News & Reviews

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Twelve years old writes a book!

On the occasion of Teachers’ Day, Sapna Book House organised the release of Jaka in Kakoon, a book by 12-year-old author J Manaswini from Coimbatore. She is a class eight student of BVM Global School @ Karpagam campus. The book talks about how the world would be in the next century. Talking about the book, chief guest of the event, Dr Manivannan, writer and professor, Tamil Department, Govt. Arts College, Ooty said, “Reading and writing are taking a backstage in this era of technology. It is interesting to see how a young author has managed to create an interesting story in just 35 pages.”

Dr Eric Miller, founder and director, World Storytelling Institute, who was also present on the occasion said, “I found Manaswini’s book to be a science fiction as it involves a time machine. While at the same time, it also presents a viewpoint about today’s education.” He also added that writing is a very heavy responsibility. Speaking on the occasion, Manaswini revealed that she has been writing from the age of seven. “I mainly did so to present my point of view. But now I don’t want to merely write books. I would like to inspire people to write too.” Jaka in Kakoon is published by Sapna Ink, an imprint of Sapna Group.

–Janani Rajeswari S

Open source platform for children stories!

Pratham Books weaves a new chapter in children’s publishing with the launch of StoryWeaver (www. storyweaver.org.in) This open source digital platform launched on International Literacy Day (September 8, 2015), features 800 stories in 26 languages and has a rich image bank of over 2000 images. All openly licensed, all completely free.

Suzanne Singh, chairperson, Pratham Books said, “Pratham Books believes that every child should have equitable access to good quality reading material in her own language. By openly licensing our content, we’re giving all our storybooks– to the children of India, and the world. Not just for now, but for generations to come.”

To mark the launch of the platform, Pratham Books has launched its “Weavea- Story” campaign where leading children’s authors, Anushka Ravishankar, Soumya Rajendran, Rukmini Banerjee and N Chokkan have written special stories for children. Priya Kuriyan, Soumya Menon, Kaveri Gopalakrishnan have brought these stories to life. StoryWeaver has invited the community to translate these stories. 100 new versions are expected from the 4 original stories.

365 Fairy Tales

Publisher: Dreamland Publications, New Delhi
(Pp 200, ISBN 978-93-5089-919-9, Rs 400)

Kids love fairy tales – the magical world of prince and princesses, witches and ogres, giants and dwarfs, and fabulous animals – that excite and inspire young minds. This book is a collection of 365 fairy tales – one each for every day of the year.

Beautifully printed on art paper, with an illustration for each story, the book is a delight for all. Parents can read a bedtime story to their children every day or let their child read it as there are short stories. Children will simply love it and be happy to be in the fantasy land!

The Leading Reading Schools of India Awards 2016

Gen-Next, are the future leaders of the land. Unfortunately, the books they read, that is, if they read, are more west-oriented, hence children are not aware of our rich heritage – be it, flora and fauna, the folk arts, arts and crafts and so on. This, disconnect in their all-important formative years, leads to a complete disregard for issues that will impact not only their own lives but future generations as well. For instance, only if children have read a story and connected with forests or wildlife, say a rhino, at an emotional level, will he or she want to protect them from wanton destruction when they are adults.

Young India Books has initiated an award programme, The Leading Reading Schools of India Award two years ago. This year, the theme for the award is You be the judge! The idea is to see children become critical thinkers by digging into a book and analysing the characters, settings, plot and other story elements to elicit their understanding of the book. Critical thinking will help children make the best of their academic life and future career. Children will read a book, rate it and review it.

There will be three categories: The Leading Reading School of India Award for the five best schools based on the following criteria: best practices in inculcating good reading habits in children, quality of work of the participants, and enthusiasm evinced by the school for the competition; Junior Judge Award for outstanding works by students; and Children’s Choice Book Award for the most popular books The themes covered and chosen by, will cover a range of topics, namely, fiction and non-fiction that include historical, fantasy, animal fantasy, adventure, educational, etc.

For more information, log on to www.youngindiabooks.com

The Kaurava Empire Vol 3

The Loaded Dice of Shakuni
Author: Jason Quinn
Illustrator: Sachin Nagar Publisher: Campfire, New Delhi
(Pp 112, ISBN 978-93-81-182154,
US$ 12.99)

When you pick up a book from Campfire, you are sure to find excellent graphics and gripping script and this book is no exception. The tales of Mahabharata are timeless and have been retold many times. In this volume, readers can know more about Shakuni, the evil man who manoevered Kauravas into hating Pandavas in order to revenge against the Empire.

As a child, Shakunihad been eye-witness to death of his father and loved ones and he vowed to take revenge against all those who caused the pain. He spent all his life trying to revenge against them and became the cause for the greatest civil war- Mahabharata. Though his actions cannot be approved, but reader gets a new perspective to Shakuni’s actions.

– Varsha Verma

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