Friday, January 31, 2014

Meet us at the Lucknow Literary Festival and the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival




Book lovers, you can find our books at two festivals happening in India.

The Lucknow Literary Festival is on for two days (1st and 2nd February).

Via The Times of India
Second edition of the two-day Lucknow Literary Festival beginning February 1 promises to be a treat not just for the serious art and literature connoisseurs, but anyone even remotely interested in culture and the city's rich heritage. Lucknow society, which has joined hands with Lucknow First to make the event much bigger this year, has taken care to make the literary festival relevant to groups across the age and preference spectrum.

Speaking to media on Thursday, marketing director of the festival Atif Hanif said the event will provide the delight of six languages-Hindi, Urdu, English, Awadhi, Sanskrit and Persian-as also the heritage of Lucknow. Besides 30 book launches and panel discussions, the festival will witness a cartooning and photography exhibition, workshops for children, dance performances, mushaira, kavi sammelan, and ghazal evening.
Visit the website for more information.

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is on from 1st-9th February. You can find our books at the Pratham Books Stall from 1st-5th February.

Via the KGAF website
1st to 9th Feb 2014 will herald the vibrancy, drama, excitement and the beautiful colours of culture. Kala Ghoda Arts Festival invites you all to come and experience a kaleidoscope of music, dance, theatre, literature, street stalls, films, workshops for adults and children, visual arts and heritage walks. Nine joyful days to refresh your mind, inspire your senses and feel exhilarated!
See you at the festivals!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Public Libraries to get a Facelift This Year


Via The Economic Times

Public libraries are set for a major facelift, starting this year, under the National Mission on Libraries(NML) to check the dwindling footfalls and give a boost to reading habits.

"Public libraries have a crucial role in dissemination of knowledge and information. Through innovative ways, we are going to engage citizens in both physical and digital space and help them access reading material in print and electronic form with the help of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)," Ravindra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture said.

Kolkata-based Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation is the nodal agency for the execution of this Rs 400 crore project which will modernise 629 district libraries in the country and connect them with each other. The project is scheduled to be launched by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 3 in Kolkata.

"We plan to accomplish this modernisation through a two-pronged strategy: improvement of infrastructure and upgradation of technology in libraries on the one hand and capacity building on the other," Singh said.

Libraries are set to have Wi-Fi enabled reading rooms with modern furniture, lighting system, carrels for scholars, senior citizens and specially abled persons, modern signage, power backup, purified drinking water equipment and washrooms.

"By providing reading material in different languages, we intend to facilitate universal access. As a part of the objective, libraries will be encouraged to create more digital resources by digitising relevant reading material in various languages. Our vision is to create a network of public libraries where information is digitised and easily exchanged," Banerjee said.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Lovers : Have you been to this library in Delhi?


Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty writes about a Marwari library that houses a formidable collection of old and rare books and manuscripts.


I am at the Marwari Library, a quiet two-storey institution dating back to 1915. A handful of people are seated in the hall. The hubbub of the streets is right below but all one hears here is the turning of pages, the rustle of newspapers and magazines, and an occasional clearing of the throat. 

The library, situated in a heritage building in Chandni Chowk and run by the Marwari Education Foundation, has 250 life members and 50 ordinary members. Anyone who walks in can read newspapers and magazines free of charge. “For an annual payment of Rs. 20, a member can borrow a magazine for 15 days,” says Sharma. With a security deposit of Rs. 500, you can borrow two books for a fortnight. A life membership costs Rs. 3,100.

Despite its age and formidable collection, particularly of Hindi books and magazines,(many of them dating back to the first two decades of the 1900) not many people know about this library. In fact, if you ask around, it is likely that you will be directed to the Delhi Public Library not far away.

But its strength is certainly the dog-eared, worn-out collection of 32,229 books and magazines, of which 2,000 are rare. Sharma, one of three employees, says these are only for reference. “Many research students from various Delhi universities and universities abroad come to us.”

Sharma, helped by B.D. Sharma one of the two attendants, brings out old Hindi magazines like Chand,Hans, Sudha, Maryada, Madhuri, Stree Darpan, Vishal Bharati and Saraswati; some from as far back as 1917. Among its 21 manuscripts is a handwritten Bhagwad Gita. My eyes rest on the History of Congress and Brighu Samhita, the Vedas, the Marwari Jati Itihaas, old dictionaries and encyclopaedias, a collection of 100 years of almanacs, Tulsidas’ Ramayan, Lok Sabha discussions during its formative days, Filmfare issues dating back to the 1950s, besides some books in English published in pre-independent India.

