Kids & Teens

A book for youth by PM Narendra Modi

In a first-of-its-kind initiative by a serving prime minister, Narendra Modi will write a book dedicated to the youth. In this book, he will address core issues like overcoming examination stress, keeping one's composure and even what to do after the exams are over. The book will be published by Penguin Random House (PRH) India in multiple languages and out in book stores later this year. Bluekraft Digital Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, will be the technology and knowledge partner for the book.

First Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award announced

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has announced Jin Xiaojing as the winner of the first Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award. This initiative seeks promising new talent and encourages the development of high-quality picture books that resonate with readers of diverse backgrounds and experiences. The program will provide Xiaojing with a valuable day of mentorship by acclaimed illustrator Jerry Pinkney and children’s book professionals, and a monetary prize. Submissions to the Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award were judged based on the quality of their text, art, and storytelling; the manner in which they supported the award’s diversity mission; and the originality and cialis soft advice creativity of their work.

Xiaojing’s picture book manuscript, I Miss My Grandpa, is a thoughtful exploration of family lineage. It tells the autobiographical story of a young girl who never met her deceased grandfather but who yearns to understand the influence his life still has on her and her family. The poignant story is told in both English and Mandarin Chinese. To depict this promising story for young readers, Xiaojing used a striking mix of media, including watercolor, marker, acrylic, colored pencil, and ink, which were applied with a variety of tools, including paintbrush, pen, sponge, and comb.

Hamilton: The Revolution named Audiobook of the Year

Hamilton: The Revolution, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter - and read by the authors with Mariska Hargitay - won the highest designation of Audiobook of the Year by Audio Publishers Association. Competition in this category included titles by Amy Schumer, Carly Simon, Colson Whitehead, and Shonda Rhimes. James Patterson’s Cross Justice, read by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Jefferson Mays, was named the best Thriller/ Suspense audiobook of the past year.

Best Mystery audiobook went to Michael Connelly’s The Crossing, read by Titus Welliver (who also plays the eponymous detective in the television series Bosch). Cressida Cowell’s How To Fight A Dragon’s Fury was awarded Best Middle Grade listen, adding to the honors this final title in the How To Train Your Dragon series has claimed, which include a Parents’ Choice Gold award and a nod from the National Parenting Product Awards.

Purple Turtle e-books now on 258 digital platforms

Education & entertainment group Aadarsh Pvt. Ltd has launched their e-books on 258 digital platforms. With the growing popularity of its fictional character Purple Turtle, the massive launch has brought in the value added e-books to a larger audience through the various platforms.

Purple Turtle e-books will now be available with over 1,000 retailers and 65,000 libraries in over 100 countries. Kids will now be able to read Purple Turtle e-books on various platforms like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, ESentral, The Great British Book Shop, Backer & Taylor etc. Sharing his gladness, Manish Rajoria, director, Aadarsh, said, “Purple Turtle is a genderneutral IP that delights a child’s mind. This deal permits us to expand Purple Turtle’s increasing popularity even further.

Purple is always surrounded by his friends. These friends come together and viagra 50 educate children with value based stories that are fun and easy to read. Purple Turtle’s series of stories are informative and contain action and adventure with a touch of humour.”

Purple Turtle is India’s first international brand with its educational content in 30 countries including Russia, China, US, UK, and multiple languages in India. Purple Turtle has reached children through its educational content and YouTube videos.


Paddington Bear creator no more

Michael BondMichael Bond, the creator of beloved children's character Paddington Bear, has died at the age of 91, following a short illness. His first book A Bear Called Paddington, featured a marmaladeloving bear from "deepest, darkest Peru" who comes to live in London. This character inspired a series of books, an animated TV series and a successful 2014 film. A sequel to the Paddington film will be released later this year. Besides Paddington, he also created characters like Olga da Polga, A Mouse Called Thursday and a French detective named Monsieur Pamplemousse.


Scholastic to publish children's
books by Malcolm Mitchell

Malcolm MitchellScholastic has acquired world English rights to three children’s books by Super Bowl champion and literacy crusader Malcolm Mitchell. Scholastic will release a newly illustrated edition of The Magician’s Hat, a picture book that celebrates the beauty of children and parents discovering books together. Originally self-published by Mitchell, The Magician’s Hat will be published by Scholastic Press on May 1, 2018, with two more original books to follow.

