Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2011

Happy Holidays!!!

The slowest laptop in the world + no Internet access = the height of frustration I have been having problems with my Internet service provider and will be visiting family for the holidays. I'll be back blogging next year! Happy Holidays, everyone. ~^o^~ - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Call for Submissions: Tu Books

Tu Books publishes speculative fiction for children and young adults featuring diverse characters and settings. Our focus is on well-told, exciting, adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novels featuring people of color set in worlds inspired by non-Western folklore or culture. We welcome Western settings if the main character is a person of color. We are looking specifically for stories for both middle grade (ages 8-12) and young adult (ages 12-18) readers. (We are not looking for picture books, chapter books, or short stories. Please do not send submissions in these formats.) For more information on how to submit, please see our submission guidelines . We are not accepting unagented email submissions at this time. What we’re particularly interested in seeing lately: Asian steampunk, any African culture, contemporary African-American stories, Latino/a stories, First Nations/Native American/Aboriginal fantasy or science fiction written by tribal members, original postapoca

The 2012 PBBY-Salanga Prize

Congratulations to Russell Molina for winning the 2012 Philippine Board on Books for Young People - Salanga Prize! Molina also won the prize in 2003. :o) Congratulations to honorable mentions Felinda Bagas and Segundo Matias! Click here to learn more about the contest, or email

And according to the New York Times. . .

The most notable children's books of the year include Allen Say's Drawing from Memory and: Level Up , written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Thien Pham (First Second Books)

Waiting with you, Ari!

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 10 January 2012) My other blog crush, Ari of Reading In Color, is waiting for this to be released. A half Indian, half Jewish American protagonist? I'm waiting with you, Ari!

Ohohoho, and the awesomeness continues.

School Library Journal named their picks for the Best Books of 2011 , and they include: The House Baba Built: An Artist's Childhood in China by Ed Young (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) Dear Ed Young, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. . . The Twins' Blanket by Hyewon Yum (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers)

Call for Submissions - HORROR: Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults

Editors Dean Francis Alfar (publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies) and Kenneth Yu (publisher of Philippine Genre Stories) announce a call for short fiction submissions for HORROR: Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults. Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults is a new annual anthology series, with the first volume focusing on horror, and launching in mid-2012. Submissions must be: 1. in the horror genre or contain strong horror elements 2. written with the young adult reader in mind (from 10 – 18 years old) and feature a young adult character (or characters) 3. cognizant of the themes and concerns of young adult fiction (coming of age, identity, belonging, a sense of wonder, a love for adventure, angst, concerns over school, challenges of youth, family issues, relationships to authority figures, sexuality, experimentation, peer pressure, bullying, among many others) – without being didactic and/or boring 4. written in English 5. authored by Filipinos or t

More Awesomeness

Here are some of the Best Teen Books of 2011 !!! I.M. Pei: Architect of Time, Place and Purpose by Jill Rubalcaba (Marshall Cavendish Corp/Ccb) Island's End by Padma Venkatraman (Putnam Juvenile) Mangaman , written by Barry Lyga and illustrated by Colleen Doran (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)

Happy Book Birthday to You. . .

Happy Book Birthday to You. . . Happy Book Birthday, Happy Book Birthday. . . Happy Book Birthday to You! In Bon Bibi’s Forest , written by Sandhya Rao and illustrated by Proiti Roy (Tulika Books) "When the quiet villages of Sundarban are terrorised by Dokkhin Rai, a monster with wild eyes, sharp teeth, striped skin and pointed nails, Bon Bibi has to step in to look after the people. That’s when she realises that Dokkhin Rai himself needs protection – as do the forests that are his home." The Magic Feather by Roma Singh (Tulika Books) "An owl drops a purple feather in a forest. A little girl picks it up and there begins a journey into magical lands..." Ack! The illustrations for these two books look gorgeous!

You guys are AWESOME.

Congratulations for being named some of the Best Children's Books of 2011 ! Coral Reefs by Jason Chin (Flash Point) Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (HarperCollins) Drawing From Memory by Allen Say (Scholastic Press)

You rock, Zhu Cheng Liang!

Congratulations to illustrator Zhu Cheng Liang and author Yu Li Qiong! Their picture book A New Year’s Reunion (Candlewick Press) made it on the New York Times list of the 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2011 !

Mind. Blown.

More to reflect on when considering the number of Asian characters in children's and YA books. “You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist? And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.” — Junot Diaz I am so glad I am meeting this man in November.


