Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pratham Books is Hiring : Quality Assurance Engineer

Update : This position has been filled and the posting is closed.)

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 the last 3 years, we have increased our impact by investing deeply in technology based initiatives to further our mission. We are now looking to hire a Quality Assurance Engineer to test and support Story Weaver ensuring the end-to-end quality assurance of the platform.

About the Project

StoryWeaver is a digital platform that hosts children’s stories in multiple Indian and international languages, so that children have access to reading resources in their mother tongues to learn and practice reading. All the stories are available under open licences and not only can they be read for free, they can also be translated or versioned, using simple tools embedded on the platform. In 2 years, StoryWeaver has grown from 800 stories in 24 languages to 6500 stories in 104 languages. We have built a robust global community that uses our content as well as contributed to creating more content on the platform. 

StoryWeaver is being recognized as an emerging innovation that can transform the early literacy reader ecosystem globally. Recently, StoryWeaver was featured in the World Bank's report on 20 innovative EdTech projects from around the world, and was also the recipient of the prestigious Library of Congress Literacy Award 2017 International Prize. Our vision is for StoryWeaver to be the largest multilingual open library in the world for children by creating a collaborative publishing model that can address the scarcity of reading resources in their mother tongue languages.

(Image by Thea Nicole de Klerk from the BookDash book 'Springloaded' written by Chenél Ferreira and Sam Wilson, published on StoryWeaver)
Job Description 

This position will be a member of the Digital Team at StoryWeaver to test and support ensuring the end-to-end quality assurance of the StoryWeaver platform. There will be significant opportunities for communication with Business and Technical teams to further develop, nurture and scale a world-class digital platform that is redefining the way reading resources can be created and distributed globally. In a 2 year time-frame, the project outcomes are expected to scale by 10x and this position will play an important role in helping the organization meet this objective. 

Key Responsibilities 

  • Work in close coordination with functional team to articulate and document test cases thoroughly to ensure adequate coverage of requirements. 
  •  Conduct User Acceptance Testing and Live testing on the Story Weaver platform to identify and report bugs to the Technical Team. 
  •  Work closely with technical team to track reported bugs to closure in order to regressively maintain the quality of the Story Weaver platform. 
  •  Provide support for coordinating the User related requests with the Technical team.

 Requirements 


  •  2-3+ years experience in software quality assurance and manual testing of mobile and web based applications 
  • Ability to understand business requirements and articulate test scenarios 
  • Must have excellent analytical skills to identify bugs and issues within the software before they occur in real user environment. 
  • Good understanding of testing practices for Web applications. 
  • Understanding of issues surrounding multiple device and browser compatibility. 
  • Experience working in an SCRUM agile environment. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English 
  • Effectively interface with the Functional team to understand Business requirements. 
  • Effectively interface with the Technical Team to support User related requests, report and track bugs to closure. 

 Nice to have but not mandatory 


  • Experience working with non-profits 
  •  BE/BTech/MSc/MCA degree in Computer Science or related disciplines will be a plus  

Location 

Position is based out of Bangalore and is full-time. Project is expected to complete within a 2 year time-frame. 

Salary 
 Compensation will be commensurate with experience. 

Write to us: Email your resume with 'Quality Assurance Engineer' in the subject line to careers@prathambooks.org

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Pratham Books is Hiring : Assistant Editor (Hindi)

Pratham Books is a not-for- profit, multi-lingual children’s book publisher. Being multilingual, the key objective is to publish good quality affordable books in multiple Indian Languages.  In the last decade, Pratham Books has published over 300 original titles in 23 Indian languages,  Pratham Books believes that mother tongue fluency lays the foundation of further school education by enabling children to talk, read and write in their first language with ease.

About the role  
Pratham Books is looking for a dynamic Hindi assistant editor, having full command over written, spoken and grammatically correct Hindi language and expertise in the translation process. The person needs to have a live connect with Hindi language and literature. The person will work with the language and design team and will be responsible for the timely execution of all the processes involved. Will manage and maintain the Google sheets for the group and help in coordination. This is a job that requires excellent language skills in Hindi and English. It also requires attention to detail an interest in children’s literature and a creative understanding of child-friendly language. Clear communication and multitasking skills are a must.


