Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Delhi, we are looking for Book Reading Champions!

Teacher and student reading our books at Hosahudya govt. primary school, Ugadi gifts. - by zenrainman
Image by zenrainman

If you are in Delhi, Gurgaon or the NCR region, we'd like you to get a copy of Hindustan Times on 1st May, 2013 and come on-board as a Pratham Books Reading Champion. Pratham Books has a special illustrated story for little ones inside tomorrow's Hindustan Times edition. This story can be read out to children who cannot read, are learning to read or given to children who cannot afford books. This initiative is part of the Hindustan Times, 'You Read, They Learn' initiative which was launched last year through which Hindustan Times channels a portion of the cover price to fund NGOs working to educate under-served children.

With over 200 million children in the country who need good books, Pratham Books realizes that no one organization can do this alone. Our approach, therefore has been to collaborate with other organizations. In this context, the Hindustan Times 'You Read, They Learn' initiative fits well with our mission. The storybooks have been provided free of cost as Pratham Books has an open and inclusive policy on content.

For the price of a newspaper, you get the opportunity to participate in a campaign to improve literacy. All copies of Hindustan Times and select copies of Mint and HT Mini will carry these joyful books. They will also be uploaded online and the books will also be promoted on Fever 104 FM tomorrow, 1st May 2013.

So don't forget to get your copy!
 Happy reading and happy sharing!

Ways in which to use the cut-out book:
  • Get school children to collect the cut-out books from Hindustan Times readers who have finished reading the newspaper and share them with children who cannot afford to buy books.
  • Get children who can read to read out the story to children who cannot read.
  • Inspire youngsters on vacation to take the book and read it at a place where out-of-school kids gather to play.
  • Ask children to ‘extend’ the story and help them write it.
  • Talk about this initiative to spread the joy of reading so that more people join you to make India a reading nation.
  • Buy multiple copies of the paper if you want to gift more books to kids.

Share your story :

All stories that we receive will feature on the Pratham Books blog. You can read about the Pratham Books Reading Champions initiative and our Champions' experiences of reading out to children here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Neil Gaiman on the Future of Publishing

Boingboing linked to Neil Gaiman's keynote speech at the London Book Fair.

Via theguardian

"Anyone who tells you they know what's coming, what things will be like in 10 years' time, is simply lying to you," according to the author Neil Gaiman, fresh from a provocative speech at this week's London Book Fair where he urged major figures in the book business to "try everything. Make mistakes. Surprise ourselves. Try anything else. Fail. Fail better. And succeed in ways we never would have imagined a year or a week ago."

"When the rules are gone you can make up your own rules. You can fail, you can fail more interestingly, you can try things, and you can succeed in ways nobody would have thought of, because you're pushing through a door marked no entrance, you're walking in through it. You can do all of that stuff but you just have to become a dandelion, be wiling for things to fail, throw things out there, try things, and see what sticks. That was the thrust of my speech," said the author.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The What on Earth? Wallbook Goes Dancing

Rajesh Kharwrites about a dance performance that is inspired by our recently released book - The What on Earth? Wallbook...
Every year 29th of April is celebrated as the World Dance Day and for past 8 years, Swagata Pillai's institution, KINKINI DHVANI has been celebrating it as Dvividharpan which means a two-fold offering. So, apart from Bharatanatyam, other classical, folk, contemporary dance forms are also performed on this day. Keeping in view the true spirit behind the concept of the World Dance Day, Swagata has been experimenting with presentations to make them inclusive both in terms of form as well as content. Over the years, her institution has celebrated the day with a wide variety of classical items of different dance forms, folk dances from various regions in India, pieces from classical literature, poetry of well known Hindi poetesses and many contemporary theme. She has also been encouraging parents of her students to dance on this occasion and they have been responding in good numbers.

This time, along with the items from the classical Bharatanatyam repertoire and folk, a special presentation based on What On Earth?Wallbook, a unique book published by Pratham Books, will be part of the dance evening. This 28 minute presentation has a Hindi narration and is supported by a very interesting soundscape. A group of dancers will lead the audiences through the story of birth of the planet Earth and evolution of man. Swagata has been fascinated by the 'Wallbook' created by Christopher Lloyd ever since Pratham Books launched its Indian edition in January this year. As a skilled choreographer, she wished to portray it through dance. This performance is the just the beginning. Swagata hopes to present the entire 'Wallbook' -from the Big Bang to the present times in a single dance show soon.

