Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bangalore makes way for its very own Literature Festival.

Image source:
 Festivities in Bangalore city touch a new height with the Bangalore Literature Festival which will be hosted from the 7th December to 9th December 2012 at the Jayamahal Palace.
The festival welcomes everyone from bookworms to casual book browsers, from bibliophiles to new readers. Everyone is welcome to his fest where books, writing and literature get together to create a beautiful world of unabashed creativity.

The logo for this magnificent event shows a berunda on a nib which is a significance of the vehemence and the zeal with which the idea of a Literature Festival was welcomed. This festival is going to be a platform where authors belonging to different genres and writing in different languages will stand together.

While Kannada literature will be given prominence, Hindi and Urdu literature are equally encouraged and lauded. The 3 day event is going to be abuzz with lot of literary activities and the event will be graced by the prominent Literati from all over the country.

 Pratham Books is proud and happy to be associated as an outreach partner for this mega event. We will be would be instrumental in ensuring that the Literature festival is inclusive and has sessions for children as well. Pratham Books will be conducting these sessions in English and Kananda. For the outreach program Pratham Books has partnered with Deccan Herald Newspaper in Education and Akshara Foundation so that the joy of reading can be spread to children across the city. Children will have an opportunity to interact with Pratham Books'  authors/translators/ illustrators  such as Lata Mani, Roopa Pai, Mala Kumar, Bhavya, Meera, Vijayalakshmi Nagaraj, Janhavi, Vidyamani and Greystroke .

The outreach program will culminate in three special children's events at Jayamahal Palace Grounds. The Makkala Koota or the Children’s Reading hour is an event dedicated to storytelling and discussions with the children. Children are sure to be charmed and entranced by the activities there. 

The Makkala Koota will be held on the 8th and the 9th of December 2012 at the Banquet Hall. The session on 8th December includes Sahitya Akademi award winning author Bolwar Mahammad Kunhi talk about his book 'Papu Gandhi Bapu Aadha Kathe'. Catch the antics of Sringeri Srinivas with Rohini Nelikeni as she unravels the tale of the Annual Haircut Day. There will also be sessions from Nadia Budde, award winning illustrator and Pavan Varma who will talk about his book Chanakya’s New Manifesto which revolves around the crisis faced by present day India

Makkala Koota will see 3 sessions on Sunday the 9th December 2012. These include a Hindustani music performance by students of Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya, Dharwar. Mala Kumar will take the centre-stage in the next session as she talks about winters and seasons. The last session includes a fun-filled crazy ride as Roopa Pai talks about motorists in space and more crazy characters as she discusses the much loved Sister-sister series.

Get the schedule for the Bangalore Literature Festival here.

For more details and registrations click here.

The SingTel Asian Picture Book Awards.

Image source:
 Via Papertigers
Authors and illustrators have you heard about the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award? This is your chance to get global and put forward your work. If you have written or illustrated an unpublished Asian-themed picture book (targeted at children ages 0 to six years old) the National Book Development Council of Singapore looks forward to receiving your submission for this new award! Entries are being accepted until Dec. 31, 2012 with the inaugural SingTel Asian Picture Book Award to be presented next May at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Submissions will be accepted from writers and/or illustrators of any nationality and from any country who are 18 years of age and above.

Organised by The National Book Development Council of Singapore,the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award is going to be a delight for both authors as well as illustrators. Beginning in 2013, the award will be presented annually for an outstanding unpublished picture book with a distinctly Asian theme.
The objectives of the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award are as follows:
a) To encourage and inspire the publications of more Asian-themed picture books
b) To stimulate public interest and support for picture books with Asian themes
c) To recognise and award a prize to an excellent picture book with Asian theme each year

The SingTel Asian Picture Book Award offers a total of S$10,000 for the First Prize consisting of S$5,000 for an author and S$5,000 for an illustrator. These will be individually known as the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award – Author, and the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award – Illustrator.

