Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tips for Pratham Books' Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest 2017

The Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest from Pratham Books is on! This year we changed things around a bit, and gave our community themes to weave some story magic around. You can read more about this here

We thought the story weavers who are taking part this year might like some advice from our seasoned editors at Pratham Books on what to keep in mind when writing books for our very youngest readers! 

Manisha Chaudhry, Head of Content, Pratham Books
  • When you're writing a Pratham Books Level 1 book, stick to one idea.
  • Avoid sub-plots.
  • Try to stick to one line per page
  • Be descriptive! Use words that have sensory pleasure in them - soft, hard, thin, cold, hot, shiny etc. 
  • Use words that are fun to say-gobble gobble, drip drop, pins and needles etc
  • Use the child's eye view , if possible

Rajesh Khar, Senior Editor, Pratham Books
  • Writing with some learning objective or a moral is a big No for any children's fiction.
  • A story can be woven around an idea but the learning has to be embedded in the story itself in a subtle manner just like an subconscious outcome, not open and blunt.
  • The story must not have any biases and prejudices and should also steer clear of the stereotyped characters, settings and nuances.
Rajesh also shared some of his favourite Level 1 and 2 books (click on the name to read them on StoryWeaver!)
Sandhya Taksale, Senior Editor, Pratham Books

Madhuri Purandare's 'Aunt Jui's Baby' perfectly embodies what my colleague Rajesh is saying. The learning is embedded in the story in a subtle manner and the narration is also from the child's point of view.

Here is Sandhya's pick of level 1 and 2 books!

Yamini Vijayan, Commissioning Editor, Pratham Books
  • Repetition and patterns work very well with early readers. "Will you be my friend?" "Are you my mother?" are examples.
  • It's important for writers to expose themselves to as many picture books as possible. Reading is important!

Bijal Vachharajani, Editorial Consultant, Pratham Books
  • Write and rewrite. Reflect.
  • Share your words with other readers and writers
  • Read your story out loud for rhythm and pace.
  • Ask for feedback. Listen to feedback.
  • Edit ruthlessly. And then edit some more. 
  • Read many books, and then read some more. Read what you like, read what you don't.
  • Become a fierce critic of yourself. 
  • Remember when you are writing for children, you need to pull up your socks and give it your best. They will never settle for less.

Pratham Books is Hiring : Art Director


Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In 13 years, we have published over 3,000 books and distributed over 14 million copies of our storybooks and 16 million story cards. In 2015, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader, we were one of the first publishers in the country to open license our content. All this content is now available on StoryWeaver, our digital platform that hosts stories in 60 languages. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free.


Job Description

Today, Pratham Books creates books suited to both print and digital mediums in multiple languages. We are looking for an Art Director to help us create visually appealing picture books with a strong understanding of how each of these mediums work.

As an Art Director, you will be responsible for the design and production of books created for both print and digital. As most of our titles are migrated to StoryWeaver, we are looking for someone who is tech-savvy and eager to find ways of minimising loss between print and digital book design. This will require you to work closely with our editorial team and external content creators we collaborate with (illustrators, consultant artdirectors). The candidate needs to have excellent graphic design skills and experience in print production.



Key Responsibilities
  • Manage a team of graphic designers to ensure that the book design is completed within agreed timelines
  • Work with freelance illustrators and consultant art directors to create visually-appealing books keeping in mind print and digital requirements
  • Find innovative ways of reducing losses when a book is adapted from print to digital, or vice versa
  • Ensure highest quality of print books
  • Work closely with the editorial team to create stories with rich, diverse and nuanced visual narratives
  • Bring in expertise of typography, keeping in mind multilingual content
Required skills
  • 6-8 years of experience in Graphic Design
  • Strong understanding of print production
  • Strong communication skills
  • Expertise in Photoshop, InDesign
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Be a team player
Nice to have but not mandatory:

  • An interest in illustration and book publishing
  • Knowledge of children’s books
Location: Position is based out of Bangalore


Salary: Will commensurate with experience. We are looking for a passionate individual who wants to be part of a team that is creating a new model in multilingual publishing to address the scarcity of books for children in need.

Write to us: Email your resume with Art Director in the subject line to careers(at)prathambooks(dot)org

P.S - If you are shortlisted, you will hear back from us within 15 days of applying.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Have You Seen All Our Latest Green Books?

Over the last couple of years, we have been creating a range of digital-first books for StoryWeaver — Pratham Books' digital platform of openly-licensed multilingual stories. For these books, our focus has mainly been on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) topics. 

