S Sivadas, whose work has stood out in the field of children’s literature in Malayalam, was named the winner of the Big Little Book Award while the illustrator award went to Deepa Balsavar.
The Big Little Book Awards are presented by the Parag initiative of Tata Trusts for a significant contribution to children’s literature in Indian languages.
This year marked the sixth edition of the award and 490 nominations were received during the nomination period from May to June. Malayalam was the chosen language this year for the author category, while the illustration category accepted nominations in any language. In previous years, the award considered children’s literature in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada and English.
The winners were selected for their contribution to Indian children’s literature with stories that speak to young readers about who they are and help them navigate a multicultural and multilingual environment, organizers said.
Kottayam-based Sivadas has over 200 books to his credit.
“This is, I believe, a new start in my career as a children’s writer and communicator,” he said of the recognition.
The jury which included Messrs Basheer, Paul Zacharia, Sherylene Rafeeque and Suneetha Balakrishnan said that Sivadas “exemplifies a rare commitment to both the art and craft of children’s writing” and this is “evident in the vast range of genres and subjects he has covered in his work spanning the past 50 years ”.
He stands tall as a pioneer of scientific knowledge in children’s literature, he said.
Mumbai-born artist Balsavar said her work is both a privilege and a huge responsibility and the award gives her courage and hope to keep doing what she does.
“When we inspire children to read and think, we give them the tools to take charge of their lives and change their world,” she said.
Speaking of the winning illustrator, the jury which included Aashti Mudnani, Proiti Roy, Rani Dharker, Sunandini Banerjee and Thejaswi Shivanan, said that Balsavar’s works “represent diversity, compassion and sensitivity without losing playfulness and spirit. charm that appeal to children and adults alike effortlessly “.
According to Amrita Patwardhan, Head (Education) of Tata Trusts, “Original, engaging and quality children’s literature in Indian languages is essential to develop a reading culture and achieve educational goals” and this edition of the awards is “our way. to celebrate an exceptional contribution by committed artists who have made a difference in this important sector ”.
Previous winners (authors) are Madhuri Purandare (Marathi), Nabaneeta Dev Sen (Bengali), Nagesh Hegde (Kannada), Prabhat (Hindi) and Subhadra Sen Gupta (English). The award-winning illustrators are Atanu Roy, Proiti Roy, Nina Sabnani, Priya Kuriyan and Rajiv Eipe.
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