Monday, August 24, 2015

Animated Dutch, French and Gujarati Versions of Our Books

We absolutely enjoy seeing the animated versions that Bookbox creates with our books. We found three more versions of our books - in Dutch, French and Gujarati!

Other videos that you can watch from the Little BookBoxers' series : 
The Moon and the Cap (English), Bunty and Bubbly (English), Vayu, the Wind (English), Vayu, the Wind(French), Too Much Noise (English), The Moon and the Cap (Dutch), The Moon and the Cap (Marathi), Bunty and Bubbly (Spanish), Too Many Bananas (English)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Under the Aaladamaraa : International Storytelling Festival

Kathai Kalatta in association with the Bangalore Storytelling Society present the Bangalore Chapter of the Storytelling Festival titled, "Under The Aaladamaraa". The Bangalore edition takes place from 28th-30th August, 2015. 
Click on the image for a larger view

This year our international tellers are all set to entertain and train both children and adults from different walks of life with stories, puppetry, ventriloquism and a couple of catchy tunes. There are exciting workshops in store for teachers, parents and the corporate community. 

Head to the website for more details on the storytellers. You can also follow all the action on their Facebook page and don't forget to book your tickets before they are sold out!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Books for Delhi Metro Riders

More good news for those who use the Delhi Metro.

Via Business Standard

With an aim to promote Indian literature among the masses, the Sahitya Akademi today threw open its second Delhi Metro outlet at the Vishwavidyalaya station, close to Delhi University's North Campus. 

Another such bookstall, as part of a joint initiative by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Sahitya Akademy, is already functional at the Kashmere Gate station.

"The idea of this initiative is to promote Indian literature by providing quality books in Indian languages published by the Akademy and also to cultivate reading habits among Metro commuters and employees," a DMRC statement said.

Image Credit : Stefano Corso/ pensiero

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Leading Reading Schools of India Award

Young India Books has announced their nationwide search for the 5 Leading Reading Schools of India for the year 2016. 3 of our books are also on the recommended reading list (The Scarecrows on Parade, Veeru Goes to the Circus, Wildlife in a City Pond).

Via Young India Books
What is the LRSI Award?

The Leading Reading School Award is an annual award programme initiated by Young India Books to applaud and recognise the five leading schools of India for their exemplary work in instilling a love for reading in their students. 
What do the schools have to do?Participating schools will have to register ONLINE Without school registration students will not be able to participate.
A staff member, preferably the librarian, has to be appointed to be in charge of the event. 
Who can participate in this competition?
  • LRSIA is open to children of all schools, libraries and book clubs.
  • There is a participation fee of Rs.100/- per child.
  • The Competition is open in three categories: Primary (Grades I to 3), Middle (Grades 4 to 6), Secondary (Grades 7 to 10)
What are the awards to be won?
The 5 Leading Reading Schools of India Award
  • A Trophy
  • A Citation
  • A Hamper of Books 
The most outstanding review
  • A Kindle 
3 Student Awards in each category
  • A certificate from YIB
  • A Crossword store gift voucher
  • An opportunity to become a reviewer for Young India Books
Children’s Choice Award for the book most preferred by the students. 
What is the Children’s Choice Award?
Children’s Choice Award is a biennial award that has been initiated by Young India Books in which children get to select the book for the award. 
Head here for more details about registrations, procedures, etc.

As Books Made Their Way to Deepalaya Community Library in Sheikh Sarai...

Deepalaya Community Library's campaign for fundraising for books on Donate-a-Book was a roaring success. They had received 100% funding just half-way through their campaign period and we couldn't be happier! Pronto multiple boxes of English and Hindi books were delivered to them (of their choice of course). They recently wrote back about their experience on Donate-a-Book and what happened when the books reached them. :-)

Read on ...

Deepalaya Community Library serves the residents of the Sheikh Sarai and surrounding neighbourhoods with a collection of 3000 plus books and a volunteer and member run Reading Project, which is an effort to read aloud to children.

