BK Award illustrations Shortlist

Illustrations are the heart of children’s books, for they keep kids hooked to the book with their captivating pictures. Sketches and drawings depict the story and many more details of the characters’ setting, events and emotions. So, here are the titles that have qualified for the BK Children’s Books Award shortlist for illustrations.

If you are a parent, you can check if you have made these titles accessible to your kids so they have fun decoding these fascinating illustrations. Educators and school librarians should make sure a few copies of these titles are available in the school library for circulation.

Promote these books for their award-winning illustrations so children pay special attention to reading these stories and illustrations. Moreover, if you are looking for award-winning or nominated illustrations in children’s books in India, then here are the interesting titles in the shortlist of the BK Awards.

BK Awards Shortlist for Illustrations in Children’s Books

  • Tenacity with Dada Saheb Phalke by Neeti Banerji
  • So Many Leaves by Barkha Lohia
  • The Weather Report by Vishnu M. Nair
  • A Tree of My Own by Barkha Lohia
  • Jhupli’s Honey Box by Shivam Choudhary

Tenacity with Dada Saheb Phalke

  • Author: Pervin Saket
  • Illustrator: Neeti Banerji
  • Publisher: AdiDev Press
  • Year of Publication: 2023
  • Pages: 20
  • Stars: 4.5 on 5

It’s a board book that’s handy and has sturdy pages. 

The “Father of Indian Cinema.” Dada Saheb Phalke was born in 1870. He directed and produced India’s first feature film, “Raja Harishchandra,” in 1913, launching the country’s film industry. 

Indian cinema has a rich tradition that was built on Phalke’s passion and creativity. His films explored mythology and social issues, making a lasting impression on the country’s cinema. 

Dada Saheb Phalke’s spirit of innovation and strength in early filmmaking continues to inspire generations of Indian filmmakers.

Learn what it means to be persistent through studying the life of Dadasaheb Phalke, the pioneer of Indian cinema. This quick, poetic work is ideal for exposing young readers to profound ideas and impressive illustrations.

So Many Leaves

  • Author: Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli
  • Illustrator: Barkha Lohia
  • Publisher: Pratham Books
  • Stars: 4.5 on 5

It is a level 3 book for grade 5, with lovely illustrations to educate young readers about different types of leaves that are found in nature. 

Also read: Longlist of BK Children’s Books Award 2023

Additionally, there are guidelines on the lessons and activities that teachers and parents can do, such as asking questions to kids. 

You will also get ideas on some other books on plants and nature available at Pratham books which you can use to support your classroom or home-schooling instructions.

The Weather Report

  • Author: Vishnu M. Nair
  • Illustrator: Vishnu M. Nair
  • Publisher: Pratham Books
  • Pages: 13
  • Stars: 4.5 on 5

This book is of reading level 1, which means each page has full-page illustrations and few words. The story is about the weatherman who talks about the weather that day.

The illustrations show what happens when the weather is hot, cold, rainy or cloudy. You can plan a picture-talk lesson on the details in the picture. Kids pick up many nuances just by observing if they are alert, else, you could ask them questions to raise their awareness.

A Tree of My Own

  • Author:  Ruskin Bond
  • Illustrator: Barkha Lohia
  • Publisher: Talking Cub
  • Year of Publication: 2022
  • Pages: 16
  • Stars: 5 on 5

Cherry seeds fall one day and are forgotten until a plant appears. It emerges from the dirt and matures into a tree with simply water and kindness. Until it stands tall and proud, bearing crimson, luscious cherries.

Also read: How to improve reading comprehension for beginner readers

Ruskin Bond’s poetry about trees being lifelong friends is a fascinating glimpse into nature’s miracles. The cherry tree and the kid who planted it become our friends as they take us on a wonderful and touching journey through these lushly painted pages.

Jhupli’s Honey Box

  • Author: Achintyarup Ray
  • Illustrator: Shivam Choudhary
  • Publisher: Tulika Publication
  • Year of Publication: 2022
  • Pages: 24
  • Stars: 5 on 5 

Jhupli’s baba has gone into the forest for a long time to collect honey and Jhupli is anxiously waiting for him to come out of the jungle. She has heard tales of some people going into the forest and never coming out. 

Also read: Childrens Book Awards in India

Does Jhupli have an idea? How will she find a solution to this problem so her baba doesn’t get into trouble in the jungles? 

Benefits of illustrations in children’s books?

Illustrations in children’s books help children grow intellectually as they enjoy reading. Pictures keep kid’s attention, making stories more fun for early readers. Illustrations are crucial for various reasons.

Visuals assist kids in understanding the plot, characters, and context, making the text easier to read. Children learn to make connections between concepts and ideas with the help of illustrations.

Pictures and illustrations also help to create visual memory which aids in further learning. Diverse pictures teach youngsters about many cultures and ideas, fostering empathy. Visuals help children imagine the story’s world and characters.

Children can relate to characters and empathize with them through expressive pictures. Picture-based literacy helps new readers recognize letters, words, and reading basics. 


This article gave you the shortlist of the BK Children’s books Award for illustrations for 2023. After the longlist of nominations, the jury makes a shortlist of nominated books and from this list, narrow it down to the winners. 

In conclusion, children’s book illustrations make reading more fun and help build cognitive, emotional, and social skills, fostering a lifetime love of literature. Awards help highlight, encourage and promote children’s books authors and illustrators. Additionally, the illustrated children’s books listed in this article are some of the best in Indian children’s literature.

Also read: 11 Illustrators of Children’s Book in India

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