A Day in the Market, an iPad App from Adarna House

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
This post is especially for readers outside the Philippines who have been wondering how they can celebrate Philippine National Children's Book Month. You can enjoy this children's book iPad app - in English and for FREE!


Filipino children's book publisher Adarna House entered the iPad app market earlier this year by developing A Day in the Market, which is based on the Philippine National Children's Book Award-winning Araw sa Palengke written by May Tobias-Papa and illustrated by Isabel Roxas (published by Adarna House in 2008). A Day in the Market is excellent and FREE.

Children are taken along a little girl and her mother's trip to the market, where the little girl is amazed by all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and other experiences. She promised her mother that she wouldn't point to things at the market and ask for them, and at the end of the day, the little girl is rewarded for her patience and obedience.  



Two things are very important when a children's book is turned into an app: The app must always respond to a child's touch, but the responses must never distract the child from the story. Adarna House nails these two things in A Day in the Market. Children poke and prod the little girl awake and dress her for market day. They help her navigate the market and play there with her. There are games too, like sorting things bought at the market - and cooking! All the features will have children grinning from ear to ear and squealing with delight. They work together with the minimal text and charming artwork to form one seamless narrative.



So if you have been curious about books and/or apps from the Philippines, please download the Kirkus-starred A Day in the Market here. It showcases some of the best of our fiction, illustration, and technology for children.  

Giveaway: EDSA by Russell Molina and Sergio Bumatay III

EDSA by Russell Molina and Sergio Bumatay III (Adarna House and the EDSA People Power Commission, 2013) is a picture book done right. It's the story of the Philippines' nonviolent 1986 EDSA Revolution presented as an interactive counting book. Children are treated to minimal text (in Filipino) and iconic images of the revolution, such as radios, yellow ribbons, military tanks, flowers, and thousands of Filipinos united.

Molina used counting because, like counting, the EDSA Revolution was something that started quietly and then escalated. It's brilliant: Gently introducing the EDSA Revolution to children instead of force-feeding a history lesson or hitting them over the head with it. Children will be awed by the illustrations and will have fun counting the birds, soldiers, priests and nuns, supply trucks, and flags in the book, but they will also naturally ask questions about their stories. The book then becomes a springboard for family conversations and classroom discussions about the EDSA Revolution.   

Bumatay's pen and acrylic illustrations for EDSA are overwhelmingly good. There is special use of the color yellow, as the EDSA Revolution is also known as the Yellow Revolution, but the illustrations are mostly black and white to emphasize how the book brings back memories of the revolution. The illustrations are mounted in wooden boxes as dioramas, giving a faint sense of movement and three-dimensionality that completes the book's nostalgic effect. Picture books are children's first exposure to fine art and EDSA is definitely a portable gallery for them. 

Click on the image below to see the details of one of the illustrations for EDSA!


I highly recommend EDSA for very young Filipinos and am giving away a copy signed by both the author and illustrator. To join the giveaway, leave your name in the comments section below. This giveaway is open to everyone, no matter where you are in the world. The winner will be randomly selected and announced the evening of Aug. 7.

Bugtong Bugtong 2: More Filipino Riddles by Daniel Palma Tayona

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bugtong Bugtong 2: More Filipino Riddles
By Daniel Palma Tayona
Tahanan Books, 2013
A tribute to Rene O. Villanueva's 1998 classic book Bugtong, Bugtong

Riddle: Sariling-sarili mo na, ginagamit pa ng iba.
Answer: Pangalan!

This illustrated collection of 57 Filipino riddles is fun for everyone. I can definitely see a parent or child reading aloud from this book, trying to stump the rest of the family. I can see bored teens reading these riddles to each other too! I read some of the riddles to my teen students and some to my adult friends and there's just something so satisfying about seeing one triumphant face shout out the correct answer from among a group of confused faces.

I can also see a child poring over this book by his or herself. Everything about Bugtong Bugtong 2's book design is kid friendly: Everything from the type size and face to the book's size and the thickness of the paper make the book very inviting and easy to read. The ink and gouache illustrations are bright, simple, charming, and they not just provide clues to the riddles, they show the story of a day in the life of Oskar the (cute!) dog. 

Bugtong Bugtong 2 is beautifully simple and simply beautiful.

