Friday, September 27, 2013

Subir Shukla's talk at Jumpstart 2013

Renowned educationist Subir Shukla talks at the Teachers and Librarians workshop 'What is your Bhasha' co-organised by Pratham Books at JUMPSTART 2013.

From Jaya Bhattacharji Rose's blog :

Jumpstart this year was focused on talking, discussing, tackling issues in children’s literature in a range of languages. The discussions were not necessarily confined to the domain of English-language publishing. The presentations, panel discussions and conversations on the side were representative of the enthusiasm, involvement and engagement that the various stakeholders in children’s literature hold. For Subir Shukla, the definition of children’s literature, was inclusive of textbooks that were being created for children in all languages across all states. It was not necessarily confined to the domain of trade literature ( picture books, chapter books, fiction and non-fiction) but that which was being created and used on a daily basis in classrooms across states. According to Subir Shukla textbooks such as the ones he was discussing had phenomenal print runs of 700,000 + as opposed to 5,000+ of trade literature, so it was a definition hard to dispute. Though there will always be quibbles about what constitutes “children’s literature”.

Read the entire post here.

The Duckbill blog also shares insights into this year's conference.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Big Bang and Bees take the stage at Bangalore Literature Festival!

The Bangalore Literature Festival is on from 27th-29th September and we will be hosting two events during the festival. 

The Big Bada Bang with a really LOOooOONGGG Book
Welcome to the fantastic world of dinosaurs, colliding bodies and more! Watch trekking instructor and nature lover Nirupama bring out magical bits about history, geography, science and evolution, inspired by THE WHAT ON EARTH? WALLBOOK, a 2.3 metre long book written Christopher Lloyd and illustrated by Andy Foreshow. This is one world trip that will zap your senses! 
Date - 29th September
Time :  11:30 - 12:00 pm
Venue : Crowne Plaza @Velankani Park, Electronics City
Get buzzy with a ghostly performance on stage!
What happens when a bear wants to make peace with a bee? Watch the drama unfold as theatre person Umesh PN and Padmalatha Ravi present the story of Muchkund and his Sweet Tooth, written by noted ecologist Dr.Madhav Gadgil and illustrated by Maya Ramaswamy. Get busy as Umesh takes you through a really quick guide on how to stage a play!
Date - 29th September
Time : 12:15 - 12:45 pm

Venue : Crowne Plaza @Velankani Park, Electronics City, Bangalore

Visit the Bangalore Literature Festival website to see the schedule of events.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Guide to 101 Indian Children's Books We Love!

'101' is an amazing guidebook which gives us a sneak peek at the vast variety of Indian books available to children at various stages of their growing up years. It gives details of books like the author, illustrator, publisher and price. We are happy to note that four books, "Annual Haircut Day', 'The Monsoon Concert', 'Phani'sFunny Chappal' and 'Handmade in India',  published by Pratham Books, have made it to '101'!

Parents keen on getting their children on the reading wagon, here's good news for you. '101' lends you a helping hand by grouping the books based on age. 

Today, many of us lead fast-paced lives, with barely enough time to stop and think, much less sit and read. But there are some others who take to books and how! Books become their constant companion, guide and friend. But when is it the right time to shake hands with this to-be-friend? "It's never too soon!" says UK based writer, editor and children's book consultant, Wendy Cooling.

Cooling, in her article on books and early childhood points out the differences between a child who has been around books from a very early age and a child who encounters a book for the very first time in school. I have to agree with her  when she says that parents who read to their tiny tots and introduce them to picture books, actually help in building the child's power of concentration in addition to colouring their imagination.

I'm in agreement with her as, as recently as a few months ago, I used to tell stories to my two and a half year old cousin at bed time or to distract her when she got cranky. But now, she has begun to tell me stories! Her latest was about a BIG croc that ate a sma....ll fish. And boy, is she hooked to stories now!

'What do you speak at home?' 'English!' comes the prompt reply from most kids living in cities today.  '101' features an article by Radhika Menon, publisher and managing editor of Tulika Publishers, in which she discusses the importance of bilingual books and its impact on children. According to her, reading in one's own language is an enriching experience for kids and reading in another language  is an empowering one. Yay! Nanige Kannada baruthe! (I can speak Kannada) :)

Another treat is that our very own Manisha Chaudhry, Content Head at Pratham Books, has contributed to the richness of this book. Reading is not just another brick in the wall, but is "the most basic building block in education", says she. She adds a cultural and historical touch to children's literature in Hindi. By walking us back to the past, she unfolds to us the development of Hindi children's literature.