The education sector enjoys a close synergy with technology with new and latest technological tools being increasingly adopted to transform how education is imparted in the classrooms and beyond the physical boundaries of the class room as well. From recorded video tapes to the use of portable tablet with educational contents, smart class rooms, AV projectors, as well as the online disbursal of and submission of projects reflects how closely the two have been interlinked. Developments in the field of Virtual reality technology, low cost VR headsets and increasing sophistication of the mobile handsets has made access to VR much easier and cheaper as well. Monica Malhotra Kandhari, managing director, MBD Group shares an insight into scope of virtual reality space in education sector.

Virtual reality (VR) uses contents that are computer generated to simulate images or contents in life size and multi-dimensional. VR also allows seemingly real interaction with simulated contents through the use of special electronic equipment such as the VR Headsets and sensors embedded in the users clothing etc. The interactive and immersive experience accorded by virtual reality technology and the ability of VR to facilitate realistic learning activities has the potential to radically transform the education sector with its increasing adoption.

How VR helps in education?

The traditional approach to education hasn’t changed much over the years. Students are expected to learn through assimilation without much scope for an immersive or experiential learning. With Virtual reality things are going to change in the way education is being imparted. Students can now look forward to learning about the solar system in a three dimensional environment and even physically engage with the planets and moons in a solar system. VR’s ability to introduce practical knowledge to students without having to leave the room is an invaluable contribution to education.

Virtual reality also removes barriers associated with transport and logistics in real world and opens up immense opportunities to be explored. Students for instance can go on a field trip to the Amazon rain forest from the comfort of their class room anywhere in the world. Hitherto near impossible tasks such as a field trip to the moon or the surface of mars can now be explored from the within the comforts and safety of a classroom. Such a realistic multi-dimensional experience delivers a truly immersive learning experience, making the knowledge gained much more holistic.

Virtual reality can be also helpful to those learning a foreign language as it can simulate situations as well as open up possibilities of collaboration with other learners of the language. VR can also aid learners with special needs to focus attention on specific task and problem areas improving their learning capacity. Moreover, VR simulations are ready to lend a hand for study and research of possibly hazardous situations which might not be possible in real life.

Virtual reality is also increasingly being used in the field of higher learning and education. In the field of medical education, for instance, virtual reality is increasingly being used for surgical trainings. VR while providing realistic experiences to surgeons is cost effective and helps cut down the time taken by surgeons to be ready for live operations. According to Dale’s cone of experience, knowledge retention in learners is highest when they ‘Do” as opposed to what they hear, read, or observe. Virtual reality enables a constructionist approach to learning where learners can engage with contents in an immersive environment. From chemical bond formations to chemical reaction, everything happens right before the eyes of the learners through virtual reality. Educational experience delivered through virtual reality can be entertaining, delightful, and practical all at the same time.

Tools available…

Google Expeditions is one such widely popular virtual reality educational tool that enables students across the globe to experience historical landmarks, explore coral reefs, and even travel to outer space. There are now a host of such proprietary software’s available now that delivers 360O views of realistic and immersive educative contents through virtual reality. For a country like India where education delivery is quite conservative in its overall outlook the potential for VR aids such as Google expeditions and others in the education sector cannot be undermined. MBD Group is soon going to launch a new line of Virtual Reality based content and device for better understanding of children. MBD’s new high quality, interactive 3D virtual reality simulations will be made available for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Additionally, the group also plans to deliver high quality VR content for vocational courses/ skill courses in the informal education sector as well. Apart from the Group’s own VR device, MBD’s VR content will be compatible with all other leading VR devices like Samsung Gear, Oculus Rift, etc. for wider accessibility.

What next?

While the development of virtual reality may still be evolving, the possible application of the technology especially in the education sector is endless. From basic concepts of science and mathematics to the most complex of medical surgeries, from a tour of the Martian surface to 3D home designs, virtual reality can help deliver a truly immersive and realistic experience to discerning learners across the globe. The era of VR in education is just getting started hints at the exciting times that lay ahead for the education sector.

Pegasus, a children’s book publication, are very keen and focused on children’s education and better career for the next generation, which is only possible, if they are given good, value added education. With a team of creative authors and editors, who come up with great learning ideas and techniques, Pegasus ensures accuracy and quality by using the most effective learning ideas for children in every age group. So, here is a look at Pegasus’ tough screening process for every book it produces, shares Shobhika Khurana, publishing manager, Pegasus.

There is a lot that goes in making of a good book. A book’s journey starts with an idea and then it undergoes scrutiny through various departments, i.e., content creation by the author, followed by the editorial, design, illustration and quality check. Here’s a peek into the journey of an idea into a book.

What needs to be published?

