Awarding big contributions in the field of literature for little people in India. 

Big Little Book Award


Big Little Book Award

Big Little Book Awards:
Honouring excellence in the categories of author and illustrator/artist

Over the last two decades, a handful of authors, illustrators and publishers have attempted to give voice to Indian children’s literature with stories that talk to young readers about who they are, and help them navigate a multicultural and multilingual environment. These authors and illustrators have attempted to balance the traditional with the contemporary to reflect the Indian reality in content, visuals and production. They have given us stories that are not didactic but layered and sensitive, illustrations that fight gender and caste stereotypes, are inclusive, bring humour and fun into books, and books that make for great reading. The Big Little Book Award is a first of its kind award instituted by the Parag initiative of Tata Trusts and ‘Literature Live!’ to recognize and honour significant contribution of such authors and illustrators to children’s literature in Indian language (s). The first awards were announced at Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest in 2016. The award is given under two categories – one for author and another for illustrator/artist. An eminent panel selects the winners. For 2016, the author award went to Ms. Madhuri Purandare for her contribution to Marathi children’s literature and the illustrator award went to Mr. Atanu Roy.

For more information, see Big little Book Award 2016.


Parag logo

Parag is an initiative of the Tata Trusts that aims to spread the joys of reading and make reading a part of every childhood by supporting the development, dissemination and use of children’s literature in Indian languages. Over the past decade, Parag has supported the development of 420 new original stories for children across the age group of 5-16 years. These stories have been published across 9 languages including Hindi, English, Urdu, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Oriya. We have also published in non-mainstream languages such as Mundari, Bhilori, Pawri and Santhali, languages in which children find it impossible to get books. Parag supported books have been read by over 20 million readers in schools, community libraries and homes. Books are available in multiple formats including ePubs, audio, Braille, tactile and animated eBooks. To ensure access to quality literature Parag supports children’s libraries being run through non-profits, schools and communities. It also invests in capacity building and offers the flagship Library Educators Certificate Course (LEC), the first of its kind course to train children’s librarians. Responding to a gap in the children’s literature sector, Parag launched Riyaz Academy of Illustrators in 2015 to trains young professionals to illustrate for children.

Literature Live!

Literature Live!

Literature Live! is dedicated to celebrating the written word in all its forms. From book launches, thought-provoking talks, literary evenings and author interactions to performances, book swaps, fiction and haiku contests, it offers Mumbai a chance to participate in the many avenues of literature. It also organises Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, Mumbai's premier international literary festival. Now gearing up for its 7th edition from November 17 to 20,  2016. Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai International LitFest is considered India’s premier litfest, because it looks at literature in a way that complements the spirit of Mumbai: energetic, cosmopolitan and all-inclusive. Over 120 writers, thinkers and performers from all over the world are expected to participate during its many events this year at the National Centre for Performing Arts and the Prithvi Theatre.

Award Details

Award Process
  1. Nomination

    The nomination process is open from June 15 to July 15, 2017. Nomination forms can be filled and submitted online. Publishers, librarians, academics and experts are invited to nominate names for the awards. A maximum of 3 names may be submitted in each category by each person. Self-nomination will not be accepted.

    Bengali only
    Author nominations
    All languages
    Illustrator nominations
    July 15
    Nominations close
  2. Selection

    After nominations are received the Awards committee will make a longlist of names. Publishers will be asked to send five copies of the author’s /illustrator’s book/s to the jury. The jury will review the collection and meet to decide on a winner for each category. There will be different juries for each category.

  3. BLB Events

    A series of events will be organised from August to November 2017 around children's literature including book readings, library visits by authors and illustrators, and discussions to generate awareness about significant work in children’s literature in India.

  4. Winners

    The winners will be announced at the Tata Lit Live 2017.

    Nov 2017
    Winners announced
Award Criteria

Author Award:

Every year, one Indian language is chosen for awarding an author. The language for 2017 is Bengali. Authors writing extensively for children in Bengali but not limited to it are eligible for nomination. 

Illustrator Award:

The award for illustrator is not language specific and nominations can come from across languages.