Through the peephole '101', we see the colourful world of Indian literature winking back at us. Literature in various Indian languages has not only been introduced to us in this book, but we are also presented with a long list of promising, fun books that are must-reads! By bringing out the importance of bilingual books and books in other Indian languages, '101' says, "Onward, forward Indian Literature!". This makes it a must-read too!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Visit us at the Urdu Kitab Mela, Bangalore

Bangaloreans, we are participating in this year's Urdu Kitab Mela. The mela is on from 14th to 22nd September.

Catch us at :
Venue: Stall No. 14, Chota Maidan Shivaji Nagar, Bangalore (Landmark : behind Shivaji Nagar bus station)
Timing: 12pm to 8.30 pm.

See you there!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Celebrating International Literacy Day with 600+ Champions and 1000+ Storytelling Sessions

Last month, we put out a call for champions to participate in what has now become our annual 'One Day-One Story' campaign to celebrate International Literacy Day. Last year 250+ champions joined us in telling the story of Susheela's Kolams across the country. Our community loves to spring us with happy surprises. Last year, we hoped to get 100 champions and 250+ volunteered. This year, we hoped we could do 500 storytelling sessions and turns out that our awesome champions want to conduct 1000+ storytelling sessions. Yes, 1000+. The campaign has grown bigger than we expected and we are sooooo excited to hear about everyone's storytelling sessions.

600+ Champions

1000+ Storytelling Sessions

Thousands of children are going to be listening to stories!!

At Pratham Books we have a dream, to see “A book in every child's hand”. We understand that to reach the 200 million + children in India is going to take a while. In the meantime, we decided to take 1 book, 1 story to as many children possible on a single day throughout the country.

This initiative is part of the Pratham Books' Champions program where we encourage our community of volunteers to conduct reading sessions. These sessions are conducted free of cost and mostly with children from under-served communities. The Pratham Books' Champions program is a one-of its kind volunteer program that has scaled to a national level with more and more volunteers wanting to join us in this movement.

This year, champions will be sharing the story of 'Paplu, the Giant' (written by Ramendra Kumar and illustrated by Zainab Tambawalla). A delightful story about a little giant who did not like to fight with anyone! A story that is sure to engage children of all ages.

Apart from the champions in India, we also have champions joining us from Canada, USA, Nepal, Brazil, Latvia, Singapore and Mozambique this year.

We wanted to focus on languages this year and the story is going to be told in more than 25 languages.

We are still updating this list, but here's the list of our awesome champions.

If you want to conduct a storytelling session, please register and download the book and share it with a child/children.

If you want to attend a session, we as well as some of our champions are conducting events that are open to the public. Check the full list at :

To read about last year's storytelling sessions, please visit the champions blog.

If you are sharing pictures/news about your event, please use the hashtag #PBChamps on Facebook and Twitter so that we and other champions can also follow your updates.

Join Pratham Books and over 600+ storytellers in sharing the joy of stories.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Reading Paplu, the Giant - Public Events you can attend

Join Pratham Books and our Champions as we share the magic of stories with thousands and thousands of children.

We are happy to announce storytelling sessions of Paplu, the Giant in Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai on the 7th of September that you can attend! These are sessions that someone from Pratham Books will be at. 

The details of the events in these cities are given below : 


Venue : Oxford Bookstore, 1 MG Road Mall, R-2/3-1/2 Swami Vivekananda Road, Trinity Circle, Bangalore - 560008

Time : 12:00 -12:30pm

RSVP : Ankit Anubhav (+91- 8971936444)

New Delhi

Venue : Oxford Bookstore, N 81, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Time : 11:30 -12:00 pm

RSVP  : Purnendu Kabi (+91-9990444437)


Venue : Oxford Bookstore, Apeejay House, 3, Dinshaw Vacha Road, Churchgate, Mumbai - 400020

Time : 11:30 – 12:00 pm

RSVP – Sampurna Murti (+91-9004682488)

All the above listed sessions are free but do call on the listed numbers to reserve a spot. 

Our champions are also conducting several storytelling sessions which are open to the public. Please click here for a list of all the public events you can attend.