Lit for Life

The fabulous four who grabbed the The Hindu Young World-Good Books awards

The winners: (From left) Rajiv Eipe, Vinayak Varma, Venita Coelho and Mamta Nainy   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

It was heartening to see the eagerness with which the audience waited for the announcement of the The Hindu Young World-GoodBooks award, which recognises the best in children’s literature published in India.

Twelve books were shortlisted across four categories this year. Mamta Nainy won the award for the best book in the non-fiction category for A Brush with Indian Art, a primer on different schools of art and important art movements in Indian history.

“I feel delighted, excited, surprised and grateful — all at the same time. In some ways, the award is a welcome affirmation, both for me and my publisher, that literature on Indian art is much needed for young readers today. I feel less marginal as a creator and more confident about my craft,” she said, after receiving the award.

It is hard to delineate strongly-felt emotions in a manner that can be comprehended by young readers. But that’s exactly what Vinayak Varma’s Angru Akku does.

The book, which got the award in the Best Picture Book: Story category, is about Akku, a little girl, and her quiet anger. The causes behind it are revealed through a gentle conversation between father and daughter.

Varma was “tickled mauve,” when the verdict was out. “I didn’t expect my book to win, but it did. I am suitably shocked. I’m moderately amazed,” he chuckled. Rajiv Eipe’s Ammachi’s Amazing Machines bagged the Best Picture Book: Illustration award. It is about Sooraj and his grandma, who love inventing: their latest adventure involves simple machinesto make coconut barfi.

Eipe was thrilled to have won. “I am grateful to the organisers for recognising children’s literature as an important category,” he said. “I hope more such platforms emerge to acknowledge the excellent work that is being done in the children’s book space.”

And then there was the most exciting one of them all — the fiction award. Venita Coelho’s Boy No. 32 walked away with the honours. Four kids trapped beneath the rubble of a bombed building communicate through a mysterious telepathic code. Except for this streak of magic realism, the rest of this fascinating tale is rooted in the dark underbelly of Mumbai. “Winning an award is always special, but winning an award from The Hindu — ah! That is special indeed because that means not popular recognition, but recognition from your peers and readers who truly recognise and appreciate a book,” said Coelho.

(With inputs from Archana Subramanian)

madhuvanti.krishnan@thehindu.co.in


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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 7:03:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/lit-for-life/the-fabulous-four-who-grabbed-the-the-hindu-young-world-good-books-awards/article26025482.ece

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