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.