Reacting to his win, Nagesh Hegde said,
“The Big Little Book Award goes to the little man of Kannada literature. Namaskar! I am so grateful on behalf of the children of Karnataka for recognizing children’s author for this great award. Usually our adult literature people look down upon little people’s works, they think it is only a child’s play. But actually it is very serious work. Writing for children requires a lot of work. You have to say things in a concised manner, add humour, wonder and say it in very little space, which makes it challenging. And through this award, yes, Tata Trust has recognized the real wonders of children’s literature. Thank you once again.”
Commenting on her win, Nina Sabnani said,
“I am honored to be the recipient of the prestigious BLBA award this year. I am humbled and grateful for this recognition and happy that this is a part of Tata Lit Live which has given illustration a platform alongside adult literature. Illustration does not usually receive this space, even though we have all grown up seeing illustrations that have shaped our worldviews and triggered our imaginations when we knew little else. I am grateful to all my publishers and in particular Tulika books and Radhika Menon , who have encouraged and supported each idea and process that I have wanted to explore over all these years. I thank the illustrious jury and BLBA for investing their trust in me. Thank You!”
Reaction on getting shortlisted:
“I feel happy, and am curious to know what happens next.”
Born in Malur, Kolar District, former professor C M Govind Reddy has written over 23 stories, poems, articles, and dramas for children. Few of his books include Makkala Mandara, Jadi Male Siridhaanya, Mattondu Mahabhaarataand Bheemana Maducve. He has been given several awards including Makkala Sahitya Pustaka Bahumaana from Karnataka Sahitya Academy and Sangamesha Dattipuraskara from Kannada Sahitya Parishat. Children have accessed his writings through textbooks where several of his stories and articles have been included across different classes.
“C M Govind Reddy’s language is easy to read. His poems draw children to read and perform due to their lyrical style. Mythological stories, episodes and characters are recast very well. This brings a fresh perspective to the reader. Through his folk stories and Panchatantra narratives, he infuses fresh energy and engages with children on issues of discrimination, caste and class. His bold attempt to bring these issues to the children in a sensitive yet relevant manner is well received and appreciated.”
Reaction on getting shortlisted:
“I was surprised and very happy to know about the shortlist. Also the fact Kannada was chosen by Tata trust was encouraging.”
Na D’Souza, born in Sagara, Karnataka. He completed his primary education at St. Joseph’s Higher Primary School and higher studies at Sahyadri College, Shimoga. He worked in the Karnataka Public Works Department for 37 years. He has written over 40 novels, several short stories and plays for children, publishing over 94 books. His novel Mulugadeya Oorige Bandavaru has been awarded Sahitya Academy’s Bala Sahitya Puraskar. He has been writing in Kannada for more than three decades and his two novels Dweepa and Kadina Benki were made into motion pictures and won National awards. Some of his works like Dweepahave have been translated into English. Shalege Hogada Hudugiyar, Gopiya Gombe, Kadaneya Kole are a few favourites.
“While reading N D’souza, especially his short stories, we are transported to ‘malenadu’ (Western Ghats). His stories create curiosity and entertain you. Language appeals to the children and makes for an easy read. He often weaves aspects of social cause/ reason into stories. Such stories strike a chord with you and bring the characters closer to you. It is worth a mention how he has woven stories keeping girls central and also representing girls in unusual roles, breaking stereotypes.”
Reaction on getting shortlisted:
“I never expected, it’s a pleasant surprise. Happy to be a part of this, looking forward to write more for younger children.”
Nagesh Hegde is an Indian author, journalist, environmentalist, publisher and professor who has written over 40 books on science and environment in Kannada. Born in a tiny village ‘Bakkemane’ in North Kanara District of Karnataka, he holds a M.Sc. from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. He was Professor of Environment Geology in Nainital. He has worked with Prajavani daily as science and development journalist before moving on to Sudha Weekly as a feature writer. Nagesh Hegde has worked towards popularising science among rural communities and is equally committed to language and biodiversity. His writings in Kannada have become textbook lessons from primary school to various universities in Karnataka. He has received highest awards in journalism and literature including the Karnataka Rajyotsava award.