Oh no, please don’t run away already! We hope we didn’t scare you with the mention of STEM. In fact, the whole idea of creating these books has been to make these themes more accessible and appealing for children. We are certain that the stories that have been created as part of this set will help children make better sense of these concepts, and also make it more fun and memorable for them. In this post, we are sticking to our set of ‘Nature & Environment’ books. 

 Nature and environment have been recurring themes in the work we do at Pratham Books. We feel strongly that it’s important to engage children in conversations about nature at an early age. Through these narratives, we’re attempting to show them all the incredible and strange wonders of nature, nurture their curiosity and hopefully, inspire them to be young eco-warriors.

An illustration by Aindri Chakraborty from 'Apu's Giant Earthquake'
Our new set of Environment-themed stories have been commissioned and edited by Bijal Vachharajani, who writes extensively on the environment for a number of publications. These books have been art-directed by writer and illustrator Vinayak Varma, giving them the distinctive look and nuance that is needed for green books.

A Cloud of Trash by Karanjeet Kaur & Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi
A cloud of trash is hanging over Cheekoo’s head, making her the unhappiest girl in the world. Read this wonderful story to find out how Cheekoo gets rid of this horrible trash cloud.

Apu’s Giant Earthquake by Sudeshna Shome Ghosh & Aindri Chakraborty
Did Apu’s singing cause the earth to tremble and shake? Or was it an earthquake? Find out more in this humorous and fascinating story about earthquakes.

A Butterfly Smile by Mathangi Subramanian & Lavanya Naidu
Kavya’s family has just moved from her village to Bengaluru and she is the newest girl in her class. Go along with Kavya as she visits a butterfly park where she discovers a special connection with butterflies and also makes a new friend.

What’s Neema Eating Today? by Bijal Vachharajani & Priya Kuriyan
Meet Neema who LOVES to eat. Slippery lychees, squishy jamuns, sour tamarinds, shiny spinach – she loves it all! Join Neema as she chews and chomps her way through the year.

An illustration by Lavanya Naidu from 'A Butterfly Smile'
In case you haven’t seen the Environment books that were created last year, you can read them here. 

Jadav and the Tree-Place by Vinayak Varma
Jadav has the best job in the world: he makes forests! How does he do it? Read this book to find out!This book won the 'Digital Book of the Year' award at the Publishing Next Conference in 2016.
Buy the book

Up World, Down World by Padmaparna Ghosh & Sunaina Coelho
In a canopy forest in India, the Up World and Down World have always been suspicious of each other. But it all changes when Gopa the dormouse drops her book by accident on Fatima’s head. A story about the biodiversity of the canopy forests and friendship. This book has been art-directed by illustrator and animator Kaveri Gopalakrishnan.
Buy the book

Let's Go Seed Collecting! by Neha Sumitran & Archana Sreenivasan
Join Tooka, Poi, and their best friend Inji the dog, as they go around collecting seeds. The adventure begins when the three friends meet Pacha the tamarind tree. 
At Least I'm Okay! by Alison Byrnes
Una, a mountain goat, lives on top of a mountain in beautiful Sakuland. The animals love their home but one day, the climate begins to change and the animals are forced to leave Sakuland. A story about climate change and how it affects animals and the natural world.

An illustration by Vinayak Varma from 'Jadav and the Tree-Place'
All these stories can be read and downloaded for free in multiple languages on storyweaver.org.in

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pratham Books is looking for a Digital Content Intern

At Pratham Books, we believe in the power of stories – good stories. For well over a decade we have strived hard to reach children across India with a variety of award-winning stories across 18 Indian languages. With our digital crowd-sourcing platform – StoryWeaver we now share the power of stories with a global community of educators, parents, authors, illustrators and translators. 

StoryWeaver is a digital repository of openly-licensed, multilingual children's stories. It allows its users to read, create and translate stories into Indian and international languages in the hope that children across the world can read quality stories in a languages of their choice.

StoryWeaver is looking for an intern for our Digital Content
Project Details
  • Migration of Pratham Books stories in multiple languages in digital formats onto StoryWeaver
  • Working on our language content for StoryWeaver
  • Publishing our stories on digital platform by ensuring a visually appealing layout 
  • Working with external agencies and proofreaders. 
  • Uploading books on StoryWeaver which involves tagging stories and images in a way that makes it accessible to users
Are you the intern we're looking for?This is the perfect project if you're a college student or a graduate looking to add some work experience to your resume.