All are welcome to the show. Entry is free.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Child's Approach to Storytelling

Happy Rain

Chintan Girish Modi shared a few lines from an interview with author Mohsin Hamid. They are too good not to share. When asked about rituals associated with his writing, Mohsin says ...
This novel, I’ve written mostly in the mornings, when my daughter is off at pre-school, between 8.30 am and 12.30 pm. Nobody else is allowed in my room, but somehow she doesn’t accept that, so she’ll bang on my door, and I’ll open the door, and she’ll say, “Aap kaun ho?” and I’ll say, “Main aapka baba hoon. Kya matlab hai?” She says, “Nahin! Baba, I’m little fish. Are you jellyfish?” And then I recognise that there’s another fictional world that needs to assert itself and my fictional world has to go away, and we play. It’s wonderful. I really enjoy having her as a creator of fiction in my life. Every night she asks me to tell her a story, so I make something up, on demand. She’ll say, “Baba tell me a story about a dog, a cat, a mouse—and a fish!” Or she’ll say a very strange thing, she’ll say, “Tell me a story about a story.” Or, “Tell me a story about nobody.” It’s fantastic. The way a child approaches storytelling, I think, is innately meta. They’re not bound by our constraints. We think that formal experimentation is something willed. Actually, it’s the innate state of storytelling. Constriction inside an accepted form is [what’s artificial]. The natural position is just… let it rip!
Read the entire article on the OPEN Magazine site.

Image Source : Alberto+Cerriteño/ Alberto Cerriteño

Monday, April 22, 2013

When Storytellers Came to Town

Payoshni Saraf is our newest intern and we sent her off to a storytelling event in Bangalore. She writes ...

10.30 am. Sunny Bangalore morning...75 curious and intrigued children await....A gentle powerful voice fills the room, and the eyes, the ears, the hands and minds are all in sync - on a journey to a world of clever foxes and stupid husbands and a wailing village ! 

Welcome to Bookalore's April Folkalore Mela, where 3 of our favourite authors read folktales from around the world to a bunch of 10-12 years old. Vidya Mani, Veena Seshadri and Shyam (also known as Greystroke), read out their chosen Pratham Books stories from lands as far as Argentina, Norway and China. 

Vidya started the session by introducing the kids to Bookalore -Banglore's Big Little Book Club. Bookalore is a book club for kids, started by a collective of writers and illustrators. 

Vidya then started the first story telling session reading from the book ' The Quirquincho and The Fox ', a story of two friends , where the mean one is outwitted by the clever one ! The children listened to the antics of the two friends with great interest and many hands rose when Vidya asked the children what they thought was the message of the story – 'Be nice to your friends' – said the boy at the back with a toothy smile :). The children then solved Rebus puzzles to find out more interesting lessons from the folktale.

Veena started her session with a question which usually divides the world into two – Are Boys smarter than Girls ? 

The No's were clearly louder than the Yes's, till one boy scrambled to his feet to explain his logic for saying Yes ' “Girls cannot play football well' ! The class broke into giggles and so started our next story 'The Man who thought he was smarter than his Wife'. What could happen to a man who thinks he is smarter than his wife ? A story full of crazy happenings and funny accidents kept the children hooked. Their minds and hands were put to work when they solved a crossword puzzle after the story to find out which country did the tale belong to. 

'Wailers Three', was the story from China that Shyam (aka Greystroke) decided to read out for the Folkalore session. This hilarious tale of a village that wails for no reason , kept the children engaged, and amused when Sham actually taught them to wail on his signals. The room echoed with giggle-worthy wails as the story progressed. Post the story, the children got their creative hats on and learnt to make beautiful chinese lanterns. Multicoloured lanterns adorned the room as the day's session came to an end.

A noisy exit ensued as 75 pair of feet ran out of the room bidding goodbyes to the 3 happy authors. 

The bookstall set up at the main building of the Army Public School was filled with children and parents and teachers browsing and buying books.This Summer promises fascinating journeys to faraway lands , colourful characters and untold stories. 

To buy these 3 books check out http://store.prathambooks.org

(Payoshni Saraf is a Teach for India 2012 Fellow, teaching a bunch of teenagers in a low income school in Warje. Her class of 21 is hooked to books and reads and learns together.Prior to TFI, Payoshni was a corporate slave in the field of Marketing who quit the money and chose the matter.)

Stop Stealing Dreams

Seth Godin talks about the future of education & what we can do about it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Arvind Gupta: Turning trash into toys for learning

Started the day by watching this delightful video of Arvind Gupta. Watch the video to see how learning can be fun :)


At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves -- while learning basic principles of science and design.

