Karadi Tales was founded in 1996 by C.P. Viswanath, Shobha Viswanath, and Narayan Parasuram, a group of writers, educators, and musicians, with the aim to create a space for Indian culture in mainstream children’s literature. To this day, Karadi Tales works with some of the best writers, artists, and musicians across the country, and has a talented editorial and design team.
Over nearly quarter of a century in the publishing industry, Karadi Tales has demonstrated versatility and range in terms of the formats in which it brings stories to life. From audiobooks, picture books, chapter books, animated books, to even a movie (Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya, 2019). With well-researched scripts that lent themselves to dramatized storytelling with music and sound effects, these stories became instant household names.
When Karadi Tales first began, it was a trailblazer in bringing audiobooks to India. Far more than just stories being read out loud, these audiobooks were narrated by some of the most esteemed personalities in Indian cinema, theatre, and later, even sport. Naseeruddin Shah became the first voice of Karadi the bear. Other narrators included Saeed Jaffery, Javed Jaffery, Girish Karnad, Gulzar, Vidya Balan, and Nandita Das, to name a few. The narration had exquisite background scores created by professional musicians, often inspired by classical ragas. Most of these songs and soundtracks have been composed by C.P. Viswanath, Narayan Parasuram, and Sriram Parasuram, who make up 3 Brothers and A Violin. Soon, Karadi Rhymes was released, sung by the legendary Usha Uthup, with songs that reflected what a diverse, uniquely distinct civilization ours is. The rhymes rejoiced over the monsoon, mangoes, and cricket matches, and embraced India’s diversity and the continuing vibrant march of culture, delighting and enthralling children all over the country.
Karadi Tales also has a series of books under the imprint ‘Charkha’ that is a collection of inspiring stories about some of our country’s greatest individuals such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and J.R.D. Tata. These stories are also set to professionally performed soundtracks inspired by Indian classical ragas, and are narrated by esteemed actors such as Nandita Das, Shekar Kapur, Tom Alter, and Girish Karnad to name a few.
Karadi Tales picture books have a presence all over the world, with several international publishing houses buying rights to the books and translating them into many different languages. The beautiful authentic art has received international appreciation, with readers and publishers from other countries admiring the rich, earthy colours, bold lines, and distinctive tribal art used in the illustrations. The books cover important themes such as gender, sustainability, disability, the environment, bullying, and more.
Over the years, Karadi Tales has had no shortage of national and international accolades. In 2020, it won the London Book Fair International Excellence Award for Audiobook Publisher of the Year. Its books have been featured in various prestigious lists such as White Ravens, International Board on Books for Young People, the New York Public Library’s Best Children’s Books, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program, USBBY’s Outstanding International Book list, and more.
In 2021, Karadi Tales’ sister company, Karadi Path, won the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Award for the category – Educational Learning Resources, for “…its innovative approach, versatile and creative content, and its reach which allows the resource to be used by disadvantaged communities who would not normally have access to high quality educational resources.”
A whole generation has grown up on Karadi Tales, and a new generation is now discovering it. Karadi has always grown with the market and kept up with emerging trends, and Karadi World is our offering to an increasingly digital world.
Whether in the form of e-books, flip audiobooks, or animated books, Karadi the bear continues to be on the lookout for stories that are magical, meaningful, and memorable, all at once.