The selection process takes into account the following criteria:

  1. A body of original and significant work across 7-10 years 
  2. Excellence developed through an eagerness to explore and experiment with ideas, genres and the possibilities of their craft.
  3. Stories/illustrations that are culturally appropriate and avoid and challenge stereotypes.
  4. Demonstrate growth and willingness to break known barriers in what defines a children's author/illustrator.
  5. Contribution to creating the next generation of readers, writers and illustrators.
  6. Original work means that the text/illustration was created by this author/illustrator and no one else. It may include original retellings of traditional literature, provided the words are the author’s own.
  7. The body of work shall be intended for children defined as persons of ages up to and including 14, and work for this entire age range will be considered.
  8. Text shall include all forms of writing — fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry. Reprints, compilations and abridgements are not eligible. 
  9. Illustrations must provide the child with a visual experience and extend/ add to the story. It could include picture books that have a collective unity of story-line, theme, or concept, developed through a series of pictures of which the book is comprised.
  10. The award will not be given posthumously.

1. How many names can we nominate?

You can nominate up to 3 authors and 3 illustrators.

2. How many entries can we submit against every nomination?

For any author/illustrator you nominate, you should provide as much detail about books written/illustrated as possible, along with other details of publisher, date of publication, etc. Publishers can also provide details of books by the author/illustrator that have been published by a different agency/publishing house.

3. Why are author nominations only in Bengali?

The Big Little Big Award has been instituted to recognize and reward authors and illustrators who have contributed to children’s literature in Indian languages. Since authors write in a primary language, the author award is language specific. Each year a different Indian language will be chosen for awarding authors. In contrast, illustrations, especially wordless picture books or books which are highly illustrated can work across languages. Since the medium is visual and children learn to read pictures before reading text, the illustrator’s award is independent of language.


4. When is the nomination deadline?

The nomination process is open from June 15 to July 15, 2017 and nomination forms can be filled and submitted online at

5. What is the judging process?

Once all the nominations are received, a longlist will be prepared. Books will be sought from publishers for longlisted names. A shortlist will be generated and an eminent panel will decide the winner. The awards will be presented at Literature Live! The Mumbai Lit fest to be held in November 2017.

Key Dates

  • Nominations Open

    June 15

  • Nominations Close

    July 15

  • BLB Events

    Aug to Nov

  • Winners Announced

    Nov 2017



Jury for Author (Bengali) Category

  • Abhijit

    Abhijit Gupta

    • Abhijit Gupta is Professor of English at Jadavpur University and Director, Jadavpur University Press. He is co-editor, along with Swapan Chakravorty, of the Book History in India series of which three volumes are out: Print Areas, Moveable Types and Founts of Knowledge. He and his team have created an electronic bibliographic database and location register of Bengali books from 1801-1914, the first such initiative in a South Asian language, and is currently associated with the 'Two Centuries of Indian Print' project at the British Library. He was associate editor for South Asia for the Oxford Companion to the Book. His other research areas include science fiction, graphic novels, physical cultures and the nineteenth century. He has translated from and into Bengali and English.

  • Bidisha

    Bidisha Ghosh

    • Bidisha Ghosh is a teacher at Barah Sri Gouranga Vidyalaya, a rural secondary government school in Birbhum, West Bengal. She has a Masters in Science and a Bachelors in Education from Visva Bharati University. Life for Bidisha has been a joyful ride with theatre, writing and music keeping company. She is associated with ‘Jatok Library’ a book club for children in Santiniketan. Her book “Shonkhya Bhooter Golpo’ was published in 2013 and is an adoption of the best seller ‘The Number Devil’ by Hans Magnus. Two more children’s books and a book of rhymes are in the pipeline. She writes regularly on various social and educational issues in several journals and social sites. She is interested in nurturing children’s creativity through stories and improvising them theatrically and musically.

  • Chandril

    Chandril Bhattacharya

    • Chandril Bhattacharya is an essayist, poet and lyricist. He has authored eight books and won a National Award for writing lyrics in the Bengali film Antaheen. He is a member of a popular Bangla Band Chandrabindoo. He currently works in the Editorial Department of the largest circulated Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.

  • Gargi

    Gargi Gangopadhyay

    • Gargi Gangopadhyay is a lecturer in English at Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Vivekananda Vidyabhavan. As an invited lecturer, she has taught children’s literature as part of M.A. courses at other institutions like Presidency and Lady Brabourne College. Her doctoral thesis engaged with children's print culture in Bengal in the context of British imperialism. Under an Arts Research and Documentation grant from IFA, she has put together a public-domain web-resource for documentation of 19th C Bengali children’s books. Her current research interests include children’s books, history of childhood and studies in travel-writing. Besides an academic interest in childhood studies, she nurtures a passion in publishing for children, viewing picture and story books as powerful mediums for education and inspiration.

