Delhi, are you attending the Delhi Book Fair? We will be at Stall no 8 B in Hall No-12A, Pragati Maidan. If you are coming on 31st August, you can also attend the 31st Annual Awards for Excellence in Book Production. Please click on the image above for more details.

The Literacy of Gaming: What Kids Learn From Playing

nick gets an unsolicited backrub from a two year old fan while he plays video games - _MG_3371

Via Mediashift
"When people learn to play videogames," according to James Paul Gee, "they are learning a new literacy."

This is one of the reason kids love playing them: They are learning a new interactive language that grants them access to virtual worlds that are filled with intrigue, engagement and meaningful challenges.

Although games can be immensely entertaining, it would be a mistake to consider them as only a form of entertainment. Games are fun, but their real value lies in leveraging play and exploration as a mode of learning the literacy of problem-solving, which lowers the emotional stakes of failing.

In Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk, Do Schools Kill Creativity?, he reminds us that our educational system has stigmatized mistakes. As a result, kids are frightened of being wrong. Yet if we are not prepared to be wrong than we won't be able to come up with anything creative or solve complex problems. Videogames, on the other hand, embed trial and error into the foundation of gameplay.

Kids aren't naturally great at gaming the first time. They develop mastery through disciplined practice -- a path marked by dead-ends, wrong turns and blunders. Yet gamers aren't angst-ridden about making wrong decisions because games encourage a growth mindset. Mistakes are how one figures out what doesn't work and provides the impetus to zero in on what might.

Games are based on problems to solve, not content. This doesn't mean that game-based problem-solving should eclipse learning content, but I think we are increasingly seeing that a critical part of being literate in the digital age means being able to solve problems through simulations and collaboration.

Videogames, and the type of learning and thinking they generate, may serve as a cornerstone for education and economies of the future.

While there could be a long list of recommended practice, for simplicity sake I've reduced the list to three preliminary suggestions.
  1. Play games. Otherwise how can you have meaningful conversations about them? Not learning how to play games would be akin to talking about "The Lord of the Flies" without having learned to read.
  2. Connect games to books, movies, TV and the world around them. By thinking about games beyond their boundaries we can cultivate pattern recognition across media platforms and parlay the problem-solving of gaming into the real world.
  3. Have your students or kids collaborate with other peers to analyze and interpret games, as well share strategies. There has been a raft of research in recent years that extols the wisdom of the crowd and the logic of the swarm. Through collaboration and networking kids can learn to enhance their own perspectives, ideas and, perhaps, contribute to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Read the entire article here.

Image Source : sean dreilinger

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Visit Pratham Books at the Delhi Book Fair!

Venue: Stall no 8 B in Hall No-12A, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Date: 27th August to 4th September 2011
Timing: 11am to 8pm

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Preschool Years: Use Big, Big Words

Via ChildUp

Ever heard that piece of keeping it simple advice: never use a $10 word where a 2-cent one will do? Well, forget all that. At least when it comes to talking to your kids. Those $10 words? They’re like an investment in your kids’ education — one that will pay off earlier than you may think.

A new study in the journal Child Development found that the richness of vocabulary during the preschool years predicted Kindergarten vocabulary, which correlated with fourth-grade reading.

The sample was small, but Dickinson found strong evidence for a connection between the richness of vocabulary in early school experiences and literacy skills, such as reading and comprehension, just a few years down the road. And, yes, that vocabulary often came from books and group activities — planned efforts. But what’s particularly interesting is that some of the best results were simply from informal interaction between teacher and child.

“While raising the level of interaction in group activities is important, some of my stronger results in this study are seen from informal interactions between teacher and child, showing the importance of elevated language during times such as play and lunch,” [Dickinson] says.
Read the entire article here.

The Adventures of a Cardboard Box

Found this gem on the Kickcan & Conkers blog.

Childhood + imagination = Awesomeness.

Are you still a child at heart?

The Adventures of a Cardboard Box from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.

TEDxNarimanPoint : Transforming Education

Via TEDxNarimanPoint

TEDxNarimanPoint is an event where ideas will be shared by eminent speakers on ways to transform the educational landscape in India and beyond. The speakers come from varied backgrounds – educators, social enterpreneurs in the education sector, policy makers, leaders in CSR etc. to present a view of the concerted effort required to change the educational landscape of a country like India.

TEDxNarimanPoint will be held on Friday, 2nd September 2011 at Y. B. Chavan Auditorium in Nariman Point, Mumbai from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM. It is a FREE event where you can invite your friends, family and anyone interested in education in India. Please send a RSVP email to confirm your attendance.
Click here for more information.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?

Reading in Peace

Via The New York Times
This is exactly what boys do, in the classroom and in the library, as well as in the clubhouse. If we’re to counter this tendency and encourage reading among boys who may collectively resist it, boys need to be approached individually with books about their fears, choices, possibilities and relationships — the kind of reading that will prick their dormant empathy, involve them with fictional characters and lead them into deeper engagement with their own lives. This is what turns boys into readers.

Given the rich variety in young adult fiction available today, this might seem easy. Not so.