Closing date for submissions is 31 December 2012.

Official rules and regulations can be found here.

For more information, please visit

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bangalore Book Festival and the Bengaluru Sahityotsava to be hosted together.

Image source: Bangalore Book Festival brochure
 The Bengaluru Sahityotsava 2012 will be held from 14th-16th December 2012 at Tripuravasini, Palace Grounds, Bangalore. This edition of Book Festival will show-case a National level literary meet called Bengaluru Sahityotsava, which will feature popular writers with Gnanapeeth Awards, Sahitya Academy Awards, Saraswati Sanman and other prestigious awards. The objective of combining Bengaluru Sahityotsava with Book Festival is to promote reading habits and book culture especially among the younger generation.

This literary meet invites Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Oriya, Konkani, Marathi, Tulu, Bengali, Rajasthani and Gujarati authors apart from the Kannada literati to participate and present their work. The three day event is filled with literary activities. This event is jointly organised by The Bangalore Booksellers and Publishers Association along with Indian Illustrated Classiscs. The event is supported by Kannada Pustaka Pradhihara, Bangalore, Sahitya Akademi and The Federation of Publishers' and Booksellers' Associations in India (FPBAI),New Delhi.

The Schedule for the event is as follows:

Day-1: 14th December, 4.00 pm
Inauguration and Presidential address by:
Prof. Chandrashekara Kambara, President of Advisory Committee - Bengaluru Sahityotsava

Day-2: 15th December 2012
Session 1: 10 to 11.30 am - Promotion of Inter Literature Understanding.

Participating Writers:
1. Dr. Rajendra Chenni - Kannada
2. Dr. Su Venkateshan - Tamil
3. Dr. Siddalinga Pattanashetty - Kannada
4. Sri. M. P. Veerendrakumar – Malayalam
Moderator: Sri. Sugatha S. Raju

Session 2: 12 noon to 1.30 pm- Writers and Contemporary Issues
Participating Writers:
1. Sri. Anandan - Malayalam
2. Sri. Devanur Mahadeva - Kannada
3. Dr. Samala Sadashiva - Telugu
4. Dr. Bargur Ramachandrappa -Kannada
Moderator: Dr. Natraj Huliyar

Session 3: 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm - Book Talk and Dialogue with Writers
Participating Writers:
1. Dr. Girish Karnad - Kannada
2. Su. Kandaswamy - Tamil
3. Dr. C. Narayana Reddy – Telugu

Session 4: 4.30 pm to 6 pm - Book Talk and Dialogue with Writers
Participating Writers :
1. Dr. S. L. Byrappa - Kannada
2. Sri. M. T. Vasudevan Nair - Malayalam
3. Sri. Sithakantha Mahapatra – Oriya

Day-3 : 16th December 2012
Session 1: 10 am to 11.30 am - Freedom of Expression and Social Harmony

Participant Writers:
1. Smt. Chitra Mudugal - Hindi
2. Prof. C. N. Ramachandran - Kannada
3. Prof. H. S. Raghavedra Rao -
4. Dr. Ramakanth Rath - Oriya
Moderator: Dr. K. E. Radhakrishna

Session 2: 12 noon to 1.30 pm - Writers and Inter-Linguistic issues
Participant Writers:
1. Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah - Kannada
2. Dr. M. Mukundan - Malayalam
3. Dr. Hampa Nagarajiah - Kannada
4. Sri. Sayad saleem - Telugu
Moderator: Sri. O. L. Nagabushana Swamy

