The winners of the fifth edition of the Big Little Book Award, the annual literary award to celebrate the best in children’s literature, were declared today. Writer Subhadra Sen Gupta and illustrator Rajiv Eipe won the awards for the best writer and the best illustrator respectively. This year’s chosen language was English and the winners were selected from over 300 entries. Every year, the award focuses on an Indian language and celebrates the best of children’s literature written in it. Last year’s chosen language was Hindi. The award also recognises the contribution of illustrators in a separate category.
Delhi-based writer Sen Gupta is the author of several books for children, mostly on historical themes. These include the very popular A Children’s History of India (Rupa, 2015), The Unknown Indians: People Who Quietly Changed Our Worlds (Rupa, 2016), Kings and Queens (Rupa, 2016), A Bagful of History (Puffin, 2018), among others. Her latest book, The Constitution of India for Children (Puffin), was released earlier this year. At a time when historical accounts are being closely contested, the jury citation for Sen Gupta lauded her for her depth of research. “…We can count on her rigour and her background research to stand by her content and always find her positions are balanced and enable the reader to arrive at their own decisions. Something very few writers for children in India in English can add to their list of qualities in writing,” it said.
Bengaluru-based Rajiv Eipe is an animation artist and illustrator, whose delightful work features in books such as Ammachi’s Amazing Machines (Pratham Books), Anand (Pratham Books) and Dinosaur as Long as 127 Kids (Katha). With a visual narrative of their own, Eipe’s work stands out for its attention to detail and for its vivid sense of humour. The jury citation for Eipe states, “…His work stands out in originality and his observations of the world around us is sensitive and full of humour. A book with Rajiv’s illustrations is visually attractive, informative with details that are delightfully quirky and takes a reader to a world of imagination and fantasy effortlessly.
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