Monday, December 19, 2016

A Wail of a Time with Greystoke at BLF 2016

Our author-illustrator Greystroke (a.k.a. Shyam Madhavan Sarada) made sure that everyone had a wail of a time at Bangalore Literature Festival 2016. His narration of the Chinese folktale 'Wailers Three' left everyone crying....mock howls and tears, of course! Doing a great impression of an old Chinese woman, and other characters, Greystroke demonstrated the timeless quality of folktales. 

In this, the fifth edition of Bangalore Literature Festival, children stayed on to make a character from the book, a donkey. Greystroke took them through the paces, and while many a 'donkey' had only one ear or none, and more sticking tape than tail, it was a happy occasion for kids and their parents to mess with paper and go hee haw hee haw. 

Thank you, Greystroke! And thanks to all who came to cheer us at BLF! 

PS: Greystroke is the illustrator of The Magic Powder, Three for Free and our very popular 'Sister, Sister..' science series. Do also read stories he has created on Pratham Books' Storyweaver. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Have A Wail Of A Time With Greystroke at the Bangalore Literature Festival

(Click on the image for a larger view)

Want to have A Wail of a Time at the Bangalore Literature Festival? Join our author-illustrator-storyteller Greystroke as he takes you to China to listen to the wailers three and go ha ha hee hee! Then get arty-crafty as you cut and stick stuff to make an animal that will make you go hee haw hee haw!

Date : 18th December, 2016
Venue : Royal Orchid Hotel, Indiranagar
Time : 3.30 pm - 4.30 pm

Register here for free entry to the festival. Also, loads of other fun activities and sessions will be happening especially for children. Check the entire schedule here.

Friday, December 9, 2016

When A New Library Opens...

The phone buzzed. Four new whatsapp messages received! And what do we see? Pictures of the brand new library at this government school in Chandrapur. 

Months ago, a teacher from the school (Shailesh) attended a StoryWeaver workshop on how to use the platform in his school. He also heard about the Donate-a-Book platform and started a campaign to get books into his school. Though his campaign didn't get fully funded, it was still a start. 206 books were lovingly packed and sent off to their destination - into the hands of the little readers! We shall let the pictures do the talking :) 

A huge thank you to all the donors who made this possible. 

You can help start a child's reading journey by making a small donation.
Will you donate a book today?

Announcing results: STEM Library Kits Grant Applications

A couple of months back we invited organisations and schools to apply for a free library with books that aim to spark curiosity and discovery in children. We had 100 libraries to give away, a treasure trove of books exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects and emotional intelligence through engaging narratives and eye catching illustrations.

We got over 120 unique application from 22 states in the country – each application notifying us of the exemplar work these schools and organisations were doing with children in the field of literacy. We really wish we could fulfill all the applications!

However, based on our guidelines, relevance of work and a rigorous evaluation, we have selected 29 beneficiaries for the grant.

  1. MANTRA Social Services
  2. Communities Rising
  3. Pratham Education Foundation, New Delhi
  4. Pratham Education Foundation, Rajasthan
  5. Selco Foundation
  6. 17000 ft Foundation
  7. Gyanoday Foundation
  8. Sewa International
  9. Isha Education
  10. Shiksharth
  11. Vidyarambam Trust
  12. Shree Raj Educational Centre
  13. Swatantra Talim Foundation
  14. Yuva Jagruthi Foundation
  15. Team Everest
  17. Kevalya Education Foundation,Surat (Submitted by Swati Mehrotra)
  18. Diksha Foundation
  20. SRF Foundation
  22. Sun Shine Public School, Bangalore
  23. Shriram Matriculation School, Chennai
  24. Teach For India, Pune (Submitted by Jai Mishra)
  25. Balkrishna Deosthan Human Welfare Trust
  26. Pratham Education Foundation, Assam
  27. Zilla Parishad High School, Gundlapochampally, Telangana
  29. Piramal foundation for education leadership, Udaipur, Rajasthan

Congratulations! We will stay in touch with you on next steps.
Thank you to everyone who applied. We will keep you posted on other upcoming grants.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Are You Going to the Kahaani Festival in Jaipur?

The year is almost ending but the fun is definitely not stopping. Head to the Kahaani Festival happening in Jaipur on 5th and 6th December.

The Kahaani festival is a children's festival, which explores and reimagines the art of storytelling through oral traditions, music, theatre, dance and puppetry along with various other art forms.Taking learning beyond the classroom, the Kahaani festival-through workshops, performances and storytelling sessions- creates an atmosphere for children to freely explore the realm of their imagination and creativity Produced by Teamwork Arts, the Kahaani festival travels across India with stories and storytellers from all around the world. Beyond the conventional forms of storytelling, the festival also features artists with unique styles providing them with a platform to showcase their art.

