Guest Blog Post: Tusitala Books

Friday, April 29, 2011
Tusitala is a digital publishing company in Singapore that publishes books as apps for the iPad and iPhone. By digital publishing, we mean that we're trying to take what is incredible and timeless about books-- all those beautiful illustrations and simple heartwarming stories-- and adding some really great technology to the mix. The results (as we hope you'll see for yourself!) are book-apps that are visually stunning and genuinely enjoyable for kids and parents both.

One of the things we appreciate most about children's literature is how they can be such a wonderful bridge between the worlds of children and adults. When parents read these stories to their kids-- adopting funny voices for different characters or mimicking the actions of various characters-- it creates a lasting bond between parent and child. It's an experience no parent or child should miss out on. Our first series of children's books apps, the Lola Grows Up series was built on this premise of known voices telling you a story, truly personalising it. So it's created with a recording facility, so parents can record their own voices telling the story for kids to listen to anytime. (Parents are a notoriously busy bunch, after all!) Kids have great fun recording and listening to their own voices, too, and it's a great tool for them to practice reading, or just enunciating clearly.



The Toilet Monster and Come Dream With Me are the first two titles in our Lola Grows Up series. It's nice to have apps that we're proud of but really, nothing is more gratifying than hearing parents tell us how much their children like the app and even better, how much they enjoy reading it together. The main character of these books, Lola, is an adorable little girl with ordinary little-girl fears-- she's a little afraid of the toilet, and she doesn't like going to sleep by herself. It's a character kids can empathise with as well as learn from, through the 'everyday adventures' that she goes through.




Apart from our series for toddlers, we also have a few titles for young adults. One of them is The Origins of Shaolin Kungfu, which is a really entertaining and educational comic about Shaolin history and culture. It even includes little video demos and a couple of games in which you can attain the level of Shaolin Master!




Another one that we love is The Grim Granary, a book of quirky illustrated poems with accompanying voiceovers in various voices and accents. It really is hilarious and we're sure readers of any age will find something to love about it.





As you can probably tell, we're really proud of our book-apps, and it makes us happy to know that there's a tiny part of a generation of children who's growing up with them. Nothing makes us happier. If you want to find out more or check out some apps, visit our website or email us at soumya@tusitalabooks.com or wendy@tusitalabooks.com.

Wendy Wong
Director/Head of Design
Tusitala

Press Release: Help Spread the LitWorld Girls Clubs for Literacy in Asia

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Throughout the world, 774 million people are illiterate, and 2/3 of that number are women.

Because of this, one of the biggest programs of the global literacy organization LitWorld is the LitWorld Girls Clubs for Literacy, a reading and writing program that empowers young women to tap into their extraordinary strengths and meet their personal needs. LitWorld Girls Clubs for Literacy provide support, mentorship, and a safe space for girls to learn, connect, and become part of an international network of young women, encouraging a global perspective and a global connection.

LitWorld has 20 Girls Clubs for Literacy in the U.S., Kenya, Liberia, Ghana, Iraq, and the Philippines, and would like to expand to more countries in Asia. If you are in Asia and are interested in starting a LitWorld Girls Club for Literacy, please email girlsclubs@litworld.org. LitWorld staff provides training (via Internet video conference) and fully supports new partners as they launch this program.

Together, we can create a safe, supportive world for all girls.


[Picture above from the LitWorld Girls Club for Literacy in Baguio City, Philippines.]

You're a genius, Lisa Yee. :o)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Asian Festival of Children's Content 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) 2011 is:

* the Asian Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference
* the Asian Children’s Publishers Symposium
* the Asian Primary and Preschool Teachers Congress
* and the Asian Children’s Media Summit

It will be held at The Arts House in Singapore from May 26-28 (with a pre-event panel discussion on May 25), and this year's theme is Connecting with Connected Kids.
"Once upon a cyberspace, children explored the world through libraries, bedtime tales and story books. Books are still around, but they are looking different. As technology puts media access into children's pockets and bedrooms, how do content makers stay connected with connected kids?

Join experts from around the world at Asia's gateway to the international children's content market. Celebrate, contemplate and collaborate on exciting new ways to engage, educate and empower the world's children on a global stage through uniquely Asian content."

Speakers for this year's AFCC include:

* award-winning children's book author and illustrator Choi Yangsook (Korea/U.S.)
* literary agent Kelly Sonnack (U.S.)
* publishing director of Scholastic India, Sayoni Basu (India)
* editorial director of Neal Porter Books, Neal Porter (U.S.)
* children's book author and lecturer Pooja Makhijani (U.S./Singapore)
* award-winning children's book author Emily Lim (Singapore)
* founder of the educational television channel The Knowledge Channel, Elvina Lopez-Bautista (Philippines)
* developer of the BBC children's channels CBBC and CBeebies, Greg Childs (U.K.)

And many more! I am also a speaker for this year's AFCC. There will be a panel discussion on blogging on May 25, 5:30-7 p.m., at The Arts House. I will be talking about the kidlitosphere and YA blogosphere along with Corinne Robson, associate editor of Paper Tigers, and Dr. Myra Garces-Bascal, founder of Gathering Books.

Click on the image below for more details about the panel discussion:


I hope to see you during the panel discussion and other activities of the AFCC. I attended the AFCC last year and had an AMAZING time. I learned SO MUCH. Click here to read my blog posts about AFCC 2010.

Congratulations to the winners of the Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature!

Friday, April 1, 2011
Picture Book Winner:


Yasmin’s Hammer written by Ann Malaspina and illustrated by Doug Ghayka (Lee and Low, 2010)

Picture Book Honor:


Fly Free! written by Roseanne Thong and illustrated by Eujin Kim Neilan (Boyds Mills Press, 2010)

Children’s Literature Winner:


Heart of a Samurai written by Margi Preus (Amulet Books, 2010)

Children’s Literature Honor:


Bamboo People written by Mitali Perkins (Charlesbridge, 2010)

Young Adult Literature Winner:


Shooting Kabul written by N. H. Senzai (Simon and Schuster, 2010)

Young Adult Literature Honor:



A Boy of Heart Mountain written by Barbara Bazaldua and illustrated by Willie Ito (Yabitoon Books, 2010)

The Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature honor and recognize the literary and artistic merit of work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage. Click here to see the winners in the adult fiction and adult nonfiction categories. Congratulations to all! =D