Main duties:
  • Working closely with the language editor and the language group to coordinate all the translation related work.
  • Achieving the targeted quantity, ensuring the quality and timely readiness of the final translated documents, PDFs etc.
  • Checking and rechecking the correctness of content, words and language, at every stage of the process.
  • Helping in coordination of the language group. Managing and maintaining the Google sheets for the group.
  • Communicating with the resources for the quality and smooth flow of the work.
  • Coordinating with the design studio, editors and administration people.
  • Aid in all language group initiatives.
  • Help in building the pool of translators, reviewers, proof readers and language experts.
Preferred requirements 
  • Post graduate Degree in Hindi Literature. 
  • Experience of working in an editorial position in a publishing house and should have hands-on experience in translation, review, proofreading and production related processes. 
  • Excellent communication skills in Hindi and English. 
  • Sharp eyes to check copy 
  • Ability to multi-task and be a team player. 
  • Computer skills: MS Office, Windows. 
  • Passion for social change and being a change maker 
  • Passion for children’s literature 
 This is a full time position based out of Delhi. 

Salary: will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

Please send your resume and sample of work to careers@prathambooks.org with 'Assistant editor, Hindi' in the subject line of the email.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Walk in the Wild

The second edition of #PhoneStories launches on 26th January, 2018. Bijal Vachharajani takes us down memory lane and shares how the books for the first edition of #PhoneStories came to life. 

The forest guard put up his hand and told us to listen carefully. “Khau khau khak”, we heard a coughing noise. It was a langur warning the forest of Ranthambhore that the tiger was around. Moments later, she stepped out - the tigress, a burnished gold and ebony, shining in the weak morning sunlight. The forest erupted into sound and that’s when you realise, whether it’s the langur, the spotted deer or the barking deer, the forest has its own warning system to alert the furred and feathered denizens.

 Now many years later, I was thrilled that we got the chance to commission and edit a story on these different alarm calls. Conservation writer Sejal Mehta wrote Watch Out! The Tiger is Here, for Pratham Books, weaved sound with her words to recreate this wondrous moment. And then environment cartoonist, Rohan Chakravarty of Green Humour, infused the words with his fantabulous illustrations. The team chuckled and giggled as each illustration came in. (Don’t miss the tiger’s expression at the very end of the first book.)

What we were looking for is simple, short stories that we could release as #PhoneStories. We wanted powerful visuals with sounds that would invite children to visit the Indian forest virtually. Watch Out! is the first in the wildlife series – Did You Hear? is about birds and bird songs, Wild Cat! Wild Cat! is about the different wild cats of India, and Who Ate All That Up? is about how the forest stays so clean!

Aparna Kapur (the assistant editor on the project) and I wanted to introduce children to the wildlife of India. Pratham Books wanted something that children across the country could access in different formats. Rohan Joshi added his voice to the project and our kickass translation team got to work, getting these stories in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Kannada.

And that’s exactly what happened. WhatsApp messages and YouTube links took these stories to 2,800 Schools/ Centres and teachers impacting over 56,000 children. You could read the books on StoryWeaver, you could listen to them, and you could see them as audio-visualbooks. And now, you can read them in print.

The other day, a friend sent me a video of his daughter watching the first book on his mobile phone. We couldn’t help but beam as we saw her yelling “langur” and then cooing in delight as the tiger came into focus. Our outreach team sent videos and photos – children coughing like the monkey and growling like the tiger, drawing different kinds of birds, and laughing with the stories. 

Our walk in the wild had begun. 

 Bijal Vachharajani is a consultant editor with Pratham Books


If you missed the first edition of #PhoneStories, you can watch them all below :




Pratham Books Wins the Publishing Next 'Publisher of the Year' Award

We ended the last year on a great note! Just as the year was winding up, we received news that we had won the Publishing Next award for 'Publisher of the Year'. The best way to start the new year, no?


