For its sixth edition, the annual literary award had received 490 entries during the nomination period over May and June. Every year, BLBA chooses one Indian language for the author category, while nominations for the illustrator’s category are language-agnostic.
Shortlisted authors for BLBA 2021 are S Sivadas; Palliyara Sreedharan; K Sreekumar; and Sippy Pallippuram.
The nominated entries were carefully evaluated by a prestigious jury of literary experts, and are based on thorough eligibility parameters. For example, each author/illustrator nominated must hold a body of significant, original work across 7-10 years, which must be intended for children up to and including 18 years of age, and the stories/narratives must be culturally appropriate, challenge stereotypes and seem willing to break barriers in children’s literature
The BLBA was introduced with the intent to celebrate notable work in children’s literature, and is Parag Initiative’s endeavour to recognise authors and illustrators whose literary work has helped children familiar with a multicultural and multilingual environment. Striking a balance between the traditional and the contemporary, these authors and illustrators have given India books that address sensitive topics with the finesse of creative narration, coupled with illustrations that are inclusive, humorous and defiant of gender and caste stereotypes.
Since Malayalam is the language for the author category this year, the BLBA award ceremony for the winners will be held in Kerala, in collaboration with Kerala Sahitya Academy, Thrissur on 10 December, 2021. Winners of both categories will be awarded and felicitated on the same platform, and the ceremony will be followed by a discussion on ‘Representations of Childhood in Children’s Literature’.