Entry to the event is free but do register for the event.

Visit the festival website for more details about the event.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Heading to Dragon Land This December

Whaaat? Is it already the last month of this year? Time sure has flown by! This month is going to be busy for us as we get busy preparing for new projects, new books and sending out new libraries. But we also get to take time to head out to dragon land ... the one created by Vinayak Varma for this month's calendar page. This illustration was created by Vinayak for the #6FrameStoryChallenge.

Here's wishing you an illuminating month ahead!

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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

CROCUS 2016 is Here!

Saffron Tree's online book festival, CROCUS: Celebrating Reading Of Culturally Unique Stories, is here! This year's theme is inclusive narratives featuring disability in children's literature. 

Head to their blog from 1st-4th December to find book recommendations, interviews and more. Have fun at the CROCUS Carnival!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Madhuri Purandare Wins the Big Little Award 2016 for Best Author

Earlier this week, we received the happy news that our author Madhuri Purandare had won the Big Little Award for Best Author for Children’s Literature in Marathi. 

Parag, an initiative of Tata Trusts, announced the winners of the ‘Big Little Book Award 2016’ for Best Author in Marathi language as Madhuri Purandare and Best Illustrator across languages as Atanu Roy in the Children’s Literature Category at the 2016 Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest.

Given that children have limited access to original Indian writing in English and other languages, the Big Little Book Award, instituted by Parag, drives home the crucial need of children’s literature that introduces and ties them to Indian culture, heritage and tradition in a fun and engaging manner while remaining contemporary. The idea was to create awareness not just among children and parents but also the publishing industry to promote recognition in this genre. Children are the future, and the more we reward and award children’s books, the richer we will be as a society.

Madhuri Purandare has written and illustrated more than 23 story books including the Yash Series - a series of six books that take us into the utterly enchanting everyday world of little Yash. Others include Radhache Ghar, Chitravachan, Hana’s Suitcase (translated into Marathi), Babachya Mishya, Aunty Jui’s Baby and The Hundred and Thirty-seventh Leg. Her books are about regular, ordinary things that children encounter in their everyday lives illustrated with great detail for small things. She has conceived and edited 'Vaachu Aanande' – a thematic anthology of Marathi literature and Indian Art for children between 10 to 15 years of age. Because of her keen interest in language and grammar, she authored a three-volume book containing a series of Marathi language exercises for school children titled ‘Lihave Netke’. She is vocal about the need for literature to be context appropriate and her stories give a 'voice' to children who could well be from any part of India by tackling simple, daily 'issues' of interest to them. She has a degree from JJ school of Arts and studied 'Painting and Graphic Arts' in Paris for one year. She teaches French, is versatile artist who has performed on theater apart from writing and illustrating.

Have you read Madhuri's books yet? 
Get your own copies of the books (available in multiple languages) : काकूचं बाळ (Aunty Jui's Baby), बाबाच्या मिश्या (Daddy's Mo), The Hundred and Thirty-seventh Leg.

Read the books written by Madhuri Purandare :काकूचं बाळ, बाबाच्या मिश्या 

Additional reading :
Madhuri's interview on writing books for children

Friday, November 25, 2016

PubliCon 2016 - Publishing for Schools

The theme for this year's PubliCon is 'Publishing for Schools' and will be held on 2nd December 2016 at FICCI, Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi.


The Indian school education system is one of the largest in the world. Over the last few decades India has made tremendous strides to ensure education for all, though in terms of quality of education there is a lot that needs to be done. Among the primary requirements of quality education, books published for children make an essential part of the knowledge that is consumed both within and outside classrooms. There is thus a need to continuously strive to improve the quality of content in books published for children and adapt to new technologies so as to make learning both informative as well as interesting. In order to address these issues, FICCI is organising PubliCon 2016 with the theme of “Publishing for Schools”.

PubliCon 2016 proposes to bring together teachers, publishers, content providers, technologists, innovators and people interested in school education, to discuss new teaching methodologies, curriculum design, content development, and use of modern technology in publishing content for schools.

(Click on the image for a larger view)
Click here for programme information, registration details and more.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Scholastic Picture Book Award : Get Your Story Published

Via Scholastic Book Award Asia

The Scholastic Picture Book Award (SPBA) is the joint initiative of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and Scholastic Asia.

The objectives of the Scholastic Picture Book Award are as follows:
  • To foster the creation of picture books with Asian content, by Asian writers and illustrators
  • To promote public awareness of and interest in picture books with Asian content
  • To recognize and award a prize to an excellent picture book with Asian content
The closing date for the 2017 Scholastic Asian Picture Book Award has been extended to 15th January, 2017, 5.00pm (Singapore time). The results will be declared in May 2017, at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.


