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The language for BLBA 2019 author category is Hindi. And like all years, the illustrator category is open to all languages.

Winners

Priya Kuriyan

Profile:

Born in Kochi in 1981, Priya graduated from the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. Growing up in cantonment towns, there was not much to do and the need to entertain herself emerged. She took to reading, writing and drawing. The school structure was not interesting enough, so it was necessary that she enjoyed her time with things that she liked doing. She worked as an animator in a production house in Mumbai that made commercials and later for the Sesame Street show (Galii Galli Sim Sim) in Delhi. She has been illustrating for children’s books since 2003. She has illustrated numerous books for publishers like Tulika Books, Penguin books, Hachette and Karadi Tales. She published her first wordless picture book ‘Ammachi’s glasses‘ with Tulika Books in 2017 and has collaborated with the writer Devapriya Roy on a graphic biography of Indira Gandhi for young adults. For leisure, Priya loves to cook and read. One of her favourite books is ‘Em and the Big Hoom’ by Jerry Pinto. She currently lives and works in Bangalore.

Jury Speaks:

“Priya Kuriyan has the rare ability to get inside a child’s mind with her illustrations that bring alive a story to a young reader. The story emerges through her lines, textures, colours that harmonize to allow the illustrations not only to speak with the text but also read the subtext to create the story’s atmosphere, which is the heart of telling a good story.”

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Prabhat

Profile:

Prabhat, devoted to writing for children in Hindi, has several titles to his name and published by a range of publishers. His first published books appeared in 2005 – ‘Kalibai’  by Room to Read, and ‘Paniyon ki Gadiyon Mein’ by Lokayat. Writing in children’s magazines has also been an intrinsic part of his writing career and has published several poems in magazines. Prabhat’s writing captures a wide age group with humour and empathy. He has emerged as a pioneer of the contemporary style of writing for children using language that is simple and often local. He holds the ability to write across genres and about conflict in a style that is tender yet complex. Prabhat’s contribution to children’s literature has been so intense that his work has secured a place in the domain of education. His latest book is ‘Kaisa Kaisa Khana’ published by Ektara, Bhopal, a book of great wit and enjoyable read.

Jury Speaks:

“Prabhat’s writing presents images and experiences of humble life with originality and spontaneity. His works create opportunities for children to be immersed in the realm of happiness and curiosity. Prabhat has brought in a new wave to the world of children’s literature.”

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Shortlist for Author (Hindi) Category

Prabhat

Profile:

Prabhat, devoted to writing for children in Hindi, has several titles to his name and published by a range of publishers. His first published books appeared in 2005 – ‘Kalibai’  by Room to Read, and ‘Paniyon ki Gadiyon Mein’ by Lokayat. Writing in children’s magazines has also been an intrinsic part of his writing career and has published several poems in magazines. Prabhat’s writing captures a wide age group with humour and empathy. He has emerged as a pioneer of the contemporary style of writing for children using language that is simple and often local. He holds the ability to write across genres and about conflict in a style that is tender yet complex. Prabhat’s contribution to children’s literature has been so intense that his work has secured a place in the domain of education. His latest book is ‘Kaisa Kaisa Khana’ published by Ektara, Bhopal, a book of great wit and enjoyable read.

Jury Speak:

“Prabhat’s writing presents images and experiences of humble life with originality and spontaneity. His works create opportunities for children to be immersed in the realm of happiness and curiosity. Prabhat has brought in a new wave to the world of children’s literature.”

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Priyamvad

Profile:

Priyamvad, author for adult and children, has works spread over three decades. He wrote in children’s magazines while simultaneously writing for adults. Series of stories in magazines were later edited into books. His most acclaimed books are ‘Mitti ki Gadi’, ‘Naachghar’
 and ‘Ektara Bole’
. Some of his exceptional stories, published in Chakmak are ‘Rehmat ka Farishta’, ‘Munna Bunaiwala’ etc. Priyamvad holds the power of storytelling for adolescents and youth. Over time, he has contributed to literature for young adults in Hindi. The enriching literature for this age group has introduced complex and deeper thinking, and his use of advanced language certainly puts his work on top.

Jury Speak:

“Priyamvad is one of the best writers in Hindi literature for adults who has taken children’s literature with great seriousness. He writes with great simplicity and in lucid language. He weaves themes with human emotions in his stories in a way that makes them real and helps readers connect immediately with the story.”

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Sushil Shukl

Profile:

Sushil Shukl has been writing for children in Hindi for the last two decades. His first published work appeared in Chakmak, in 1998, ‘Boondon Ka Tyohar’, and since then has been a constant in magazines Chakmak, Pluto and Cycle. His popular books are ‘Chiknik Choo’, and ‘Aam ke Sir Pe’ published by Eklavya, Bhopal. Alongside writing fiction and non-fiction, writing poetry for children has been spontaneous always. The poet-author has a very sensitive style of writing and is often experimental; his works bring a new wave to Hindi children’s literature. Beyond writing for children, he has been deeply committed to enhancing and activating the children’s literature sector through publishing good books in Hindi, translations, facilitating workshops for young writers, anchoring a professional course for illustrators at the Riyaaz Academy of Illustrators, children’s literature festival – truly upholding the desired vibrancy of children’s literature, with a focus in Hindi.

