2015 was a fantastic year for Indian children’s books, and it was especially encouraging to see the inauguration of an award to recognize and encourage talented children’s book authors and illustrators.
Whittled down from an extremely strong short list, the winners of The Hindu Young World-Goodbooks Awards across the categories were as follows:
Best Picture Book (Story): Bumboo…The Donkey Who Would Not Budge. Written by Sujatha Padmanabhan and illustrated by Madhuvanti Ananatharajan. Published by Eklavya.
Set in the hills of Ladakh, this is the story of Padma, a young girl who dotes on her family’s donkey, Bumboo. When it looks like Bumboo might have to be sold, it’s up to Padma to come up with a solution.
Best Picture Book (Illustrations): The Alphabet of Animals and Birds. Written and illustrated by Prabha Mallya. Published by Red Turtle.
You may have heard of a Murder of Crows, but what about a Conspiracy of Lemurs? In these delightfully quirky representations of collective nouns, there’s much for children and adults to pore over. The typography and hand lettering add an extra element to this distinctive alphabet book.
Best Book (Fiction): Dead as a Dodo. Written by Venita Coelho and illustrated by Priya Kuriyan. Published by Hachette.
A tiger, a langur and a young boy come together to try and save the planet – using their combined forces to tackle everything from mass extinction to high-school bullying. Plot twists, engaging dialogue and a racy pace make for an an adventure which is hard to put down.
Best Book (Non-Fiction): The House that Sonabai Built. Written by Vishakha Chanchani and illustrated by Stephen P. Huyler. Published by Tulika Books.
Simple yet powerful text and photographic images come together to tell the remarkable story of Sonabai Rajawar, a self-taught artist whose creative journey began by creating clay figures for her young son, and ended with international recognition.