Science educator Arvind Gupta uses simple toys to teach.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Taking Time

Came across this lovely post by Ellie Wins . She writes...
"As a teacher, my job is to coach kids to do things they cannot yet do independently, or to push them past their established comfort zone to do something new. If not, they aren't learning. This is what we expect from kids everyday, a massive slew of challenges, from developing fine motor abilities to soaking in cultural norms. One of the privileges of being an adult is that I can avoid activities that make me feel like a clumsy toddler all over again. It definitely saves me from making foolish mistakes in public, but I've been robbing myself of the opportunity to learn. And oh, my word, learning takes time."
Read the entire post on her blog. Thank you Chintan Girish Modi for sharing this beautiful article with us.

Massive Volunteer Collective Proofreads 25,000 Public-Domain Books

Book CoverVia The Atlantic

Give these people a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, because they surely deserve one: As of today, 100,000 people around the world have taken part in a massive proofreading project to correct the electronic texts of 25,000 publicly available books on the Project Gutenberg site. 
Project Gutenberg relies on computers to "read" scanned books and convert the print into e-book-ready texts. The problem with this is that when it comes to reading a scanned text, a computer's "eyes" are inferior to a human's. In the process, tons of small errors creep in -- and humans are the only machines we have for ferreting them out. This is where the Distributed Proofreaders project comes in. 
As a result, 25,000 of Project Gutenberg's e-books aren't just free; they're free of small, computer-induced copy mistakes too.

Image Source : Project Gutenberg

The Last Bookshop

We love bookshops. But we saw that many are going through tough times.

We wanted to contribute to the cultural debate with our own celebration in support of these glorious independents and their shelves of treasures. So with the help of some remarkable independent bookshops, and a lot of talented friends, we have been able to make our idea for The Last Bookshop into a reality.

The Last Bookshop is a self-funded 20-minute short, which imagines a future where physical books have died out.

One day, when a small boy’s holographic entertainment fails, he heads out to explore the streets of abandoned old shop fronts outside. Down a forgotten alley he discovers the last ever bookshop. And inside, an ancient shopkeeper has been waiting over 25 years for a customer…

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bookalore's Folklore Mela

BOOKALORE invites you to its April mega-event : FOLKLORE MELA

Date: Saturday, April 20
Time: 10.30am -12.30pm
Venue: Army Public School, Kamaraj Road, Bangalore

More details of the five different sessions for classes 1-5 are in the invite.

Please note:
- These sessions take place simultaneously so each child can attend only one session based on the class she/he will be entering this year. So if your child will be going to Class-1 when school reopens after summer vacation, she/he should attend the Class-1 session
- Given the large number of children present at this event, it will not be possible for parents to stay with their children during the event.
- There is a lovely bookstore on the premises and parents are invited to browse through the books while they wait for their children.
- All children are required to bring pen/pencil, note-pad, crayons or colour pencils, a pair of craft scissors and a glue-stickwith them in order to participate in the activities.

Admission is FREE but registration to the event in the attached form is necessary.

We are extremely thrilled to see that three of our books (The man who thought he was smarter than his wife, The Quirquincho and the fox, Wailers Three) will be part of the storytelling session conducted by Vidya Mani, Greystroke and Veena Seshadri (Class 4 activity).

(Please click on the image for a larger view)

Is the World’s Largest Translator of German Literature in India?

...Naveen Kishore, who, in 1982, founded Seagull Books in India’s literary capital, Kolkata.  And today, it is the biggest publisher of translated German literature in the world.
By 2005, Seagull Books had a list of over 400 titles.  And in that same year, Kishore took note of the increasing number of foreign publishers attempting to set up shop in India, which inspired Kishore to attempt to do the same thing in reverse, but on his own terms.
He set up a goal for himself:  to travel the world and, working closely with literary agents, find material suitable for worldwide publication.  And to help achieve that goal, he opened up branches of Seagull Books in London and in New York.
Seagull started publishing French and German titles.  Other deals were set up, including one with Chicago University Press.  DW pointed out that it was “Kishore’s special talent for negotiating, his sensitivity and tenaciousness [that] made it all possible.  His work has become a cultural bridge between the East and West.”
Indeed, with the publication of several hundred works in English translation by German authors, Seagull Books is now the largest publisher of German literature in the world.  Many of these books are first-time releases, or, because of Kishore’s determination, being reintroduced to the world after spending long periods of time languishing out of print. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Online Book Hiring Facility Helps Engineering Students