Saraf says, “The library was a result of the Hindi revival movement in pre-independent India. So you will find here Hindi books and magazines of those times.

E for Entertainment and E-Books

With the growing increase of readers using e-books, we constantly hear of new experiment happening in the field. The Zee TV Mughal Empire E-Book is one of these examples.

Via The Hindu

The trend of big banner films’ release accompanied by the launch of a book on the making of the film or the launch of related merchandise is finding its way to television also. This new development was noticed recently at an event held to mark the success of Jodha Akbar, Zee TV’s historical show that has the viewers glued to television sets in the evenings. Celebrating the success of the show, Zee TV launched an e-bookThe Zee TV Mughal Empire E-Book on the sets of Jodha Akbar in Karjat near Mumbai.

The book claims to relate actual history from the time of Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty to Shah Jahan. The book is claimed to be an attempt to get youngsters hooked to the history. “The digital rendition of India's history opens up an exciting avenue for children who shy away from their history textbooks.” Not just the kids but lots of adults do not remember the broad chapters of Indian history after having gone through the grind at school. 

Speaking on the occasion Akash Chawla, Head, Marketing-National Channels, ZEEL said: “At a time when ‘on-demand’ and ‘on the go’ entertainment is the order of the day, we have been successful in providing our viewers with both, on air as well as digital content that has kept them engrossed and engaged. While the innovative e-book packs in it the entire history of the Mughal Empire through vibrant pictorial depictions and a crisp narration, the game will test your knowledge about the era.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Our 'Library-in-a-classroom' kits reach Dahanu

Last year, we were looking for NGOs and schools to donate 'Library-in-a-classroom' kits to. Over the past few months, we have been receiving reports and pictures of how the books are being used by kids in different parts of India. The following report was sent to us by Mitra Foundation.


Vidya and Rati do a book-duet reading at Mussalpada school .
On 23 December 2013, Mitra Foundation opened two new libraries for Adivasi students of Amchi Shalas of Mussalpada and Ambatpada hamlets in Waki village of Dahanu Taluka in Maharashtra.

Mitra Foundation was 1 of the 22 organisations that received 3 sets of 'Library-in-a-classroom' a mobile collection of 125 Marathi books for 4-6 years olds, as a grant from Pratham Books.. 

 Smt. Nanda Dhak, the headmistress of the Musalpada Amchi Shala and her 40 students and two teachers welcomed the Mitra team with loud applause and heartily shouted good morning greetings. After brief introduction by Seema , Mitra Foundation's library coordinator, Maya Vanbaugh (10) and Sita (5) our young volunteers for the day, presented the 'library in a classroom' to the students. After receiving the books, Sunita and Sunil read two books from the book collection followed by a Seema's story reading session. All the children listened to the readings with great interest. But it was Sita who stole the show with the performance of her two delightful renditions of her 'Masala' and 'Phool' songs, which the students enjoyed so much that they made her sing it again and joined the chorus.

Neelam Patil and her students pose with Pratham Books''Library-in-a-classroom' kit

Later at Ambatpada Amchi Shala, Smt. Neelam Patil and her brood of 20 students received the books with great excitement and a celebratory song. We were informed by Smt. Patil that this is the first time the school has received books of any kind and was looking forward to expanding the library.

Mitras have made a commitment at both the schools that it will regularly monitor the progress of the reading habits of students and in 2014 increase the number of books in both the libraries.

**********
Thank you Mitra Foundation for helping our books reach kids in Dahanu.

If you are interested in buying a 'Library-in-a-classroom' kit for your NGO/classroom, please write to us at info(at)prathambooks(dot)org for more details.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Pratham Books Calendar - Almost There

The last time we told you that our annual calendar was on its way to the printers, we were hoping that the little window elements would come together. It was a new idea we were trying. After a few trial and errors - it turned out the way we wanted it to. The long wait is coming to an end. 

Go on and take a look at the sample copy we received. 




We regret the delay and promise that we are working overtime to get them shipped to you as soon as possible. 