India in the Heart, World on the Mind

I think this is worth checking out! After all, a fun activity book is always a winner with kids! The World Tour Mystery by Manjula Padmanabhan (Tulika Books, 2011) "As the idea of the Monuments book continued to twitch and grow inside my mind, I and Tulika began to see that difference/sameness are a really important part of traveling too. After all, people in other countries look different and have unique local costumes, yet -- as we see in the book -- tourists look the same wherever they go! When we line up to board an aircraft, we see hundreds of people, some young, some old, some funny, some strange: yet for all the differences, we can also see so much that's the same: we all drink water, for instance; little babies of all nationalities scream in the same language; everyone looks grumpy if there's a long queue for the toilet." Click here to find out more about this puzzle book. :o) Also. . . I wish I could visit. :o( :o( :o( P.S. The cover of The World Tour Myste

My blog crush is back!

One of the influences and inspirations of this blog is Li and her blog GAL Novelty . Li took a long break from the blogosphere but is now back with a new blog, A World of Paper Hearts . Check it out! ~^o^~

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2012

Confetti, cupcakes, champagne, and fireworks for the Asian nominees of the 2012 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), the world's largest prize for children's and young adult literature!! A & A Book Trust Organisation India AÇEV (Mother and Child Education Foundation) Organisation Turkey Ahmadi, Ahmad Reza Author Iran Ali, Abdul Razzag Author Maldives Anno, Mitsumasa Illustrator Japan Bunanta, Murti Author/Promoter of reading Indonesia Dashdondog, Jamba Author/Oral storyteller/Promoter of reading Mongolia Donya Children's Research Institute Organisation Iran Ismail, Mohd Yusof Bin Author/Illustrator/Oral storyteller Malaysia Katha Organisation India Liu, Xianping Author China Midhat Kazim, Basarat Author/Promoter of reading Pakistan Murti Bunanta Foundation Organisation/Oral storytellers Indonesia Rahmandoost, Mostafa Author Iran Say, Allen Author/Illustrator USA Sta. Romana-Cruz, Neni Author/Promoter of reading The Philippines Thailand Knowledge Park Organisation Thai

Aaahhh! Aaahhh!

Congratulations to Thanhha Lai , author of Inside Out & Back Again (HarperCollins, 2011), for being named a finalist of the US National Book Awards (Young People's Literature)!

New books from Karadi Tales!

Check out the October releases from Karadi Tales (India)! Dancing Bear , written by Manasi Subramaniam and illustrated by Gwangjo and Jung-a Park Somu the bear is unusual: He can dance! But Somu wants to be free and unchained. Can his friend Altaf understand this? Will Altaf ever set him free? This poignant story describes the friendship between a young boy and a bear, the boy’s unique understanding of what the bear truly wants, and the true predicament of dancing bears in India. Dorje’s Stripes , written by Anshumani Ruddra and illustrated by Gwangjo and Jung-a Park Dorje is a beautiful Royal Bengal Tiger – but he has no stripes on his body. In a small Buddhist monastery in Tibet, Master Wu, a good-hearted monk, tries to understand the secret of Dorje’s missing stripes. This sensitively written, beautifully illustrated story takes us to Tibet, Bengal, and the heart of the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Moustache Man , written by Priya Ramanathan and illustrated by Garima Gupta Nekgaon is a

Miscellany 10-6-11

* Fun =D Author/illustrator Grace Lin (sooooooo pretty and talented) has a project leaving pocket Pacys (tiny dolls of the main character in her middle grade novels The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat ) in different places in France. She's hoping people will pick up the pocket Pacys and travel with them. * Intriguing! Marc Tyler Nobleman is using his blog to pitch his picture book manuscript featuring WWII navy pilot Nobuo Fujita, the first and still only man to complete an aerial attack on American soil. Link here . Thanks to Greg Pincus for this tip. * Sorry :o( Still haven't finished tagging each blog post by country. >_< * Watch out for . . . My interview with author/illustrator Joyce Wan . She's committed to cuteness! * And ooohhh . . . Tulika Books USA ! Tulika, you really know what you are doing.

Why I Started This Blog: The Danger of A Single Story

Shweta Ganesh Kumar shared with me this TED Talk from novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about how "a single story" about another person or country can cause critical misunderstanding, and I felt that the talk really reflected why I started this blog. Please watch it below, if you haven't already: I sometimes teach creative writing to children and teens and have been very shocked to see that the first impulse of my students - all Filipinos or Chinese Filipinos ages 11-15 - is to write stories featuring characters with blond hair and blue eyes. It seems that, like the seven-year-old Adichie, my students have "a single story" about what literature is and do not think that people like them can exist in literature. (Needless to say, I am now trying to expose my students to more Filipino literature and literature from other Asian countries.) I blog because our students, nieces and nephews, children, grandchildren, and godchildren NEED AND DESERVE more than "a

The first Filipino ReaderCon was a success!