Session 3: 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm - Poets Meet and Recital of Poetry
Participating Poets:
Dr. Viswanath Prasad Tiwari – ( Presiding)
1. Sri. Sachidanandan - Malayalam
2. Dr. Siddalingaiah - Kannada
3. Sri. Nagesh Karmali - Konkani
4. Amrutha Somashekar - Tulu
5. Sri. Utpala Sathyanarayanacharya - Telugu
6. Smt. Vanitha - Punjabi
7. Sri. Kailash Vajpeyee - Hindi
8. Sri. Amar Somoy Alpa - Bengali
9. Sri. Khaleel Mamoon - Urdu
10. Prof. S G Siddaramiah
11. Sri. Srihari - Gujarati
12. Sri. Sowbhagyakumar Mishra - Oriya
13. Sri,Vairamuttu - Tamil
14. Sri. Chandrakanth Patil - Marathi
15. Sri. Chandraprakash Deval - Rajasthani
16. Dr. K. S. Nisar Ahamad - Kannada.
17. Dr.Chennaveera Kanavi - Kannada
18. Smt. Harish Minashru - Gujarati
19. Smt. H. L. Pushpa - Kannada
20. Dr. Ajaikumar Singh - Kannada.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pratham Books brings out the magic of seasons and stories at the Bookaroo Festival

Image source:
Pratham Books gets ready to spread its magic at the Bookaroo Festival with Kaka and Munni, Moru and the Rituchakra series. Pratham Books will host 3 sessions at the Bookaroo Festival on the 24th and the 25th of November 2102 at the Sanskriti Kendra,
Anand Gram, MG Road, Delhi.

On 24th tap your feet to the music with Natasha Sharma, the author of Kaka and Munni, and then get your hands dirty with paper and glue at a collage workshop.

On Day 2 of Bookaroo, Pratham Books is Counting on Moru and other children like him to be our heroes who will help us befriend that big giant called Maths. Join us for a fun session of storytelling and maths puzzles.

Pratham Books brings to you a wonderful chance to interact with the authors of our recently released Ritucharka Series. A bit of storytelling from each book, live music by Sanghamitra Ghosh and some yummy’s all happening at the Bookaroo festival.

Kaka and Munni
Session by: Natasha Sharma
Date: 24th November
Time: 2.45 pm
Venue: The Think Tank, Sanskriti Kendra,
Anand Gram, MG Road, Delhi.

Rituchakra Series
Session by: Mala Kumar and Manisha Chaudhry
Date: 24th November
Time: 4 pm
Venue: Amphitheatre, Sanskriti Kendra
Anand Gram, MG Road, Delhi.
Counting on Moru
Session by: Mala Kumar and Manisha Chaudhry
Date: 25th November
Time: 12.15 pm
Venue: The Glade, Sanskriti Kendra
Anand Gram, MG Road, Delhi.

Top 10 Children’s Picture Books for 2012

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 A children’s book is incomplete without pictures. It is quite unacceptable to many children that there can be books without pictures. The illustrations and the bright vivid colours don’t just spark a cascade of imagination for them but also compel them to think and ask questions.

Here is a list of the top 10 picture books for 2012

1. Llama Llama Time to Share: This picture book by Anna Dewdney teaches children and encourages them to share.

2. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons: This book teaches counting in the grooviest way possible. Written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean, this book with the cat and its song is a joy to read.

3.  Olivia and the Fairy Princesses:  This is a book which talks about the identity crises that Olivia is facing. In a bid to stand apart and find her individual self Olivia goes on quest. Cleverly written and illustrated by Ian Falconer this book is an enjoyable read for everyone.

4.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore: An amazing book which inspired the Academy Award winning short film. Written by William Joyce, this book talks about the love of words, books and stories that Morris Lessmore has inspite of his own chaotic rambled life.

5. This is not my Hat: Authored and illustrated by Jon Klassen, this book is a story of a small fish who steals a round blue topper from a bigger fish. What follows next is a funny tale and a treat of visual humour throughout.

6. Bear has a story to tell: This endearing story of friendship and patience is very well written and illustrated by Philip and Erin Stead.

7. The Duckling gets a Cookie!? : Mo Willems through his story and illustrations teaches pre-schoolers the art of politely asking and using the word ‘Please’ with this book.