Jury Speak:

“Sushil Shukl is one of the few writers who have brought new aura and meaning to children’s literature. The uniqueness of his writing is the selection of themes, freshness of language, images and metaphors. He writes with full confidence and freedom across genres.”

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Jury for Author (Hindi) Category

Arvind Gupta

Arvind Gupta is an Indian toy inventor and popularizer of science. He participated in the Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP) in Madhya Pradesh in 1978. While he was there he developed his idea of creating simple toys and educational experiments using locally available materials as well as items usually thrown as trash. These simple toys, he found, fascinated children and Gupta went on to make these as the hallmark of his movement of popularising science. His first book, “Matchstick Models and other Science Experiments” was reprinted in 12 languages. His website holds instructions in a number of languages for making hundreds of improvised toys, which he makes available freely. His popular TED Talk: Turning Trash into Toys for learning gives an insight into his work and philosophy.

Gurbachan Singh

Gurbachan Singh

Gurbachan Singh has forty years of experience in working in the field of school education, adult literacy and children’s literature. He is associated with ‘Children’s Literature Centre’, Madhya Pradesh since its inception in 1982. He has been a member of children’s book selection committee at State and National level constituted by Government of MP for OBB and NCERT, and was also a member of the advisory committee of National Book Trust, New Delhi. Since the last eight years he is associated with Azim Premji Foundation and presently a faculty at the Azim Premji University.

Prachi Kalra

Prachi Kalra

Prachi Kalra teaches courses in literacy at Gargi College University. She also teaches a course in children’s literature and storytelling. Her mother and grandmother, instilled in her a love of stories by telling her stories orally, or reading them out. Prachi has a PhD in storytelling from Delhi University; her data showed that children, even young ones, enjoy complex stories not necessarily with a direct moral. Stories help children make meaning of their lives and shouldn’t be used to merely test memory or teach grammar.

Prachi lives in Delhi. She has a sizeable collection of children’s books, built by scouring book fairs, even second-hand book shops. Prachi’s dream is to open a public library for children.

Suneeta Mishra

Suneeta Mishra

Dr. Suneeta Mishra teaches linguistics papers, story-telling and children’s literature practicum and supervises language lesson-planning in internship, at the Department of Elementary Education, Institute of Home Economics (Delhi University). She holds a masters in Linguistics and PhD in Education. She has been a part of NCERT textbook-writing team post-NCF. She has taught for several years in the government schools of Delhi and has been a resource person at various teacher-education institutes and Eklavya (Hoshangabad) for language-teaching, story-telling as a pedagogical tool and textbook-analysis.

Udayan Vajpeyi

Udayan Vajpeyi

Udayan Vajpeyi is a poet and an author with several publications. Some of his best works include Kuchh Vakya (poems), Ret Kinare ka Ghar (short stories) and Ghudsawar (collection for children). Has written a book each on theatre director Ratan Thiyam, Theatre of Grandeur and K.N. Panikkar, Theatre of Rasa. Recently his collection of poems, Kewal Kuch Vakya was awarded the Spandan Kriti Award. Udayan teaches Physiology in Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal and edits a journal on Arts, Literature and Civilization, Samaas.

Jury for Illustrator Category

Aashti Mudnani

Aashti Mudnani is a professional book hunter, illustration lover, listener of stories and chai drinker. She started Lightroom, a bookstore for children’s books in Bangalore in 2013 with the help of several people. She loves being outdoors, especially where there are more wild things than cityscapes. But for now, she lives in Bangalore with her two daughters, husband and their cat, Inji.

Proiti Roy

Proiti Roy

Proiti Roy is an illustrator and designer, who started her career in advertising. Soon after, she turned freelance and also started teaching children art and craft. During this period, apart from her advertising and corporate assignments, she began to focus on illustrating children’s books, which was something she wanted to do ever since she could remember. Now, living in Shantiniketan in West Bengal, she continues to illustrate as well as help and rescue street animals in distress.

Rani Dharker

Rani Dharker is an author and an artist. Her first novel ‘The Virgin Syndrome’ was ecstatically received and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. Rani has a PhD in English Literature and was a professor of English at M S University of Baroda, where she was the leading light in its Shakespeare Society, directing plays and acting. She loves dogs and other four-legged creatures (as well as the ones that fly).

Sunandini Banerjee

Sunandini Banerjee is both Senior Editor and Senior Graphic Designer at Seagull Books, and designs all of Seagull’s book covers and catalogues. A digital-collage artist whose work has been exhibited in India and abroad, she is a translator as well as a member of the faculty at the Seagull School of Publishing.

Thejaswi Shivanand

Thejaswi Shivanand

Thejaswi is a teacher at Center for Learning, an alternative school near Bangalore. He is a part of running the school library and interacting with children from age six years to teenagers, over books, for the past ten years and also teaches science. He is a consultant for library programmes and a faculty at the Library Educators Course (English), run by Bookworm, Goa.

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A professional development certificate course that trains practitioners to imagine the library as an open and creative space for all curricular areas, especially reading for pleasure.

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