Fantastic five

CHENNAI, 15/01/2018: Winners of the Hindu Young World Good Books awardies From left, Chatura Rao, Devika Cariapa, Mini Shrinivasan, Nandhika Nambi and nancyy Raj at the Hindu Lit For Life 2018 on Monday. Photo: R. Ragu   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

The third edition of The Hindu Young World Goodbooks Awards 2018 was presented at The Hindu Lit for Life on January 15. There were four categories of awards: Best Picture Book: Story, Best Picture Book: Illustration, Best Book: Fiction, and Best Book: Non-fiction.

The prize winning entries were short-listed by a jury selected from across the country. “The jury consisted of experts in children’s publishing sphere and also renowned educators,” said Vidya Mani, Managing Editor of Goodbooks. “The books that make it to the list are there based on their literary and art value, theme and extent of creativity,” she added.

These awards were initiated to encourage children’s writing and illustration in India, and aim to pave the way for diversity within the genre.

This year, five women grabbed the prizes.

Meet the winners...


Best Picture Book: Story for Gone Grandmother

A simple question posed by her six-year-old niece at her grandmother’s funeral intrigued Rao; this sowed the seed for her book, “When my niece asked her mom where grandma had gone, it struck me that we don’t explain grim concepts or events to children. That motivated me to deal with the subject, but with a hint of humour,” smiledRao.

This book deals with the death of a grandmother through the eyes of a child. This sad truth is dealt with in a poignant yet playful manner. For instance, the child wonders if grandma was lifted up as she took a ride on a helium balloon.

Through the story Rao has managed to acknowledge the pangs of separation as well.


Best Picture Book: Illustration for Maharani the Cow

“I like capturing people and their daily life,” said Nancy Raj. “In the chaos of our mundane lives, we forget to appreciate the little details around us. My illustrations are a call to celebrate joys of everyday life.”

Nancy’s illustrations depict streets in India. A traffic jam caused by a cow, is one such. She uses vibrant colours to portray the scenes that reflect the rusticity, intending the illustrations to speak for themselves; there is minimal text in the book.


Best Book: Fiction for Unbroken

When one writes about differently-abled people, it usually includes positive characterisation and a sympathetic attitude towards the subject. Nandhika Nambi breaks away from stereotypes, with her protagonist Akriti.

The plot revolves around a rebellious teenager, having to deal with various issues. She is rude, adamant and a bully. Nandhika has been frequently asked about Akriti’s characterisation; to them she says, “Akriti might be differently abled, but she is a teenager. She is human.” Being the youngest author on this list, Nandhika, a medical student, has learnt to balance her academics and writing.


Best Book: Fiction for The Boy with Two Grandfathers

Humour is important and Mini Shrinivasan’s book, deals with a boy who lives with his two grandfathers. At first glance, the story seems fun and entertaining but as you turn the pages you begin to sense the sadness as well. “Children must be exposed to issues that we face,” Mini says as she explains why she chooses bleak topics like divorce and death while writing for kids. “After I knew I had won the award, I read my book again and I enjoyed it all the more,” she says.


Best Book: Non-Fiction for India through Archaeology: Excavating History

“History as a subject could get a little boring when explained in school text books. I wanted to give it a twist, explaining concepts in a simple and a fun way,” says Devika.

It is a well-researched work that explains archaeological facts with illustrations and fact boxes. This makes it possible to capture not just younger readers, but also a larger audience.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 4:57:15 AM |

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