If you wish to buy the calendar, please click here

Thursday, January 16, 2014

India - A Big Market for Dictionaries


Via The Hindu

India, among other countries like China and South Korea, is seen as a big market for the English language dictionary, despite a swell in digital tools for word learning and usage, says a UK publisher.

“In places like India and South Korea and in our biggest markets in China and Taiwan, a dictionary is seen as a good investment because language is seen to get a good job, to go study abroad etc. So people are ready to purchase and invest in them,” says Alison Waters, Publisher, ELT dictionaries and reference grammar, Oxford University Press, UK.

“On the whole the English language market is growing so the business of dictionaries is stable. Because of global recession there is less money around and dictionaries are seen as supplementary materials and not key materials for learning,” Alison said.

In the digital era, mobile phones applications, tablets and handheld devices allow people to search online for words and their correct usages, but the print dictionary has still a long way to go before becoming obsolete.

“Even though our online dictionaries are able to offer more, such as quality sound recordings, at the moment what we sell more is the print dictionary. Print is our main focus,” says Alison.

The Advanced Learners Dictionary is one of “bestsellers” from Oxford, she points out.

Read the entire article.

Photo credit : Chris/ MoiVous

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One Month To Go : Book Giving Day!

Book Giving Day is almost here. Well, it is a whole month away. But that just gives everyone a lot of time to plan what they want to do on that day (14th February, 2013).



International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books.

  • Most children in developing countries do not own books.
  • In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books.
  • In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books.
International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th. We invite individuals to 1) give a book to a friend or family member, 2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read, or 3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need internationally.

In addition, we encourage people to support the work of nonprofit organizations (i.e. charities) that work year round to give books to children, such as Room to Read (international), Books for Africa (international), Book Aid International (international), The Book Bus (international), First Book (U.S.), Reading is Fundamental (U.S.), Reach Out and Read (U.S.), Pratham Books (India), Indigenous Literacy Foundation (Australia), The Footpath Library (Australia), Nal’ibali (South Africa) and Duffy Books in Homes (New Zealand).

International Book Giving Day is an international holiday. In 2013, International Book Giving Day was celebrated by people in Australia, Canada, South Africa, France, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Brazil, Egypt, Poland, Greece, Portugal, Mexico, Macedonia, Malawi, Hungary, Malaysia, Israel, Denmark, Thailand, Indonesia, Jordan, China, Puerto Rico and Bulgaria. We hope that people around the world will think about the best ways to help children in need in their communities.

Visit the Book Giving Day website to learn how to participate.

10 years on, Rohini Nilekani retires as Chairperson, Pratham Books

As Pratham Books enters a new decade, our Chairperson Ms. Rohini Nilekani announced her retirement. Since its inception in 2004, she has been a guiding force behind Pratham Books and our mission to see 'a book in every child's hand'. She will be succeeded by Ms. Suzanne Singh who is currently the Managing Trustee. Ms Singh has spent several years in the advertising industry before moving to the social sector in 2004.


Ms Rohini Nilekani, said “It has been a ten year journey for Pratham Books and we feel proud that we have been able to reach millions of children. As we enter our second decade, it is time to renew ourselves for the future. In the next phase, Pratham Books will foray into digital books, collaborative platforms and even more innovation to open up access to good children's content. As part of this process, it is a good time for a leadership change at the helm. I have always believed that good, sustainable institutions need to reinvent themselves periodically. We are delighted that Suzanne Singh, who has been a core part of Pratham Books, as a Board member and Managing Trustee, has taken over as the new Chairperson as of 1st January 2014. As a founder and well wisher, I will continue to support Pratham Books.”
Ms Singh said, “ At Pratham Books, we believe every child has the right to enjoy reading and learning. We begin our 10th anniversary with a renewed zeal and commitment to this belief. New and exciting times lie ahead for Pratham Books - on one hand we will build upon our existing strengths of creating reading resources and engaging communities and on the other we hope to be future ready by creating a large digital library for children to access anywhere....anytime.”

Pratham Books welcomes Ms Suzanne Singh in her new role.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pratham Books-ZEEJLF Outreach Programme Set to Share the Joy of Reading in Jaipur

The ZEE Jaipur Literatue Festival, the world’s largest free literary festival, has again extended it’s reach further this year by taking writers from the Festival to visit local schools in Jaipur.

Organised in partnership with Pratham Books, a not-for-profit children’s publisher, The Pratham Books – 
ZEEJLF Outreach Programme aims to inspire young people through the love of literature. 