Via The Economic Times
Rent my TextEngineering is an expensive degree, not just in terms of the tuition fee, but also the prohibitive cost of books. Realising how it impacted the students from low socio-economic groups, Bangalore-based Vishesh Jayawanth decided to do something about it. The result? RentMyText.in, India's first online book renting store for engineering students. 
The 24-year-old stumbled on the idea while studying at Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College, Bangalore.Ranga, the social platform he started to get college students to teach soft skills to children in various orphanages in the city, opened his eyes to a sorry state of affairs. "I realised that even if these students make it to good colleges, the cost of the books was daunting. They end up spending thousands of rupees on books that are used only for one semester," says Jayawanth. 
It was in mid-2011 that he revisited his books-for-rent idea. After a year of calculations, worksheets and power point presentations, he launched his company, Online Guru Educational Services, in September 2012, with three employees. The aim was to make education affordable and accessible by introducing innovative, student-friendly concepts. 
Here's how the website works: students can pick any book depending on the semester, pay a refundable deposit, which is the maximum retail price of the book, and have it delivered at their doorstep in 1-5 days for a price. There is no limit on the books that can be rented and there are two payment options: cash on delivery, or transfer money to the company's account. After the semester ends, one needs to return the books in mint condition to have 60-70% of the deposit refunded. 
While it results in a saving of up to 60% of the cost of books for students, it also offers a green advantage saving on paper.

Image Source : RentMyText.in

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pratham Books is looking for a Brand Manager

Right out of college, you joined the exciting world of communications, and loved the excitement and creativity. But now, 3 - 4 years' old in the business, you catch yourself wondering whether there is more to work than announcing a special offer on a packet of tea or choosing a celebrity to endorse a brand. Can communication actually influence, inspire, and make a change in the way people live -- and not just buy? You love brands, and you know that your skills are at bringing them alive, and engaging with the people they touch. And if it is people you'd like to focus on -- especially children.

If that sounds like you, please say Hello to one of India's largest children's book publisher, and join us in putting “a book in every child's hand”. We’ve reached out to millions of children to help them discover the joy of reading, and we’d love to have you on our team.

Email us at purvi(at)prathambooks(dot)org / info(at)prathambooks(dot)org and mention the position applied for in the subject line. Visit us at www.prathambooks.org or blog.prathambooks.org

Position: Brand Manager

Location: Bangalore, full time position

Experience: 3-4 years, relevant experience in Advertising / Media / MARCOM / Social Sector

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • To develop and present our brand/s memorably, to help them stand out in a competitive marketplace.
  • To communicate with multiple stakeholders - authors, illustrators, publishers, children, parents, schools, governments .
  • To effectively explore new media like the internet / blogging / e-marketing etc to achieve the brands’ goals.
  • To develop CRM programs and database management. Prior experience in this will be an added advantage.
  • Plan and execute research projects.
  • Develop and maintain media relations.


  • A degree in Business/Marketing
  • 3-4 years experience in advertising / media relations / MARCOM / social sector
  • Good communication, presentation and inter-personal skills
  • A self-starter, independent, team player who is motivated by the cause
  • Strong technology skills
  • Knowledge of Kannada is a plus
The ideal candidate should have a strong work ethic, high level of integrity and believe that all children should be given equitable opportunities to achieve their best.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Your Guide to Literary Events Happening Across India

Storytelling by Bharati Jagannathan

Just in case many of you were wondering why we haven't been posting information about events on our blog, you've been looking in wrong place. We have been posting information about all the awesome events we've been hearing about - but we created a whole NEW SECTION for them. All the events are now listed under the EVENTS CALENDAR. The calendar also contains links to contests. If you are a writer or illustrator, the calendar is a place to check out.

Where is this events calendar? When you visit the blog, look at the heading just below our blog header. The one on the right says Events Calendar. Click on that and voila - you have many events to mark your calendar with.

And if you can't find it, bookmark this link and visit it from time to time to know what is happening in your city : http://blog.prathambooks.org/p/events-contests-and-more.html

The calendar is updated whenever we hear of a new or interesting event (an event for children or an event for kiddos). Since it is not possible that we hear of all the fun events happening across India - we need your help in informing us about these events. If you ever hear of an event that you think may be of interest (or are the organizer of the event), send us a tweet or leave a message on Facebook or send us an email (web(at)prathambooks(dot)org).