  • The best entry will be awarded the Scholastic Picture Book Award, and win a prize of SGD 10,000 and a plaque. The winning manuscript will be considered by Scholastic Asia for publication.
  • In the event of the text and illustrations being created by two or more individuals, the prize will be shared.
  • The first and second runners-up will be awarded a plaque and offered advice by Scholastic Asia on editing their manuscripts to submit for publication.

The Most Funded Book in Crowdfunding History

One book which we've seen popping up everywhere is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children's book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 100 female artists from all over the world.
But one thing that has also made the news is that this book has become the most funded book in crowdfunding history. Raising more than 1.2 million dollars from 20,000 backers in 70 countries!

Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli are both from Italy.

With a background in both the tech world and the startup world, they moved from Milan to San Francisco with the objective of funding attention in Silicon Valley. They didn’t come to the United States with just an idea. As Francesca says, “We came to the United States with a product that already had 65,000 users.”

Despite their funding success, they were in for a surprise. “The gender gap in tech is something that we did not expect,” recalls Francesca.

Not surprisingly, the desire to help the next generation avoid the same problems would eventually lead to the creation of Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls. 

When you’re trying to connect with and convince the broader public to foot your early-stage production bills, preparation is everything. So is paying attention. “We started working on it one year before the launch of the campaign,” describes Francesca. “The most important part of the work was that we really tried to understand what kind of vocabulary the parents in our community used to describe their experiences. Really what bothered them of gender stereotypes in raising their children.”

“We did a lot of interviews, a lot of surveys, and based on this constant feedback with our audience, we launched a newsletter.”

Through the newsletter they requested feedback and provided examples of female leadership that people could share with their kids. In doing so, they established a strong emotional bond with the people who would go on to become their backers.

Ultimately, it was the newsletter that led to the idea that gave birth to the book. “The newsletter had a very big following with great open rates,” Francesca recalls proudly. “So based on a project of the newsletter that was called, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’ we put together a book. Basically, a book proposal. But instead of going to a publisher with this book proposal, we decided to go directly to our backers and do a crowd-funding campaign.”

The backers were already emotionally invested, and per Francesca, this “very close and authentic relationship” is what made the all difference. It was a difference that allowed them to become the most crowd-funded book in history.

Image Source : Kickstarter page of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Call for Applications : Riyaaz Academy for Illustrators

Riyaaz Academy for Illustrators is inviting applications for the second academic year. The Riyaaz Academy for Illustrators was set up jointly by the Parag initiative of Tata Trusts, Eklavya, Bhopal and illustrator Atanu Roy in 2015. The Academy is a platform for budding artists and young illustrators to explore different forms of illustrations through a dual mode – one week of theory and intensive hands on practice and three weeks of distance mode every month, supported with mentoring by a group of eminent professionals. The one-year certificate course aims to refine the perception, professional skills and intellect of students interested in illustration, especially picture book illustration. In the first year, Riyaaz has trained 16 young illustrators who have already illustrated books and magazines for several publishers including Pratham Books, Eklavya, NCERT, Room to Read and Agha Khan Foundation.

The last date for application is December 15, 2016. For more information, visit

Friday, November 11, 2016

6 Ways YOU Can Make A Difference This Children's Day

A book is a device to ignite the imagination.
–Alan Bennett

Photo by Team Everest

14th November is Children's Day and donating books (or even a library) is a great way to give a gift that can be shared, cherished and enjoyed over the years. Here are six ways in which you can make it an extra special day for kids across the country: 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Talking About Digital Stories, Reading and More...

Christer Gundersen talks to Purvi Shah (head of digital content, Pratham Books) about StoryWeaver, reading, stories and more on

Just hearing about our open source platform, StoryWeaver? Discover a world of stories (53+ languages, 2500+ stories and counting).

Monday, October 31, 2016

Meet Shruthi Rao at the Festival of South Asian Children's Content

Did you hear? The folks at Indian Moms Connect are hosting the Festival of South Asian Children's Content in the Bay Area (ICC Milpitas), California on November 5th, 2016. The idea is to bring together like-minded creators in the South Asian Children’s Content space to collaborate, network and reach out to the larger community to spread awareness about quality content that is available. 

