Thrust areas of the Institute
● Publish and popularise books on children’s literature in Malayalam language
● The Institute brings out a magazine for children called ‘Thaliru’
● Inculcate the reading habit in children through ‘Thaliru Reading Contest’
● Encourage and promote quality literature in the genre by instituting awards for exemplary children’s literature
● Conduct workshops for writers, illustrators and artists
● The Trivandrum Book Fair is a flagship event in the calendar of activities of KSICL.
Books for all Children
The KSICL publishes books in various categories which are child-friendly and promises an enjoyable read for the child. Illustrated/ Pictorial books, stories, poetry, plays, encyclopaedia, dictionaries, books on science, general information/knowledge, translations, biographies are published by the Institute. Books are custom-made for five age groups 4-6yrs, 6-9yrs, 9-12yrs, 12-14yrs, 14+. Content as well as the overall production value of the book is comparable with the best in the industry. The reasonably-priced books enjoy a large print-run and offer a benchmark to be borne in mind by the counterparts in the children’s book publishing segment – vis-à-vis quality content and pricing.
● Bala-Kairali Encyclopaedia
An encyclopaedia especially for children which lays emphasis on multiple fields of knowledge: Arts, Culture, Animal World, Human History, Language and Literature, Nations of the World and Technology. Six volumes of this Encyclopaedia have been published so far. A volume on the freedom movement titled “History of National
Independence Struggle for Children” is a major book from KSICL.
● Biography Series
The KSICL’s Biography Series will publish the life histories of 100 personalities who shaped the Modern Age. People who have impacted our lives with their ideas have been included here. The volume on Charles Darwin has been published. The heroes of Kerala’s renaissance, K Kelappan, Mohammad Abdur Rahman, V T Bhattathiripad, SriNarayana Guru, Poykayyil Yohanan, figure in the collection. “The Poet and his Poetry” section which envisions introducing our poets to the younger generation begins with the maiden volume on famous poet O N V Kurup.
● Read and Grow
Books which would arouse and sustain the child’s interest in reading feature in this segment. Folk tales from Kerala, proverbs, poetry for children, and folk songs are an integral part of the content. Expressive multicolour pictures which enhance the impact of Kerala’s traditional tales add to the appeal of every book. A series of 20 books incorporating the facets of reading for use by the child has also been prepared. Currently, the publishing of 30 books is under way.
Translations of works from other Indian languages and world literature are undertaken to familiarise children with such literature. “Ammapashuvinte Kathakal” is a series which includes 5 famous stories from Swedish literature in translation. Folktales, classics, works by world famous writers etc are also part of the translation series. Ten major works from French Literature in Malayalam are scheduled for publishing.
● Kathaparichayam and Poetry
In this category, Malayalam authors who normally write fiction for adults, but have written titles suitable for children are published. T Padmanabhan, Madhavikutty, Zacharia, N P Muhammad, Sethu, C V Sriraman figure among the authors thus featured. Poets and Novelists writing for children Authors who are well known for writing adult fiction are now beingcommissioned to write for children. This has proved a successful exercise. Zacharia, K R Meera, Tanuja S Bhattathiri, Achyutshankar Nair, P P Ramachandran, E Santhoshkumar, M R Renukumar, Sushmesh Chandroth, G R Indugopan, have had their writings published.
Five anthologies by contemporary Malayalam poets have also been published.
● Brihat Kathaparampara
Major epics and stories from India and abroad – Ramayana, Mahabharata, Panchatantra Tales, Kathasaritsagara, Arabian Stories, Children’s stories from Hans Christen Andersen and Brothers’ Grimm, and folk tales from all over the world have been adapted, retaining the quality of the original to the extent possible. The Ramayana has been published and the Mahabharata is in print.
● Books on Environment
The Institute has to its credit a number of interesting titles on environment.The Field guide series on the common butterflies and birds of Kerala has had an impressive run. The books are designed to meet the requirements of the young who go on observation trips, and include preliminary background information for undertaking the initial steps in observing Nature. Kuttikkazhchakal@Lakshwadeep is a significant title in this set.
● Introduction to Science
A new approach to stoking the child’s curiousity and creating awareness about Science is by incorporating the content in a child-friendly manner. By adopting the ‘play-and-learn’ method, a hands on approach to experiments through workbook had met with success. The history of the evolution of Chemistry and Astronomy have been done through illustrated comics.
● Introduction to the Artist and his Art
The pillars of Indian Art, Raja Ravi Varma, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher Gill, M F Hussain are introduced to the young generations through a biography series. Ten books introducing world famous artists is on the anvil. Apart from familiarizing the child with the artist it also would create a sensitivity to the arts.
● Pictorial Books
Books are few for the beginner. To cater to their requirement the following titles are under print.
Vayanasala – Zachariah, illustration by T R Rajesh,
Idichakkaplaamootile rajakumari tantram padichathu engine – Achyuthsankar S Nair,
Mazhamandahasangal – K R Meera,
Snehathinte Bandham – Tanuja S Bhattathiri,
Paathalam – P P Ramachandran,
Aakashhathekku Oru Adbhuta Yatra – N P Hafeez Mohammad
● Story Books
The KSICL has always drawn strength from its story books for children, which has paved the way to introduce the young reader to the world of reading.