Daniel Palma Tayona poses with his book Bugtong Bugtong 2 

The Oath I Took on National Children's Book Day 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
I, Tarie Sabido, do solemnly swear to serve the Philippine Board on Books for Young People by upholding its constitution and by-laws; by fulfilling my role as Chair; and, by dedicating my time and talent to help fulfill the PBBY's vision to make every child a reader, every reader a lover of books. So help me God.

Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino (I Am A Good Filipino) by Noel Cabangon and Jomike Tejido

Monday, July 15, 2013

This one is a real crowd pleaser: Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino, Lampara Books' 2012 picture book adaptation of Noel Cabangon's song, with Cabangon's original Filipino lyrics, functional English translations by Becky Bravo, and illustrations by Jomike Tejido!

Cabangon's inspiring lyrics remind children of the ways they can be good Filipinos, such as doing their best in school and obeying their parents. There are plenty of reminders for adults too, such as following traffic rules and not selling their votes during elections. Tejido's illustrations are warm and wholesome, acrylic paintings on hand-woven mats that depict different ways to be good citizens.   


You just can't go wrong with Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino! Children and adults will understand and appreciate the lyrics and paintings. The chords of the song are provided, so music lovers can play and sing along. There are notes and guide questions for educators. There is even a treat for book collectors: a hardcover edition (which is rare among Filipino picture books).

Here is a live performance of "Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino":

I hope to see you there!

Celebrating National Children's Book Month in Baguio City?

Sunday, July 14, 2013
Please attend this lecture! :o)


Don't forget!

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Please don't forget to like the Facebook page of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) to follow all the different celebrations for National Children's Book Month. ~^o^~

How Poets Can Celebrate National Children's Book Month!

Write and submit a poem to this landmark anthology!

The editors of the forthcoming anthology of Philippine children’s poetry, Ginto’t Pilak, Namumulaklak: Antolohiya ng mga Tula, Berso at Awit Pambata sa Pilipinas, are extending their last day of submissions to July 31, 2013.

Any form of children’s poetry will be accepted (rhymed and metered, free verse, shape/form poetry, narrative poetry, etc.). The anthology will also accept submissions from other Philippine languages aside from Filipino, such as Iloko, Pangasinense, Pampango, Bikol, Hiligaynon, Cebuano/Bisaya, Waray, Chavacano, Tausug, etc., provided they have an accompanying translation in Filipino.

Writers are encouraged to write into poetry the colorful life, traditions, and culture of Filipino children wherever they are.

Email your poems to tulangpambataantolohiya@gmail.com with the heading “SUBMISSION FOR ANTHOLOGY” or “TULANG PAMBATA” along with a biographical note and contact number.

Contributors are also encouraged to visit the anthology’s official Facebook account for further announcements.

Candy Magazine's Fiction Special

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

This month's issue of Candy, a magazine for Filipina teens, includes a fiction special! Pretty perfect timing, huh? :o)

The fiction special includes three stories for older teens (ages 16-19) which are described as "super short, so-you stories that will change your life." I've read them and I wouldn't say that they will change readers' lives, but the stories are definitely about life changes: "Sparrows" by Leslie Lipa is about losing a mother, "Is there even a future here?" by Joanna Kennedy is about breaking up, and "Arrival" by Marla Miniano is about reuniting with an estranged father. My favorite is "Is there even a future here?" because it's a realistic and entertaining depiction of an "amicable breakup" that I feel will really appeal to older teen readers.  

I wonder if Candy features at least one short story every issue. THEY SHOULD!

How Theater Lovers Can Celebrate National Children's Book Month

Monday, July 8, 2013





Watch Tanghalang Pilipino's musical adaptation of the children's book Sandosenang Sapatos by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan! Sandosenang Sapatos, the Musical runs from July 13 to 21 at Tanghalang Huseng Batute in the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Regular tickets are Php600 and student tickets are Php300. There is a 20% discount on the regular ticket price for senior citizens, government employees, military employees, and PWDs. Tickets are available at all TicketWorld outlets.

For inquiries, you may contact Enzo of Tanghalang Pilipino: 0999-8843821.

Celebrating Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! with Illustrator Sergio Bumatay III

National Children's Book Month is the perfect time to read or reread Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! by Nanoy Rafael and Sergio Bumatay III (Adarna House, 2008). The book is a product of the silver anniversary Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) Salanga and Alcala prizes, and is one of my favorite Filipino children's books. Recently the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Sweden awarded Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! the Peter Pan Prize, an annual prize for a foreign children's or young adult book of high quality published in Sweden. (Bokförlaget Trasten is Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!'s publisher in Sweden.)