“The important question is why aren’t boys reading the good books being published?”

He ticked off the standard answers: Boys gravitate toward nonfiction. Schools favor classics over contemporary fiction to satisfy testing standards and avoid challenges from parents. And teachers don’t always know what’s out there for boys. All true, in my opinion.

There are other theories. On his Web site, guysread.com, the teacher and author Jon Scieszka writes that boys “don’t feel comfortable exploring the emotions and feelings found in fiction. . . . Boys don’t have enough positive male role models for literacy. Because the majority of adults involved in kids’ reading are women, boys might not see reading as a masculine activity.”

But I think it’s also about the books being published. Michael Cart, a past president of the Young Adult Library Services Association, agrees. “We need more good works of realistic fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, on- or ­offline, that invite boys to reflect on what kinds of men they want to become,” he told me. “In a commercially driven publishing environment, the emphasis is currently on young women.”

It’s a cliché but mostly true that while teenage girls will read books about boys, teenage boys will rarely read books with predominately female characters.

To me and I think to many prospective readers, today’s books for boys — supernatural space-and-sword epics that read like video game manuals and sports novels with preachy moral messages — often seem like cynical appeals to the lowest common denominator. Boys prefer video games and ESPN to book versions of them. These knockoffs also lack the tough, edgy story lines that allow boys a private place to reflect on the inner fears of failure and humiliation they try so hard to brush over. Editors who ask writers of books for boys to include girl characters — for commercial reasons — further blunt the edges.

The argument over boys’ reading is not just about gender. This is business, not prejudice. Why publish books if they never reach prospective readers? That many of the edgy books boys would like to read are either not taught or are banned does nothing to promote the cause.
Read the entire article here.

LitCam India 2011

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Manisha Chaudhry, Head of content development- Pratham Books, will be talking about 'literacy and publishing' at LitCam tomorrow. See you there!

When? - 26 August
Where? - India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi

Entry to the conference will be by registered invitation only
For more information please email: litcam.india@gmail.com or call Deepa Kumar at + 91 9811993926

Education for all = a better future for all
Frankfurt Book Fair launches its Literacy Initiative in India

We are pleased to announce the India Chapter of “LitCam - Frankfurt Book Fair Literacy Campaign” - the international campaign for the promotion of literacy and basic education. The Campaign was first launched at the 2006 Frankfurt Book Fair together with its partners, the German Federal Association for Literacy and Basic Education and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL). LitCam India is organised by the German Book Office, New Delhi.

LitCam India will begin with a conference aimed at bringing together key players – agencies, institutions, government and non-government organisations and individuals working in the field of literacy and basic education. The Conference will include key speakers and will comprise of panel discussions and presentations of different literacy models.

The central themes of the conference will be Media and Publishing- their role in imparting/enhancing literacy in the country.

Reading, writing and arithmetic are among the basic skills needed for an autonomous life. But media literacy, i.e. being able as a matter of course to handle modern media is also a part of basic education today.

Besides improving literacy levels as well as basic and media education, the Frankfurt Book Fair Literacy Campaign initiates actions to combat functional illiteracy.

On a national and international level, LitCam provides a platform for organisations involved in literacy campaigns, in basic and media education. In addition to the international LitCam Conference in Frankfurt and the regional LitCam conferences, the online platform "Basic Skills Network" prepared in cooperation with Avallain as well as the LitCam Facebook site gives all those interested a forum for in-depth interchange of experiences. Helping to search for relevant information, the search engine "Literacy Project" was set up together with Google.
Click here for more information.

Bloggers Social Responsibility : Blog about an NGO

If you love the work we do, here's your chance to tell the world about it. BlogAdda has recently introduced a feature that helps you support a cause you believe in through the 'Bloggers Social Responsibility Initiative'.

About Bloggers Social Responsibility

Like CSR, we are now introducing BSR, Bloggers Social Responsibility. A blogger, like everyone else is also socially responsible. We all know the power of words. So, why not use this power to make our home, our India, a better place to live in? To make it or break it, is in your hands, in your words. Let us help the people who are doing some exemplary work to make living conditions better of our home.
Click here for more information.

The NGO’s are here, with their different causes. Now it’s your turn to support them. And it’s very simple. Support them through your blog.

3 simple steps to make a difference. Read. Blog. Share.
  • Read about the NGO and its cause.
  • Blog about the NGO by simply copy-pasting its details and creating a post. Add your own insights too.
  • Share it with the blogosphere and spread the word.
Three simple steps taken by you can do a lot for the NGO. You can spread awareness about the various social causes through these NGO’s. As a blogger, you have the power of words and reach. With your words, you can influence many and provoke a thought. Use your power the wise way by invoking a feeling of awakening among the citizens of India.

Support the NGO’s by visiting this link and blog now!

If you are a NGO or an organisation working for social good, use this form to submit details to us and participate in this program.
Read the entire post here.

If you love the work that Pratham Books does, use the power of your blog to talk about our work and encourage people to help us achieve our mission of 'a book in every child's hand'.

