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.