8. This Moose belongs to me: This wonderful book by Oliver Jeffers talks about a boy and his moose. While the boy abides by rules, his moose finds it difficult to do the same. The tale is about how the two understand and compromise to stay together.

9.  Rocket writes a story: This book authored and illustrated by Tad Hills is about a dog named Rocket and his wish to write a book. He embarks on a journey to find a story and here he learns, notices and understands things which he never paid attention to before.

10.  Extra Yarn: This story revolves around a little girl who changes her black and white surrounding into a colourful one by knitting garments for everyone, including animals and buildings. Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, this book is a treat to read.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Kahaani Festival ends on a positive note.

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 The Kahaani Festival held on the 17th and 18th November 2012 ended on a positive note and a promise that they would be back again with more interesting and innovative ways to promote books and reading.

The festival, unlike most others which have an exhibition of books focussed on the various aspects of narratives and story telling in every possible form. From poems to puppetry, every aspect of story telling was redefined in the most interesting way which kept everyone enthralled.

This festival was an absolute delight to children as it allowed them to explore their creativities and enhance it. The event hosted workshops on illustrations, story-painting, creative writing, and comic strip making, by names like Atanu Roy, Bulbul Sharma, Manisha Chaudhury, and Subhadra Sen Gupta respectively; along with kahaani sessions, performances, and crafts corners.

The performance segment hosted Ishara Puppet Theatre led by contemporary puppet pioneer Dadi Pudumjee, "Kat Katha" by puppeteer Anurupa Roy, "Akaar" by Puran Bhatt, "Saltbrush", an Australian production, and an improvised production of "A Midsummer Night`s Dream".

Read more about the Kahaani Festival here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mumbai hosts the second NGO Asia Expo Conference & Exhibition.

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The 2nd NGO Asia Expo Conference & Exhibition for NGO'S (Non-Governmental Organizations) & Not for Profit Organizations on the theme "Sustainable Societies; Responsive Citizens" and the Role of NGO's" will be hosted in Mumbai, India.

The NGO Asia Expo is a unique platform where representatives of NGOs meet, examine issues of global concern, share ideas, practice and build partnerships. Together with leaders from the inter-governmental, governmental, corporations and for-profit sectors the participants’ map and plan strategies to address the challenges. Professional experts add practical trainings to help the NGOs become more effective in carrying out their message and mission.

NGO Asia Expo is an ideal podium for every organization to increase awareness about their social efforts and initiatives and a network opportunity with over 200 participants from multi-disciplinary backgrounds engaged in social practice. This is the perfect platform to portray the work of an organization to the various corporations and establish tie-ups with them.  This event is a part of CSR Live Week, where India's strongest socially responsible brands and corporations come together to showcase their CSR efforts and Sustainable Business practices.

With talks and discussions from some of the best speakers, this is an event that should not be missed. So come and be a part of The NGO Asia Expo Conference and Exhibition on the 20th and 21st November 2012 at the Expo Centre, Wold Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai.

To know more click here.

Pratham Books and Teach For India join hands to spread the joy of reading!

Image source: Pratham Books
 Pratham Books has partnered with Teach for India (TFI) to put together a special library package for all their fellows across the country. Currently TFI is active in 5 cities, 443 classrooms and has managed to impact the lives of 16,200 children.We hope to raise libraries for each classroom. The library kit contains a modular storage unit and 100 books.  Pledges start at Rs. 1000 and a pledge for Rs. 5000 pledge will help kick-start one library.

The pledges are open till 7th December 2012. These kits will be handed over to the TFI fellows as Christmas gifts for the classrooms. If you have a favourite TFI fellow or want to help any particular TFI fellow you can choose the library you want to pledge to.

To take the pledge all you need to do is fill the online form and transfer the funds online as per the given details. For any further queries email

Click here to  pledge now and help us spread the joy of reading!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Kahaani Festival is here.

