The second day of April is celebrated across the
world as International Children’s Book Day
and to mark this event Pratham Books organized story-telling
sessions in different locations in the city. These
sessions were done in order to encourage a reading
habit amongst children by giving them a peek into
the wonderful world of fiction.
The book chosen was “The Quirquincho and the
Fox”, an Argentinian folk tale about an armadillo
that outwits the cunning fox and hundreds of children
from different walks of life came together to listen
to and read the same story on that day.
Pratham Books partnered with the Hippocampus Reading
Foundation and Akshara Foundation to make this possible.
The day started by children gathering into Akshara’s
libraries in five areas of the city where they were
mesmerized by story-tellers, many of whom were from
the world of theatre. They watched and listened
with rapt attention as puppets danced around the
room to make the story come alive.
Similar sessions were also held at Public Libraries,
the Hippocampus centres and Landmark bookstore.
Arundhati Nag, Bangalore’s favourite theatre
person and the driving force behind Rangashankara,
transported children into another world through
her story telling session at Landmark. Dressed as
the Quirquincho she used gunnysacks filled with
corn and potatoes to describe details of the story.
In fact, many of the parents were as enveloped in
the world of fantasy and fiction as their children.
Speaking at the event, Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson,
Pratham Books highlighted the importance of reading
amongst children. “Pratham Books is beyond
just a publishing house as we are a part of a national
movement to get more children reading. Our belief
is that if books are attractive and affordable we
will be able to create a shift in the paradigm for
publishing children’s books in India”,
"The Quirquincho and the Fox" and "The
Magic Powder" are the first in a series of
international folk tales that Pratham Books has
Pratham books is a partner organization which has
been set up as part of our national drive called
“Read India” which is aimed at getting
every child to read well.
To find out more visit www.prathambooks.org
A set of 50 Readers for 1st Std have already
been designed and delivered to Janashala,
Dept. of Education and the Government of Karnataka
in July 2004. Subsequently 50 Readers for
2nd Std have also been completed and handed
over in Jan 2005.
The Readers follow the graded pattern as per
the Learning Ladder of the Nali-Kali methodology
of teaching. Under this system children do
not follow textbooks but are encouraged with
a lot of activity based learning. Hence “Readers”
were created to fulfill this need for graded
l The effort was to make the books child-friendly,
attractive and interesting.
l Importance was given to use of humour, fun
and family values as vehicles for the stories.
l Themes also related to environment awareness,
kindness to animals, math concepts, personal
hygiene and correct nutrition.
l Some books have illustrations by child artists.
Experts from DSERT, SRC Mysore, Teachers,
and Resource persons were involved at various
stages of preparation and their suggestions
have been incorporated into the Readers.
These Readers have been printed by Unicef
and distributed to children in 10 Blocks of
Karnataka, where teachers and students alike
have welcomed them. The team at Unicef has
warmly appreciated our effort. In fact, we
have received requests for the books from
general public as well!