“Nagesh Hegde reaches out to the children through stories conveying his concern for nature, environment and issues of sustainability. Style of writing, use of humour in stories is excellent. Concepts of science have been brought close to children with ease, egging their curiosity. His contemporary approach ensures that he is able to convey important issues through his stories to the present generation of children very well with humour, interest and empathy. His biggest contribution is bring these concepts to children in Kannada and popularising them especially in rural areas.”
Reaction on getting shortlisted:
“To be one among the best four in Kannada Children’s Literature is an honour. I am happy to be one of them.”
T S Nagaraj Shetty was born on 16th April 1951, in Tiptur. He is a retired Kannada professor. His work towards Kannada literature for children is vast. He has written across genres including novels, poems and articles. Some of his books include Sankara, Doora Sarovara, Haavu Kappe Midi and Pranigala Jaatre. He has won several awards including a NCERT award for Chitti Putti, Karnataka Sahitya Academy award for Navilu Gari. His books have been translated into different languages including Hindi. Many of his books have been part of the textbooks including Gutuku Makkala Kavite. He served as a member of Karnataka Sahitya Academy from 1998 to 2001 and has served as a president in two to three sammelanas.
“Nagaraj Shettys’ stories take us to a different world of animals. His stories are very creative and offers variety to the reader. His stories are very creative, his use of language and creation of stories are a delight for children and adults alike. His Kathakavana, prose poetry style of literature is interesting and enjoyable for children to read and enact.”
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.
Brinda Rao has been involved in providing resource support and capacity enhancement programmes for teachers of Government and Municipal schools. She creates contextual learning resources and provides support for continuous professional development of teachers. One major focus has been to help teachers appreciate the role of literature in language learning in all the schools that she is involved with, through the setting up of classroom libraries and conducting activities to encourage students to read for meaning and enjoyment.
Hema Srinivas is the founder member and the Managing Trustee of Saranga Trust which supports education of the girl child to women’s higher education. She is an integral part of the Trust’s Kathe Butti Granthalay programme focusing on reading and creative learning. She has encouraged children for creative writing in Kannada through publication of a children’s magazine called Kuhu Kuhu Makkala Pathrike. It is for the children and by the children. Library is an important part of the Saranga Trust and she steers the library activities. Few years ago, Hema received the Kalasha Award by Rotary Club, Bangalore.
Kanchan Bannerjee is a Sociologist who likes to write picture books for young readers. She has authored bi-lingual books as well as Reading Cards for Pratham Books. During her stint as Managing Trustee of Akshara Foundation she designed ‘SwalpaEnglish Thumba Fun’ and ‘EASY English’ learning aids for studentsin Govt schools. She has created graded Readers in Kannada and Hindi under a UNICEF project. She is co-author of the book “Growing up in cities”, a UNESCO project conducted in 8 cities across the world on how children use space around them. She is also co-author of the Peace Books series published by Orient Black Swan. Currently she is a Trustee on the Board of Pratham Books as well as Core Committee Member of Indian Cancer Society, Bangalore.
Prathibha Nandakumar is a bi-lingual (Kannada and English) author, poet, journalist, film maker, columnist and translator. She has contributed to Kannada children’s literature and published several articles for children. She has published numerous poems, autobiographies and short stories. She has translated various works to Kannada and to English. Her works have been translated to several Indian and European languages. Prathibha has won many prestigious awards, including the Karnataka Sahitya Academy book award, Bangalore Literary Festival Literary Achievement Award 2015, Infosys Foundation Literature Award 2016. She has participated widely in international literary festivals.
Thejaswi Shivanand 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) that is run by Bookworm Goa and in association with Parag, Tata Trusts.
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 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 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 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 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.