Plan for the books received:
It is not enough for us to make sure the members of our community have access to books; we want people in communities everywhere to have access to books. Some time ago the children who serve on our Library’s Student Council decided with the help of adult volunteers to gather books and plan for a second library in a community with little access to books. The second Deepalaya library is currently under construction in the Sanjay Colony Deepalaya School. Some of the Pratham books from the donate a book fund drive are for the new library in Sanjay Colony.

Arrival of Books:

The books arrived in the Deepalaya Library in Sheikh Sarai a couple weeks ago. It was very exciting for Student Council members to see the visible result of the online fundraising campaign. Children exclaimed over the sheer number of boxes that when stacked up on the library floor formed a pillar of sorts. Later on we opened the boxes and spent a Saturday sorting through the books and reboxing the ones for Sanjay Colony. 

On Tuesday, August 4, seven library members - Sumit, Sahil, Ritika, Amrita, Nunihar, Shivani and Simpy - delivered the boxes of books meant for the children of Sanjay Colony to their new library space. There was a small ceremony to mark the reception of the books. Each child from the Sheikh Sarai library handed a book to the Principal of Deepalaya Sanjay Colony, Ms Shikha Pal, and spoke about their experience of growing to love reading. They urged their peers in Sanjay Colony to read and enjoy books. They concluded by asking the children of Sanjay Colony to in their turn build a library for children elsewhere.

We really enjoyed being a part of the campaign. we found the team that managed the campaign was very responsive to our questions and concerns.

-Team Deepalaya Community Library and Reading Project

A student council member shares his love for reading with the audience present.
Donate-a-Book is a unique crowdfunding platform for children's books. Support other campaigns like Deepalaya Community Library get more books in multiple Indian languages here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Freedom is... Being Able to Choose a Storybook in My Language!

Freedom means many things to many people. Our freedom fighters brought us freedom from foreign rule and every day good Samaritans across the world are fighting for all the little freedoms that matter to people. Malala Yousafzai is an excellent example of this struggle for freedom, for children of the world to have a right and a chance at education.

Pratham Books started as a multilingual publisher to give a choice to Indian children to pick a book in languages they understand and are most comfortable in. Year on year, we publish books in about 16 languages so that a child in Odisha has the same choice of stories as a child in Punjab or Karnataka.

Every child deserves a good book to read, and deserves to read in a language she loves and understands. We call this - #FreedomtoRead.

So this year, we decided to celebrate the #FreedomtoRead in our own way. We have set up seven language-focused campaigns on our crowd-funding website, Donate-a-Book. Seven non-profit organizations/free schools from different parts of the country have been chosen as beneficiaries for this campaign. With the funds raised, books will be donated to these beneficiary organisations as library packs or as gift sets to children. The idea is to add more books to existing libraries as well as giving children the joy of book ownership, a book they call their own and keep going back to :-)
All the books up for funding are in Indian languages to encourage children to read in their mother tongues.

We can democratize the joy of reading storybooks in one’s language with YOUR support!

Help books in Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu and Urdu reach these small schools and libraries and the children who are waiting to read more. Choose a language YOU love and lend it your support.

You can pick up campaigns from here:
  • Books in BENGALI are reaching the library of CESR Education centers in Purulia, West Bengal.
  • Books in ODIA are going all the way to Bhubneshwar to the hands of children via our NGO partner, Shikshasadan.
  • URDU Books are landing in the laps of little children from the learning centers of Azad India Foundation in Kishanganj, Bihar.
  • MARATHI Books will be a part of the library in the Late Malti Bai Joshi School in the coastal town of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.

  • Children from Brighton Gujarati School in Ahmedabad will experience the joy of owning GUJARATI Books.

  • Books in KANNADA will undertake a journey to the town of Harabole in Karantaka to be owned by children from R C Educational Institute.
  • A Govt school library in Vishakhapatnam will get new TELUGU Books via our NGO partner, Srujanavani.