When Classic Novels Get Tattooed


Penguin publisher chose six classical novels that were redesigned by well-known tattoo artists. The collaboration is part of Penguin Ink, an ongoing project to help celebrate Penguin’s 75th anniversary. The tattoo artists are asked to add their creative flare and imagination to the book covers in the style of body art. The results are unique, refreshing and inspiring.

You can view all the images here.

Image Source

Magic, Realism and After : Exploring the Impact of Indian English Fiction

The film seeks to explore and gauge the global impact of Indian English fiction.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Learn About Low Cost Innovation in Publishing at Jumpstart

Who is attending the Jumpstart conference being held in Delhi? Our managing trustee, Suzanne Singh, is going to be talking at the 'What They're Talking About' session. She will be talking about how Pratham Books’ story cards are changing the way children can access stories and journey through the world of reading.

This session is on 25th August, 2011 and will be held between 11:45am- 13:15pm.

You can view the entire schedule of the programme here.

See you at Jumpstart!

New Charles Pick Fellowship for Writers from South Asia

Via Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership

The Charles Pick Fellowship is dedicated to the memory of the distinguished publisher and literary agent, Charles Pick, whose career began in 1933 and continued until shortly before his death in January 2000. He encouraged young writers at the start of their careers with introductions to other writers and practical and financial help. Of six months duration and worth £10,000, the Fellowship seeks to continue this spirit of encouragement by giving support to the development of a new and as yet unpublished prose writer.

Martin Pick, Charles Pick’s son, announced (on 20 June 2011 at the Worlds Literature Festival) that this fellowship is being expanded to include an additional fellowship specifically for writers from South Asia. The fellowship enables a writer to spend six months in residence at the University of East Anglia. It will be chaired by Professor Amit Chaudhuri and the short list decided by Professor Jon Cook, Emeritus Professor at the University of East Anglia and a founding Board member of the Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership.

This fellowship is for an unpublished author from South Asia writing in English.

Applicatns should submit no more than 3,000 words. Short listed applicants will be awarded £1,400 and have the opportunity to join a mentored workshop in South Asia with one or more distinguished writers.

The deadline for the fellowship is 31 January 2012.
Click here for more information.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stuff Your Rucksack : Helping Responsible Travellers Make a Difference

Since I travel quite a lot, I make it a point to carry books with me to give to children, NGOs or schools I may visit during my holiday. Yesterday, I came across this awesome site which lets travellers know about the specific needs of organizations in different communities.

“How many times have you been travelling and visited a school or community or local charity that you would love to help? The school needs books, or a map or pencils; an orphanage needs children's clothes or toys. All things that, if only you'd known, you could've stuffed in your rucksack. But once you get home you forget, or you've lost the address, or worry that whatever you send will be stolen before it even gets there...”

"That's why we've set up StuffYourRucksack.com"

Stuffyourrucksack.com is an online community that helps responsible travellers make a practical difference to the lives of those in developing countries that have so little, and deserve so much more.

Stuffyourrucksack.com is a small charity that’s light on its feet so it can deliver direct action. We’re not here to encourage begging; we’re here to show how a simple gesture can bring indescribable joy, and how by connecting with a community you’ll see the world at its most beautiful – and make 20 new friends along the way.

With your help, we can make Stuffyourrucksack.com a one-stop shop for responsible travellers. If you know of an organisation that deserves support or have a great experience to share, then register today, and tell us all about it.
Click here for more information. If you are a traveller, check out the different organisations you can bring things for. If you are an NGO, register on the site so that travellers who can support your organization can learn about how they can help you.

Storytelling Sessions and Workshops at Hippocampus, Bangalore

Via Hippocampus

Storytelling @ Hippocampus

Story time is always a fun time with the engaging storyteller @ Hippocampus. Sign up to find out how much fun you can have!
Age Group: 4 to 6 years @ 11:00 am
7 to 9 years @ 12:00 pm
Date: 28th August 2011 (Sunday)
Fee: Rs. 100 per child ( we invite one parent to sit in with the 4 year old)
Note: Pre-Registrations for this session is required. Limited seats available. Last date of registration is 26th Aug’11 by 3:00 pm. In case of cancellation, please let us know before 26th Aug’11. No Refunds will be given after 26th Aug’11.

Storytelling workshop for all

Craig Jenkins invites you to discover the individual storyteller within and re-imagine your favourite stories as ONLY YOU CAN! This live and interactive workshop will help you discover YOUR own unique style and voice as a storyteller and give you the chance to breathe new life into the tales we all know so well. This workshop is open to all. Teachers, parents, performers and students, or simply those people who just LOVE stories and wish to learn how to tell them in new and exciting ways!
Age group: 18 & above
Date: 27th of August 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Fee: Rs. 2000 per person (Inclusive of Lunch & snacks)
Venue: Gallery Ske, 2 Berlie Street, Langford Town, Bangalore – 25

Storytelling @ schools
Gear up for a one hour fun session of stories brought to life by the charismatic storyteller – with your friends at your very own school.
Age Group: 3 to 14 years
Date: 25th and 26th of August 2011
Time: Speak to the event co-ordinator Kavita (080 2563 0206) for more details
Fee: Rs. 5000 per session of 50 kids
For details and registrations contact the event co-ordinator Kavita at 080 2563 0206 or write in to kavita@hippocampus.in
Click here for more information.