And our author Shruthi Rao will be conducting a storytelling session at the event. Shruthi's session will revolve around her book 'Avani and the Pea Plant' (a little birdie also told us that there may be some pea seedlings involved ;p)

Mark your calendar and head for this wonderful festival happening in your side of the world.
View the event schedule.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Calling All Illustrators : Join the Spotathon Campaign to Create a Free Spotting Book for Children

Important Update: Campaign deadline extended till November 21st, 2016

Children LOVE ‘spotting challenges’. Ask them to spot anything from a detailed illustration and you can be certain that they won’t give up easily. 3 crabs on a beach, 4 tyres in a workshop, 11 spoons in a kitchen... anything! Unfortunately, it’s hard to come by memorable spotting books which are affordable. So...

This Children’s Day (November 14), StoryWeaver is eager and excited to create a fun spotting book for children and make it available for free. We think this will be extra special if it’s a collection of illustrations from different artists around the world. And this, illustrators, is where we need your support. Just 1 illustration from you can make all the difference! We’re hoping for some of that Inktober spirit. 

The best entries from Spotathon will become part of a grand spotting book published by StoryWeaver, filled with illustrations from different artists. However, each entry that is submitted as part of Spotathon will be available on StoryWeaver as an individual activity book as well.

Here’s how you can participate in Spotathon!

  • Draw something which has enough details so that a child can spot up to 15 objects in it. Think of a setting which can accommodate these details. A beach, rainforest, kitchen, classroom, market... the possibilities are endless! The objects to spot are up to you. The idea is to be able to engage a child and encourage her to explore. 
  •  Before you start, imagine the child you’re setting the challenge for. Our readers are primarily children who haven’t had much access to books. For you to have a better picture of these children, we have come up with 2 different age groups and linked it to levels of difficulty. Remember, these are only guidelines and are not set in stone.

a. 3-6 years (Level of Difficulty: Easy) – She has only recently started reading books. She’d enjoy spotting up to 8 objects, not more. While she’s open to all kinds of settings, do remember that her vocabulary is limited. But her imagination definitely isn’t!  As an example, here is an illustration by Soumya Menon of what would be ideal for her.

b. 7-10 years (Level of Difficulty: Medium) – As she’s expanding her vocabulary, she will be more comfortable with prediction and open to unfamiliar settings. She’d be able to spot up to 15 things. Even the way in which the objects are hidden can be more complex here. Here’s an example of what would be ideal for her.

  • As the spotting exercise also requires an answer key for reference, you will need to prepare it using the same drawing. All you have do it number the images accordingly (click on the image to zoom in and see the details). Here’s an example:


  • You can submit your illustration entry for Spotathon on StoryWeaver. Your entry will be published on StoryWeaver as an individual activity book. 
  • You will have to submit two illustrations: Main Illustration and Answer Key (examples above). 
  • You can submit your entry in any language that is available on StoryWeaver.

Timelines Spotathon will begin on October 25 and end on November 21.

  • Size of illustration (Main illustration & Answer Key): 11.17 inches (width) x 5.35 inches (height)  This is the recommended size as it fits neatly into one of the templates on StoryWeaver. 
  • The illustrations should be high-res (150-300 dpi). 
  • Format: JPEG 
  • File size for each illustration: Between 2 to 4 MB; above 4 MB will slow down the upload process
Copyright and other guidelines:
  • To participate in Spotathon, you must be over the age of 16. 
  • The illustrations you submit must be your original work. 
  • By submitting your work, you are agreeing to a CC-BY 4.0 license being applied to it. To know more about this license, click here.

You can register for the campaign over here so that we know you're participating and can reach out for any updates. If you have any queries, feel free to drop us an email at storyweaver(at)prathambooks(dot)org!

Friday, October 21, 2016

We've Been Nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Yayyyyyy! We've been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. This year's nomination list contains the names of 226 candidates from 60 countries.


The nomination list is a gold mine for anyone interested in international children’s and YA literature. 

All continents are represented among the nominated writers, illustrators, reading promoters and storytellers. Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) rewards works or activities of the highest quality but the laureates must also embrace the humanistic values that Astrid Lindgren treasured. The candidates have been suggested by more than a hundred organisations from all over the world. These nominating bodies, with expert knowledge, can nominate candidates from their own country or region but also from abroad.

Read the entire press release here.

The other Indian publishers nominated along with us are A & A Book Trust, Karadi Path Education Company and Katha. You can see the entire list of organizations here.

