Mumbai, February 13, 2021.

Parag Initiative of Tata Trusts today announced the Parag Honour List 2021, featuring a wide range of original writings in the category of picture books, young readers and young adults, across fiction, non-fiction and poetry genres.Currently in its second edition, Parag Honour List isa curated collection of outstanding books in English and in Hindi, for children and young adults, by the Parag Initiative of Tata Trusts.

The list, published annually, comprises noteworthy books of the year with brief information about each title. Experts in the children’s literature sector create it with careful screening and multiple reviews. For this year, Parag received books from 26 Indian publishers, published between October 2019 to September 2020.

Parag Honour List aims to promote access to a comprehensive curated list of good quality children’s literature that librarians, teachers, parents and children can refer to and read.

Kya Tum Ho Meri Daadi?Sonika DeshpandeJugnoo Prakashan
Jungle KiskaSamita UikaMuskaan
Taarik ka SurajShashi SablokJugnoo Prakashan
MittiMadhu DhruveMuskaan
School Mein Humne Seekha Aur SikhayaNikeeta DhruveMuskaan
Chaar CheetiyaanShyam SushilEklavya
GodamVinod Kumar ShuklJugnoo Prakashan
Tees ki Murgi Bees MeinSankalanEklavya
Bhool BhulaiyaSankalanEklavya
Tum Bhi AanaNaveen SagarJugnoo Prakashan
Bhai Tu Aisi Kavita Kyun Karta Hai?Sushil ShuklJugnoo Prakashan
Mera Khachhar Danda HaiSankalanEklavya
Ek Chor Ki Chaudah RaateinArun KamalJugnoo Prakashan
Pehli UdaanAmit KumarJugnoo Prakashan
Hawa MithaaiArun KamalJugnoo Prakashan
A Saree for AmmiMamta NainyTulika Publishers
Ammachi’s Incredible InvestigationVinayak VarmaPratham Books
Bombay Ducks,Bombay DocksFleur D’SouzaPratham Books
Tail TaleAnushka RavishankarTara Books
The Laddoo CodeSaksham AroraPratham Books
­The Miracle on Sunderbaag StreetNandita Da CunhaKalpavriksh
Zakir and His Tabla: Dha Dhin NaSandhya RaoTulika Publishers
Friends Behind WallsHarshikaa UdasiPuffin Books by Penguin Random House India
Mini’s QuestionsNandini NayarHarperCollins Publishers India
My Daddy and the WellJerry PintoDuckbill Books by Penguin Random House India
NadyaDebasmita DasguptaScholastic India Pvt Ltd
­The Piano: Story of a FriendshipNandita BasuDuckbill Books by Penguin Random House India
Who’s ­There?Hansda Sowvendra ShekharDuckbill Books by Penguin Random House India
Girl PowerNeha J. HiranandaniScholastic India Pvt Ltd
­The Swan Car of Nabha and other Unusual Stories from HistoryLive History IndiaHarperCollins Publishers India
Journey to the Forbidden CityDeepa AgarwalPuffin Books by Penguin Random House India
Queen of EarthDevika RangachariDuckbill Books by Penguin Random House India
Candid Tales – India on a MotorcycleAdithi RaoHarperCollins Publishers India
Unearthed – An Environmental History of Independent IndiaMeghaa GuptaPuffin Books by Penguin Random House India
First Katha Book of Haiku, Senryu, Tanka and HaibunVarious PoetsKatha

Soha Ali Khan, author and actor, wholaunched the list today, shared her views on the initiative, she said, “I am happy and excited to launch the Parag Honour List 2021. Reading is crucial to building critical citizens. Curated reading lists such as PHL can support educators, librarians and parents to know about the best Indian children’s books being published each year. I congratulate the Parag Initiative of Tata Trusts for its effort in popularising Indian publishers, authors and illustrators.”

Swaha Sahoo – Head, Parag Initiative, Tata Trusts: “Parag Honour List 2021 features 35 titles in Hindi and English. The collection was created after careful screening and multiple reviews by experts of children’s literature. At the launch of PHL last year we received enthusiastic responses from parents, teachers and children, with many marking books they wanted to read. We hope that the PHL 2021 also enables access and awareness about outstanding Indian books for children and young adults.”

Dr Suneeta Mishra, a jury member for Parag Honour List 2021 and a linguistics professor in the Department of Elementary Education at the Institute of Home Economics (Delhi University) commented, “I think the most important dimension of children’s literature is to have enough opportunities for children’s imagination and their perspective to see and understand the world. The purpose of children’s literature is not just to make children into stories, but to understand the world and life experiences from the perspective of children. Two things are important here – one, it is not always necessary to be very simple or positive and secondly, there should also be content in children’s literature for teenagers and young adults.”

Arvind Gupta, a jury member for PHL 2021, a Padma Shri awardee and a toy inventor who is popular for designing teaching aids for young children remarked on the list, “Over the last two decades, a handful of Indian authors have significantly contributed to develop and grow the Indian children’s literature scene in the country with stories that talk to young readers about who they are, and help them navigate a multicultural and multilingual environment. With Parag Honour List, we aim to showcase the best children’s books published in India in a particular year. This year there were several good picture biographies of iconic Indians – Ustad Zakir Hussain – the table maestro, Srinivasa Ramanujan – the great mathematician, Pandit Nain Singh Rawat -surveyor extraordinary, Mithali Raj – cricketer, and ace astronaut Sunita Williams. We need many more picture biographies of eminent people to inspire our young.”

As part of the criteria for creating the Parag Honour List, all leading publishers of children’s books are requested to submit their select titles for review. In turn the books sent to a panel of eminent educationists and bibliophiles for their comments and feedback. A broad criterion is laid for the choosing the best amongst the submitted books. The jury then discusses each book threadbare and the very best find their way to the Parag Honour List.