THANK YOU to all the sponsors of the first Filipino Reader Conference : Vibal Publishing House, Inc. Primetrade Asia, Inc. Flipside Digital Content Company, Inc. Scholastic Philippines OMF Literature Hachette Philippines Tie Me Up, Buttercup National Book Development Board The ReaderCon included a keynote speech on "prosumers" (producers who are also consumers/consumers who are also producers), panels on book clubs and book blogging, and book raffles. It felt like a party with fun people eating yummy food, sharing their love and passion for books and social media, and celebrating and promoting the reading COMMUNITY. I'd like to thank the sponsors again, and I'd most especially like to thank the head organizer and my good friend Honey de Peralta . ~^o^~ I look forward to next year's ReaderCon. Par-tay, par-tay!

Looking for a 9/11 novel to read?

"The struggle to fit in is very nearly universal in teen culture, but it’s that much tougher for a lot of young people in the wake of 9/11. Author Neesha Meminger takes on both the topical issue of anti-Muslim racism and the ever-present struggle to be true to yourself in her intense and thoughtful novel Shine, Coconut Moon ." - Colleen Mondor for Bookslut ". . .One day, shortly after 9/11, a man wearing a turban shows up on her doorstep. He is her estranged uncle, and through him, Sam begins to realize how important being Indian American is to her identity. This novel is especially poignant as our country continues to deal with prejudice against South Asians and individuals from the Middle East." - Melanie Koss for Booklist "An important book for young people about coming to terms with identity, prejudice, and family in a post-9/11 world." - Marina Budhos, author of Ask Me No Questions and Tell Us We're Home Click here to read my blog post on Neesha

See you there? =D

Children's Literature Association Call for Papers: Philippine Children’s Literature

International Committee, Children's Literature Association Call for Papers: Philippine Children’s Literature 39th Annual Children’s Literature Association Conference Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA June 14-16, 2012 The International Committee of the Children’s Literature Association is planning a special country focus panel on the Philippines, to be presented at the 39th Children’s Literature Association Conference, to be held at Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA from June 14 to 16, 2012. The committee invites paper proposals that focus on any aspect of Philippine children’s literature. Papers may focus on the origins of and/or developments in Philippine children’s texts; issues of regionalism and nationalism; Philippine folklore as children’s texts; Philippine children’s literature in the diaspora; or the state of children’s literature studies in the Philippines. Preference will be given to proposals with the potential to inspire American and int

My wallet is ready.

The Twins' Blanket by Hyewon Yum (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2011) This seems like a must-buy. Click here to read the New York Times article that made me want to buy the book.

Let's help build more libraries for children in the Philippines, yes?

Hmmm, I would have liked to see the children reading more Filipino and other Asian books. :o) Click here to learn more about Sambat Trust and how you can help build more libraries for children in the Philippines!

Announcing the 1st Filipino Reader Conference

Filipino Readers Make It Social! The 1st Filipino Reader Conference When: September 14, 2011, Wednesday, 1-6 PM (during the Manila International Book Fair) Where: SMX Mall of Asia (Metro Manila, Philippines), Meeting Room 2 Objectives: 1. to provide support, instruction, and social time for book club members and book bloggers 2. to celebrate readers and reading in the Philippines 3. to promote a closer connection between readers, writers, and publishers Program: 1:00 – 1:20 PM Registration 1:20 – 1:30 PM Welcome Remarks 1:30 – 2:00 PM Keynote Speech: How readers can help promote Filipino authors, publishers, and Philippine literature Speaker: Carljoe Javier Author of And The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth , The Kobayashi Maru of Love , and Geek Tragedies . Also published stories in anthologies and magazines, such as Free Press , Philippine Graphic , and Fudge . Taught Creative Writing at UP Diliman and was a fellow for fiction at the UP and Dumaguete

Author Interview: Emily Lim

Singaporean Emily Lim is the award-winning author of the picture books Prince Bear & Pauper Bear , The Tale of Rusty Horse , Just Teddy , Bunny Finds the Right Stuff , and Baby Panda Finds His Way - all stories that give readers the warm fuzzies! Here I chat with Emily about her work and children's literature in Singapore. Why do you write children's literature? Can you please tell us about your path to publication? What keeps you inspired and motivated as a children's book writer? I started out with children's books as that was the genre under the First Time Writers and Illustrators Publishing Initiative, organized by our Book Council and the Media Development Authority [MDA] of Singapore. Under that Initiative, winners were given a grant to get their book published. I was in between jobs at that time. So I decided to research on the publishing process and publish my own book. I borrowed "how to" books from the National Library and attended a few book c

The Ramayana from a Woman's Point of View!

