Atanu Roy

Big little Book award for Illustrator

Commenting on his win, Atanu Roy said,

“I am very happy to receive this award and too excited to speak. Hopefully this award will encourage illustrators.”

Atanu Roy full interview

Madhuri Purandare

Big little Book award for Author (Marathi)

Reacting to her win, Madhuri Purandare said,

I am very happy and honoured to receive this award. I would like to congratulate Parag Initiative for recognising children’s literature on a major literary platform.”

Madhuri Purandare full interview 

Shortlist for Author (Marathi) Category

Madhuri Purandare

Madhuri Purandare

I am very happy to hear about the nomination.


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.

Jury Speak:

“An exquisite illustrator of children’s books, Madhuri Purandare has carved a special niche for herself in the world of Marathi Children’s Books. In her books there are no sermons, no talking down to children and girls are depicted in active rather than passive roles. Radha cha Ghar has been essential reading for children for decades…She has not only written books but has also illustrated them herself.”

Read Madhuri Purandare full interview

Madhuri Purandare notable work

Rajiv Tambe

Rajiv Tambe

Of course, I am happy but I am not entitled to enjoy the honour all by myself. Allow me to share it with my family, my children and my readers. They deserve it the most.


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.

Jury Speak:

“Rajiv Tambe has explored a wide range of genre for children from storybooks, non-fiction, adventure stories, plays, poetry to science books, which is unusual and impressive.”

Read Rajiv Tambe full interview

Rajiv Tambe notable work

Shortlist for Illustrator Category

Atanu Roy

Atanu Roy studied applied arts from the College of Art, University of Delhi. He has worked as a political cartoonist for India Today, art director with Thomson Press / Living Media and also did a stint in Tokyo. While in college he did his first book on the history of transport in single color detailed drawing in ink. His first picture book was Tails published by the National Book Trust. He gained immensely while working for the District primary Education project (DPEP) of the central government and later the Sarva Shisha Abhiyan. He has worked on various styles, from the thick outlines of Who’s Smarter to the crazy black and white drawings for Wingless. He received the Children’s Choice Award for book illustration by Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children in 1989 and IBBY Certificate of honour for Illustration in 2006.


Nina Sabnani

Nina Sabnani is an artist and storyteller who uses film, illustration and writing to tell her stories. Graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara she received a Master’s degree in film from Syracuse University, NY, which she pursued as a Fulbright Fellow. Nina’s research interests include exploring the dynamics between words and images in storytelling. Her work in film and illustrated books seeks to bring together animation and ethnography. Nina is currently Professor at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. Her films Mukand and Riaz, Tanko Bole Chhe (The Stitches Speak) and Baat Wahi Hai have been made into illustrated books. She has collaborated with traditional artists from Warli, Bhili, Kavad art forms as well as artisans from Kutch to develop rich body of storybooks.

Proiti Roy

Born in Shantiniketan in 1965, Proiti graduated in Fine Arts from Kala Bhavan, Shantiniketan. She worked as a graphic designer in advertising and manufacturing – both in India and Bangladesh. She also worked with handicrafts in recycled mediums and taught art and craft to children in Kolkata for 12 years. Now living in Chennai, she spends most of her time illustrating story books, picture books and text books for children as well as designing and illustrating for magazines and corporate clients. She has worked with several publishers from all over India including Tulika Books, Orient Blackswan Pvt. Ltd., Ratna Sagar, Room to Read Trust, Johns Hopkins University and Delhi Press. She loves animals, lives with seven rescued dogs and looks after the street dogs in her neighborhood. She collects matchbox labels, postcards and vintage children’s books. She has a daughter who is also studying to be an artist.

Award Process

  • Author Nominations:Marathi
  • Illustrator Nominations:All languages
  • Key Dates: Nominations: 01st June to 30th June, 2016 BLBA Events: September to October, 2016 Winners Announced: 20th November, 2016


The award invites public nomination. Anyone can nominate. Nomination forms are filled and submitted online. A maximum of 3 authors and 3 illustrators can be nominated by each person. Self-nomination is not accepted.


After nomination closes, a longlist is drawn from the nominated list in consultation with the respective juries. Publishers are requested for copies of the books of longlisted authors and illustrators. In 2 to 3 months, the jury independently shortlists authors and illustrators. Thereafter, over a meeting the winner author and illustrator are decided.


Winners are announced at the Tata Lit Live! the Mumbai Lit Fest in November, every year.