This month will see the third year of the outreach programme, with events taking place between 13th-21st January 2014.

The authors confirmed to take part so far are; Paro Anand (author), Valentina Trivedi (storyteller), Anita Mani (Storyteller/news-for-children newspaper editor), Ajit Narayan (Illustrator/cartoonist), Devyani Bhardwaj (Poet/journalist/translator). Visiting Festival authors include journalist and author of When the Crocodile Eats the Sun, Peter Godwin, Harvard history professor and author of the award winning Liberty Exiles, Dr. Maya Jasanoff, actor, writer and director Mahesh Dattani and art historian Partha Mitter who specialises in Indian art.

The participating schools so far include, SKIT, Jaipur; The Step by Step, St. Xavier, Pratham supported schools and Vodafone supported schools.

During the outreach programme, visiting Festival authors will participate in over 25 reading sessions, workshops and interactive activities promoting education and literacy amongst young students in Jaipur.

Himanshu Giri, Chief Operating Officer of Pratham Books added, “Pratham Books believes in taking the joy of reading to all children and our association with the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival gives us a great platform to include them. It is very exciting for children from different schools to meet authors and illustrators from across the world. It is also an enriching experience for the authors to meet so many young people.”

Sanjoy K. Roy, Producer of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival said, “Each year the Festival brings a wealth of literary talent to Jaipur. We are thrilled to be partnering with Pratham Books to extend the reach of the Festival beyond the four walls of Diggi Palace and into the schools and colleges of the city. We look forward to seeing some of these young people as Festival authors in the future.”

Children's Authors 'Dare' One Another to Write Over the Holidays

What a great way to get over writer's block if you are facing it - with a friendly challenge!

Via Publishers Weekly

Five days, 15 authors, 18 writing challenges, and a total of 53,000 words – the equivalent of a novel. These are the stats for a recent series of writing challenges – or “dares,” as the participants called them – orchestrated by members of OneFour KidLit, a collective of middle-grade and YA authors whose debut books are due out in 2014. The authors vied to see who could write the most words in designated 30-minute sessions during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

The OneFour KidLit writing challenges sprang from Rachael Allen’s pre-Christmas post on the group’s Web site. “I asked if anyone was planning on writing a ton over the holiday break,” said Allen, who will publish 17 First Kisses with HarperTeen in June. “I wanted to write, but felt I needed some motivation – kind of like having workout buddies. Several people responded that they’d be interested in writing a lot over that time period, but we didn’t have any idea of how to go about doing that together.”

OneFour KidLit member Rebecca Petruck, whose Steering Toward Normal is a May release from Abrams/Amulet, came up with a solution. She created the hashtag #30mdare on Twitter and announced the joint writing project on the group’s message board. “It was one of those spur-of-the-moment things that ended up being just right,” she said. “People would spontaneously announce that a dare would take place at a certain time, and anyone who participated would report back with their word counts. Whoever wrote the most during the 30-minute sprint got to choose the others’ online profile pictures – most turned out to be good-naturedly bad – which stayed up for 24 hours or until the next dare.”

She added that the freewheeling challenges foster innovation as well as creativity. “The dares are great for turning off that internal editor,” said Petruck. “The challenges encouraged me to try anything with the first draft I’m now writing, and let my muse flow, which is hard for me to do. I might not have let myself try some of the ideas that hit the page during the dares if I’d thought about it too much. And the other authors made me laugh and reminded me that writing really is fun.”

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rewind. Recap.

Some of you may remember that long ago we used to share links to the posts we were sharing with our friends on Twitter. We stopped that for a bit, but we hope to start the practice again ( a new year resolution of sorts :)). 

Here's a look at what we were sharing in the first ten days of the new year :

What is your new year resolution, dear reader? Oh, the books you will read and the places you will go - Here's to a year of amazing books! Will you be hungry for some of your old books and be rereading any? Will you rise to the challenge journalist Ann Morgan put to herself - reading a book from every country? We hope you discover cool bookshops like this one. The Hindu has put up a list of books to look out for this year. This is definitely a problem you are going to face year after year - the problems of being a book lover.

Here's a good way to keep track of your reading habits this year - by ordering the Pratham Books calendar! Catch a sneak peek of the calendar if you haven't ordered it yet.

