Tips for Pratham Books' Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest 2017
- When you’re writing a Pratham Books Level 1 book, stick to one idea.
- Avoid sub-plots.
- Try to stick to one line per page
- Be descriptive! Use words that have sensory pleasure in them – soft, hard, thin, cold, hot, shiny etc.
- Use words that are fun to say-gobble gobble, drip drop, pins and needles etc
- Use the child’s eye view , if possible
Rajesh Khar, Senior Editor, Pratham Books
- Writing with some learning objective or a moral is a big No for any children’s fiction.
- A story can be woven around an idea but the learning has to be embedded in the story itself in a subtle manner just like an subconscious outcome, not open and blunt.
- The story must not have any biases and prejudices and should also steer clear of the stereotyped characters, settings and nuances.
Rajesh also shared some of his favourite Level 1 and 2 books (click on the name to read them on StoryWeaver!)
- Pehalwaanji learns a slippery lesson
- Smart Sona series
- Shringeri Srinivas series
- The Aloo Maloo Kaloo series
- Grandpa Fish & the Radio
- The Royal Toothache
Sandhya Taksale, Senior Editor, Pratham Books
Madhuri Purandare’s ‘Aunt Jui’s Baby’ perfectly embodies what my colleague Rajesh is saying. The learning is embedded in the story in a subtle manner and the narration is also from the child’s point of view.
Here is Sandhya’s pick of level 1 and 2 books!
- Gulli’s Box of Things
- Bhima the Donkey
- I Can Help and the The Growing Up bilingual series books by Mini Srinivasan
- Clean Cat and the other Animals Around Us – bilingual series books by Kanchan Banerjee
Yamini Vijayan, Commissioning Editor, Pratham Books
- Repetition and patterns work very well with early readers. “Will you be my friend?” “Are you my mother?” are examples.
- It’s important for writers to expose themselves to as many picture books as possible. Reading is important!
Bijal Vachharajani, Editorial Consultant, Pratham Books
- Write and rewrite. Reflect.
- Share your words with other readers and writers
- Read your story out loud for rhythm and pace.
- Ask for feedback. Listen to feedback.
- Edit ruthlessly. And then edit some more.
- Read many books, and then read some more. Read what you like, read what you don’t.
- Become a fierce critic of yourself.
- Remember when you are writing for children, you need to pull up your socks and give it your best. They will never settle for less.