Get Free Books to Review

Daily Pic 2:  Reading

If you have a blog and love reading books, here's your chance to receive books and review them.. for FREE!

Bloggers are often enthusiastic and smart readers. One of the best thing about bloggers is that they review books for their readers. We cannot even explain how valuable this is for everyone.

What if we give you an opportunity to review books on your blog without buying it? Sounds great, doesn’t it? BlogAdda announces yet another very useful initiative for the blogging community – Book Reviews by Bloggers. Sign up if you are interested, sit back, enjoy reading the book and review it on your blog.

Every author needs some constructive feedback of his writings. And who could be better, than the book lovers themselves. Authors who need appropriate feedback can get their books and novels reviewed by the blogging community. Give details of your book by filling up a form.

Bloggers can write a 500+ word review describing briefly about the story of the book, main characters, likes & dislikes, adventures, writing style of the author and similar things. A good review of a book is useful for the readers and authors alike.

Here’s a shout out to all the book lovers! If you want to review books on your blogs without paying for it, then fill up an expression of interest form (You need to be a registered member of BlogAdda.com).
Click here for more information.

Image Source : DailyPic

Monday, August 22, 2011

Write and Read - Workshops for Children

Via Write and Read

Write&Read is a story writing program that is designed to draw out the storyteller in every child. Through workshops and a story writing contest, Write&Read will allow children to convert their creative spark and imagination into some great stories.

Write&Read is an initiative of Hewlett Packard India and the writing workshops in the program will be conducted in association with Katha, an NGO that focuses on bringing quality reading and education to children living in poverty. Renowned lyricist Prasoon Joshi will serve as a mentor to program participants, guiding them in their creative exploration.

The Workshops
The Write&Read workshops will be held across six cities in India - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and Pune.

Each workshop will consist of three half day sessions with a mix of interactive sessions and several activities for inspiring creativity.

The Contest
At the end of the workshop, participants can create and submit a short story for an all India story writing contest. They can print vibrant color copies of their stories using the web-enabled HP printers that will be available at the workshop locations.

Winning entries will be included in a book to be published and distributed to libraries by Katha. This way, winners will instantly join the ranks of published young authors!

To find out if you can register for a free, fun and idea-filled workshop in your city, email us at media@katha.org or talk to your school to see if it is participating in the program.
Click here for more information.

(Please click on the image for a larger view)

Image Source : Katha

Archie and the Riverdale Gang Come to Mumbai


This year, Archie, Betty, Veronica and friends leave their mythical suburbia of Riverdale -- originally based on the Bronx's upscale Riverdale neighborhood -- to go to India, a country in which the comic book's sunny, 1950s outlook still sells.

Indian American Raj Patel’s character was introduced four years ago to add interracial drama to the mix. Now, Patel is being used to push the brand to new frontiers.

In double digest number nine, on stands now, Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and a reluctant Reggie, take a very long flight to Mumbai.

In the "Archie" comic, notorious glutton Jughead replaces his pizzas with samosas and vindaloo; Veronica and Betty drape some saris and alternate these with lehengas; Archie remains fairly confused, but this time in a kurta.

They all absolutely love Bollywood. And find everything about Mumbai "amazing."

The Hindi film industry is, in fact, the reason they arrive in the country.

Their Indian friend Raj Patel loves Bollywood and has been making amateur films. One of these, called "Love Hate Triangle," is uploaded online and becomes a sensation.

After film producer Kunal Desai seeks out Patel to direct a film, Patel asks the Riverdale residents come to India.

Written by Tania Del Rio, the film's plot within the comic is a love triangle -- a theme as natural to "Archie" as it is to Bollywood -- which takes the stakes of the long-running Archie-Betty-Veronica saga up a notch, bringing in a fictional marriage scenario.

Though for the current edition the characters stay in Mumbai, there are in fact plans to have them travel all over India.
Twelve titles will be published here in 2011 by Variety Book Depot and distributed by EuroBooks, a leading publisher of children’s books in India. The cost will be Rs 30 per book.

Archie Comics plans to launch 36 titles in India by 2012 and is considering Hindi and Malayalam translations. Talks are also on to release the comics digitally in India.
Read the entire article here.

Creative Workshops for Children in Kolkata

In this month, the British Council India promises a series of artistic and fun activities which aim to bring out the creative best in kids. We have different activities for all age groups, so pick one that captures your imagination.

Pot Decorating

Age group: 4 - 6 years
Date: 27 August
Time: 11.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
In this workshop, children will decorate plant pots with a design of their choice. Along with an exciting painting session they also get receive a memento, personally worked on, to keep always!

Mask Making

Age group: 7 - 10 years
Date: 27 August
Time: 1.45 p.m. - 3.45 p.m.
This workshop, will apply a hands-on approach to the drawing, designing and construction of masks. It focuses on certain aspects of traditional and contemporary mask making and encourages children to be as creative and colourful as possible.