Something that made us very very very happy recently was to see these pictures of our Library-in-a-classroom kits being used by the kids at Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya

We think our author friends may be amused by these novelist error messages. These playful book sculptures transform their environment. We constantly learn new things - like the word librocubicularist

So many events are happening in January and February. The Jaipur Literature Festival line-up is online. Are you heading there? There is also a platform for publishing professionals at Jaipur Literature Festival. Albert Camus’ Le Malentendu is now available in Tamil. Literary critic and scholar, the late G.S. Shivarudrappa made ancient Kannada literature available in a new perspective to the modern generation of writers. The folks at Comic Con India are looking for volunteers. Participating in the biggest cosplay contest by Comic Con India may also help you win a trip to the New York Comic Con! Happy to see Tulika Books join the club and upload some of their audiobooks too (oh, the Pratham Books audiobooks are available on Soundcloud). Blaft Publications is always up to fun things - like this book launch at a fish market!

The Lucknow Literary Festival is running contests for your little ones till 15th January. The Young Sparks Students Mentoring Program is where talented kids can learn from professional writers/illustrators. Math teachers and homeschoolers - this Maths Carnival may be of interest. We've submitted our Happy Maths series for the Carnival (you can read and download the books by clicking on the link).

Interesting to know the type of debate that was happening before the current paper vs screen debate? And the ultiimate showdown : Books Vs Films.

Counter to cliché, French translations sell better than ever. Russia is now the world’s third largest ebook market. Doctors in Britain are prescribing books to see if you read your way to psychological health. Destination Italy gives tax rebates to book buyers in hopes of boosting Italian culture. 

Have you heard these 2013 TED Presentations from writers? Many of the organizations we know/work with are on this list of 14 organizations that are changing the world through education. This is how you read books buried 2000 years ago. Life after Amazon - a publisher shares his journey after cutting ties with the online retailer. The first 3D-printed book cover is a beautiful sign of an experimenting industry (also on sale). And while we are on the topic of 3D-printing, read this article about a children's book that turns readers into 3D-printing artists. If you were missing the smell and feel of books, fret not! Someone is experimenting with metal ink to make e-books feel like traditional paperbacks! How will digital publishing evolve in 2014? Discoverability, not discovery, is going to be publishing’s next big challenge. Is it high time bookstores start stocking self-published titles

We come across several projects that parents do with their kids and this one caught our attention this week : a 4 year old that draws herself to sleep. Also, take a look at Stephen Hawking's charming children’s book about time-travel, co-written with his daughter. We were also admiring these cleverly illustrated book quotes

A new thing we've started on Twitter is to share bookish illlustrations - to remain inspired by books and amazing artists. Click on all the links to see the gorgeous work we've been viewing : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

And we end this update on this note : Some books leave us free and some books make us free.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Find Our Books at the Chennai Book Fair

The Chennai Book Fair starts today and goes on till 22nd January. If you are heading to the fair (which you must!), you can find our books at:

Stall number : 604, Eureka Books Stall,

Venue : YMCA College of Physical EducationNo.333, Anna Salai, Nandanam
Time : 11:00 am to 8:30 pm (Holidays), 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm (Working days)



Via The Hindu

The 37th edition of the Chennai Book Fair organised by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) will be held from January 10 to 22 at the YMCA College of Physical Education, Nandanam.

The book fair, which will be set up across 2 lakh square feet, will feature 777 stalls selling books in various languages and subjects. The entry fee will be Rs. 10, but children below the age of 12 will have free entry.

Book launches and lectures by eminent personalities will also be held daily between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Pratham Books Calendar is Here!


Pre- order the much awaited Pratham Books' 2014 calendar!
Continuing the journey of last year’s calendar, we visit and explore six new places in our new calendar – sampling local delicacies, learning about tradition, taking in the art and architecture, and picking up a few local words and phrases.
Like any good journey, the playful hide-and-seek aspect of the calendar has a surprise behind every turn of the page. Special peek-a-boo windows and gold and silver highlights make the calendar even more special this year.


Our calendars have become extremely popular and vanish from our shelves like hot cakes. This year's calendar is on its way to the printers and will be available shortly. Due to sponsorship issues we are printing limited copies only. So hurry and book your copy now!*
 * Shipping will start from 21.1.2014.
Catch a sneak preview of the calendar here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Young Sparks Students Mentoring Program

TATA HOUSING YOUNG SPARKS in association with Junior Writer's Bug

Via The Writer's Bug

THE JUNIOR WRITER’S BUG, a young group that fosters literary, creative and life skills in children, and CHAMPAK, India’s largest read children’s magazine, have come together to provide talented children with a platform to hone their skills in creative writing, editing and illustration.