One or several laureates from this list will be selected and announced at the National Library in Stockholm on April 4, 2017. We are keeping our toes and fingers crossed. Wish us luck :). 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Book Review : Dhyan Singh 'Chand' - Hockey's Magician

The book is written by Dilip D’Souza, illustrated by Mohit Suneja and published by Pratham books. It tells us the story of the hockey magician. The book explains Dhyan Chand’s perseverance and hard work and how he practiced late into the nights and on the rail tracks. It goes on to tell us how he proved Adolf Hitler wrong. 
The book also tells us the laments of Dhyan after India was dismissed in 1976 Olympics. Dhyan Singh is supposed to have said, “Kabhi nahin socha tha aisa din dekhna padega” (I never thought I’d have to see such a day). 
This book is a good read for the kids of this era to know and understand about the heroes of the past. I also really hope that the Indian Hockey Team can revive its glory back and come back. I consider this book a very good tribute to Indian Hockey and its star Dhyan Singh Chand.
Read the entire review.
Buy the book

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Children First: A Writing Contest

The folks at Duckbill Books are hosting the 'Children First' writing contest for authors want to write stories featuring children with disabilities.

Children with physical or emotional challenges or with learning difficulties feature in very few books for children in India. And when they do, they are not always portrayed with sensitivity. It is important that writers and illustrators recognise that these children are children first. They can be mischievous, stubborn, playful, happy, needy … just like any other children. 
We need more stories for and about these children, written and illustrated with sensitivity and empathy. We therefore welcome manuscripts that feature children with special needs.
Click here for contest details and submission guidelines. The contest will be formally declared open on Nov 5, 2016 and the deadline is Dec 10, 2016.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Meet Us at the Saharanpur Book Fair

The Saharanpur Book Fair is on from 15th - 23rd October and you can find our books there! Get your hands on our latest books and some old favourites. Also, they would make for perfect Diwali gifts for the little ones you know.

Venue : Stall no. F-4, Gandhi Park Ground, Saharanpur
Date : 15th - 23rd October, 2016
Time : 9:00 am - 8:00 pm

Visit the Saharanpur Book Fair Facebook page for more details. 

See you at the book fair!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Getting Into Education

An excellently written article by Anurag Behar on getting into the field of education and what it means.

Via livemint

Education is a field that requires deep expertise. This is complex expertise. It is the coming together, in the form of practices, of knowledge and understanding, of a range of disciplines and fields. The practices are mental, meaning how to think, act and feel, and to know what knowledge to use. They are social, meaning how to behave and work with others. And they are systemic, meaning how to think and act in light of the larger context.

To clarify these abstract notions, we talked of some examples of knowledge areas that come together in the practice of education. First, in the classroom. An understanding of child development and psychology is essential. Understanding the influence of the home and social environment on children is critical. The nature of the subjects being taught and learnt, and their content, have to be well understood, and then integrated with effective pedagogical approaches. One has to know how to tackle the practical issues of any classroom (e.g. an angry child, children learning at different paces), and perhaps, above all, how to engage with children, since at its core this is a matter of human relationships.

Second, in the school. What kind of school environment supports the pedagogical approaches of the classroom, how does one organize and reorganize (because things always go wrong) the teachers’ time, the timetable, the school calendar. How does one prioritize the meagre resources available to make all this happen. How does one engage with the local community and parents of the students, how does one work with other stakeholders.

Third, in the system within which the school functions. What would be an effective curriculum, how does the system develop it, how is it reviewed, and how is it then implemented. How to develop textbooks for different subjects and grades, what efforts for inclusion of children from disadvantaged groups may be more effective, what kind of support do schools and teachers require, and how does one effectively enable change in the schools. What kind of teacher education is most effective, and how to make it happen, how does one prioritize the financial spending. These are all just examples, the reality is much more complex.

He left unhappy, despite my emphatically telling him that all this doesn’t mean that someone like him can’t work in education, but only that he must come in as a beginner, ready to learn and unlearn. The reality is that educators with decades of experience are still at it.

The Big Little Book Awards Shortlist Is Out!

The shortlist for Big Little Book Awards is finally here and we are delighted to see the name of our authors (Madhuri Purandare and Rajiv Tambe) on it.

The Parag initiative of Tata Trusts, in association with Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, 2016, has announced the shortlist of authors and illustrators of children’s books for the inaugural ‘Big Little Book Award’ to be conferred in November 2016. A first of such in India, the Big Little Book Awards seeks to recognise and honour significant contribution of Indian authors and illustrators to children’s literature. With Marathi as the focus language for the author awards this year, the shortlisted authors are Madhuri Purandare and Rajiv Tambe; the illustrators awards are across all languages and the shortlisted illustrators include Proiti Roy, Nina Sabnani and Atanu Roy.

The ‘Big Little Book Award’ has been conceived to recognise authors and illustrators whose body of work connects with children, makes them laugh, encourages them to think, introduces them to new ideas and cultures, is inclusive and balances the traditional with the contemporary. In its first edition, the ‘Big Little Book Award’ sought nominations from publishers, librarians, academicians and experts.