Graffiti Art

Age group: 11 - 14 years
Date: 27 August
Time: 4.30 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.
In this workshop, the children will be introduced to the ideas, genres and various styles behind graffiti art and they will plan a theme for their own piece of graffiti. They will also prepare a model piece in the group.

Venue: Rabindranath Tagore Centre

Indian Council for Cultural Relations
9 A Ho Chi Minh Sarani
Kolkata - 700071

For more information, please contact aparna.bhattacharya@in.britishcouncil.org or call +91(0)332282 5370
Image Source : British Council

Friday, August 19, 2011

'Copy Right or Wrong?' : Workshop in Mumbai

Via Leaping Windows

Copy right or wrong? A workshop on the legalities of working in the world of comics.

We've planned a special event this August. Together with Rainmaker (www.rainmaker.co.in), we're putting together a workshop on copyright, trademark, and IP (intellectual property) for comic book professionals (writers, artists, and publishers). We know fine print often makes us snooze, but it's important that we don't end up losing out. There are some simple basics that can help us to protect our work, ourselves (don't want to step on any else's territory) and to just read the next contract that comes along a little better.

To better prep for this event, we'd like some help from you. We want you to send us any questions that you might have, however silly, however serious, with regard to copyright, trademark, and IP. It's not complicated - just email us at dogsbody@leapingwindows.com.
Date and time : Saturday, August 20 · 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Venue : Mocha Mojo, Hill Road, Bandra West, Near Holy Family Hospital

Click here for more details.

Spreading joy on World Photography Day

World Photography Day is observed on August 19 each year.This was the day in 1939 when the French government announced the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Louis Daguerre, as a gift to the “Free World.” Today, while a section of India ponders over the meanings of freedom and free speech, we at Pratham Books are delighted to be doing our bit to spread the joy of reading, by er.. freely.. sharing some of our pictures.
The photograph featured here is from our flickr stream. You can see Ryan Lobo's endearing grabs of children here. While you're there, you could also go through the stunning pictures that we got from our wonderful online community for the World Environment Day Contest.
Maybe you could show a nice photograph to a child today. Or strike a grand pose while a child takes your picture! Enjoy!

Transcending Generations in Education

all together

Dileep Ranjekar gives an example of a four-year-old child telling him that she loved her school, her teacher, her mother, and her grandmother but did not like it when her grandmother told her bed-time stories! After some interaction, the girl said “When she tells me the stories, I go to sleep. But she wakes me up and asks me — the moral of the story!”

Via The Hindu
I also began to think about several misconceptions that elders have about issues related to the next generations.

The children are not even at a stage to understand the “moral” of the story. They may understand it cumulatively through several stories — which would be sunk in several layers of their understanding, only to emerge later. Or their moral of the story would be different than what we understand it to be. What about the pure enjoyment of the story by itself? What about several other uses of the story — such as understanding the language, relating to the characters, imagining the ethos, the feelings, and so on?

As in many spheres of life, one of the biggest challenges in the educational system is that we have a first generation of leaders and educators that decide the education policy, the second generation of teachers that are responsible for facilitating education for the children who belong to a third generation.

Therefore, what is likely to work with them is not position, age, seniority, power and experience, but strategies that promote equality, democracy, placing before them hard data for them to analyse and infer, and where required, allowing them to take charge of their own learning.

The first step towards making this happen is to completely overhaul the teacher education agenda.

The second big requirement is to develop excellent “Teacher Educators” who have such an understanding — since the teacher educators are even more far removed from the current generation of children and hence add to the list of challenges.

The third important step is to find a method to educate parents to accept the fact that their children are bound to respond differently to situations than what the parents did when they were children.

The fourth requirement is to sensitise the educational functionaries outside the schools to appreciate the need to transcend generations, while determining and understanding the needs of the schools, the school administration and the education system.
Read the entire article here.

Image Source : Shreyans Bhansali

Book Donation Campaign by Full Circle Books

Via Full Circle Books

(Please click on the image for a larger view)

If you are in Delhi and have books to share, please donate your books at any of the Full Circle bookstores mentioned above. The books will be donated to a library at a Girl's Shelter Home. The folks at Full Circle Books sent us an email to tell us more about the Girl's shelter home:
Arushi the first girl child shelter of Salaam Baalak Trust which came into existence on 4th October 1999 with the support of USAID and FHI (family health International). It started with 5 girls in a rented space in West Delhi. Today after 11 successful years we have benefited almost 886 children with shelter, education-366, medical assistance, psycho- social support, 108 were provided vocational/ hobby trainings and 17 have been placed with jobs. 356 children have so far been reunited with their families.

Presently we have 44 girls in the age group of 5- 18 years. 21 girls are attending formal education at Anantam School & Little Flower School, Rotary public school-Gurgaon, 11 are enrolled in National open school, 11 are in non- formal education, 1 is in graduation level from IGNOU and 2 children with learning disabilities are attending special education at Orkids.