Here's an example of some of the things on our calendar :


Courses in Editing and Book Design - application process starts on 1st February

Commonwealth Essay Competition (2 age categories - under 14 years and 14-18 years) - apply by 1st May

AFCCSKETCH - An Online Illustration Contest - apply by 13th May

Train Stories for Railonama - send by 31st May

Foyle Young Poets 2013 - apply by 31st July 2013

The Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014 - submit by 21st October

APRIL 2013

Papertigers list of literary events, across the world - throughout the month

Ishara International Puppet Festival, Delhi, Gurgaon and Chandigarh - 8th - 16th April

Wood Craft Workshop for Children, Bangalore - 8th-13th April and 15th-18th April  (registration required)

Poetry Tuesday @ Santacruz, Mumbai - 9th April

Professional course in storytelling, Noida - 13th-14th April, 20th-21st April (register by 10th April)

AHA! Summer Express 2013, Bangalore - throughout the month (registration required)

Club Hatch Summer 2013 Workshops, Bangalore - throughout the month of April  (registration required)

Giggle with a Gurgle, Kochi - 13th April

Your Turn Now - Interactive Event, Mumbai - 13th April

Mumbai Book Fair, Mumbai - 13th-21st April

Toto the Auto Story Session, Mumbai - 14th April

Acoustic Traditional's National Storytelling Tour, Delhi - 14th-15th April

Nature Journaling Workshop, Bangalore - 15th-19th April (registration required)

Beat the Heat - Summer Camp, Chennai - 15th-19th April, 22nd-26th April

Summer Workshops by The Story Place, Mumbai - 15th-19th April, 22nd-26th April

Meet the author : 366 words in Mumbai, Mumbai - 19th April

Katha Kosa's Summer Camp, Mumbai - 23rd-27th April  (registration required)

Junior Naturalist Course, Bangalore - 2 workshops in April  (registration required)
Kidsstoppress has also curated a list of summer camps, across India -  throughout the month of April  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Making Money Concepts Fun for Children

Pratham Books

Saurabh Kumar reviews our Rupaiya Paisa Series in livemint ...
Inculcating good money habits in children is often a concern with parents. And, rightly so. “The earlier kids know about money basics, the better it is,” says B. Srinivasan, a Bangalore-based financial planner. 
The good news is that you now have an aid to help you teach your children money basics. Pratham Books, a not-for-profit organization, launched a new four-book Rupaiya Paisa Series about a month ago that deal with various topics on financial literacy. The books have been written by Mala Kumar and illustrated by Deepa Balsavar. 
“I think it is a very good idea. I know youngsters who think money comes out of an ATM (automated teller machine). Children need to be introduced to and sensitized about banking transactions, interest rates and other such things,” says Srinivasan. 
The books talk about the history of money, savings, investment, remittance, insurance, difference between needs and wants, among other topics related to financial literacy. To make the otherwise boring topic interesting, the concepts have been explained through small anecdotes accompanied with colourful illustrations to stimulate children. 
The first book in the series, The World of Money, talks about the history of money and uses various anecdotes on how money evolved. The book also talks about how to earn, save and grow money. Day-to-day examples have been used to help children connect easily. “We have used colourful pictures and rooted them to their lives by using examples of family, neighbours or vendors that they may encounter every day,” says Chaudhry. 
The other books in the series—How Money Travels, The Money Managers and Be Wise with Money—delve deep into other concepts such as bank savings account, methods to save, meaning and importance of insurance, money management. At the end, the last book summarizes the series with a small demonstration on business transaction.

The entire set of 4 books costs only Rs.160. Click here to buy the entire set.

Mining Books To Map Emotions Through A Century

Via npr
Were people happier in the 1950s than they are today? Or were they more frustrated, repressed and sad? 
To find out, you'd have to compare the emotions of one generation to another. British anthropologists think they may have found the answer — embedded in literature. 
Several years ago, more or less on a lark, a group of researchers from England used a computer program to analyze the emotional content of books from every year of the 20th century — close to a billion words in millions of books. 
This effort began simply with lists of "emotion" words: 146 different words that connote anger; 92 words for fear; 224 for joy; 115 for sadness; 30 for disgust; and 41 words for surprise. All were from standardized word lists used in linguistic research. 
But Alex Bentley, an anthropologist at the University of Bristol involved in the research, says no one expected much when they set their computers to search through one hundred years of books that had been digitized by Google. 
"We didn't really expect to find anything," he says. "We were just curious. We really expected the use of emotion words to be constant through time." 
Instead, in the study they published in the journal PLOS ONE, the anthropologists found very distinct peaks and valleys, Bently says. "The clarity of some of the patterns was surprising to all of us, I think." 
With the graphs spread out in front of him, Bentley says, the patterns are easy to see. "The '20s were the highest peak of joy-related words that we see," he says. "They really were roaring." 
But then came 1941, which, of course, marked the beginning of America's entry into World War II. It doesn't take a historian to see that peaks and valleys like these roughly mirror the major economic and social events of the century.
"In 1941, sadness is at its peak," Bentley says.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Call for Submissions : Railonama

India Railway

Via Railonama

If you have ever travelled the Indian Railways and have a story you can't forget, we'd love to read it!