They will get a chance to be mentored by reputed artists such as Santhini Govindan, Priya Kuriyan, Abhijeet Kini and many more, for a period of three months and get their work published by India’s leading children’s magazine CHAMPAK.

Selection Process
500 Children will be chosen for an interview round by an expert panel from over 20,000 children who partcipate in the first round. Amongst these 5 children in the illustration category and 5 children in creative writing and editing category will become a part of the TATA HOUSING YOUNG SPARKS mentoring program. These children will have intensive online training and guidance sessions from a panel of experts in the field of writing and illustrations. They will also get a peak into the world of publishing and editing through industry interactions. After this intensive training the works of these children will be published in India‘s leading children magazine, CHAMPAK.

Eligibility: Students from Class 6 to Class 8.

Click here to read more about the program.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Craft a Story to Win Prizes

The Lucknow Literary Festival is running a children's story contest for ten days. Here's your child's chance to spin some stories and win some prizes.


How to enter the contest
  1. Visit the Lucknow Literary Festival Facebook page from 6th-15th January. There will be a new picture on the page every day, so don't forget to visit their page every day.
  2. After you view the image and craft your story, fill out the contest form here and submit your entry.
Entry Deadline of each insertion : 48 hours / 2 days [ For example – Contest posted on 6th Jan will be open till 12 midnight of 7th Jan ]
Entry Rules : Only 1 entry to be submitted by a person for an image, otherwise a person can participate all 10 days
Word Limit : Within 50 words
Age Limit : 5 – 14 Years
Prize Distribution : Prizes along with Certificates to be distributed on 1st Feb at Lucknow Literary Festival

Today's contest is based on this image from Annual Haircut Day. Good luck!

Visit the Lucknow Literary Festival website for more details about the main festival.

Friday, January 3, 2014

What is Pratham Books Celebrating?

Yes, dear friends, we're in a celebratory mood! Why? Take a look at this picture. 



How many fingers is Sringeri Srinivas holding up? Does he have a problem counting? What is Sringeri Srinivas saying?

What? Can't believe it! You're ten years old?” That's what he's saying!

Yes, yes, yes, we're ten years young. We've been so happily engaged in bringing out books for more and more children that we almost forgot that January 1, 2014 marked our 10th anniversary. We're delighted to be on this journey, and we are aware that there are many many kilometres to travel before our mission is accomplished. Children need to be reading, so that they may enter new worlds of opportunity and fair living. As we move ahead on the next decade, we take strength and inspiration from all of you, our supporters and well-wishers, to ensure that more children are reading, that there is more content to be read, in many more languages, and that all this is accessible for every child in the country. 

My colleague Manisha Chaudhry felt so happy to be ten that she sent this off in ten seconds!
Where, how and When
Did we become Ten?
Seems like yesterday
It all felt like play
Like a bunch of novice cooks
rustling up some books!
Many languages bubble
Our readers set to double.
Yippee!

Image source: Illustration by Angie and Upesh, for 'Annual Haircut Day'.


BiblioNasium Aims to Be Goodreads for Kids


Via Digital Book World
With about 75,000 registered users — and growing by 1,000 every week — BiblioNasium is probably the biggest digital book start-up that you’ve never heard of. It’s like Goodreads for kids with tools built in for teachers and parents to monitor and encourage reading and learning.
Most of the site’s users have been signed up in classrooms by teachers who use BiblioNasium to track reading and learning. The kids who sign up can create virtual bookshelves, connect with friends, exchange recommendations and share information about books and reading. Sounds familiar? That’s because you can do all the same things on Goodreads. Except BiblioNasium, unlike Goodreads, is built specifically for kids and, more importantly, is COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) compliant. COPPA is a law that protects young children from online practices by companies that may be considered predatory, like gathering personal information. 
Educators and parents can set reading challenges for kids and monitor their progress, make reading lists and check out “lexile” reports — basically data on what grade level a child is reading at. 
Kids spend nearly eight minutes on the site per session looking at about nine pages during each visit. Over 3,000 schools from 30 countries are currently using the site and about a half-a-million books have been shelved.