We are now keen to set up a library for these children – we have a small room which will be renovated and books/magazine provided.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Watch All the Fun That Took Place at Bookaroo, Kashmir

Manisha Chaudhry, Head of content development- Pratham Books, wrote about her Bookaroo experience at Kashmir in this post. Her post made us want to be rewind time and attend the festival ourselves. But after seeing this video which she sent us yesterday, I know that I surely want to be part of the Bookaroo Kashmir experience next year. Watch the video to see all the fun they had at Bookaroo, Kashmir and make sure that you come for this year's Bookaroo in Delhi. Oh, also watch out for Manisha in the video :)

Chandamama App For the iPad and iPhone

Via MediaNama

Geodesic, the digital messaging and content solutions company which acquired renowned children’s magazine Chandamama, has launched the magazine on the iOS platform, with a universal (iPad/iPhone) app, that lets users buy and download the magazine’s monthly issue, and read it on their tablets, mobile phones or iPods. At the moment, only the English language edition is available, however, Geodesic intends to make available, regional language editions, as well.

The app uses Apple’s in-app purchase feature, letting users buy issues inside the app. Note that they are priced at $0.99, against the magazine’s regular hard-copy price of Rs.25. While the June issue is included with the app, the July one can be downloaded. We hope that archived issues are also made available. The value-add that the app offers is a text to speech tool, which reads out the text in the magazine pages, but it doesn’t work effectively at all times.

However, kids in the age group that it targets, especially in B and C class towns in India are unlikely to have access to an iPad, and the smartphone penetration – although it is growing – is still very low in India.

So perhaps the app will find a user base amongst the Indian diaspora in overseas markets, making the magazine accessible to kids who otherwise would have no idea about Chandamama.
Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Little Cloud : Storytelling, Bangalore

Via an email sent by Ranga Shankara

(Please click on the image for a larger view)

Children’s Books by Indian Authors Record Brisk Sales

Adults and kids can't get enough of our books

Via The Financial Express
Today homegrown children’s literature is a flourishing segment at bookstores across the country as a new breed of Indian authors builds themes and characters in contemporary settings.

The Indian authored children’s books section is growing steadily at a rate of 10% year-on-year with newer authors and publishers entering the space with more relevant story lines. According to experts, India’s English publishing industry was estimated at R1,200 crore in 2010, of which children’s category accounted for about 15%. However, of the total books market, excluding the academic books, the children’s books share is estimated to around 25%.

Leading bookstores in the country say there has been a surge in the growth of kids’ books authored by Indian writers in the last few years. “We see an increasing demand and that’s why we are stocking more of such books. Indian authored books for children is a fast moving category, followed by comics,” says Dipak Marwah, VP and business head, Reliance TimeOut.

For Crossword, the children’s section contributes almost 30% of its books sale, of which over 15% are Indian books. Sivaraman Balakrishnan of Crossword Bookstore points out that in recent times the segment has grown ten-fold over the last ten years. “Indian authored children’s books are definitely growing steadily as publishers have realised the potential of homegrown stories. Around five new Indian authors were introduced across publishers,” he says.

“Children’s publishing holds immense potential as the new crop of young Indian authors understands the needs of children in the current society and are now more focused on creative writing, artwork, production quality and characterisation set in the Indian milieu,” says Marwah.
Read the entire article here.

Image Source : Pratham Books

Afternoons With TTF : A Fresh Look at the Writing Curriculum

Via The Teacher Foundation

The Teacher Foundation is organizing another Afternoons With TTF, in Bangalore. The purpose of hosting these sessions is to encourage interaction between teachers from different schools and facilitate exchange of thoughts and ideas. Each meeting focuses on a different theme, and using small group interaction, creates a personal and lasting learning opportunity. They are free and open for teachers of Bangalore City Schools. Individual teachers can attend any 'Afternoons With TTF' of their choice.

The Topic: “Writing Matters: A fresh look at the writing curriculum”

We all have stories to tell, ideas to share, opinions to voice and causes to fight for. Yet, how can one create a democracy, when children lead lives without recording their reactions, thoughts, arguments, opinions and dreams? To express oneself is a fundamental human quality, but what are we doing in schools to nurture it? While schools are spending time and money on reading, little work is done on the teaching and learning of writing - we have ignored the power of the pen. How lovely it would be to create a community of avid writers, writing with voice, emotion and personality, writing for causes that are close to our hearts, writing tug-at-your-heart kind of stories that can change the world.

Join us in the journey of creating the environment that our children deserve, to express themselves. An environment where children learn that writing is a vital medium for thinking, for Writing Matters….

Presenter: Gita Varadarajan

Gita has been an educator for over 10 years, as a teacher, administrator and now a student. Her last assignment was with Neev Schools where she was the Branch Head of two of their schools and responsible for curriculum coordination across all their schools. Currently completing her master’s in Literacy Education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, New York City, USA she is closely working with Lucy Calkins and The Reading and Writing Project. Gita believes it is literate communities that accelerate change and classrooms must act as places to nurture these communities.

Venue : Holy Angels Higher Primary School, St. Josephs Convent, Ware Road, Frazer Town, Bangalore – 560 005.
Contact No. 080 25554221

Landmark : Parallel to Promenade Road, less than half a km from Thoms Cafe

Date : 25 August, 2011

Timing : 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm

There is no participation fee for Afternoons with TTF Programmes
RSVP: Request you to confirm at 080 – 41131930, 41231149 or 25593335.
Click here for more details.