“This is a great initiative and I am happy to be associated with it. Looking at the work of Madhuri Purandare and Rajiv Tambe was a pleasure. Both have contributed significantly to promoting Marathi children’s literature,” said Ms. Sai Paranjpye, jury member.

On Madhuri Purandare, Arvind Gupta says, “An exquisite illustrator of children’s books, Madhuri Purandare has carved a special niche for herself in the world of Marathi Children’s Books. In her books there are no sermons, no talking down to children and girls are depicted in active rather than passive roles. Radha cha Ghar has been essential reading for children for decades...She has not only written books but has also illustrated them herself.”

“Rajiv Tambe has explored a wide range of genre for children from storybooks, non-fiction, adventure stories, plays, poetry to science books, which is unusual and impressive,” said Amrita Patwardhan.

Click here for more information on the award. 

Good luck Madhuri and Rajiv! 

Get your own copies of the books (available in multiple languages) : काकूचं बाळ (Aunty Jui's Baby), बाबाच्या मिश्या (Daddy's Mo), नागमोडी नागोबा (Serpy, the Snake).

You can also read the books written by Madhuri Purandare (काकूचं बाळ, बाबाच्या मिश्या) and Rajiv Tambe (नागमोडी नागोबा) below :

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Chilli Biryani!

Hmmm, no...we aren't sharing a recipe for chilli biryani (well, not yet!). But we were thrilled to hear that Antoine Lewis featured our books 'Around the World with a Chilli' and 'Dum Dum-a-Dum Biryani!' on Good Morning Mumbai with Hrishi Kay on 94.3 Radio One. Listen in to hear what he had to say...

Thanks for the mention, Antoine (and we are wondering if you would make a chilli biryani :)).

And here's what Bijal (who recommended the book) thought about it :

Here's how you can :

Monday, October 3, 2016

Don't Miss Out On Any Reading Fun

Our annual stock taking is on from 1st-12th October. While you can order at our e-store, shipping of books ordered during this period will be delayed.

Continue the reading fun on StoryWeaver. Over 2000+ books in 52 languages await you.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Book Review : Around The World With a Chilli & Lights...Camera...Action!

Indian Moms Connect reviews our books 'Around The World With a Chilli' and 'Lights…Camera…Action! The Life and Times of Dadasaheb Phalke'.

Confession Time!!! This book “Around the World with a Chilli” written by Nayan Chanda and illustrated by Priya Kuriyan, taught me lot of unknown facts and fascinating aspects on globalization. I would definitely recommend this book not only for kids but also for parents too.

Learning globalization via chilli? Interesting right? But, the world is tied together by the foods we eat. Columbus came to look for kali mirch but took home hari mirch and lal mirch from Mexico. Columbus made a wrong calculation about the size of the earth and that proved very fortunate. If not for him, we wouldn’t have known about Caribbean islands. It was Vasco Da Gama who actually reached India and got the Pepper. Yes, this tiny pepper was driving factor behind all these sea routes.

You not only learn about the fruits and vegetables that travelled across, but also about the Aztec and Inca Empire, European Empire, Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire. Didn’t I say it’s fascinating?


 What’s the story behind celluloid and what’s the story behind the man who introduced celluloid to India?

Lights…Camera…Action! By Rupali Bhave explains it all in a simple way. Yes, it’s the story of Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian Cinema.

“Watch people move in the magic of photographs! A picture two miles long! Only three anna! – This is how he sold his tickets. And do you know what’s the first movie that he directed? It’s Raja Harishchandra.

It wasn’t an easy journey for him. Due to intense viewing and experimentation he went blind. But to everyone’s relief he recovered his sight after a temporary blindness. No one, except his wife and family, supported him. He lost all his wealth. After a long journey of ups and downs, he released his first movie in the year 1913.

A great book and must read for everyone. This book not only explains the life of Dadasaheb Phalke but also teaches us great life values. 

Read the entire review here.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pratham Books and the Pubishing Next Awards

Like last year, September brings us many good memories and treats :). There were double celebrations for the Pratham Books team at this year's Publishing Next Awards because :
  • Jadav and the Tree-Place won Digital Book of the Year
  • Pratham Books was a runner up for the Publisher of the Year award

According to the Publishing Next website, the Digital Book of the Year award 'seeks to recognize a book that pushes the boundaries of editorial, design and technical excellence within the domain of digital publishing, making the best use of available technology to create a book that enriches its genre. The submissions must demonstrate an understanding of the potential of digital books in reaching its audience'.

