Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Good Books Guide

The Good Books Guide was recently released at the New Delhi World Book Fair. This book is a tool to aid selection of books. It has broad guidelines which will help sift out the completely unsuitable books first and thereafter enable selection based on logical criteria.There are detailed guidelines as well as a ready reckoner against which to make an informed and quick assessment.

Jaya Bhattacharji Rose talks about the 'The Good Books Guide' on her blog.

Via Jaya's blog

But in all these years of working in the publishing industry I have rarely come across catalogues of children’s literature that could be easily recommended. Apart from compilations of titles available in English and other Indian languages, it is also crucial to understand how to select a book for a child. Introduction to literature after all is part of the nurturing and grooming process of a child into a independent, informed and literate individual. From the basic picture books, hardboard books for toddlers to picture books, chapter books and novels and non-fiction for older kids, it is not always easy to come by information. Having said that, in the last one year, there have been three titles published in India — 101 Indian Children’s Books We Love ( Young Zubaan), Children’s Books 2014 ( NBT) and The Good Books Guide: How to select a good book for children ( NBT and PAG-E) that are a beginning. They introduce titles from English, in translation and available in other Indian languages.

The Good Books Guide: How to select a good book for children is a slim manual that was created by Subir Shukla, after a national consultation between National Book Trust and PAG-E ( Publishers’ Action Group) held at Sonapani, Nainital from 26-29 September 2012. It focuses primarily on the criteria necessary for selecting a book. Details such as illustrations match the text; do the theme and contents have any bias; is the plot weak or illogical?; is the language used appropriate for children; is the typescript and type-size inappropriate; are the illustrations and design unsuitable or of poor quality?; how to identify ‘desirable’ books; does it stimulate curiosity and engagement?; if it is a non-fiction title is it correct and factual? and so on. There is a table given towards the end that helps in classifying books according to classes and ages. This manual is a beginning. It will open a debate but at least such a publication has come into existence!

All these books are useful in their own way, but for the first time with the NBT publication we have now access to titles from other Indian languages as well!

Read the entire article (also mentions  101 Indian Children’s Books We Love and Children’s Books 2014).

The Guide to Good Books is priced at Rs 130/- and can be bought from NBT.

blog comments powered by Disqus