Free Library Service in Brazilian Taxis


Bibliotaxi, a new project launched in São Paulo, is a library in a car. The Bibliotaxi contains a number of books inside the vehicle. Passengers can read any of the available books during their trip. Also, they are able to borrow books, by registering their name and returning the book to the taxi or at other city locations.

The objective of Bibliotaxi is to promote reading and build a sense of community in the Vila Madalena neighborhood of São Paulo. The initiative is a first step to encourage a new attitude towards sharing in the city: whilst today passengers are sharing knowledge and books, tomorrow they might be sharing the cars themselves.

The initiative has been developed by Instituto Mobilidade Verde (Green Mobility Institute), an organization that encourages people to reflect how we can become more sustainable in relation to urban mobility.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Illustration Love

Another dose of superb book and reading-related illustrations we've found online.

Image Source : Sophie Lebot

Image Source : Barbara Issa

Image Source : Martta Wendelin (via Thomerama)

Image Source : Carine Brancowitz

Image Source : Mayana Itoiz's blog

Session With Vimanika Comics on Mythology and Comics

Via Comic Con India

Date and time : Wednesday, August 17 · 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Venue : Mocha Mojo, Bandra

Comic Con India in Association With Mocha: Coffees & Conversations
Present A Special Session With VIMANIKA COMICS on Mythology & Comics!

The Vimanika Team Will Take The Audience Through The Process Of Creating Such Comics.

Followed By An Interactive Session On Indian Mythology & Vimanika Comics With Mr.Karan Vir Arora, CEO, Vimanika Edutainment as well as Mr. Deepam Chatterjee, Scholar, Writer & Researcher on The Sixth, Kalki, Dasha Avatar & the Moksha Series for Vimanika Comics.
Click here for more information.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Amitabh Bachchan and language love

What is India's most famous movie star doing in our blog? Is he writing for us? Doing an audio recording of our book? Well, don't we keep saying we love all those who help to promote a love for languages? And the actor did just that when he spoke to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) recently:

"Amitabh Bachchan feels the purity of written and spoken language is subsiding in these times of quick communication but hopes to restore the charm of literature by opening a museum to store his father and noted writer Harivansh Rai Bachchan's works.

"I do believe that the richness of our language is getting lost. We used to spend a lot of thought and lot of energy behind what was written and spoken. Perhaps, it was a lot richer in earlier times," Amitabh told IANS in an interview."

You can read the entire article here.

Now, if we can only get him to translate a story for us into Hindi...we'll certainly make a song and dance about it! Sigh.

Harry Potter and the Interactive Digital Environment


The problem with looking to J.K. Rowling for inspiration about how to transition a book franchise into the digital era is that no author can really be compared to J.K. Rowling.

“She’s kind of like the Oprah of children’s books,” said Lorraine Shanley, co-founder of Market Partners International, which consults on digital books.
So when J.K. Rowling announced that she would bypass retailers and exclusively sell the digital editions of the books herself, luring customers into her online bookshop by creating an elaborate online fantasmagoria called Pottermore, the prevailing sentiment in publishing—in sharp contrast to that of the reading public—was indifference.

Pottermore, for those who didn’t receive the owl, will be launched by J.K. Rowling in October, with a beta version for a select million die-hards being tested over the next few weeks. The site will be the sole retail outlet from which readers can purchase digital versions of the Harry Potter books, which have previously been available in digital format only as illegal bootlegs. To encourage her readers/customers to forego the book store in favor of a specific shopping trip to Pottermore, Ms. Rowling and her business partner, Sony, have recreated key scenes of the first book as a digital “interactive environment” and initially included some 18,000 words of new writing that will provide greater detail and background about the world of Harry Potter (which, we might point out, is only about the length of three New Yorker stories). They also orchestrated an elaborate build-up that has whipped Harry Potter nerds into an anticipatory frenzy.

“Just as the experience of reading requires that the imaginations of author and reader work together to create the story, so Pottermore will be built in part by you, the reader,” said Ms. Rowling, in lulling tones. She announced that the site will include material that she’s “been hoarding for years” about the details of the wizarding world and be a place for users to post their own interpretations of Harry and his friends. Users will also interact with what the digital marketers are calling “key story moments.” In the storyline for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone they will be assigned a house by the sorting hat, be able to mix potions and go shopping for their own wand and compete with their friends for a house cup by playing games (one of which appears from the previews to be plain old chess). Environments from the other books will follow, with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets launching on the site in 2012. Visitors will also, of course and most importantly, be able to shop.
Traditional bookstores would thank her for not having rushed in, but now, with her empire complete, the movies all made and the generation that first read Harry Potter old enough to have children of their own, the time had come to find a way to make Harry Potter new again for young readers. Thanks to the era in which she signed her early books deals (the first one sold here in 1998), Ms. Rowling also retained the digital rights to her properties, a feat that would be difficult to accomplish today.
“The best way to think of Pottermore is as an interactive, illustrated companion to the books,” read a post on the official Pottermore blog, making fans “able to experience Harry’s story in a new way and discover all the additional information that J.K. Rowling has written.”
Read the entire article here.

