S Sivadas’s work has attracted attention from the children’s literature field in Malayalam, and he has been named the winner of the Big Little Book Award. In contrast, Deepa Balsavar has received the illustrator’s prize. Tata Trusts’ Parag initiative presents the Big Little Book awards for significant contribution to children’s literature in Indian languages.
This year Book Awards marked the sixth edition of the award, and 490 entries were recorded during the nomination period from May to June. Malayalam was the chosen language for the author category this year, while the illustration category accepted nominations in any language.
The award considered children’s literature in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, and English in the previous years. Winners Awards were selected for their work in Indian children’s literature which includes stories that talk to young readers about who they are and help them to navigate a multicultural and multilingual environment, the organizers said.
Sivadas is based in Kottayam and has over 200 books to his name. He said about the recognition that he believes it was a new beginning as a children’s writer and communicator. The jury that included M M Basheer, Paul Zacharia, Sherylene Rafeeque, and Suneetha Balakrishnan said Sivadas exemplifies a rare commitment to both the art and craft of writing for children, and this is evident in the sheer range of genres and subjects he has covered in his work spanning over the last 50 years.
As per the source, Awards he is a pioneer of scientific knowledge in Children’s literature. Mumbai-born artist Deepa Balsavar said her work is both a privilege and a huge responsibility, and the award gives her courage and hope to continue further. “When we get children to read and think, we give them the tools to take charge of their lives and change their worlds,” she said.
Speaking about the winning illustrator, the jury that included Aashti Mudnani, Priti Roy, Rani Dharker, Sunandini Banerjee, and Thejaswi Shivanan said, Balsavar’s works “represent diversity, compassion, and sensitivity without the losing the playfulness and charm that appeal to children and adult effortlessly.”
Awards S Sivadas is a great writer, educator, editor, environmentalist, trainer, and motivator. He authorizes more than 180 books for children, grownups, teachers, and parents. His writing includes Novels, stories, skits, biographical stories, Popular Science articles, Travelogues, Creative Science books, Translation, and Motivation books. He is the recipient of several accolades, including the 1997 Kerala Sahitya Academy award for the best travelogue, the 2007 Kerala Sahitya Academy’s First Children’s Literature Award, and the 2014 P.T. Bhaskara Panicker Emeritus Fellowship of Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment.
For many years Deepa Balsavar has been involved in developing educational material and training programs. She is interested in how children react to words and illustrations and hopes to take children a little further than the written word and illustrated image.
According to Head at Tata Trusts- Original, engaging, quality children’s literature in the Indian language is critical for developing a reading culture and meeting educational goals.” The awards edition is a way to celebrate outstanding contributions by committed artists who have made a difference to the sector.
Previous winners or authors are Madhuri Purandare (Marathi), Nabaneeta Dev Sen (Bengali), Nagesh Hegde(Kannada), Prabhat (Hindi), and Subhadra Sen Gupta (English). Illustrators to win the award are Atanu Roy, Proiti Roy, Nina Sabnani, Priya Kuriyan, and Rajiv Eipe.
Image Courtesy: S Sivadas and Deepa Balsavar