Image source: Kahaani Festival
 This weekend do attend the Kahaani Festival which is going to add a new dimension to story telling. Aiming to enchant, empower and wow the audiences with a wide array of narratives from India as well as around the world, this festival is going to be an absolute treat for everyone.

Stories will be narrated through music, puppetry, poetry and just about every oral and written tradition of every kind. The festival has a number of workshops which are an opportunity for all the children to express and find their voice.

There is no joy like listening and telling tales. The Kahaani Festival will surge this joy manifold with story telling in many languages, many forms and traditions. An experience you wouldn’t want to miss. The Kahaani Festival Outreach will touch children who have not been able to enjoy the fun and the delight of sharing a story and story telling. The joy and the spirit of story telling will travel to schools, remedial and special education centres and hospital wards before and after the main festival.

The Festival is free to all and welcomes everyone. So be there on the 17th and 18th November 2012 at Pathways School, Noida and experience the joy of stories and storytelling as ideas flow creatively. 

For more details click here.
For the schedule click here.

Madhav Chavan bags the WISE prize for education.

Via BBC news
Just like you need air, just like you need water, just like you need food, you need education.” says Madhav Chavan. His efforts combined with zest and zeal to make education accessible to all has fetched him the year’s biggest awards in the field of International education. Dr Chavan is the winner of the WISE Prize which is equivalent to the Nobel Prize for education.

The award announced on Tuesday at the WISE summit Qatar, recognises his work in the field education in the slums of Mumbai. Dr Chavan, a former chemistry lecturer, he came up with an idea to provide education and literacy to millions at a minimal cost.

"Much more remains to be done," said Dr Chavan, when he received the prize. The international award, which comes with a prize of $500,000 (£314,000), recognises Dr Chavan's efforts to provide lessons in literacy for disadvantaged children and adults in India.

The award is decided by an international jury, which includes the US Librarian of Congress, Dr James Billington; the president of Peking University, Prof Zhou Qifeng; former UN high commissioner, Mary Robinson and the chairman of WISE, Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani.

Dr Chavan began his social activism helping uneducated slum-dwellers in Mumbai in the late 1980s, when he returned to India after studying in the United States. He worked with UNICEF and the city authorities, where he developed an innovative system for providing lessons for large numbers of people at low cost. His charity, Pratham, is known to run lessons in temples and offices and recruit volunteers from the local community.He also says that this prize is a major landmark which frequently reminds him how much more needs to be done.

"This prize is a major landmark that reminds me how much more remains to be done. It is an enormous honour for me to be recognised by this unique community of innovators," said Dr Chavan.
Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani said the award winner had "brought light into the lives of many millions of people".

"His story combines the passion of a social entrepreneur with the patience and method of a scientist. His approach shows that the most important resources for successful innovation are a clear vision, determination and the ability to apply unrecognised capacities to a shared cause."

Read more about Dr Madhav Chavan here.
Read the full article here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Celebrating the joy of reading with Bookaroo in the city (BIC).

 Via Bookaroo
The season of festivals is here, so while we celebrate Dusshera and Diwali another festival that comes knocking is the reading festival. Bookaroo in the City (BIC) is indeed a unique festival because it brings out the excitement, freedom and the spirit of reading for fun into schools across the city.

This is one festival in India which brings people involved with children’s literature up close with children and allows them to interact with them in a way such that children want to know more about the books and also read them.

BIC’s mission is to touch underserved schools in as many ways as possible. Storytelling, dramatized reading, illustration workshops, author interactions in both English and other regional languages are what make BIC what it is.BIC has grown from eight schools in 2008 to 104 this time around. As the main festival moves to other cities, BIC too shall travel with it.

Formed way back in 2008 by a bunch of booklovers, Bookaroo has come a long way today. Bookaroo, simply put, celebrates children’s literature. Attendance at the main festival grew from just 3,000 for the weekend in the first year to over 10,000 a day last year. The two-day festival became a three-day one, with a Schools’ Day, on which school children are invited to the main festival.The festival is open to all on Saturday and Sunday. Set in the beautiful oasis that is Sanskriti Kendra, Anand Gram, Bookaroo is also a visual and sensory delight.