Let’s make #FreedomtoRead a reality together!

Coimbatore Book Festival

Something for our friends in Coimbatore to look forward to.

Via Business Standard

Over one lakh books covering almost all subjects will be showcased at Coimbatore Book Festival 2015, beginning here from August 14.

The 10-day Festival will have the participation of more than 100 Publishing Houses from all over Tamil Nadu and also from New Delhi and Bengaluru, who will put up 150 stalls, K S Pugalendi, secretary, Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India-BAPASI-, the organisors, told reprorters here today.

E Ponnusamy, President, Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA), the joint organisors, said that the main purpose of the festival was to revive the good old habit of book reading among the masses and more especially among the younger generation, considering the marked decline in book reading habit with the advent of electronic gadgets.

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Calling Kannada and Telugu Copy Editors

Pratham Books is looking for sharp Kannada and Telugu copy editors. The work includes reading and reviewing of new manuscripts in these languages, translation from English, reviewing translations, proofing copy at the layout and print stage, and writing copy for press notes, catalogues and promotional material. 

While the vacancy if for full-time positions in our Bengaluru office, part-time option can be considered for the right candidates.

Preferred Requirements:
  • Excellent Communication skills in written Kannada, or Telugu.
  • Decent knowledge of written English 
  • Understanding of children's literature and use of appropriate child-friendly language
  • Understanding of translation as a literary enterprise 
  • Sharp eye to check copy
  • Proof checking skills 
  • Ability to write copy for promotional material
  • Basic computer skills
  • Ability to work as a team member and observe deadlines 

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Please send your resume and sample of work to with 'Language Editor – and your name' in the subject line of the email.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Libraries That Are Bringing Kids Back to Reading

Sayoni Basu shares a list of 7 libraries that are 'quietly bringing children back to reading'. Happy to spot so many familiar names - people we work with, #PBChamps and more...

There are some chain libraries that have been doing stellar work in bringing books to kids and adults, like the Eloor Libraries and Just Books. Alongside these, there also some small libraries that have been trying to bring to children that experience of wonder and joy of being surrounded by books – and of being able to find a new book to read.
Reading Caterpillar, Delhi
The Reading Caterpillar started in 2009. Founder Rabani Garg had felt a lack of children’s reading spaces in Delhi and she met other parents, teachers and writers who talked about the need for such a space. “We started a small community of parents and would meet with our children and read to them. Reading Caterpillar was born out of a need for a library for young children. And a belief that it had to be an interactive space that would bring children, parents, book lovers and people who work in this field together. Authors, illustrators, parents, artists are all an integral part of Reading Caterpillar.” 
“We like to call it a library, book haven and studio! We pretty much squeeze in all book-related activities. It is a book-lending library, a reading space – drop ins are welcome – a book club for different age groups, a book hospital, an artist space. We love book launches, workshops and readings with authors and artists.” 
The Reading Room, BangaloreMy Little Chatterbox started in 2012 to help parents raise readers. The Reading Room, which is the library arm of this venture, started in June 2015.  
Falak Randerian, the founder, wanted to “build a space where kids can come and fall in love with books.” With physical bookstores disappearing and very few libraries, many kids do not have the experience of being physically surrounded by lots of books. “We wanted to do whatever little we could to bring that experience back.” 
The book club, My Little Chatterbox, continues in this new avatar. There is also a book hospital, where members are invited to take care of books which need their help. “We are also looking at hosting author read-alouds and book launches.”
Read about the other libraries and the awesome work they are doing.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Jumpstart Fest, 2015 - Have You Registered?

The Jumpstart Fest is heading to Delhi and Bangalore this year.

Via Jumpstart Fest


This is a platform for creators and disseminators, for experienced professionals to aspiring amateurs, to ideate, network and fructify an existing project or simply get inspired about a new concept.

