Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Shadow of a Book

We have said this often - very often, our inboxes receive some love, some happiness and end up spreading a whole lot of joy. Last week, we received this little thank you note from Srividhya Raghavan : 
I wanted to pen this email for nearly a month. At a friend's place, we came across the book "Sister, Sister, why is the sky so blue?". My little one was impressed but couldn't understand the concept. Luckily, the following day we spotted the book "Sister, sister, where does thunder come from?" at the library and grabbed it immediately. Hardly had we reached home, we started reading the book. My little one was thoroughly impressed and me too!! He is a nature lover but very scared of thunder and lightning. When we finished reading the book (as usual multiple times), he grabbed a paper and his art set. He drew the below picture and said "Mommy next time when thunder comes I will teach you what is thunder". 
I was amazed at what impact a book could bring to a child! Thank you Pratham Books. Please keep such stupendous titles coming.
We happily shared the note with Roopa Pai (the author of the book).We cannot agree more with what Roopa said in her reply : ¨Also made me realise how long a shadow a single book can throw - I wrote the 'Sister, Sister' series some 12 years ago!¨

Read the 'Sister, Sister' series:
Sister, Sister Why is the Sky So Blue? Sister, Sister, Why Don’t Things Fall Up?
Sister, Sister, Where Does Thunder Come From?

Setting Up Libraries in Ukhrul

Wondering what this place in the pictures is? These are pictures from Ukhrul district in Manipur - a place which our books have found homes in now.

In July 2016, the Library initiative of Library for All (LfA) was set up. LfA works for tribal children in hilly district of Manipur. LfA sets up or revives libraries in government schools and makes libraries a space for active learning. Its program reaches children in elementary grades.

The month of August was when Yasin Khan, co-founder, started a Donate-a-Book campaign to raise funds for books to add to libraries across Ukhrul district. 700+ books were generously donated by our community to this campaign. Yasin shares a report from the libraries :

Plan for the books received :

We keep the books in the library or in the classes where there is no library space. With these books we do library activities such as read alouds, story telling sessions, lending of books. Improving their reading and comprehension skill is one objective apart from building a reading habit culture in the schools.

Arrival of books :
Children were very excited to see the books they have never seen. I found many children started reading seriously on the first  day itself as if they have been reading since before. Everyone is quite happy to see the books in their schools. But the number of books is less to serve all the children. So, we need to get more for them.

Experience on Donate-a-Book:

It was my first experience of running a crowd funding in my life. It was a great learning for me for the future marketing I will be doing for similar purpose. What I like was the ‘I could say to potential donors that we don’t want money directly, you buy us books - which is what we need, and from where you can buy books is at This was an easier means to build trust between donors and me’.

Read aloud session in progress
A book in every child's hand :)
Busy bookworm

Books make us happy!

Shhhh. Bookworms at work

R is for Reading!
When our books found their friends in Ukhrul
The first Library for All campaign did not get fully funded in its first attempt and Yasin has restarted his campaign to fundraise for the remaining books. Now that you have seen how books are making a difference in Ukhrul, will you send some book love to the kids there?


Help more children like the kids in Ukhrul find their favourite books by making a small donation on Donate-a-Book. Donate-a-Book is an initiative by Pratham Books to help bridge the gap between those who want to help children read and those who need books for children. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Donate-a-Book Turns Two

Wooohoo! On Saturday, 24th June, Donate-a-Book turned two. Looking forward to so many more birthdays and getting many, many, many more books into the hands of children. 

In 2 years, 95,000+ books have reached 2,87,979 kids through the campaigns that have run on the platform. All through friends like YOU. 

Can we ask for a birthday gift? You won't say that we've reached the terrible twos if we do, right? The best part - this birthday gift is going to be shared with thousands of children across India. 

We now want to run the 100k race! Can you help us reach 1,00,000 books by donating a book today? That would definitely be the best birthday gift we receive :).

"Who will you share the books with?", you ask. With....
- Gram Chetna Kendra which wants to stock two of its resource centres and one of their libraries
- kids studying at an Urdu medium government school in a village called Vaddeswaram.
- Padmashree, a Teach for India Fellow, who wants books for the low income schoolshe teaches in.
- Sharmila who helped build a new library in a remote village in Ladakh.
- children studying at the Hosahalli government school in Maddur.
- a volunteer who wants to get books for a government school in Gundedu village, Telangana.
- 6 rural schools in Deoghar, Jharkhand
- Library for All : an organization that seeks to create access to books in Ukhrul district, Manipur. 
- 4 Supplementary Education Centers run by Janakalyan welfare society in villages of Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. 