Based on the sales figure, demand from the readers (which we receive through emails and surveys), trends that are going in the market, books to be published are decided.

Once the type of books to be published are decided, editorial experts and sales team put their heads together to come up with new concepts for children’s books.

This idea is then taken to the next level— the creating of actual content which depends on a number of factors, such as the subject of the book, genre, target age group etc. Based on these criteria, an appropriate expert author is selected to write and visualize the content.

What is the role of the author and editor?

Idea is shared with the author keeping in mind several factors. Age group plays a vital role in the same. Keeping in mind the age group, text is written which is easy for the child to understand as per age. Number of pages to be written in a book is decided. These are shared with the author for the content writing.

Once the content is written, it goes through the first round of editing wherein; the concept’s execution, basic grammar etc. are checked and reviewed. The content goes through the first filtering at this stage.

Editor ensures the vocabulary is as per child’s understanding. They also ensure the facts written in the book are correct, there is no plagiarism done.

How is a book designed?

Right after the text is ready; there is a set of brief given to the illustrator, where imagination gets its wings. An illustrator understands the brief and draws what should be drawn in the book (as suited to the age group), illustrations that a kid relates with and understands.

Pencil drawn illustrations are reviewed by the editors for their correctness and appropriateness. These approved illustrations are then sent for colouring. Few samples are created to see what kind of colouring will suit the content and the illustration style best. Illustrations are then coloured based on the sample approved.

At this stage, text and illustrations are ready to be designed.

Designing plays a very important role in children’s books. A lot of care is needed while designing the book for different age group. First being FONT, designer has to keep in mind the age group when deciding the FONT of a book. For instance, lowercase alphabets are used for younger readers. Overly violent scenes are avoided. Religion and public sentiments are also kept in mind.

When is a book ready for print?

Book becomes ready for review, where it is once again checked by the editorial team. Marked corrections are then carried out by the designer. After the designer incorporates the corrections, the file is sent for quality check. The editorial quality check ensures that the best material is given to the reader and the design quality check ensures that the aesthetics of the book are at par with what our competitors provide in the market.

The last thing before a book goes into print is the ferro or the plotter (a proto type of what the completed book would look like) is sent to the author to finalise the copy which is then sent for printing.

Successful books by Pegasus

Books like 365 stories, collector’s edition, and theme based activity books , vast range of encyclopedia’s are among Pegasus’ bestselling books. Many of these books are sold throughout the world, and are being translated in several other languages (Spanish, Arabic, etc.) to reach out to many kids around the world.

Tips for selecting a book for children:

At Pegasus, following factors are kept in mind while selecting a book for children:

  • Rigorous quality check: A strong screening process to make sure only the best goes to the reader.
  • Age Centric: Each book should be carefully compiled keeping the target age group in mind.
  • Lexile Reader Measure: Books should be graded under the Lexile Reader Measure, which ensures that the books adhere to reading and learning capabilities of the age group for which a particular book has been compiled.
  • Value for money: The books should not only be of the best quality but should also be priced reasonably, so that every child can enjoy these books without worrying about the cost.
  • Curriculum for lot of schools: Books can be based on common curriculums and subjects that are found in books in various schools in different parts of the world.

AFCC Asian Children’s Book Award to debut in 2017

The shortlist for the 2017 AFCC Asian Children’s Book Award by Genting Singapore (ACBA) was recently announced by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (the Book Council) at the Makan & Mingle event. ACBA is a joint initiative between the Book Council and Genting Singapore, a Singapore-based regional leisure, hospitality and integrated resorts development specialist.

This is a new award presented to an outstanding published picture book with distinct Asian themes by a writer, illustrator, and translator team of Asian descent living in Asia. The writer, illustrator, and translator of the winning book will each receive a $10,000 cash prize. In the case of the winning title not being officially translated, the $10,000 translator prize will instead be used as grant for the publisher of the winning work to commission and publish a translation of the book.

Claire Chiang, chairperson of the NBDCS Executive Committee, says, “Translation is very important to the Book Council. Asia is such a wide and diverse place with varied people and myriad languages, and reading each other’s stories is the first step in understanding each other. We are happy to have Genting Singapore as our partner for this award, and are delighted that recognizing great Asian picture books is important to them as well.”

There were a total of 245 entries from all over Asia, the most for any Book Council award in its awards programme history, including Bangladesh, Singapore, the Philippines, Lebanon, China, Thailand, Russia, India, Syria, and Malaysia. The judges have selected six titles for the shortlist.

Besides, the Makan & Mingle was another first at AFCC; this unique occasion showcased more than 100 children’s and young adult titles created by Singaporean authors and illustrators, and published in the last two years. Titles ranged from popular books penned by award-winning authors like Emily Lim, Hidayah Amin, Don Bosco and Neil Humphreys, to works by comic artists like David Liew and Evangeline Neo. Translated titles, as well as several titles written in other Mother Tongue languages, will also be featured. Participating publishers include Epigram Books, Ethos Books, Math Paper Press, Armour Publishing, Bubbly Books, Crimson Earth, Pepperdog Press, World Scientific, Balestier Press, and others.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2017: an update

The Bologna Children's Book Fair was successfully held from April 3-6, 2017 at the Bologna Fair Centre in Bologna, Italy. Attendance at this year’s show was up by 2% over last year, to 26,743. What’s more? There was 15% increase in overseas and foreign attendees, hitting 11,752, who accounted for 44% of total attendance.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair launched a new initiative in New York, dedicated to the commercialization and trade in publishing rights on an international level. From May 30- June 1, 2018 BolognaFiere will be in New York with an appointment that will offer an opportunity for publishers and American agents to meet with their colleagues from all over the world alongside booksellers and librarians.

The 2018 Bologna International Children’s Book Fair is scheduled for March 26–29, with China as the Guest of Honor.

Indian book features in Scholastic Picture Book Award shortlist

The shortlist for the 2017 Scholastic Picture Book Award (SPBA) was recently announced by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (the Book Council) at the Makan & Mingle event. SPBA is a joint initiative between the Book Council and Scholastic Asia, the world's largest children’s books publishing and distribution company.

The award is presented biennially to an outstanding unpublished picture book with distinct Asian themes by a writer and illustrator team of Asian descent living in Asia. As well as a $10,000 cash prize, the winning book will also be published by Scholastic Asia.

There were a total of 137 entries from all over Asia, including Bhutan, Singapore, the Philippines, Iran, China, Vietnam, Japan, India, Turkey, and Indonesia. The judges have selected six titles for the shortlist, each from a different country. These include: Aytul Akal, Mavisel Yener, Kubra Nur Ozkececi, and Yasemin Yener (The Flying Grandpa, Turkey); Emila Yusof (How Rooster Became the Zodiac Animal, Malaysia); Ho Jia En, Sabrine Ong, Shona Menon, Wong Shu Jing, and Melodie James (The Little Durian Tree, Singapore); Anuradha Ananth Huggler and Shailja Jain Chougule (Poorni and Her Peepal Leaf, India); Maria Karina Putri (The Treasure of Kancil, Indonesia) and Le Thi Bich Khoa (The Whale Whisperer, Vietnam).7

Three children's authors feature in Sunday Times Rich List

Three children's authors have been featured on the annual Sunday Times Rich List for the first time. These include Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson and Adam Hargreaves and family (inheritors of the estate of Rogers Hargreaves, the creator of the Mr Men books) for the year 2016. Wilson is at 13th position on the Authors' List with £40m, while Hargreaves and family are at number 16 with £32m. Donaldson is 17th on the Authors' List (£30m).

Other authors on the list include J K Rowling, Chef Jamie Oliver, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Lord Archer, Lonely Planet founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler, Wilbur Smith, E L James, Ken Follett, Jack Higgins, etc.

The annual list features the 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families in the UK based on public information, showing the wealth of people based on the previous year.

From the house of Clinton’s

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, is all set to launch her first picture book – She Persisted. The book will feature 13 different historic women, including: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Katherine Johnson, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor, and one cameo.

Zooming into our lives again!

The new set of books for Disney Pixar Cars 3 are on the anvil. Disney Pixar Cars 3: We Are Racers (Pp 32, ISBN: 9781474872096, Rs 295) is a beautifully illustrated 32-page picture storybook that lets you relive the film Disney Pixar Cars 3. Lightning McQueen is known as a racing champion across the world. But when a new generation of blazing fast racers arrive, he is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. With the help of old friends and new, can Lightning make the comeback of his life? Children will fall in love with the Cars again.

While, Disney Pixar Cars 3 (ISBN: 9781474871969, Rs 395) is a 72 pages hard bound book with die-cut PLC. The story revolves around Lightning McQueen. Blinded by a new generation of blazing racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of old friends and new. The next Piston Cup will challenge the heart of a champion on racing's biggest stage in this Disney Pixar Cars 3 storybook.

Both the books are published by Parragon Books.