Jadav and the Tree-Place won 'for an inspiring tale and an inspiring mode of delivery of content. The use of Creative Commons License for the content and use of a community writing platform are certainly worth emulating for other creators of content for children.

You can read about all the other categories and winners here. You can read about the Publishing Next conference here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Book Review : Lights…Camera…Action! The Life and Times of Dadasaheb Phalke

Chintan Girish Modi's writes about how our book 'Lights…Camera…Action! The Life and Times of Dadasaheb Phalke' gives Saraswatibai Phalke, India’s first film editor, her due.

Via The Indian Express

Did you know that India’s first film editor was a woman named Saraswatibai Phalke? Apart from mixing film-developing chemicals, perforating raw film sheets at night by the light of a candle, and holding white bedsheets for hours in the blazing sun as light reflectors, she also cooked for a film unit comprising approximately 60-70 people. But not many know of her contribution to Indian cinema — she is largely known only for being wife to the much celebrated Dadasaheb Phalke, who directed India’s first silent film Raja Harishchandra (1913) Rupali Bhave’s new book for children, Lights…Camera…Action! The Life and Times of Dadasaheb Phalke, published this year by Pratham Books, seeks to rectify these omissions. It firmly establishes Saraswatibai as the renowned filmmaker’s creative collaborator. “In all the material I read, the information available about Saraswatibai gave me a feeling that she provided the support system that enabled Dadasaheb to achieve his vision. Not only did she support his work but also actively participated in it,” says Bhave, who is an actor, theatre facilitator and translator.

The book narrates how Saraswatibai suggested selling some of their belongings to raise money for Dadasaheb to travel to England and learn the craft of filmmaking from Cecil Hepworth, one of the founders of the British film industry. When he returned to India, and started talking about his plans to make films, some of his friends were terribly unsupportive. They even tried to get him admitted to a mental asylum. However, Saraswatibai stood by him; she sold her jewellery to bolster the finances for Raja Harishchandra. With these funds, Dadasaheb bought a camera and other equipment from Germany.

Bhave writes about how Saraswatibai was also involved in brainstorming ideas with her filmmaker husband. She recognised his passion, and did her best to encourage him, alongside managing her nine children. However, she had to put her foot down when he wanted to cast her as the female lead in Raja Harishchandra. Apparently, Saraswatibai said, “I am already involved in so many things! If I act too, who will do all the things I am doing now? I won’t act in the film.” Eventually, the female lead was played by a male actor who worked as a cook in a restaurant.

Bhave’s book has stunning watercolour illustrations by Sunayana Nair Kanjilal, combined with simple digital textures for the background. “I got a lot of references for Dadasaheb across his career,” says Kanjilal, “But Saraswatibai’s photographs were hard to come by, except one in her old age. In the book, I had to depict her as a young woman, so I simply tried to imagine what she must have looked like in her youth.” When Kanjilal tried to visualise Saraswatibai working, she was reminded of her own mother who was “quite proficient in carpentry and electronics, commonly considered a man’s territory.” She liked working on the book because “it highlights Saraswatibai’s contribution to the process of filmmaking at a time when women were not even working as actors. I was asked to emphasise her role in my illustrations too, and I was happy to execute that task,” says Kanjilal.

Read the entire post here.

Click here to buy the book.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

मेरे सपनों की भाषा

मुनीज़ा की सपनों की भाषा कौन सी है? जानिए इस फिल्म में ।

प्राथमिक शिक्षा के वर्षों में बच्चों को मातृभाषा में बोलने व दिलचस्प कहानियाँ पढ़ने के लिए प्रोत्साहित कीजिये। जब बच्चे की पहली भाषा पर पकड़ अच्छी होती है वह आसानी से पढ़ना सीख पाता है। जब उसे पढ़ना आ जाता है तब वह वास्तव में शिक्षा ग्रहण करने के लायक हो जाता है।  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Celebrating International Literacy Day with 3000+ Storytellers and 3200+ Sessions

And... International Literacy Day is finally here!

One month since we put out the call for registrations and the month has just flown by. The stories that pour in before the event are as heart-warming as the ones of the event. From an organization that is taking the story to hundreds of villages across 11 states to one that conducted a training for teachers/educators so that they could facilitate their sessions better, from storytelling sessions in government schools to sessions in orphanages, from an entire family deciding to conduct a session to many kids forming a group to tell a story. Also, several volunteer translators came forward to translate the story into other languages to increase the multilingual scope of the campaign.