Award Criteria & FAQs

Award Criteria

  1. A body of original and significant work across a minimum of 7-10 years.
  2. Excellence developed through an eagerness to explore and experiment with ideas, genres and the possibilities of their craft.
  3. Stories/visual narratives that are culturally appropriate and avoid/challenge stereotypes.
  4. Demonstrate growth and willingness to break known barriers in what defines a children’s author/illustrator.
  5. Contribution to creating the next generation of readers, writers and illustrators.
  6. Original work means that the text/illustration was created by the nominated author/illustrator and no one else. It may include original re-telling of traditional literature, provided the words are the author’s own.
  7. The author/illustrator should be active and writing/illustrating, and his/her work being published and accessible to children.
  8. The body of work shall be intended for children of ages up to and including 18, and work for this entire age range will be considered.
  9. Text shall include all forms of writing — fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry. Reprints, compilations and abridgements are not eligible.
  10. The Award is not given posthumously.


  1. How many authors and illustrators can we nominate?
    One person can nominate up to 3 authors and 3 illustrators. While nominating, please remember to click on the appropriate category of nomination i.e. author, illustrator.
  2. Why are author nominations only in one language?
    The author category of the award is language specific, and is based on an Indian language. Every year, an Indian language is selected, and an author with notable contribution in that language is awarded.
  3. What is the language of BLBA 2016?
  4. Is the illustrator category of the award also language specific?
    The illustrator category of the award is not language specific. You can nominate any illustrator whose works are published in India, for books of any Indian language, including English.
  5. Who can nominate?
    Anyone can nominate. Please remember to fill in your information.
  6. How can I nominate?
    You can nominate in 2 ways – fill in the online form and submit directly. You can also download, fill and email the form to us at hello@biglittlebookaward.in
  7. If the form does not get accepted, what do I do?
    If the website is not accepting your form, it could be because you may have missed filling a mandatory field. Before you submit, check all fields have been duly filled. Sometimes, it may also be due to a weak internet connection.
  8. When does nominations close?
    Last date for nominating is 30th June, 2019.
  9. What is the judging process?
    Once nominations come in, a longlist of authors and illustrators is created from the nominations received. Thereafter, books of the longlisted authors and illustrators are procured and sent to both groups of juries. The jury shortlists authors and illustrators, based on which the winner is decided by them through a consensus.
  10. When are the winners announced?
    Winners are announced at the Tata Lit Live! The Mumbai Lit Fest in November.

Jury for Author (Marathi) Category

Amrita Patwardhan

Amrita Patwardhan

Amrita Patwardhan heads the education portfolio of the Tata Trusts. She has been with the Trusts since 2003. Ms Patwardhan has masters in child development from MS University and MPhil in education from Delhi University. She was recipient of Edberg Foundation, Sweden’s fellowship in 2001 where she spent a year at the International Development Department of Clark University researching ‘Impact of displacement on children’. She has represented the Trusts on National Mission on Libraries, has been on various expert committees set up by the National Council for Education Research and Training, and Ministry of Human Resource Development to review national programmes on literacy, elementary education and children’s literature. Before joining the Trusts, Amrita taught in a primary school and college, and worked as a teacher educator.

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.

Narendra Lanjewar

Narendra Lanjewar is a librarian and journalist. He has a MA in Marathi Literature and a degree in journalism besides a Bachelor in Library Science. As a librarian he started 50 libraries for children in Buldana district, Amravati region of Maharashtra and designed and delivered several programmes for children to get them interested in reading and children’s literature. As president of Children’s Fine Arts and Literary Society, Buldana he has been instrumental in encouraging parents and schools to think beyond curriculum and studies and nurturing children’s interests. He has also written widely on Marathi literature for various publications and edited several books. He actively promotes the use of Marathi children’s books and stories.

Sai Paranjpe

Sai Paranjpye

Writer, director and playwright Sai Paranjpye is one of India’s most creative minds. Beginning as an announcer in radio, she has made serials, documentaries, written and directed films, written and directed theatre in Hindi, Marathi and English and also written many books. Her first feature film ‘Sparsh’ in 1980 won three Filmfare and one National Award. Her comedies ‘Chashme Badoor’ (1981) and ‘Katha’ (1982) are today considered classics of Indian comedy. In the 1970s she twice served as the Chairperson of Children’s Film Society of India and over the decades, has made four films for them including the award winning ‘Jadoo Ka Shankh’ and ‘Sikandar’.  She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2006 in recognition of her artistic contribution.