The Ramayana was required reading in my all-girls high school and I quite like the idea of a new generation of students studying the great Indian epic using this graphic novel retelling from Sita's point of view. Sita's Ramayana by Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar (Tara Books, 2011)

Happy Philippine Children's Book Day!!!

Whoa, it exists.

One picture with two of my favorite things: children's books and K-pop! [ETA: Seriously, allkpop is just as important to me as A Fuse #8 Production . And that's saying a lot.]

Author Interview: Laura Manivong

Vonlai knows that soldiers who guard the Mekong River shoot at anything that moves, but in oppressive Communist Laos, there’s nothing left for him, his spirited sister, Dalah, and his desperate parents. Their only hope is a refugee camp in Thailand—on the other side of the river. When they reach camp, their struggles are far from over. Na Pho is a forgotten place where life consists of squalid huts, stifling heat, and rationed food. Still, Vonlai tries to carry on as if everything is normal. He pays attention in school, a dusty barrack overcrowded with kids too hungry to learn. And he plays soccer in a field full of rocks to forget his empty stomach. But when someone inside the camp threatens his family, Vonlai calls on a forbidden skill to protect their future, a future he’s sure is full of promise, if only they can make it out of Na Pho alive. Hi, everyone! :o) Today's interview is with the beautiful Laura Manivong , author of Escaping the Tiger (HarperCollins, 2010), a treasure

Out now! Out now!

Bestest. Ramadan. Ever. by Medeia Sharif (Flux, 2011) No pizza. No boyfriend. (No life.) Okay, so during Ramadan, we're not allowed to eat from sunrise to sunset. For one whole month. My family does this every year, even though I've been to a mosque exactly twice in my life. And it's true, I could stand to lose a few pounds. (Sadly, my mom's hotness skipped a generation.) But is starvation really an acceptable method? I think not. Even worse, my oppressive parents forbid me to date. This is just cruel and wrong. Especially since Peter, a cute and crushable artist, might be my soul mate. Figures my bestest friend Lisa likes him, too. To top it off, there's a new Muslim girl in school who struts around in super-short skirts, commanding every boy's attention-including Peter's. How can I get him to notice me? And will I ever figure out how to be Muslim AND American? I noticed that Flux books are available in the Philippines, so I can't wait to buy this! :o)


Dumpling Days written and illustrated by Grace Lin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, January 2012) Is it January yet??? Gah! It's taking forever.

Book Trailer: Sidekicks by Dan Santat

Call for Submissions!

The National Book Development Council of Singapore and Scholastic Asia are launching the 2012 Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA). The award recognizes Asian writers and writers of Asian origin who are taking the experiences of life, spirit, and thinking in different parts of Asia to the world at large. SABA is awarded to an unpublished manuscript targeted at children ages 6 to 12. The closing date for submissions for the 2012 SABA is Oct. 17, 2011, 5 p.m. Singapore time. For more information, please visit .

You are invited. . . [Updated]

I am the guest speaker for the next Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Philippines ' Children's Lit Booktalk & Work-in-Progress Critique! WHEN: 6 - 8 p.m., Monday, June 13 (Yes, later today.) WHERE: Figaro, 3rd level, Greenbelt 3 Makati Open to members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Philippines and to non-members (18 and above) who are: * Published/unpublished children's book writers/illustrators * Keenly interested in children's and young adult literature BRING: Any children's or young adult book that you want to share, discuss, ask questions about, or use as a spring-board for discussion. Or, bring a work in progress - your art or manuscript for a children's or young adult book - and get a group critique plus tips on how to get published. FEE: Php 20 (for SCBWI members, no fee), plus a receipt to show that you ordered something - a cup of coffee, a cold drink, anything! - as a courtesy to the establi

In My Mailbox / New Crayons: More From Singapore

Every Sunday for the In My Mailbox meme, YA book bloggers share the books they bought, borrowed, or received over the past week. New Crayons is a similar meme that incorporates children's books and books for adults, and focuses on multicultural literature. These are the other ASIAN books I bought and received while I was in Singapore a couple of weeks ago: The Book That Was Handed Down written by Yixian Quek and illustrated by Grace Duan Ying (Straits Times Press, 2008) Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Scholastic Paperbacks, reprint edition 2008) Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Marion Lloyd Books, 2009) Anya's War by Andrea Alban (Feiwel & Friends, 2011) Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari (Macmillan Children's Books, 2011) Indian Children's Favourite Stories written by Rosemarie Somaiah and illustrated by Ranjan Somaiah (Tuttle Publishing, 2006) I also bought a bunch of Singaporean and Japanese teen magazines when I