The Publishing Next Industry Awards were instituted in 2014 to reward the talent, initiative, entrepreneurial zeal and untiring efforts of publishers – big, small, independent – that create books. Established under the aegis of the neutral platform of the Publishing Next Conference, the awards seek to recognize innovation and leadership of publishing professionals and others in the book trade.
Take a look at all the nominees and winners of this year :



A big shout out to our community of creators and volunteers - only with your support are we able to do the things we want to do!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pratham Books and Zee JLF Outreach : Reaching a New Generation of Literature Lovers

Are you gearing up for the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival? We are going to be there and many of our new books are going to be waiting for you too!


But long before we start preparing to come for the the Jaipur Literature Festival, we start planning the JLF Outreach. In it's seventh year, the JLF- Pratham Books Outreach Programme will reach out to over 125 schools across Delhi and Jaipur. The sessions in Delhi already started on the December, 11, 2017. The Jaipur leg of the outreach programme is taking place between January 15- 29, 2018.

Young children in school learn to interact with books in many ways. As they learn language, they also get their first taste of literature in their text books, library books and books that their friends are reading. What can be more exciting for them than to meet the authors and illustrators who create these wonderful magical things called books!



The JLF Outreach takes the excitement of the world's finest literature festival right into their classrooms. Author interactions, readings, exciting discussions, and tips on writing...a truly rewarding experience for children and authors as they come face to face. This is one exchange of energy that can only have a positive outcome. The children leave the session with their head teeming with new ideas and their hearts full of the inexplicable joy of experiencing the magic of the word. The authors always come away charged with the energy that children carry- the energy of hope and finding a new generation of readers.

Talks, readings, discussions, workshops, storytelling sessions for children as young as three to young adults in college will liven up the academic lives of more than 25,000 children. 

Some of the participating schools include Bhawani CDC, Smart Native International School, Seth Anandi Lal School for Blind, Deaf and Dumb, Prayas Centre Jagatpura, Government Upper Primary School Bandari ka Nasik, Government Primary School Badi Chaupad, MGD Girls’ School, Neerja Modi International School, Maheshwari Girl’s College, Bright Future English School and several others.

In previous years, the Outreach has covered more than 20,000 young and budding readers. Outstanding talents such as Suvidha Mistry, Valentina Trivedi, Gilbert King, Cat Weatherhill, Adam Johnson, Jerry Pinto, Ruth Padel, Prashant Jha, Neel Mukherjee, Mandy Ord have transported the magic of the ZEE JLF into classrooms for some memorable sessions. S

Parag Children’s Library Unconference 2018


Via libraryeducators.in

Today, more than ever, we need to affirm and preserve our multi-lingual and multi-cultural society. Children must grow up respecting and understanding others who may look different from them and have different beliefs, customs and religions. Parag believes multicultural literature fosters positive self-esteem, has the ability to nurture respect, empathy and acceptance among all students. As such the roles of children’s literature and libraries become critical.

Date: February 8, 2018

Venue: Sanskriti Kendra, Anand Gram, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, New Delhi\

Click here for more details on the conference and to register for the Masterclass on ‘How to make your Library & Collection Diverse’.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Find Our Books at the Chennai Book Fair

Isn't January a fantastic month? We love this month because of the several book fairs that happen across the country. We are currently at the New Delhi World Book Fair and you can also find our books at the Chennai Book Fair! The 41st Chennai Book Fair will be held between January 10 and 22, 2018. 


Look our for our popular books as well as our new books at :
Date : 10th - 22nd January, 2018
Time : 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on holidays and from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.
Stall : The Eureka Books Stall (Stall no.305/306)
Venue : St. George's Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School (Opp Pachaiyappa's College), Aminjikarai, Chennai.

See you at there!

Nurturing Empathy Through Stories

Growing up can be tricky business. Children have to contend with peer pressure, inflated competition in schools, articulating their emotions, and building confidence. The academic and social challenges can be unrelenting, and often lead to feelings of isolation, inadequacy and low self-esteem. For long, parents and teachers assumed that dealing with these feelings depended on temperament and personality, and that all children would pick these skills up eventually, as a part of growing up. However, with studies, emotional intelligence has emerged as a valuable way of working through these obstacles in a healthy manner.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise and react to one’s own feelings and emotions, and also empathise with what others are going through. It’s our capacity to relate to and communicate with others using emotions. While we are all born with varying levels of emotional intelligence, the good news is that it is not a static number, and can be worked upon.