Champions have been preparing to introduce little Munia and the elephant bird to children across the country. "How many champions?", you ask

In the 5th edition, the 'One Day-One Story' campaign will see :

Sessions in 25 Languages
3000+ Champions
3200+ Storytelling Sessions
Thousands of children listening to 'The Elephant Bird'

This year's chosen book is The Elephant Bird (written by Arefa Tehsin and illustrated by Sonal Goyal And Sumit Sakhuja. A story about a magical bird, and a brave and curious child! This story could be used to talk about themes of friendship, courage, endangered species and more.

Arefa Tehsin excellently captures the essence of this year's campaign :
“You are a cripple only if you think you are.” My disabled grandmother Khurshid Babu Tehsin, an initiator of women’s education movement in Rajasthan, always said. And Munia believes the same. Who knows, when you go out there in nature, what unexpected friendships you'd form, what fears and disabilities you'd overcome? It is so heartwarming for me to see the Elephant Bird, which was hunted down to extinction in recent past, come alive in the hearts of thousands of children across borders of states and neighbourhoods. Pratham Books, you rock! And kudos to the zealous champions! 
A majority of this year's sessions are slotted to take place on 10th September (so that more people and children can participate). If you've just found out about our International Day celebrations, fret not! To conduct your own storytelling session, please register, download the book and share it with a child/children.

  • Download the book in : HindiEnglishKannadaMarathiGujaratiTeluguUrdu. You can also access translations done by volunteer translators in SanskritAssameseBengaliOdiaTamilMalayalamPunjabiKonkani
  • Choose the place and time you want to conduct the session. 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.
  • Prepare for your session. 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).
  • You could also add an activity to your session. Take a look at the activity ideas we've shared this year.
  • 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. Mail us at champions(at)prathambooks(dot)org.
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 here.

If you are sharing pictures/news about your event, please use the hashtag #PBChamps on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so that we and other champions can also follow your updates. You can:
  • Tweet us at @prathambooks 
  • Find us on Facebook at :
  • Say hi on Instagram at : @pratham.books (note : there is a dot between the two words)
Join Pratham Books and 3000+ storytellers in sharing the joy of stories.


About the campaign : 

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 'One Day, One Story' campaign 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.

The Elephant Bird : Public Events You Can Attend

For the 5th edition of ‘One Day-One Story’, over 3000 #PBChamps will be conducting storytelling sessions across India and the world. This year's chosen book is The Elephant Bird (written by Arefa Tehsin and illustrated by Sonal Goyal And Sumit Sakhuja. A story about a magical bird, and a brave and curious child! This story could be used to talk about themes of friendship, courage, endangered species and more. 

We invite you to attend one of the public storytelling sessions and find out if the elephant bird ate the horse. The sessions are free!

Details of flagship events by Pratham Books

Champion : Talking Turtles Storytellers
Venue : Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, Byculla East
Date and Time : 3rd September, 11 am - 12 pm

Champion : Priya Muthukumar from Storipur
Venue : Lightroom Bookstore, No. 1, Lewis Road, Cooke Town (call +91 80 25460466 or email lightroombookstore(at)gmail(dot)com to register)
Date and Time : 10th September, 11 am - 12 pm

Champion : Deepa Kiran from Story Arts India
Venue : Saptaparni Book Shop, Plot No. #21, Road No. 8, Banjara Hill, Near Kalpa School, Hyderabad.
Date and Time : 10th September, 11 am - 12 pm

Champion : Sandhya Taksale
Venue : Balranjan Kendra, 108/21 Sahakar Sadan, Bharati Niwas Society, Behind Income Tax Office, Karve Road, Pune. Contact : (020) 2543 0219
Date and Time : 12th September, 6 pm

Champion : Valentina Trivedi
Venue : Bal Bhavan
Date and Time : 24th September, 11 am

Our champions are also conducting several storytelling sessions (which are open to the public) happening over the next few days. Please check the list of all the public events you can attend. Click on the links below to get more details about the event.

(This list is being updated as and when we hear of new events. Please check back to see if there are any events happening in your city)

  • 10th September, 10 am, BumbleBee Playschool - Thyai Group (Call 9840802406 for details)
  • 24th September, 11 am, Bal Bhavan - Valentina Trivedi
  • 10th September, 2.30 pm - 3.30 pm, Roohani Foundation - Roohani Foundation (Call 7065509948 for details)
  • 17th September, 4 pm - 5.30 pm, The Treasure Trove - Arvinda Bhatia (registration required)
  • 10th September, 6 pm, Pazhanthandalam - Thyai Group (Call 9840802406 for details)
  • 10th September, 11 am, 12/5 Ballygunge Park Road - Swati Kheria (Little Readers' Nook) (Registration is mandatory, call 9836324466 to register)

  • 10th September, 5.30 pm, Salem Alagapuram - Thyai Group (Call 97970 22909 for details)