We are compiling a series of short stories that are emotionally engaging, inspiring, and unique. We plan to publish the short stories in a commemorative book in 2013.

When we walk down memory lane to our train journeys through India, we're filled with memories. Heart warming memories of endless excitement and never ending surprises. The new friends, the train stops, the chai-wallas, the train vendors. A treat for the senses. Journeys that were really destinations in themselves. All these things, among countless others, make the experience of travelling in Indian Railways unforgettable.

If you have taken even just one train journey in India, we invite you to share your story. Your story may be part of an exciting series of stories in our book!

Click here to visit the website and view the guidelines. The last day for submission is 31st May 2013.

Image Source : Poi Photography/ Poi Apeles

Share Your Story, Help a School

Ever wanted to volunteer and help out at government preschools and primary schools in Karnataka but didn't know where to start? http://www.klp.org.in can help.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Children's Books that Teach Diversity

Just noticed that Sandhya Renukamba compiled a list of books that teach diversity on The Alternative. Our book 'Chuskit goes to School' also gets a mention amongst the other lovely books listed.

Ever watched babies and toddlers reach out to other babies and toddlers? It does not matter if they are poorer or richer, girl or boy, disabled or not, cleaner or dirtier, brown, black, white, yellow, or whatever. Young children have no concept of differences between individuals. It is unfortunate that this utopian state cannot last forever, as children become keenly aware of differences as they grow up, a process of socialization and enculturation.

Teaching children about diversity and the right attitudes towards all of it is the duty of every parent. If everyone did this for a child they are responsible for, it would go a long way towards developing respect for a fellow human being.

Differences due to gender, caste, appearance, race and socioeconomic status can be very tricky to explain to children, but books can help you out.
Pratham Books

Chuskit Goes To School

Written by Sujatha Padmanabhan. Illustrated by Madhuvanti Anantharajan.
Publishers: Pratham Books.
Ages: 5-10 years.

Nine year old Chuskit longs to go to school like her brother. It is almost impossible for her in her home town of Ladakh, as she cannot walk, and has to use the wheelchair to go anywhere. How would it be possible for her to cross the rocky, hilly terrain over the river and up the hill to the school? It becomes possible only because her friend Abdul recognises her need, and ropes in the school and all the children to build a levelled road up to the school.

A cheerful story about recognising and doing what the society needs to do to make life easier for those differently-abled.

Click here to purchase a copy of Chuskit goes to school.

Exporting Children's Books Produced in India

Children's publishing in India - one of the most lucrative segments in the industry - is looking out of its domestic fold for a bigger footprint in the export market of South Asia and in the developing world, even as business peaks on the domestic front.

A growing number of leading children's publishers in India are exporting activity, story and education books to countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Middle-Eastern nations, Spain, South Africa, Nigeria and to Southeast Asian countries.

The market for children's books has expanded since 1999-2000, when Indian designers and publishers began to visit international book fairs, and western markets diverted their offshore children's deals to India, which had an edge in terms of quality, knowledge of English and visuals, said Sandeep Kaushik, CEO of Macaw Books, one of the biggest exporters of children's books in the country.

India has the advantage of "low currency exchange rates and low labour costs", making prices of children's books viable in the international market", Rajiv Ahuja of Evergreen Books said. "The labour cost per capita is around US$200 compared to euro2,200 (nearly $2965.38) per head in Europe," Ahuja said.

His company exports education books to 120 CBSE schools in the Gulf and children's books in Hindi to The Netherlands, where non-profit groups are promoting Hindi among youngsters as a "foreign language", he said. The "people of Indian origin markets in the Carribbean and in Africa" are the emerging export hubs for India, Ahuja said.

The National Book Trust, the apex body of publishing in the country that publishes in 30 languages, exports books - mostly education and children's books - to more than 100 countries, NBT director M.A. Sikandar said.