What shall I make? by Nandini Nayar and Proiti Roy

Friday, February 24, 2012

What shall I make?, written by Nandini Nayar and illustrated by Proiti Roy (Tulika Publishers, 2006)

Neeraj's mother is making chapatis while Neeraj squeezes, rolls, pokes, pats, pulls, pinches, and presses some of the chapati dough into a snake. . . a mouse. . . a cat. . . a lion! And the entire time Neeraj's mother is playing too, helping Neeraj control the dough animals. "A snake! A snake! It's going to bite me!" Neeraj yells. "Roll it up, quick, quick!" says his mother. Naturally, in the end the dough becomes the best chapati Neeraj has ever eaten.

Like a hot chapati, this fun little book about imagination and play is light and puffy, but ultimately warming and filling and satisfying because it is also about quality family bonding time. And like chapatis, What shall I make? should be shared with family, friends, students, and other loved ones.


[I bought my own copy of What shall I make?]

Asian American Author Series: Mitali Perkins

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Whoa whoa whoa. Some positive and inspiring words from Mitali Perkins about living between cultures, education, multicultural books for children, and social media. Gotta find a way to get her to do an author visit in the Philippines.



Asian American Author Series: Grace Lin

I can't believe I didn't discover this YouTube series earlier! In the first video, author/illustrator Grace Lin shares a bit about how her artistic style developed. In the second video, she shares a couple of heartbreaking stories =( that really illustrate the need for multicultural children's books.



Ang INK Open for Applications

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK), an association of Filipino artists committed to the creation and promotion of illustrations for children, is open for applications!

Application requirements:

1. Accomplished application form.

2. One illustration based on the story "Anong Gupit Natin Ngayon?"

3. Five sample illustrations from your portfolio.

Deadline is February 29, 2012, 5 p.m. Email hello@ang-ink.org.

Tastespotting in Dumpling Days by Grace Lin

Saturday, February 18, 2012

One of my many favorite food scenes in Dumpling Days by Grace Lin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012):
"Careful when you eat these," Auntie Jin said. "They're special."

I'd had dumplings lots of times. How special could these be? But as I took a bite, I almost stopped in amazement.

"There's soup in these dumplings!" I said.

All the adults at the table laughed.

"I told you they were special!" Auntie Jin said. "They are called
xiaolongbao. They have soup inside of them. They're good, aren't they?"

I took another bite. The hot soup filled my mouth, and the mixture of soup and meat and dumpling skin seemed to melt into a warm, rich flavor. They
were good. Very, very good. I began to realize why Uncle Flower said Taiwan had the best dumplings in the world.

They were so good that I didn't even notice that I had soup dribbling down my chin. I quickly wiped it away.

"They say if you can eat these dumplings without making a mess, you are a 'real Chinese' person," Uncle Flower said.

Chicken, Pig, Cow's First Fight by Ruth Ohi

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Waaahhh, what is this adorableness? Are there Chicken, Pig, Cow stuffed toys? Because I want them! I want to hug them and squish them and snuggle in bed with them. The Chicken, Pig, Cow characters are THAT cute.

Annick Press has an entire Chicken, Pig, Cow picture book series by author/illustrator Ruth Ohi, but I have only read the latest in the series, Chicken, Pig, Cow's First Fight (January, 2012). Chicken, Pig, and Cow are the very best of friends, but one day they squabble. It all began when Girl built a city out of toy blocks and Chicken makes the city perfect by adding a chicken statue. Pig accidentally destroys the statue - and the entire city! Read the book to see Cow's reaction, whether Pig is sorry or not, and if Chicken forgives Pig.

The watercolor illustrations in Chicken, Pig, Cow's First Fight are bright, yet soft; work with a lot of white space; and upon first look are deceptively simple, but then reveal themselves to be surprisingly expressive (Love the facial expressions!). Through these illustrations and sparse text (I love sparse text!), Ruth Ohi tells a friendship story that perfectly captures how and why little ones fight. The logic behind the characters' actions, their thought processes, their emotional arc, how easy or difficult it was for them to fight or forgive. . . It was all SPOT ON.

Recommended for ages 2-5!


[My copy of the book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.]

Happy Book Birthday, A Diamond in the Desert!


Cake and balloons and confetti for A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice (Viking Juvenile), out today. =D
"For Tetsu, baseball is so much more than just a game.

On December 6, 1941, Tetsu is a twelve-year-old California boy who loves baseball. On December 7, 1941, everything changes. The bombing of Pearl Harbor means Tetsu's Japanese American family will be relocated to an internment camp.

Gila River camp isn't technically a prison, but with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no time frame for leaving, it might as well be. So when someone has the idea of building a baseball diamond and starting a team, Tetsu is overjoyed. But then his sister gets dangerously sick, forcing him to choose between his family and his love of the game."

Watch out for my review, interview, and giveaway!!!

I have a quick Q&A. . .

Sunday, February 5, 2012
With Holly Meade, winner of a Sydney Taylor Honor in the Younger Readers Category. =D

Heading to the Ayala Museum tomorrow!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang I.N.K.), the Philippine's first and only organization committed to the creation and promotion of illustration for children, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary with a retrospective exhibit at the Ayala Museum, Makati City, Philippines. I've already been to the exhibit, but I'm going again tomorrow with my students. That's how good it is! It was a real delight seeing the original artwork for some classic and some award-winning Philippine picture books. And some of the art was so good that they made my heart STOP (I'm looking at you, Totet de Jesus). If you are in the Metro Manila area, you should really visit! Happy anniversary, Ang I.N.K.! :o)