Established in 2012, Duckbill is an exciting brand in children’s publishing from India. Its books are for children who are starting to read independently up to young adult readers. They have been shortlisted for all the awards available for Indian children’s books, won minor international ones and all the major Indian ones, and feature regularly on bestseller lists and recommended reading lists for schools.
Duckbill’s aim is to create books for children, which help them understand the complex contemporary world. The books make compelling reading—with strong plots, humour and characters that the readers can identify with, and they are imbued with the values that are important for our times: the equality of all races, religions and classes, tolerance, justice and kindness. Themes like diversity, homosexuality, single parenting, war, living with disability and class differences are rare in children’s books. While many publishers have created beautiful and unusual picture books, Duckbill addresses the huge gap in books for older children with creations which have fun, whimsy and experimentation in form and content. Whatever the theme Duckbill stories have the very simple but effective theme of “Children First”.
Duckbill’s other significant contribution has been to find and nurture fresh talent. The Duckbill workshops for aspiring children’s writers have achieved national recognition. The Duckbill list has set a very high benchmark for Indian children’s books which has been acknowledged by reviewers, readers and industry-watchers. Duckbill’s goal is to bring children fantastic stories and unusual books.
Duckbill was set up by Anushka Ravishankar and Sayoni Basu. Anushka is probably better known as an internationally award-winning writer of picture books and chapter books, whose work has been translated into many languages. She has also worked as an editor with Tara Books and publisher with Scholastic India. Sayoni started her career in children’s publishing at Puffin India, and later headed the publishing at Scholastic India and ACK Media.
Duckbill’s goal is to bring fantastic stories and unusual books to as many children as possible; the MMS team is delighted to be working with Duckbill to select children’s books championing diversity and equality for world markets. The first titles from Duckbill will be published outside India and available from MMS in July 2019.