The Hindu Young World-Goodbooks Awards 2016, the first Indian awards to promote excellence in Indian children’s books, have felicitated Venita Coelho's Dead as a Dodo as the best book in the fiction category.
Published by Hachette India in 2015, Dead as a Dodo follows the adventures of Kela, Bagha and Rana, agents of Animal Intelligence Agency as they race against time to save the last dodo on earth, Sam.
Dead as a Dodo was in competition with three shortlisted contemporaries this year, which included:
Dear Mrs Naidu by Mathangi Subramanian (Young Zubaan)
The Adventures of Stoob: Testing Times by Samit Basu (Red Turtle)
and Manan by Mohit Parikh (Harper Collins)
Here's what the jury, comprising Manjula Padmanabhan, Jai Arjun Singh and Anil Menon had to say:
"Dead as a Dodo is a smart, witty, fast-paced novel about saving the Earth and its animals from the reckless greed of human beings. The three principal characters are Bagha, Kela and Rana — a tiger, a langur and a human boy. They are agents of the Animal Intelligence Agency, an NGO whose mission is to save the planet by combining the forces of creatures big and small. The themes of mass extinction, planetary collapse, human villainy, international ?nance, and yes, even high-school bullying, are laced into racy plot-twists, sparkling dialogue and all manner of zoological derring-do. It has the pace of a James Bond thriller ?lmed in 3D animation with lots of laughs, chills, spills and mayhem. At the heart of the action is a timorous dodo called Sam, who should be extinct but isn't. This is Venita Coelho's second novel about the Animal Intelligence Agency and it leaves the reader hoping for more to follow."
About the author:
Venita Coelho is an author who writes for film and television, but loves books the most. She has taken up arms to protest against many things, and with this series of books, she speaks up for the animals we share the world with. She loves adventures, mostly if she can have them sitting at home and making them up. Author Venita Coelho's previous work includes Tiger by the Tail.
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