Image Source : I. M. Bitter

A Library Set Up by Workers in Ludhiana

Via Indian Express

A musty 8x 10 room in EWS Colony (Economically Weaker Section) is an unlikely place for a library. But this library, set up by the Textile Mazdoor Union in Ludhiana about three months ago, is already a hit with the colony’s children. The library has issued and re-issued 1,200 books to children of the area ever since it was set up.

The library has rows of shelves lined with books written by Premchand, Leo Tolstoy, Mitarsen Meet and Karl Marx. The books are mainly in Hindi and Punjabi. The children’s section has story books, picture books and math puzzle books of the National Book Trust.

Rajwinder Singh, a union member and the brain behind this library, says, “Workers are often thought of as being illiterates. Though many of them are illiterate, there are some who have cleared class X and XII. And even if they want to read something, there is no place they can go to. We have about 600 books in our library.

The colony’s children are regular visitors. “The children are mainly interested in reading story books with pictures and Tarksheel Society, a rationalists’ body, has donated us a few books on how we must fight superstitions. The children learn Punjabi in school so they have books in Punjabi and Hindi,” says Rajwinder Singh.

Priya, a class I student, is busy solving puzzles in the library. Her parents work in Vardhman Spinning Mills nearby. “I want to read English books as well. The library should stock up a few books that help us to learn English,” she says. Golu, a class IV student, sits nearby, reading Premchand’s Ramleela.
Read the entire article here.

Call for Entries : Toto Awards 2012

Via Toto Funds the Arts

TOTO FUNDS THE ARTS (TFA) invites submissions for its 8th annual arts awards for young photographers, writers, musicians and bands. There are six awards to be won – one for music (Rs 50,000), two for photography (Rs 25,000 each), two for creative writing in English (Rs 25,000 each), and one for creative writing in Kannada (Rs 25,000).

All submissions must be original and must be received before 10 September 2011 . Young Indian nationals between the ages of 18 and 29 are eligible to apply.

Creative Writing in English
The awards are meant only for Indian nationals resident in India. You are eligible to apply if you were born on or after 1 January 1982. No exceptions will be made. Also, since the spirit of the award is to identify promising writers, please do not apply if you are already a well-known writer.

Each entry should be not more than 7,500 words. If you are submitting poems, please send 6 to 10 poems. If you are submitting short stories, their combined word length should be at least 2,500. You can, if you wish, send only a single story of 2,500 to 7,500 words. You can send entries in all three categories — poems, short stories and plays — but you must send in separate entries for each category. For example, your poems can constitute one entry, your short stories the second entry, plays a third entry. The word limit will remain 7,500 per entry.
Click here for more details.

Creative Writing in Kannada
ಪ್ರತಿ ಪ್ರವೇಶವು ೭೫೦೦ ಶಬ್ದಗಳನ್ನು ಮೀರಬಾರದು. ಕವಿತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳುಹಿಸುವವರು ೬ ರಿಂದ ೧೦ ಕವಿತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳಿಸಬಹುದು. ಕಥೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳಿಸುವವರು ಒಂದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಕತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳಿಸಬಹುದು - ಆದರೆ ಎಲ್ಲ ಕತೆಗಳೂ ಸೇರಿ ೭೫೦೦ ಶಬ್ದಗಳನ್ನು ಮೀರಬಾರದು. ನೀವು ಎಲ್ಲ ಮೂರು ಪ್ರಕಾರಗಳಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಪ್ರವೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳುಹಿಸಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಂದು ಪ್ರಕಾರಕ್ಕೂ ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕವಾದ ಪ್ರವೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳಿಸಬೇಕು. ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗೆ ನೀವು ಎಲ್ಲ ಮೂರೂ ಪ್ರಕಾರಗಳಿಗೆ ಪ್ರವೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳಿಸಬಯಸಿದರೆ, ನಿಮ್ಮ ಕವಿತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮೊದಲ ಪ್ರವೇಶವಾಗಿಯೂ, ಕತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಎರಡನೆಯ ಪ್ರವೇಶವಾಗಿಯೂ, ನಾಟಕವನ್ನು ಮೂರನೆಯ ಪ್ರವೇಶವಾಗಿಯೂ ಕಳಿಸಬೇಕು. ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಂದು ಪ್ರವೇಶದ ಮಿತಿ ೭೫೦೦ ಶಬ್ದಗಳು.
ಈಗಾಗಲೇ ಪುಸ್ತಕರೂಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಕಟವಾಗಿರುವ ಕೃತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಪುರಸ್ಕಾರಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಕಳಿಸುವಂತಿಲ್ಲ. ಪತ್ರಿಕೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಕಟವಾಗಿರುವ ಬಿಡಿ ಕಥೆ, ಕವಿತೆ, ನಾಟಕಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳುಹಿಸಬಹುದು.
Click here for more information.