Published: 23rd April 2018
World Book Day: Here's what Puffin, Flipkart and UNESCO now have in common
The Puffin Book of Folktales is the result of Puffin, Flipkart and UNESCO coming together to celebrate this special day and the joy of reading
Though for bookworms, every day is a book day, today happens to be the official World Book and Copyright Day. The day when we celebrate those pages which transport us to another world. To help make this journey a little easier and the day a little more special, Puffin, Flipkart and UNESCO, New Delhi, have come together to bring to you The Puffin Book of Folktales. The book features folktales as told by ten master storytellers — Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murty, Devdutt Pattanaik and so many more.
The other authors who have written stories for this book are Manjula Padmanabhan, Paro Anand, Musharraf Ali Farooqi, Shashi Deshpande, A K Ramanujan, Meera Uberoi and Kamala Das
Edex catches up with the Associate Publisher of Puffin (Penguin Random House India), Sohini Mitra, who tells us how the book came to be. "The three of us — Puffin, Flipkart and UNESCO — were in sync when it came to the idea of the celebration of stories and readership on this special day. It was a collective vision so we got on board," she says emphasising on the fact that they wanted to come out with a low priced, affordable edition, hence the book is priced at a humble Rs 100 and is exclusively available on Flipkart.
We are absolutely thrilled as the book contains wonderful folktales which celebrate the magic of storytelling
Sohini Mitra, Associate Publisher, Puffin (Penguin Random House India)
Speaking of print vs screen, Mitra says that, "For the young readers it always was and it will always be about the printed book, both in urban areas and small towns." With parents discouraging children from spending time in front of screens, no wonder there is a spike in readership when it comes to books. And though there are Kindles and tablets, all competing for the attention of a young audience, collecting printed books, stocking them and going back to them, again and again, are factors that weigh in its favour, she says.
A collector’s item, this paperback contains stories about India’s glorious cultural heritage wherein each author adds their own special touch to the story
Apart from books like these, Puffin aims at publishing a wide range of books in different genres, from illustrated to nonfiction, and even holds regular author interaction, both real-time and Facebook lives, to sensitise readers. "The idea is that once readers find out about the range of books, they will indulge in the joy of reading," says Mitra.
May the joy of reading spread far and wide, not only on this World Book and Copyright Day but on every other day to come!
Excerpts from Ruskin Bond's story Great Spirit of the Sal Tree, from the book The Puffin Book of Folktales:
One of many: Ruskin Bond has also written a story for the book
There was once a king living in northern India, who wanted to build himself a palace more remarkable than any other in the country. He could not make it richer, taller, stronger or more beautiful without great expense and trouble; so he decided to make it special in another way - by setting the whole palace upon a single wooden column, a column carved from the biggest tree in the kingdom.
He sent for his minister and said, 'Send men to my forest far and near, tell them to cut down and bring to the city, without delay, the mightiest tree they can find.’
To read the story further, get the book at https://bit.ly/2HRcdm4