Meet our community: Roberto Marcolin

Posted by Menaka Raman on February 19, 2018

Roberto Marcolin is a High School teacher near Milan, Italy. He’s been doing some very interesting things with StoryWeaver both inside the classroom and out! Read on to find out more.

“I’m a teacher in a high school near Milan, Italy and I'm in charge of the school library. Our school recently participated in Libriamoci a Ministry of Education project to promote reading aloud. Many different classes in the school took part, with some students reading out loud stories from StoryWeaver in English. At the end of January, we took part in Piazze Solidali (Solidarity Squares), an event held in the public library of our city. At the event some of my students read StoryWeaver stories in six different languages: Albanian, Romanian, Arabic, Spanish, French and of course Italian. Also, a class from our school will participate in Etwinning a European project, together with a class from the Czech Republic and one of Sweden. Through this project  they will translate some StoryWeaver stories from English to their mother tongue.”
 

Roberto has also made an audio version of ‘Ghum Ghum Gharial’s Glorious Adventure’ in Italian with Canoprof an open source software created by the French education ministry.

 

Framapad is an open source software for collaborative writing which I used when preparing for the Piazza solidale event. I made some recordings of stories like this one and I hope to do others. I think they could be used to promote reading amongst students.”

 

Roberto has a few other ideas on how he would like to use StoryWeaver. “In 2018  I would like to organize a collaborative translation of some stories of Storyweaver  involving other teachers and students. The translators could meet in a place at school like the library and collaboratively translate some stories together. I would also like to create free digital libraries using StoryWeaver stories as my French colleague Cyrille Laguillier has already done here.”

We look forward to hearing more from Roberto and his students this year!

If you are using stories in your classroom or library and would like to share it with our community, write to us at storyweaver@prathambooks.org and we’ll feature you on our blog!

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Pratham Books is looking for a Graphic Designer (Digital)

Posted by Menaka Raman on October 03, 2017

*** THIS ROLE HAS NOW BEEN FILLED ***

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India. In 13 years, we have published over 3000 books and distributed over 14 million copies of our storybooks and 16 million story cards.

Last year, Pratham Books' increased its footprint by going digital. As an industry leader, we were one of the first publishers in the country to open license our content. All this content is now available on StoryWeaver, which is a digital platform that hosts stories in languages from India and beyond, so that every child can have an endless stream of stories in her mother tongue to read and enjoy. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free. All stories on the platform are openly licensed.

Donate-a-book, is a unique crowd-funding platform for children’s books. The platform helps to bridge the gap between individuals who want to help children read and those organizations, schools and individuals who need books for children.

At Pratham Books, we are shaping a new, innovative approach to multilingual publishing because we believe that every child needs good books to read in a language of their choice.

Pratham Books is looking for a Graphic Designer to join our digital team. This is a full-time position based in Bangalore.

The candidate will be responsible for

  • Designing picture books for print.

  • Adapting original design files (in print), and converting it into sizes and designs that are suitable for StoryWeaver - Pratham Books’ digital story platform.

  • Working closely with our Content Team to create and adapt content for digital and print mediums.

  • Working closely with the production team for the first print run of the books.

 

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's books publisher. Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver is a digital repository of openly-licensed, multilingual children’s stories.

 

Required skills:

  • Expertise in InDesign Creative Suite, Photoshop, Illustrator, CorelDraw

  • Basic graphic design skills and an interest in book layouts

  • Basic understanding of the printing process (digital and offset)

  • Minimum one to three years of relevant experience

  • Ability to work quickly and accurately on design files

  • Be a team player, quick learner

  • Good communication skills

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Please send your resume to storyweaver@prathambooks.org with ‘Graphic Designer - Digital' in the subject line of the email.



 

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Playing with Food

Posted by Menaka Raman on January 25, 2018

Aindri is a communications designer specializing in narrative illustration and animation. She is one of the members of The Kadak Collective. She has illustrated two books for Pratham Books: Apu's Giant Earthquake by Sudeshna Shome Ghosh and Food Monster by Meenu Thomas. Both the stories are very to read, download, print and share on StoryWeaver. Aindri writes about how she created the distinctive textured illustrations for 'Food Monster'.

Meenu’s story Food Monster instantly reminded me of the potato and bhindi block printing classes I had in school. I felt the same approach and materials would go perfectly with her story.

When returning to that memory, I came across the technique of Gyotaku (gyo “fish” + taku “rubbing”) a traditional Japanese method of fish printing that originated in the mid-19th century as a way for fishermen to record the size and characteristics of their daily catches. So block printing with food was not just child’s play. Infact, before cameras, fishermen often recorded large or unusual specimens by making ink block reproductions of their catch. The Sumi ink which was used to take the impression would be easily washed away after recording the catch, so the fish was in perfect condition to be consumed. (You can read more about Gyotaku here and here.)

Video: Gyotaku by Naoki from YouTube

I scanned the images which I later layered and collaged with hand drawn illustrations.

Some of the shapes were easy to spot, like the circles and rings in the cross-section of peppers and cucumbers, some impressions especially of the herbs looked like tiny version of trees and some impressions like strawberries made seamless patterns on the page. Here are impressions of strawberry and corn:

A fairground favourite, the carousel, made with celery, lemon, basil, pepper & pepper seeds.

A panipuri stall near a tree: made with basil, corn, cucumber, celery and garam masala.

Aindri has generously shared a  library of the prints she created for our community to use.You can find them on Aindri's profile page (scroll down to see them all!)

You are most welcome to use them as you wish, do please tag us @pbstoryweaver and @aindri_c with your favourite food shape. Good luck!

 

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