Their outreach programme, Bookaroo in the City, which visited eight schools in 2008, grew phenomenally to reach 74 schools last year. This year, their target is to get to 100 schools with 70 speakers. Along the way, they have managed to travel and, since last year, have staged two very successful Bookaroos in Srinagar in association with DPS, Srinagar. They dream to take Bookaroo all over India, especially to those towns and cities that do not usually enjoy such cultural events.

So come be a part of this celebration on 24th and 25th November 2012 at Sanskriti Kendra, Anand Gram, M G Road, New Delhi.

Read more about BIC here.
To know more about Bookaroo click here.

Little laureates from Pune.

Last Sunday, Sandhya Taksale, our editor from Pune was in a slum area called Gosavi basti in Kothrud area of Pune. Shobha Bondre (author) and Vijaya Joshi (retired govt officer) have been running a library here from January 2012.  A couple of months back, they purchased some of our books. Knowing both these enthusiastic ladies she was eager to know the feedback. Recently, they had announced an essay competition on ‘My favourite book’ for the children in the basti. Sandhya was present at the prize distribution event and she also read the essays and interacted with the children there. These little children were a bunch of enthusiastic, smart, bold and even little aggressive. It was a mixed age group from 6 to 13 years.

It was a delight to see three of our books listed in the favourite list.
1) See you tomorrow
2) Not now, Not now
3) Smart Sona

While most kids wrote the essay based on the story of the books they had read. However, during the interactive chat the children reasoned why the liked that particular book. While some liked the story element and Sona’s smartness in ‘Smart Sona’, others liked the fun and surprise element in ‘Not Now, Not now’. The drama and surprise was the main reason why children loved the book ‘See you tomorrow’.

The prize winning essay was nicely written and the boy could connect the book to his everyday life. Dashrath Gaawade, grade 6, wrote about the book ‘Shyamchi Aai’, a classic in Marathi by late Sane Guruji. Dashrath said that earlier he behaved rudely with his mother, always argued and hardly listened to her. After reading this book, his behaviour towards his mother changed. He realized, what a mother means to a child.

Sandhya also mentioned about another prize winning essay from Anjali Dhage, grade 7. Her essay was based on the book ‘Annavishayi sare kahi’ (All about Food). She mentioned that her father is very fussy about food. He always complained saying that the food was not tasty. Most often, this argument lead to abuse and fights with her mother. Anjali read this book and it was about the nutritional value of food with some recipes. She told her mother about this and also read out the book to her.  Her mother then tried a non-veg dish from the book because her father likes mutton. Her father was very happy with the dish, her mother was happier and the girl was the happiest one. Her mother hugged her and proudly called her, ‘mazi gunachi por’ (my dearest smart daughter). Anjali narrated this incident smartly. Anjali also added that she loved reading biographies and on that day was holding the biography of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in her hands.
Sandhya had a wonderful time with these lively, bubbly and enthusiastic children.

The deadline for the ‘Big’ Contest for ‘Little Painters’ extended.

The title ‘Little Painters’ was launched on the 15th August 2012.  A bright and cheerful bunch of kids got together and added colour and life to a basement and had lots of fun. Click here to read all about the special ‘Rang de Diwar’ launch of ‘Little Painters’!

If your kids have also had fun and enjoyed completing a task that is meant for grown-ups then… The ‘Big’ Contest with the ‘Little Painters’ is for you. So if your kid has cooked a meal or baked a cake, planned a vacation or even decides what they get to do with their savings. Let us know!
Write to us at with all the details, the task, the accomplishment and most importantly the fun in the process. Also, we’d love to take a look at the action ourselves. Do send us a picture if you have one.
Contest is open for Mothers and Teachers. Last day to receive entries is 30th November 2012. Hurry! Send in your entries now.
Click here for more details.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Children are.....

