For the first time in the Crossword Book Award’s 11-year history, there will be no prize winner in one of its categories: children’s literature. The surprise announcement prompted Patchett-like reactions among the book community here. Well-known children’s author Paro Anand said she was “nothing short of furious” at the decision: “those writing, and writing well, for children need to be applauded, supported and felicitated, not rubbished.”
Was there really not a single book for children published in India in the whole of 2011 worthy of the prize? The identity of those jury members will not be disclosed until the prize ceremony in Mumbai on October 18th, so they couldn’t be contacted for comment, but comments there were aplenty from the children’s book sphere.