Being exposed to opportunities that allow you to express your feelings, and learning to speak in ways that ensure that everyone will hear you, works better when it is taught from an early age. “Something we now know, from doing dozens of studies, is that emotions can either enhance or hinder your ability to learn,” says Marc Brakett, a senior research scientist in psychology at Yale University. As a result, schools around the world have begun to incorporate social-emotional learning to develop children into healthier and happier adults. Not only has heightened emotional intelligence been a trait of successful and social adults, but it has also shown strong links to financial earnings, though the two were previously thought as being completely unrelated.

Teaching children to name their feelings, and creating strategies to deal with those different feelings is a good way to develop emotional intelligence in children. Asking children to identify the feelings of other people and places (“How does this place make you feel?”, “Does this place feel peaceful to you?”, etc.) is another way of helping children become more aware of their emotions, and understand how to respond to them.

At Pratham Books, we believe that books can also serve as a great way of nurturing empathy in children. Some of the books that have recently been developed at Pratham Books, keeping in mind the value of emotional intelligence are -

1. A Helping Hand by Payal Dhar and Vartika Sharma

There's a new girl in class and our teacher has asked me to be her friend and show her around. But I'm not sure I want to - she's... not like the rest of us! A fascinating tale of friendship and fitting in, which tells its story through letters. 



2. Reeti and Mithu by Anupa Lal and Soumya Menon

Reeti's holidays have begun, but she isn't happy. She doesn't like holidays because she misses being with her friends. One day she gets a pet - Mithu, the talking parrot. Does Mithu become her new best friend? Read this heartwarming story of friendship to find out!


3. Angry Akku by Vinayak Varma

Akku is having an awful day and it’s making her very, VERY angry. Read this book to find out how Akku's anger melts away, and get ideas on what to do when YOU are very, VERY angry. 


4. Kalpana’s Cycle by Sowmya Rajendran and Kabini Amin

Kalpana is learning to cycle, but it isn’t easy at all! She falls over and over again, even hurting herself. Does she finally learn to cycle? Does she give up? A heartwarming story about the importance of trying.


The titles mentioned above are available for free in multiple languages on StoryWeaver, and are also available for sale in our e-store.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Join Us at the New Delhi World Book Fair

Folks in Delhi : Start the new year by adding some new books to your book collection. Pratham Books will be at the New Delhi World Book Fair. Come along and find your favourite Pratham Books titles at :


New Delhi World Book Fair
Hall No.H7F-H, Stall No.167
6th - 14th January, 2018
11 am - 8 pm
Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

We will also be hosting two events during the book fair :



12th January : Storytelling session by Rohini Vij, between 11 am - 1 pm.


13th January : Storytelling session by Rituparna Ghosh from Your Story Bag, between 11 am - 1 pm.

The sessions will be held at Children’s Pavilion, near Hall No 7. 

Note : several different sessions by other publishers will also be happening during this time period. So, you may just catch more than a few sessions. What fun, no?

See you at the New Delhi World Book Fair!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Six of our stories in Braille, on World Braille Day




We love receiving books. Yesterday, when we received two copies of a book developed by our friends at Pratham Education Foundation, we were quite thrilled. We looked at them, and ran our hands over the pages. You see, they had come right in time for us to celebrate World Braille Day on January 4, the birthday of French educator and Braille inventor, Louis Braille.

Developed  as a library project to make accessible material for children with disability, the book carries six stories published by Pratham Books: 



Louis Braille created the Braille system because he loved to read. Thanks to him, and to the funding organization CBM, Pratham Education Foundation will be able to take our stories to over 100 libraries in Maharshtra and Madhya Pradesh.

The book is not available for sale now, but the non-Braille books are available as print books. They can be read for free in English here:  Cheep Cheep Drip Drip, Bunty and Bubbly, Goloo the Circle, Avani and the Pea Plant, Anaya's Thumb, and The Timid Train.