Children are horrible. Especially when they have holidays and you don't. They shout, they cheat, they topple my flower-pots, they eat chips with dirty hands and throw the empty packets at our gate.They don't let sleeping dogs lie. They make up lies with ease. They say they stood fursht in their class. When you ask them to read a page from the storybook you hold out, they stumble on the simplest of sentences, quickly say the bookverynice, and rush out to play hide-and-seek on our street. They fight, hurt each other, rat on each other, pull each others legs and then..........they laugh out loud for something absolutely silly, and you can see how easy life is when things are done spontaneously and WITHOUT an intention to hurt or steal or lie or impress or boast. That's why I love children. And the child in each of us adults. Happy Children's Day! Let kids be kids, and if you can, be one yourself today!

Image from 'My Balwadi', book published by Pratham Books, illustrated by Sheetal Thapa.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rang De: Lighting up India, Lighting up Lives.

Image Source: Rang De
November is the month of bright festivities as we all celebrate the festival of lights, Diwali. Amidst all the celebrations, let us not forget to make a difference in someone else’s life too. After all, the festive spirit talks about sharing and caring.

Light Up India is an initiative to create awareness and bring about a social change. This Diwali, Rang de with its initiative have decided to Light Up India with Sky Lanterns. These lanterns won’t just light up the skies but also light up a lot of lives, dreams and smiles for a lot of Indians. For every Sky Lantern purchased from Rang de, the amount will be invested in Rang De borrower’s business making it a delightful Diwali for everyone.

While the celebrations are on, the sense of responsibility is not overlooked and hence Rang De is also consciously making an effort and doing their bit to reduce pollution by making the lanterns from 99% biodegradable materials and hence extremely eco-friendly.

This Diwali don’t just celebrate; make a difference and light up a smile with Rang De and Light Up India.

To be a part of this initiative click here.

Kaka and Munni spread smiles again

Remember the story of Kaka and Munni? The nasty crow and the smart sparrow have been a reason of joy for many children who have read or heard the story. Illustrated and retold by Natasha Sharma in the most creative way, this book has been an absolute delight for many children. 

Natasha sold watches, coffee and pizzas as a brand manager before discovering her true calling. She says that the urge to doing something different was responsible for her being a writer. She also illustrated her first book with Pratham Books which was a leap from words to pictures. She now writes, illustrates, and holds readings of her books.
Natasha recently visited the children at the balwadi at Padmavati Saraiya Kendra in the Matunga labour camp, Dharavi in Mumbai and conducted two sessions for the morning and afternoon batches of children.

She read out Kaka and Munni to them in Hindi which was quite an enjoyable experience. Tapping the tambourine to the parts in verse and with a little crow puppet accompanying her along through the story, she had a good time talking about the village life in Punjab. The discussion about the contrast between the small village and the big city made them think and talk about the differences.
Artwork by students.
 She also talked about collage and how the pictures in the book had been created using it. The children were left with sheets of paper that had a tree with bare branches drawn on and colourful kite paper to add on leaves in many colours. The collage activity increased the excitement and enthusiasm levels to great heights.

Natasha says that the effort and experience was worthwhile since the children enjoyed listening to the story as well as understanding what a writer and illustrator does.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

When good food and good cause joined hands….

The Joy of Giving week is not just a week of sharing, caring and giving, it’s much more than that. It is a festival of philanthropy that has been gaining a lot of popularity.
Philanthropy is a gesture that needs to arise from deep within the heart they say.

So when good food and a good cause joined hands, it provided immeasurable joy to all those participating in the event.  This event aptly named ‘Food for Change’ was organised by Bangalore Cares and we at Pratham Books were happy to be a part of this mega event.

The event organised on the 6th October 2012 brought out a delectable buffet spread from Bangalore’s top restaurants. Hosted at the magnificent premises of the SAP Labs India Private Limited, Whitefield, Bangalore, this event was a truly a unique opportunity to make a difference.