Sunila Pradhan

Sunila Pradhan

Indisputably one of the greatest ever actresses of the Marathi stage, Sunila Pradhan’s foray into theatre began with celebrated playwright P L Deshpande’s `Waryavarchi Varat`. Her long collaboration with Satyadev Dubey’s Theatre Unit started in 1969 and lasted 33 years, during which period she took the leading part in as many as 40 plays. These included almost every notable play written at the time by India’s leading playwrights Badal Sarkar,  Dharamvir Bharati, G P Deshpande, Vijay Tendulkar, Girish Karnad, Mahesh Elkunchwar and Nirmal Varma. The 1980s are rightly regarded as the Golden Period for theatre, and Sunila Pradhan, Satyadev Dubey and Amrish Puri formed the triumvirate which brought about this artistic renaissance.

Jury for Illustrator Category

Amy Fernandes

Amy Fernandes

Amy Fernandes is passionate about magazines. That and her predilection for multi-tasking has led her to bringing out several magazines, sometimes all at once. It’s also what led her to Literature Live! In the past she has conceptualized and been editor of magazines like Femina, the leading women’s magazine in India, Jade: an exclusive publication concentrating on the South of India, Time N’Style, India’s best known luxury magazine, and the weekly Kidzone among several others. Her many interests include travel, food and books. She has been a columnist at Bombay Times. She has taught journalism at St Andrews BMM programme and is currently handling the magazine module at St Paul’S Institution of Communication Education (SPICE). She is now Group Editor with DNA, Features, part of Zee Media Corporation Ltd, where she brings out the Sunday magazine called Just Before Monday, along with several special features for the publication.

Farzana Cooper

Farzana Cooper

Farzana Cooper is a freelance illustrator. Her works have appeared in many Lifestyle magazines and books including Femina, Maxim ,Verve, Vogue, IQ, Man’s World, Saturday Times, etc. She has illustrated books like Samar Halarnkar’s The Married Man’s Guide To Creative Cooking (And Other Dubious Adventures), Parsi Bol and currently illustrating Raju Morey’s Courting Trouble. Farzana has a degree in Fine Arts from Sir J J institute of Applied Arts. Her other interests are in current affairs and south Asian archaeology and history. She lives with her family in Mumbai.

Mukul Priyadarshini

Mukul Priyadarshini

Mukul Priyadarshini holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Delhi. She has been professionally associated with government organisations such as NCERT (and contributed towards the National Curriculum Framework), NCTE, CBSE etc. and civil society organisations such as Eklavya, Ankur Society for Alternatives in Education, Digantar etc.  Her research interests include the position of Languages in Education, the discursive nature of Hindi, and politics of languages in multilingual societies. She is passionate about the use and importance of children’s literature and has been involved in this sector as an editor, translator and educationist. She is also instrumental in introducing children’s literature to students of B.El.Ed. At Miranda House.

Shailaja Menon

Shailaja Menon

Shailaja Menon works as faculty in the area of Language and Literacy at the School of Education, Azim Premji University. She currently leads a longitudinal project, Literacy Research in Indian Languages (LiRIL), investigating the teaching and learning of early language and literacy in Maharashtra and Karnataka. She serves as a literacy consultant for Sri Ratan Tata Trust. She also anchors the bilingual children’s literature festival, KathaVana that is hosted annually by Azim Premji University. She has an abiding interest in imparting a love for language, literature and literacy to children, teachers and teacher educators. Prior to this she taught at Jones International University and University of Colorado in the United States. Shailaja has her doctorate degree in language, literacy and learning disabilities from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and degrees in human development and psychology from MSU, Baroda, and Delhi University, respectively.

Usha Mukunda

Usha Mukunda has inspired generations of children to discover the joys of reading. An ardent advocate of open libraries, she is deeply interested in nurturing discerning readers and users of the library. She co-founded the Centre for Learning (Bangalore) in 1990 and set up an open library there. She has been working with several rural, government and community libraries across India. She writes regularly on books and libraries for various journals, and blogs at library.cfl.in. She participated in the NCERT exercise to select good books and other programmes to strengthen school librarians of the Southern Regions, resulting in two manuals and workshops for school librarians. She was a member of the special committee for libraries and knowledge networking under the aegis of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission. In 2009, she was awarded a Karnataka State award for her service to school libraries.

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An annual award that recognizes and honours original and significant contribution of Indian authors and illustrators to children’s literature in Indian languages.


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