What is a story? Storytelling boils down to the sheer magic of communication. And for children, it is so much more. It is through stories that children learn to create images; it is how they store information in their brains. An engaging narrative is all it takes to make a memory. Albert Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ At Jumpstart, we truly believe in the power of imagination, in the power of communication, in the power of narrative … in short, we believe in the power of a great story.

We want to bring together experts from the publishing, media, education, digital and creative industries to create dialogue and explore the different facets of narrative creation through the intersections of storytelling, imagination, technology and reality that will translate into better content for children. We wish to explore the vibrant links between traditional storytelling practices, digital initiatives, visual arts and pedagogy.

And so, we invite you to tell us YOUR story! The stories that are…Windows: A gateway to the world; Mirrors: A reflection of reality and Kaleidoscopes: A flight of fantasy.

More details about registration and schedules can be found here.

Dates to remember :
Delhi : 18th August, 2015
Bengaluru : 21st-22nd August, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Scholastic Asian Book Award


Have you written a children’s story that is INSPIRED BY ASIA?

The Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA) is the joint initiative of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and Scholastic Asia. SABA will recognize children’s writers of Asian origin who are taking the experiences of life, spirit, and thinking in different parts of Asia to the world at large. The award also aims to promote the understanding of the Asian experience and its expression in innovative and creative forms.

The objectives of the SABA are as follow:
To recognise excellence in fiction in Asian stories for children
To showcase the diversity of literary talent within Asia
To encourage and inspire more books and stories with Asian content

The closing date for the 2016 SABA is September 1st, 2015, 5:00pm (Singapore time). Results will be declared in May 2016, at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

Click here for more details.

The Hidden Classrooms of Mumbai

Ankita Rao writes about the educators who are 'bringing the classroom to the thousands of Mumbai’s children out of school — in school buses, treehouses, and beyond'. 

Via Medium
She got up to face a small blackboard perched on a wooden stand. “My dad drives a water tanker, my mom cleans houses,” she told me in Hindi, as she swirled her palms across the damp surface. “And I come here to play and learn.” 
Educating children in a city of more than 18 million people — of which at least 1.7 million are children under 6 years old, according to the national census — is a daunting task.

Mumbai’s education system has fallen gravely short of absorbing its children. Only 400,000 children were enrolled in municipal schools in 2014, according to a report by Praja, a non-partisan research and advocacy organization. That number actually dropped 11 percent since 2009, despite increased government spending on education. 
That leaves more than half of the children in Mumbai either out of school or learning in private institutions. 
In response, community members, activists, and educators have carved out classrooms between the hidden folds and seams of the city. They offer safe and regular learning spaces to students who can easily fall throughout the gaps. Some you have to literally climb into to access, while others are built on wheels. For thousands of students across Mumbai, these classrooms have become tiny oases, a place to call their own for a few hours every day. 
Manasvi Khasle walked up and down a narrow aisle. She called out even numbers and waited for her class to say the next one. The 22-year-old teacher knows how to command the attention of the 20 students sitting in neat rows in her unusual classroom: a yellow school bus parked near a smoky crossroad of factories and railway tracks in south Mumbai. 
“In the beginning I had to go to their homes and call them to class,” she said. “Now they see the bus pull up and just come.” 
Khasle has been teaching for eight years with Door Step, an organization founded in 1988 that runs classes for more than 10,000 students, in school buses and tiny community centers. The buses can only hold 20 students, most of them between six and twelve years old, without much space to wiggle around or store books. But they have unique benefits — like their ability to reach many of Mumbai’s poorest migrants who live on illegal plots of land where schools can’t be built.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The #PBChamps Programme is Back!

And... the champions programme is back! Last year 1300+ champions joined us to conduct 1500+ storytelling sessions across India and the world. How many champions will join us this year? We need you to spread the reading virus and we need you to get your friends and family to join the tribe of champions too.

The idea behind the campaign : The idea is to encourage children to fall in love with reading. This initiative is part of the Pratham Books' Champions program where we encourage our community of volunteers to use one book to conduct reading sessions. These sessions are conducted free of cost and mostly with children from under-served communities.