The ideal candidate will
  • Have good understanding of English and any one (or more) of the following languages: Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.
  • Have an eye for editing and love for languages and children’s stories 
  • Works well with a team
  • The intern can opt for an internship period that will range from 1 month to 3 months. The intern will receive an honorarium. The role requires her/him to be based in Bangalore and work from our office. 
Please send your resume to storyweaver@prathambooks.org with 'Intern - Digital Content for StoryWeaver' in the subject line of the email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Assistant - Projects

At Pratham Books, we believe in the power of stories – good stories. For well over a decade we have strived hard to reach children across India with a variety of award-winning stories across 18 Indian languages. With our digital crowd-sourcing platform – StoryWeaver we now share the power of stories with a global community of educators, parents, authors, illustrators and translators. 

StoryWeaver is a digital repository of openly-licensed, multilingual children's stories. It allows its users to read, create and translate stories into Indian and international languages in the hope that children across the world can read quality stories in a languages of their choice. 

Currently, we're looking for a full-time, Assistant - Projects to join our Digital Team in Bengaluru.

As an Assistant - Projects at StoryWeaver, this is what will keep you busy:

  • Working with a designer to adapt our legacy content (Pratham Books' print books) for StoryWeaver
  • Co-ordinating with reviewers and proofreaders
  • Support campaigns aimed at improving content on StoryWeaver
  • Finding creative ways for stories on StoryWeaver to travel wide and far
  • Uploading books on StoryWeaver which involves tagging stories and images in a way that makes it accessible to users
  • Identifying and forging partnerships with other open repositories to bring their stories onto StoryWeaver
Preferred Requirements
  • Degree in Literature/Journalism/Mass Communication/Media /Language 
  • Good communication skills in English, and ability to read and write well in one South Indian language (preferably Kannada, Telugu or Tamil)
  • 1-2 years of work experience; freshers may also apply
  • Ability to multi-task and coordinate between different stakeholders
  • Capable of working within a team and tight deadlines
  • Tech-savvy 
  • Sharp eyes to check copy
  • Love for languages
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Please send your resume to storyweaver@prathambooks.org with 'Assistant - Projects for StoryWeaver' in the subject line of the email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

P.S - If you are shortlisted, you will hear back from us within 15 days of applying.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Storyweaver Poised for its Next Phase of Growth : More Stories. More Access. More Children Reading!

We, at Pratham Books, have had an amazing journey over the past 18 months since the launch of StoryWeaver, when we created a gateway to thousands of open access stories in mother tongue languages for children. The interactive nature of the platform has allowed users not just to read the stories but also translate, version, and download and print the stories for use.

We are now poised to take the next leap, thanks to Google.org, whose grant makes it possible for us to scale up StoryWeaver to provide more stories in more languages to children all over the world. Access to learning and information is part of Google’s core values and the organization has announced a $8.4M commitment to help scale four groundbreaking education nonprofits working in India to make a quality education a reality.


StoryWeaver has enabled access to a staggering 3000 stories in 67 languages in the past 18 months. These stories ae being reimagined and translated for the enjoyment of children of all ages, and their digital format allows them to reach the remotest of areas, and the least-served children. We have been overwhelmed by the response of our wonderful community that has contributed their time and talent to create, translate and version the stories and take them to more children. Imagine our delight when we discovered that it also spoke for unrepresented languages that are the mother tongue languages of some of the most disadvantaged children. From minority languages like Tibetan and Konkani, to tribal languages like Kora and Santali and endangered languages like Kurdish, StoryWeaver is a rich source of children’s storybooks, which, as we know, are an essential pathway to literacy.

Suchana, based in Birbhum, West Bengal, has been working to improve the lives of the large Adivasi tribal community in that region by implementing education and health programmes. One of the challenges faced by them was that while children spoke Kora and Santali at home, learning materials were only available in Bangla, which is the dominant language of that region. Even though, the indigenous Adivasi languages of Kora and Santali are the first languages of the people of the region, there was a dearth of original learning material. This changed dramatically when Suchana began to use the StoryWeaver platform for translation. In a year and a half, almost 70 new stories in Kora and Santali have been translated and published on the platform. Even as you read this, 10,000 copies of books in these languages are being printed for use in their school programmes.

The grant from Google.org will provide a big boost to our work with StoryWeaver, propelling it to the next level of reach and influence. It will encourage the generation of thousands of new, engaging stories to be distributed even more widely, and read and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of children across the globe.

With this, we will take a big step forward in fulfilling our mission of ‘a book in every child’s hand’.


Read more about the grant here :