Bangalore Cares and the Bangalore JGW team of volunteers coordinated to put forward an evening which was full of fun, food and entertainment. The stars of the evening were undoubtedly the Bangalore based band, Thermal and a quarter who managed to make everyone sway to their tunes. It was a philanthropy with a difference and one that was thoroughly enjoyed by all with more than 45 NGOs benefiting from the proceeds of this event. 

As we talk about good food and good cause, this one does need a mention. The Food for Cause is a not-for-profit organisation, where good causes are undertaken with good food. They call themselves an organisation which has an appetite for awareness and a palate to make a difference through food.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Saffron Tree celebrates its 6th birthday with a book drive for Kranti.

Image Source: Saffron Tree
Saffron Tree has come a long way since its inception. Showcasing the best of Indian, Indian American and a variety of other children’s books, Saffron tree has been actively promoting reading among children. This not-for-profit organisation shares and connects with the world with a single passion- a passion to promote reading children's books!

Independent in its voice and with an awesome collection of hand picked books, Saffron Tree strives to ensure that they spread the joy of reading. CROCUS - their annual book blog festival celebrates reading of culturally unique stories. On this ocasssion they also went a step ahead to show their support to another non-profit organisation Kranti -- an NGO thats works with daughters of sex workers.

On the occasion of Children’s day Saffron Tree plans to go on a book drive. You can be a part of this drive too. Please email Katie at Kranti, with the subject line: Attn - Books for Kranti and/or, and they will help you with the rest. If you are ordering new books for Kranti online, please make sure you get the address information and other details, for you to ship the books directly to them.

You can also buy or donate a book here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Children’s Literature takes centre stage at the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest

Via The Writer's Bug
The Mumbai Litfest has been making news since its inception in November 2010. With a wide, varied and a highly enthusiastic audience, this fest took off with a bang. Mumbaikars not only loved the concept but welcomed it year after year. Now, in its third year, the fest has just gone bigger and better.

Showcasing literature in every form and keeping alive the spirit of Mumbai, Literature Live saw cosmopolitan and energetic literature come alive. Covering all major yardsticks of literature the event focussed on the four verticals namely fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays. The entire event catered to just about everyone from an academician to the bookworm, from the lay reader to the occasional browser.

From this year Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest spreads its wings to include literature for children also. With four workshops on various aspects of literature – creative writing, poetry, illustration and storytelling – children have got an exclusive segment for themselves.
The portion on children’s literature will be curated by The Writer’s Bug who held Mumbai’s first LitFest for children this year that saw many authors like Deepak Dalal, Sonja Chandrachud, Natasha Sharma, Vinitha Ramchandani, Santhini Govindan and many more come together on the same platform.

Time    3rd Nov 2012 (Saturday)   
2.00 pm – 3.30 pm    WINGS! Spotting the Magical in the Ordinary with author Chatura Rao
(Age group: 9 to 12 years)
3.30 pm – 5.00 pm    A Peep Into the Comic Creation Process with famous illustrator Abheejit Kini
(Age Group: 9 to 14 years)

4th Nov 2012 (Sunday)
2.00 pm – 3.30 pm   Rhyme and Rhythm – a workshop on Poetry with author Natasha Sharma
(Age group: 8 to 10 years)
3.30 pm – 5.00 pm    Storytelling with Deepa Kiran  (Age Group – 7 to 14 years)

About The Writer’s Bug:
What was started as a forum of like-minded book lovers and amateur writers has now taken shape as an outfit with an aim to foster literary, creative and life skills. We work towards this vision for children by organizing workshops and events which are conducted by experienced authors and experts from various creative fields. Our workshops focus on giving a platform to children for self-expression and exploration of their natural creativity.

To find out more:
Or mail to:
Contact: +91 9819641780/ +91 9820861972