THANK YOU for joining us on this journey! 

If you know a school or organization that needs books, tell them about the Donate-a-Book platform or start a campaign to get books for them. 

Help India's children read by donating a book today.

*Photos in this post were sent to us by Chandini Chhabra who raised funds for the 'School Library Project' on Donate-a-Book

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sunday Storytelling at Cubbon Park

An early morning visit to Cubbon Park on a Sunday. Listening to stories sitting under canopies amidst chirping birds. Sounds like a perfect morning, no? :)

Pratham Books, in collaboration with The Hindu, brings to you a Sunday morning worth remembering. Come be a part of the Reading Zone inside Cubbon Park which has been set up as a part of the celebrations for the Cycle Day. 

While author Shruthi Rao tells us about Avani's pea plant, illustrator Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi will spill the beans on how a cloud of trash was hanging over Cheekoo’s head. An activity session follows! 

A wildly entertaining morning for children of all ages!

Venue: Reading Zone (near KSLTA Stadium), Cubbon Park
Date: June 25th, 2017 (Sunday)
Time: 08:00*- 09:00 AM
* Be present at the venue by 7.45 AM.

RSVP on our Facebook page.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Big Little Book Award

The Big Little Book Award is back and nominations for the 2017 awards are now open.

(Click on the image for a larger view)

Over the last two decades, a handful of authors, illustrators and publishers have attempted to give voice to Indian children’s literature with stories that talk to young readers about who they are, and help them navigate a multicultural and multilingual environment. These authors and illustrators have attempted to balance the traditional with the contemporary to reflect the Indian reality in content, visuals and production. They have given us stories that are not didactic but layered and sensitive, illustrations that fight gender and caste stereotypes, are inclusive, bring humour and fun into books, and books that make for great reading. The Big Little Book Award is a first of its kind award instituted by the Parag initiative of Tata Trusts and ‘Literature Live!’ to recognize and honour significant contribution of such authors and illustrators to children’s literature in Indian language (s). The first awards were announced at Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest in 2016. The award is given under two categories – one for author and another for illustrator/artist.

Read more details here

Publishers, librarians, academics and experts are invited to nominate names for the awards. The nomination process is open till 15th July, 2017.

Monday, June 5, 2017

This World Environment Day, #DonateAPhoto, Empower a Story.

Pratham Books has always believed in the role books play in connecting children to the world around them. From the Chipko movement to flamingoes, from seasonal eating to conservation heroes, over the years Pratham Books has published numerous books that bring the wonders of the natural world into the lives of young readers. 

Today is World Environment Day and this year’s theme is ‘Connecting People to nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator’. Words and images can play a powerful role in helping forge this connection between children and their surroundings.

This World Environment Day, Pratham Books' StoryWeaver is joining hands with the good folks at NatureinFocus to bring you #DonateAPhoto, Empower a Story: a campaign to crowdsource 100 environment-related photographs. These photographs will be uploaded to StoryWeaver, and join over 6,000 other openly licensed illustrations on the platform. Through the #DonateAPhoto campaign, we hope to add to the diversity of our image bank, and offer our community of users, stunning photographs with which they can create multilingual stories, flashcards and more.

How to enter
  • Select an environment related photograph YOU have taken. It could be flora, fauna… anything.
  • If you have a StoryWeaver account already, click here, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on 'Upload your own illustration/image' to upload your image.
  • If you don’t have a StoryWeaver account, click here to create one. It won’t take more than a minute.
  • Fill out the form and upload your images. Remember to read the note on CCBY 4.0 if you're unfamiliar with the license.
  • Add tags to describe your image, so that people can find it easily on the repository. For. eg if you’re sharing an image of a barn owl use tags like ‘owl’, ‘barn owl’, ‘birds’. Don’t forget to add the tag DonateAPhoto too!
  • Sit back and feel super happy that you’ve contributed to our image bank. Go back to step 1 to repeat, or tag your friends on social media to join in too!
Campaign Guidelines
  • Campaign runs from June 5 - 12, 2017
  • All images uploaded must be taken by you.
  • Photographs uploaded must should be a minimum of 300 dpi and the file size should not be exceeded 2 MB.
  • By uploading an image you agree to the terms and conditions of CC-BY4.0
Click away, shutter bugs!