Best Book: Non fiction
Author: Rohan Chakravarty
Book: The Great Indian Nature Trail with Uncle Bikky (WWF India)
I found myself leaping like a florican on being nominated for The Hindu young World Goodbooks Award for my very first comic book. What really makes me beam with joy is that a book on wildlife has been nominated. India’s extraordinary wildlife; and the lack of a comprehensive and dynamic introduction to India’s wildlife for young readers, with an emphasis on ecology rather than fantasy is where I drew my inspiration from.
Author: Bijal Vachharajani
Book: The Great Indian Nature Trail with Uncle Bikky (WWF India)
I am really thrilled to be shortlisted. It’s a humbling feeling that our book is shortlisted alongside some of my favourite children’s books creators. I love working with Rohan, who I think is truly one of the most seriously fun environment cartoonists of our times. He has upped the coolness quotient of being a green warrior. We’d make puns, laugh at silly things and lament about conservation issues and it was really his humour and sensitivity and the freedom that Team WWF-India gave us that made this book happen.
Author: Anita Vachharajani
Book: Amrita Sher-Gil: Rebel with a Paintbrush
Writing is a long and lonely process, and, at some point, you begin to question your choices and your sanity! Making it to this shortlist, with so many uniquely talented people, makes me feel truly honoured and privileged. I am delighted! I feel terrible that stories of Indian artists, writers, scientists, filmmakers (especially those of women artists/professionals) are rarely shared in a way that will delight or engage children. The desire to tell at least one such story well was my inspiration.
Author: Mamta Nainy
Book: A Brush with Indian art
I’m thrilled beyond words to be on the shortlist alongside some amazing creators of children’s books! The nomination is all the more special because it's Goodbooks, my go-to website for the most insightful reviews of Indian children's books, and The Hindu , the daily I’ve grown up reading and have great regard for. More than inspiration, I think it was the compelling need to make art accessible to young readers, to liberate their thought process by exposing them to the wealth of Indian art and give them a more comprehensive idea of art – in a way they can enjoy!
Best Picture Book: Story
Book: I will Save My Land
I’m happy to know that the story has resonated with so many people and is one among all the other fine works of other writers and illustrators. The inspiration to write this book came from the peoples struggles against the injustices of our times, to fight for their rights, especially for women who fight patriarchy, caste systems and corporations to safegaurd their rights, their strength and resilience.
Author: Lavanya Karthik
Book: A Walk With Thambi
It is an honour to be on the shortlist, sharing space with such excellent writers. A Walk With Thambi celebrates friendship, freedom, mischief and rule-breaking — all the small joys universal to children, regardless of their individual abilities or challenges. It also gives young readers a glimpse into how a visually challenged person perceives the world and how a nurturing environment can help build inclusivity.
Author: Vinayak Varma
Book: Angry Akku
I’m happy to have been shortlisted, and that my book is getting some renewed attention. Angry Akku is a simple, linear book that addresses an almost mundanely prevalent issue, and as such could have been easily overlooked for being so utilitarian — which makes it all the more pleasing that it's now been nominated for an award. I was commissioned by Pratham Books to write a story that addresses some aspect of emotional intelligence in children. Anger is an emotion that is routinely misunderstood by children and parents alike, and most don't bother to parse fits of anger down to their underlying causes. So my book became a sort of deconstruction of why kids get angry and how best to resolve this.
Best Book: Fiction
Author : Stephen Alter
Book : The Cloudfarers
I'm thrilled to be on the shortlist. Younger readers are my favourite! This book was inspired by my experiences of attending a boarding school in the mountains and a desire, when I was a student, to run away from shool.
Author: Christopher C. Doyle
Book: The Pataala Phrophecy: Son of Bhrigu
I am delighted that a book written for a general audience is being enjoyed by adults and children alike and has been shortlisted for this award. I wanted to write a fantasy thriller that brought Indian mythology in contact with the reality of modern times, with contemporary characters as well as characters from mythology playing lead roles.
Author: Venita Coelho
Book: Boy No. 32
When you're young you get punished for telling stories. When you're older you get rewarded for telling them. In a world where awards for children's writers are few and far between, to be nominated for this award is an absolute joy. I wanted to tell the stories of children whose stories are never told. The street urchins, beggars, those without a name. In these times of intolerance it is important to have multiple voices speak to us and open our minds
Best Picture Book: Illustration
Illustrator: Rajiv Eipe
Book: Ammachi’s Amazing Machines
Feels amazing to receive recognition for your work, and to be in the company of such fine artists and writers. The brief to create a picture book about simple machines came my way I leapt at it. Much of the inspiration for the characters in the book came from my own grandparents and the amazing energy and resourcefulness of that whole generation.
Illustrator: Niloufer Wadia
Book: Sadiq Wants To Stitch
It feels very good, and is quite unexpected since I consider myself a newbie in the fi eld of children’s storybook illustration! Two years old to be precise.Honestly, Sadiq Wants To Stitch is a lovely story, and just reading it, I could already see the pictures in my head — the particular Kashmiri facial characteristics and the muted colours of nature contrasting with the vivid colours of the embroidery. It was my fi rst book with Karadi Tales, so I was a bit intimidated, but they were wonderful.
Illustrator: Rupal Vaidya
Book : Ambadas’s Dancing Brush
It’s an honour for any illustrator but I am particularly awestruck and humbled since this is the first book I have ever illustrated. To be nominated by the best-in-class award in India is indeed a privilege. The Dancing Brush is based on the artist Ambadas - his childhood influences and the milieu that were later reflected in his art. So, the story itself, the immense research that went behind it, as well as Ambadas’ art, together almost seemed to evoke each page as a painting in my mind.