It is a known fact that the Indian book market is the sixth-largest in the world and second-largest in term of English language books. The children book publishing segment in India is perhaps growing fastest at a rate of 15-20 percent annually. And this does not include just school textbooks, which in itself is a huge market, it also accounts for trade books, licensed books, educational toys, etc.

Children do not learn just from textbooks. Fiction books go a long way in teaching life values and learnings. I recently came across a story book which through its intriguing storyline, taught children a few idioms as well. The idea is to make learning fun; concoct a few characters which children can associate with, think of an interesting storyline and illustrations to go with it, add a few learnings or values to it and you have a beautiful book in your hands.

But, behind every good book, there is a lot of thought and effort that goes in its making and then marketing to reach the end user. Publishers are indeed doing the noble deed of imparting learning and knowledge through books.

This issue, we are focusing on licensed books. Yes, children love their heroes – characters from their favourite movies or TV series. While an ABC book with Barbie would excite a two-year-old girl, a Ben 10 ABC book would equally delight a boy of the same age. Workbooks with their favourite toon characters, which teach children how to write or colour, are a big hit too! Stories never fail to amaze us and when they are about a character we like; it is automatically a bestseller. Publishers have gone a step further by offering value-additions to these books. They are a sure showstopper, enticing children to pick them up.

There’s a lot of innovation happening in the children book industry. The teaching methodology has changed and books are no longer preachy. It’s fun to pick up a children book, there’s so much to explore. Every bookshop or book fair is a witness to excited children, wanting to pick up the books of their choice and eager parents trying to find the best for their children.

Let’s all encourage our children to read because “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

Happy publishing!
Sonal Khurana
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