We continue to celebrate the joy of reading around International Literacy Day. This year's event is scheduled for 5th September, 2015 (as it is a Saturday and more people can join us to celebrate the joy of stories). 

Season 4 of One Day, One Story

This year's chosen book is The Boy and the Drum (written by Umesh P N and illustrated by Rajiv Eipe. This is a storybook and a play rolled into one. Written by an experienced teacher of  theatre, it is an introduction to a new way of 'reading' a book. A folktale about giving and kindness transforms into a lively play! This versatile and adaptable piece can be performed on stage or in the classroom. Or tweak it a little to do your version of the story with tons of different characters and avataars. 

We want you to take this story and use it in creative ways with kids -read it, narrate it and enact it.

Sounds interesting? Available on 5th September, 2015? Join thousands of others and do your part to make reading contagious!

*Registrations to receive a hard copy of the book end on 28th August, 2015. You will however be able to sign up to receive an e-copy of the book.

(We've also started a Facebook event group so champions can chat and share ideas with each other. Join the Facebook event page.)

So, how does this work? 
Fill in the form. A copy of the chosen book and a banner will be sent by the Pratham Books team. You are free to choose the place and time you want to conduct the session. You can also conduct other activities that you think may go with the theme of the book.

After the session, send us a short write-up or send us some photos from the event and we will feature it on the champions blog.

Note: (1) For logisitical reasons, we can't ship books to international destinations, but we will be able to share the PDF of the book with any international volunteers.
Note : (2) There are limited numbers of the books. If we run out of books by the time you register, we will send you an e-copy of the book.

If you have any queries, please mail champions(at)prathambooks(dot)org BEFORE filling in the form.

You can read champion stories at :

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will the book be sent for free or does the champion pay for it?
Answer : The book is sent to you for free (till stocks last)

2. Does the champion have to find the venue?
Answer : Yes. Identify places where you can conduct this event in your city - A government school, an NGO, a library, a bookstore, a park, a train, your building...any place with regular kids footfalls. Approach the organization and explain the concept to them. Most of them will be happy to host you.

3. This is the first time I am conducting an event. How should I prepare for it?
Answer : Read the book a few times. If you are reading to a younger age-group, see how you can tell the story without actually reading the book (to retain their attention). Think of activities that you can do after the storytelling to engage the children (example : can the story take on a skit form, can the story be a way to talk about an important issue, etc).

4. Can i conduct multiple events?
Answer : Definitely!!! The aim is to reach as many kids as possible. We've had champions who've conducted 2-3 sessions on the main day and then gone on to conduct sessions on other days too.

5. Should I document the event?
Answer : We expect all our Champions to send us some documentation about the event conducted by them. You can send us mini videos, pictures or a write-up on the event which will tell us [and the whole wide world] on the “real impact” made. 

6. I really want to conduct a session but I am not free on 5th September? What should I do?
Answer : The aim of this campaign is to spread the joy of stories. Most people conduct the session on the chosen date. But just in case you are unable to, you can still conduct it on a day close to the chosen date. Because kids getting to hear a story is more important than the date, no?

(P.S- all the images in this post are of actual storytelling sessions conducted by our awesome champions).

Travel to the Seaside with This Month's Calendar Page

August is here and it is one of our favourite months as we dive right into the happy madness of coordinating our popular #PBChamps campaign. While we will be busy this entire month, we will also be counting down to the next month - to see volunteers sharing stories with children across India. More details soon.

Illustrated by the fantastic Priya Kuriyan, this month's page takes you to the seaside. Can you recognize the setting? Make this your screensaver and do grab a book when you step away from your computer :)

How do I make this image my screensaver?
Right click on the image below and save it. Set as your screensaver (or maybe even your Facebook cover picture?). Done, done, done!

P.S - If you change your desktop screen, we would love to see some pictures of this travelling across screens :). Mail us at web(at)prathambooks(dot)org OR share your pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram