November 09, 2016

An exploration of the joys of reading with the shortlisted authors of the Big Little Book Awards 2016

Pune: Leading up to the 2016 Tata Literature Live! Mumbai LitFest, the Parag Initiative of Tata Trusts held two exciting and interactive workshops for young, enthusiastic readers at the Garware Bal Bhawan in Pune on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

The Big Little Book Awards, established by the Parag Initiative of Tata Trusts, is the first award recognition of its kind in India and looks to identify and credit significant contributions to children's literature by Indian authors and illustrators.

The workshops saw several excited young readers interact with notable children's literature authors Rajiv Tambe and Madhuri Purandare over the last 2 days. Through these interactive workshops, the authors initiated exciting activities ranging from storytelling sessions to science experiments and even language games with the captivated audience!

Rajiv Tambe, notable children's literature author, demonstrated how science is a part of the day-to-day life, in order to encourage interest in science amongst kids from a young age

Rajiv Tambe, who has previously worked with UNICEF as an educational consultant and is a 2016 Sahitya Akademi awardee, introduced the young minds to a series of charming children's stories and surprising science experiments. Rajiv Tambe's notable works include Premal Bhooth (2013), Gammat Shala (2014) and The Wonderful Secrets of Science (2014).

Rajiv Tambe's workshop on Tuesday was extremely interactive and fun-filled. He demonstrated the manner in which science is a part of our day-to-day life, in order to encourage interest in science amongst kids from a young age. One of the cool science experiments that Rajiv Tambe conducted, along with the children, was with a lemon and water. In the experiment, he showed how a lemon sinks in plain, tap water and floats, once you add something to the water which increases its density. He also conducted a small storytelling exercise, where he gave the first two lines of the story and asked the children to complete it. Most of the children proposed common endings. Rajiv told them that if they want to be writers or poets, they should not offer the first 6-8 endings that come to their mind as those are the ones that everyone thinks of, thereby conveying the message that one needs to explore beyond the obvious.

Madhuri Purandare, an anuthor of over 23 storybooks, imparted a valuable lesson to the children on how to design illustrations for a poem and pages for a storybook
Madhuri Purandare, author of more than 23 storybooks including the popular Yash (2015) series, imparted a valuable lesson to the children on how to design illustrations for a poem and pages for a storybook. She also engaged her young audience with a few rounds of fun, yet educational, language games. Purandare's other notable works include Chitravachan (2006), Pachavi Galli (2014) and Radhache Ghar (2015).

Madhuri Purandare's workshop was an activity-based workshop. She started her workshop with a visual story and explained the process of creating a book to her young audience. To engage them further, she asked the children to choose from two poems and then design the layout of the page. The kids were very enthusiastic and came up with extremely creative ideas. Madhuri Purandare also played three language games to demonstrate its importance in great storytelling. The children enjoyed the sentence-making game, where they were divided into groups of nine each and were given nine words. Each child had to make a sentence with one of the nine words and those nine sentences then put together resulted in a funny, yet interesting story.

The Big Little Book Awards 2016 will aim to distinguish authors and illustrators, who have written and illustrated stories that actively delight their young readers, make them smile more, open their curious minds to new concepts and cultures, and inspire them to dream big.

The winners of the Big Little Book Awards will be announced on November 20th at the 2016 Tata Literature Live! Mumbai Litfest. The awards will be presented in two categories — one for the author and the other, for the illustrator / artist.

Additional information is available at

About the Authors:
Rajiv Tambe is a writer and editor. He has published over 75 books and worked with leading Marathi publishers including Mehta Publishing, Rajhans Publication, Jyotsna Publication and others such as Room to Read, National Book Trust and Pratham Books. His work comprises stories, poems, one-act plays, nonfiction and educational science books Including simple science experiments for children. As an editor, he has keenly promoted new talented children's writers, attempted to publish books across a variety of genres and promoted children's literature and reading through a large number of workshops. While working for NGOs and for UNICEF as an educational consultant, he has traveled extensively visiting schools, helping teachers and students in the most remote areas of Maharashtra. His methods are unique and innovative, resulting out of his rich and varied experience. His contact and appeal with children is immediate and they enjoy the 'zero cost' learning activities devised by Tambe.

Madhuri Purandare has written and illustrated more than 23 story books including the Yash Series — a series of six books that take us into the enchanting everyday world of little Yash. Others include Radhache Ghar, Chitravachan, Hana's Suitcase (translated into Marathi), Babachya Mishya, Aunty Jui's Baby and The Hundred and Thirty-seventh Leg. Her books are about regular, ordinary things that children encounter in their everyday lives illustrated with great detail for small things. She has conceived and edited Vaachu Aanande — a thematic anthology of Marathi literature and Indian art for children. She is vocal about the need for literature to be context-appropriate and her stories give a 'voice' to children who could well be from any part of India by tackling simple issues of interest to them. She has a degree from JJ school of Arts and studied 'painting and graphic arts' in Paris.

About Tata Trusts
Tata Trusts are amongst India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations comprising of Sir Ratan Tata & Allied Trusts (1919) and Sir Dorabji Tata & Allied Trusts (1932). The Trusts work in several areas of community development. Tata Trusts seek to be catalysts in development through giving grants to institutions in the areas of Natural Resources Management, Rural Livelihoods, Urban Livelihoods & Poverty, Education, Enhancing Civil Society and Governance, Health, and Media, Arts, Crafts and Culture. For more information, please visit

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Rachitta Bahal | Rediffusion /Edelman