CONGRATULATIONS!

Here is IBBY Sweden’s citation for the book:
"The Filipino picture book Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! represents a part of the world not often seen in Swedish publishing for children. The theme, however, is universal: A child getting a younger sibling. The boy Isko’s anxiety about the changes he suspects will take place in his family is expressed by the recurrent cry of 'Naku, nakuu, nakuuu!' (roughly 'My, my, oh my!').

The illustrations mirror the main character’s apprehension, and visualize his fears in an imaginative and detailed way. Through a changing palette of colors the pictures follow Isko’s mood from anxious bewilderment to the harmonious final page: Here, the mask which Isko has worn throughout the book has been removed, and he seems to have grown into his role of soon-to-be older brother."
Sergio Bumatay III (Serj), the book's illustrator, is our guest for today and I have asked him a few questions:

Congratulations, Serj! What did you love most about Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!?

It gave me the chance to draw everything I love drawing. There are so many details in the book that readers will enjoy hunting. Naku is special to me because it’s one of my books that opened so many opportunities for me in children’s lit.
 

What was your creative process for Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!?

I took time to internalize the story and put myself in Isko’s shoes (main character). It wasn’t really that hard because I can relate to him, I was more than once an anxious brother-to-be. So I banked on childhood experiences and focused on surreal imagination. I also did some research for some details of the illustration like animal babies, spider eggs, pregnancy charts, and patterns etc.



[Updated to add: Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! was illustrated using pencil and acrylic paint on boards.]


What does winning the Peter Pan Prize mean to you?

It means that life isn’t always that bad, the news came to me when our family was facing a challenge. It also means that sometimes appreciation doesn’t come in an instant. If you work hard on something, people will notice eventually. 

As a children's book illustrator, what are your ten essentials or ten obsessions?

For the essentials, I coined it as artist best friends, see the poster below. :-) I made this poster just for your interview. :-p This is also available as a print. For the obsessions, I guess my Instagram pretty much sums it up.



Wow, an Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind exclusive! Thank you so much, Serj!
 
Please check this blog again for the list of essentials and obsessions of Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!'s writer Nanoy Rafael.

Celebrate National Children's Book Day with the Children's Literature Association of the Philippines!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Children's Literature Association of the Philippines, Inc. (CLAPI) invites you to "Reading Beyond Borders," a forum on:

* building proficiency in language through reading,
* creating awarenss of the K to 12 reading program, and
* adopting and applying appropriate reading strategies to instill the love for books and reading.

"Reading Beyond Borders" will be on Tuesday July 16, in the P. Gomez Elementary School auditorium, Sta. Cruz Manila, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. The registration fee is only PhP300.

Celebrating National Children's Book Month in Cebu City?

Friday, July 5, 2013
Click on the picture below to read an invitation!


On July 20, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) will be in Cebu City to give a FREE seminar. PBBY Chair and representative for librarians Zarah Gagatiga will be speaking about library activities, and as the PBBY representative for book reviewers I will be speaking about book reviewing.

I really hope to meet many of the children's books supporters in Cebu City! Again, please click on the picture above for more details. :o)

How Aspiring Authors in Metro Manila Can Celebrate National Children's Book Month

Thursday, July 4, 2013
On July 6, join Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING), the organization for children's book writers in the Philippines!

How Art Lovers in Metro Manila Can Celebrate National Children's Book Month



Visit "A Curious Buffet"! Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang I.N.K.), the organization for children's book illustrators in the Philippines, presents art inspired by the kitchen at Post (formerly Pablo), Cubao X. This group exhibit runs until July 13.

Update: "A Curious Buffet" has been extended to July 20. And here is a video from the exhibit's opening!

A CURIOUS BUFFET: Ang I.N.K. Group Exhibit from Teters Enrique on Vimeo.

Writers Share Their AFCC Experience

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
In the video below, Candy Gourlay shares pictures and books from the recent Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) in Singapore and the National Book Development Board Little Lit Fest in Manila!



And in this blog post "Meems" reflects on attending the AFCC as a Malaysian writer.

YES, I AM TRYING TO MAKE YOU JEALOUS. But only because I want to hang out with you at next year's AFCC and Little Lit Fest. ~^o^~