children’s book This Easter Sunday by Nadishka Aloysius was recently awarded in Category II for Best Children’s Literature at the recent State Literary Awards 2021.
The State Literary Prize is the annual literary prize awarded by the Government of Sri Lanka and it is an incredibly prestigious recognition given to outstanding literary works.
Nadishka Aloysius presenting the book to the Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith
Addressing the author of This Easter Sunday, Aloysius shared his thoughts on having received such recognition, especially for this specific work which tells the story of an incredibly important and deeply healing moment in recent Sri Lankan history – the Easter Sunday attacks.
A teacher, actress and author of 13 books, Aloysius is no stranger to state awards and recognition for her works. His novel Ravana’s daughter was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize in 2019 and the State Literary Prize in 2020, and several of her works, including Ronan’s Dinosaur, was nominated for the State Literary Prize in 2019, and Roo the Small Red Tuk Tuk was a finalist for the International Wishing Shelf Book Award in 2019.
Addressing her most recent accolade, Aloysius shared that to begin with, she wasn’t even so sure her work was nominated. However, she was quite surprised when she received two invitations for the awards ceremony, as another of her works was also nominated. âAt the invitation stage, everything was a surprise,â she said.
She said she was honored to have received such recognition for her novel, especially given its meaning and subject matter. She noted that she was particularly surprised that they awarded this award to a book that has a lot of religious connotations, adding, âI wrote the book so that everyone can read and relate to it; you don’t have to be a Christian, but by the nature of the subject, the setting is in a church and it’s Easter, and Christian religious overtones are very present.
The State Literary Prize
This Easter Sunday is a story told by Vibhu, a little church mouse, and we explore the incident through the eyes of Vibhu and his friend. They are strangers like you and me; they are outside and they are observing humans from their mouse holes. We follow Vibhu as he realizes that his best friend Seha is missing and the many obstacles he faces in his search for her.
Referring to the complexity of the topic and how she went about approaching it for children, Aloysius explained that she had done it very carefully, even speaking to two child psychologists. different to get their professional opinion as to whether it was presentable to the children. . The novel also includes some thought-provoking questions at the end for parents, if they want to strike up a discussion with their children after reading it.
“There are so many amazing books that are written, but we don’t always hear about it, and even my book, while my close friends and family knew, there were many who did not know that a book for. children about the tragedy was written. I hope this kind of recognition will allow more people to find out and read it. Whether you borrow it from a library or from a friend, I hope you can read it ” , she said.
The book priced at Rs. 400 is available at major bookstores, gift shops and direct from the author. All book sales will benefit the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks, who still need help.