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Showing posts from December, 2009

Critic Interview: Irene Ying-Yu Chen

The spotlight is on Taiwan today! :o) To introduce us to children's and young adult literature in Taiwan is Irene Ying-Yu Chen. Irene is a children's literature critic in Taiwan. She is also the assistant regional advisor of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Taiwan. Her academic works are published in Taiwan and abroad and her most recent publication is “Monkey King's Journey to the West: Transmission of a Chinese Folktale to Anglophone Children” in the January 2009 issue of Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature.

Irene kindly sent me a copy of her latest publication and I found it a fascinating introduction to and discussion of "Monkey King." "Monkey King" is retold in English literature as a signifier of Chinese culture, but it can also bridge cultural gaps and stimulate cross-cultural literature for children. One of the "Monkey King" versions Irene analyzes is Gene Luen Yang's you…

Some Illustrations from Iranian Children's Books

Thanks to my lovely co-worker and poet friend Chloe who let me know about this:

A Journey Round My Skull has three blog posts featuring some illustrations from Iranian children's books. If you are interested, as I most certainly am, click here for the first post, here for the second, and here for the third. I particularly like the third batch of illustrations. Below is my favorite featured illustration. It's from Long Neck Gazelle written by Djamsheed Sepahi and illustrated by Yoota Azargeen. Simple, unique, fun, playful, and expressive.


Most of the illustrations are from the 70s. Now I can't help but be intrigued about the children's and young adult literature scene in Iran in the 70s as compared to the scene there now.

Bonus: A Journey Round My Skull also has a blog post on an illustrated Iranian book of poetry for children from the 70s.

Happy exploring!

Author/Editor Interview: Mio Debnam

I'm excited to present this interview with Mio Debnam! Mio is a children's and young adult book writer and editor, and the regional advisor of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Hong Kong. Read my conversation with Mio below to learn all about her work, SCBWI Hong Kong, and the children's and young adult book scene in Hong Kong.

Welcome, Mio!

Please share your love story with children's and young adult literature. :o)

My love of books started when I was just a tot – my parents read to me a lot, and I loved hearing stories. With regards to reading, I think I can pinpoint the birth of that interest, to when I was about six, and I had my tonsils out.

You know how, for many kids, the only silver lining to a tonsillectomy is limitless jelly and ice cream? Well, sadly for my poor mother, I hated both, and went on a hunger strike. To persuade (bribe!) me to eat liquidized soup, Mum went down to the second hand bookshop and bought me the full set…

Video: Yusof Gajah

While doing a bit of research on Malaysian children's and YA books, I came across a video introducing Yusof Gajah, an artist and award-winning children's book writer and illustrator. Yusof also represents Malaysian writers, illustrators, and publishers of children's and YA books for international rights. (Woohoo - Malaysia in the heart, world on the mind!)

These books from Yusof are on my Christmas wish list. I LOVE HIS ART AND ILLUSTRATIONS.

Check out the video below. A couple of parts are in Malaysian, but most of it is in English.

The Asian Festival of Children's Content

Here's something I really want to attend. REALLY. WANT. TO. ATTEND.

The very first Asian Festival of Children's Content will be held in Singapore on May 6 - 9, 2010. It will be organized by the Singapore Book Council and The Arts House.

The vision of the festival is to provide the world’s children with quality Asian content for education and entertainment. Its mission is to foster excellence in the creation, production, and publication of children’s materials with Asian content in all formats, and to facilitate their distribution and access, first in Asia and then to children worldwide.

The objectives of the festival are to:

Develop children’s materials with Asian content for information, education, and entertainment
Promote the publishing of Asian children’s content in all formats
Provide children in Asia and the world with ready and easy access to Asian content

Now, if that doesn't say "Asia in the heart, world on the mind," I don't know what does.

Here are some of…