  • Rimli

    Rimli Bhattacharya

    • Rimli Bhattacharya trained in Comparative Literature at Jadavpur and Brown Universities. She works in the fields of gender and performance, children’s literature and primary education. Teaching and research interests include film and the expressive arts across a range of genres and languages. She was script consultant and the production coordinator for a film based on Tagore’s last and most philosophical novel, Char Adhyay, directed by Kumar Shahani in 1997. She has a corpus of translations from Bangla to English, including the Puffin Classic Making a Mango Whistle (2005) from Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s Aam Anthir Bhepu. Her publications include
      Binodini Dasi’s ‘My Story and My Life as an Actress’ and Sur Pippa: Notes on Running Feet (co-authored). She currently teaches at the Department of English, University of Delhi.


Jury for Illustrator Category

  • Amy Fernandes

    Amy Fernandes

    • Amy Fernandes is passionate about magazines. That and her predilection for multi-tasking has led her to bringing out several magazines, sometimes all at once. It's also what led her to Literature Live! In the past she has conceptualized and been editor of magazines like Femina, the leading women’s magazine in India, Jade: an exclusive publication concentrating on the South of India, Time N'Style, India’s best known luxury magazine, and the weekly Kidzone among several others. Her many interests include travel, food and books. She has been a columnist at Bombay Times. She has taught journalism at St Andrews BMM programme and is currently handling the magazine module at St Paul’S Institution of Communication Education (SPICE). She is now Group Editor with DNA, Features, part of Zee Media Corporation Ltd, where she brings out the Sunday magazine called Just Before Monday, along with several special features for the publication.

  • Farzana Cooper

    Farzana Cooper

    • Farzana Cooper is a freelance illustrator. Her works have appeared in many Lifestyle magazines and books including Femina, Maxim ,Verve, Vogue, IQ, Man’s World, Saturday Times, etc. She has illustrated books like Samar Halarnkar’s The Married Man’s Guide To Creative Cooking (And Other Dubious Adventures), Parsi Bol and currently illustrating Raju Morey's Courting Trouble. Farzana has a degree in Fine Arts from Sir J J institute of Applied Arts. Her other interests are in current affairs and south Asian archaeology and history. She lives with her family in Mumbai.

  • Mukul Priyadarshini

    Mukul Priyadarshini

    • Mukul Priyadarshini holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Delhi. She has been professionally associated with government organisations such as NCERT (and contributed towards the National Curriculum Framework), NCTE, CBSE etc. and civil society organisations such as Eklavya, Ankur Society for Alternatives in Education, Digantar etc.  Her research interests include the position of Languages in Education, the discursive nature of Hindi, and politics of languages in multilingual societies. She is passionate about the use and importance of children's literature and has been involved in this sector as an editor, translator and educationist. She is also instrumental in introducing children’s literature to students of B.El.Ed. At Miranda House.

  • Shailaja Menon

    Shailaja Menon

    • Shailaja Menon works as faculty in the area of Language and Literacy at the School of Education, Azim Premji University. She currently leads a longitudinal project, Literacy Research in Indian Languages (LiRIL), investigating the teaching and learning of early language and literacy in Maharashtra and Karnataka. She serves as a literacy consultant for Sri Ratan Tata Trust. She also anchors the bilingual children’s literature festival, KathaVana that is hosted annually by Azim Premji University. She has an abiding interest in imparting a love for language, literature and literacy to children, teachers and teacher educators. Prior to this she taught at Jones International University and University of Colorado in the United States. Shailaja has her doctorate degree in language, literacy and learning disabilities from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and degrees in human development and psychology from MSU, Baroda, and Delhi University, respectively.

  • Usha Mukunda

    Usha Mukunda

    • Usha Mukunda has inspired generations of children to discover the joys of reading. An ardent advocate of open libraries, she is deeply interested in nurturing discerning readers and users of the library. She co-founded the Centre for Learning (Bangalore) in 1990 and set up an open library there. She has been working with several rural, government and community libraries across India. She writes regularly on books and libraries for various journals, and blogs at She participated in the NCERT exercise to select good books and other programmes to strengthen school librarians of the Southern Regions, resulting in two manuals and workshops for school librarians. She was a member of the special committee for libraries and knowledge networking under the aegis of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission. In 2009, she was awarded a Karnataka State award for her service to school libraries.