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

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

1st Philippine National Children's Book Awards

Yesterday was the announcement of the winners of the very first Philippine National Children's Book Awards (NCBA). The awards are for the very best children's and young adult books published in the Philippines (2008-2009). There are no categories and no rankings for the NCBA. And the NCBA does not only evaluate the text of the nominated books. Illustrations, book design, and even the materials used in printing and binding the books are evaluated when choosing the "best reads" for young people in the Philippines! I was a judge for the awards (yes, this is me revealing my sooper sekrit project!) and I am very proud to now share with you the six winners of the first NCBA. Below are the winners' covers and the judges' comments on the books. Araw sa Palengke ( Market Day ) Written by May Tobias-Papa Illustrated by Isabel Roxas Adarna, 2008 (In Filipino, with English translations) "Listen well," her mother tells her. "Hold on to me tightly, ha?

Abdullah and His Grandfather by Andy McNab

My name is Abdullah Bin Salim al Ashur and I live with my people in Wadi Hasik close to Al Haffah in the Governance of Dhofar on the southern coast of Oman. Abdullah and His Grandfather , written by Andy McNab and illustrated by Patricia Al Fakhri ( Jerboa Books , 2008) is about the greatest day of eleven-year-old Abdullah's life: the first day his grandfather took him to the wadi (dried riverbed) to harvest Boswellia trees for their luban (frankincense). Luban is essential to Abdullah and his grandfather and their people, and greatly prized in Omani history. Abdullah is very happy and eager to learn how to make a taqii (cut) on Boswellia tree branches using his manqaf (a traditional Arabic tool like a miniature scythe) so that luban will leak from the branches. The luban will harden and in two to three weeks time will resemble large pearls. These pearls of luban can then be removed from the trees and sold in the suqs (traditional Arab market places) of Salalah. Abdu