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).