Amma Koyyunnu – Mundur Sethumadhavan, Ammuamma – P Valsala,
Naalam Claasile Varaal – M R Renukumar,
Kaakaradeshathe Erumbukal – E Santhoshkumar,
Leena Sebastian –Tanuja Bhattathiri,
and a number of titles by well known authors for children – Sippy Pallipuram and S Sivadas.
● History and Society
There is a felt need for books on our history and society. The maiden title in this category – Gandhijiye kaanu, is the first in the line of such books. Books on Our Flag, the National Song as well as those on milestones in Kerala’s history are being published under the Muziris Project.
Balasahitya Awards have been instituted to recognise and encourage those engaged in writing for children. Awards which were till 2009, limited to 6 categories have now been raised to 10.
● Story, Novel - Abraham Joseph Award
● Science writing – P T Bhaskara Pannikar Award
● Informative literature
● Biography / Autobiography
● Translation, Stories Retold
● Picture books
● Book Design
The C G Santhakumar Award (Rs50,000, citation, and memento) is given for overall contribution to Children’s Literature. Kunjunni Master, Sumangala, Prof S Sivadas, Palliyara Sridharan, K Thayaattu, Sugatakumari, Sipy Pallipuram, K V Ramanathan are the recipients of the award in the past.
Thaliru is one of the oldest magazines for children in Malayalam. It was earlier published by the Jawahar Balabhavan. Under the aegis of KSICL the attractively packaged Children’s monthly magazine Thaliru which is in circulation since 1995, is appreciated and recognised for its child-friendly, quality content. The target readership for Thaliru falls in the 10-18 years range. Although this forms a major segment in the readership profile, the magazine has been re-launched as a magazine for the teenager. Kerala’s famous poet, Sugatakumari, is the Chief Editor of Thaliru . Priced at ten rupees, per issue, one year’s subscription of is available at Rs 110. Thaliru is available Online too.
Thaliru Reading Competition, Reading Groups, and Reading Festivals
With the intent of raising the reading habit of the child, the KSICL has launched major initiatives.
● For the regular Thaliru reader, school-based reading competitions are held. Participants receive gift coupons for books worth Rs 500, which can be used at major bookshops, to buy the books of their choice. An extensive exercise, this is one of its kinds in the country.
● Libraries, Schools, and Kudumbasree Balasabha which buy books in lots of Rs 10000/- are identified to form Thaliru Reading Groups. Recipients of Thaliru scholarships are encouraged to participate in these groups and in Reading Festivals organised at the panchayat level.
Thiruvananthapuram Book Fair
The Book Fair is held under the joint auspices of the Kerala government, Cultural Department, the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival and Kerala State Institute of Children’s Literature. The Book Fair which plays host to over 100 reputed publishing houses and is among the major events in the country, steps in to cater to a felt need of the large reading public in the state. It receives lakhs of book lovers, and books worth crores find its way into their hands.
The ‘Rights Table’ is a major attraction at the Trivandrum Book Fair which provides a platform for facilitating acquisition of publishing rights and copyright of books by publishers participating in the festival.
Ten books published each year are selected for awards. Every winner receives a cash award of Rs 10,000 and a plaque. The Trivandrum Book Fair is known for the programs it organises for children and writers and illustrators.
The Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari, Jamia Milia Islamia’s ex- Vice Chancellor, Mushirul Hasan and West Bengal’s Governor GopalkrishnaGandhi and Miguel Ramirez Remos, Cuba’s Ambassador in India are among the luminaries who have inaugurated editions of the Fair.
Workshops and Seminars
Children’s Literature camps are organised for children and writers. Subject/genre specialists engage the target groups in sessions which are enriched by the interactive sessions with well-known personalities.
The writers;’ camps provide the opportunity for our talent to familiarise themselves with emerging trends in literature, both in the India and abroad.
Book Distribution, Catalogue, E-book, Copyright sale
The KSICL has achieved major success through book sales. In the first twentyfive years from 1981-82 to 2005-06, since its establishment in 1981, the income from sale of books touched 2. 77 crs , and a quantum leap is visible in the period between 2007-2011 when the figure soared to 2.75cr. While public libraries are major recipients of the Institute’s publications, these are alsoavailable with major bookshops . Venues of Sarva Shiksha Abhyan programs, events of the Education Department and the Library Council, as well as, exhibitions are points of sale.
The appointment of sales promotion officers in every district has started giving results. A Catalogue of the KSICL publications in 2010 was distributed to schools and libraries.‘E-books’ the future form of books is the new area of focus into which KSICL has taken the initial steps. Through E-Media’s e-book reader Winkle based in Kottayam, sale of 30 titles has commenced.
The publishing rights of the Institute’s publications have been sold to Hindi,English, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages.
Muziris Heritage Project and Legislative Assembly Museum
Literature required by the Tourism department for this Project has been published by KSICL which has also been entrusted the task of preparing content and design of museum panels.The Content and design of the Legislative Assembly Museum has also been assigned to the KSICL.
The future of publishing and its promotion will be through the Internet, therefore, KSICL is steering its initiatives towards this end. The website www.ksicl.org is being developed as a portal.
Thaliru the children’s magazine has already gone online. Facilities have been provided for the children to post their contributions directly Naalakootam. The portal has launched an Online Newsletter. KSICL is active on social networking sites –Twitter, Google Buzz, Facebook, Youtube. A blog is also functioning.