What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'Cultures and Countries')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Cultures and Countries, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 121
1. 2013 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation Presented to Howard Curtis for In The Sea there are Crocodiles!

The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation, awarded biennially since 1996, was founded to celebrate the best translation of a children’s book from a foreign language into English and published in the UK. It aims to spotlight the high quality and diversity of translated fiction for young readers. The Award is administered by the ESU on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust.

The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation seeks to address a situation in the UK in which less than 3% of work published for children and young people has been from the non-English speaking world. Sarah Ardizzone, who has twice won the award, describes the act of translation as ‘literary ventriloquism and the Marsh Award aims to emphasiz translation as an art.  The impact of the award has been reflected in the growing number of children’s books published in translation since it began.

On January 23, 2013 at a gala reception in London, UK, the 2013 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation was presented to Howard Curtis for In the Sea there are Crocodiles,In the Sea there are written by Fabio Geda and published in the UK by David Fickling

From the press release:

In the Sea there are Crocodiles is the harrowing story of a young boy traveling from his home in Afghanistan to Italy, in search of safety. Based on the experiences of Enaiatollah Akbari, his story is told with a sense of humour and adventure, and with great pace and tension. The judges described it as ‘a book of commendable literary quality, one that will nourish and inspire young people’.

Upon hearing the news that Curtis had won the award David Fickling, publisher, had this to say: “By every tweet, bulletin and news flash comes grim confirmation that there are indeed crocodiles in the sea, how wonderful then to hear the heart-warming news that Howard Curtis has won the Marsh Award for his brilliant translation of Fabio Geda’s amazing book, which shows indisputably that is is possible to swim safely in dangerous waters and reach our goal if we share the dogged determination, the sense of lightness and the pure human spirit of young Enaiatollah Akbari, oh, and if we listen carefully to our mothers too. This book is an inspiration, may the Marsh Award help carry it to every corner of the globe. It simply must be read.”

The 2013 shortlist – 5 books, 6 translators, 5 languages – demonstrates the high quality and diversity of translated fiction for young readers. The complete shortlist was:

Howard Curtis for In the Sea there are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda, translated from Italian,and published by David Fickling Books.

Fatima Sharafeddini for My Own Special Way by Mithaa Alkhayyat (retold by Vivian French), translated from Arabic and published in the UK by Orion Children’s Books.

Ros and Chloe Schwastz for The Little Prince by Antoine de St-Exupery, translated from French and published in the UK by The Collector’s Library.

Lucia Graves for The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafron, translated from Spanish and published in the UK by Orion Children’s Books.

Karin Chubb for Themba by Lutz van Dijk, translated from German and published in the UK by Aurora Metro Books.

0 Comments on 2013 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation Presented to Howard Curtis for In The Sea there are Crocodiles! as of 2/21/2013 3:41:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. Happy Chinese New Year!

The Year of the Snake slithers in this weekend but have no fear! Ancient Chinese wisdom says a snake in the house is actually a good omen because it means that your family will not starve. The sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, the snake represents wisdom, intelligence and self-control. The snake also represents the ability to strike at will, quickly and powerfully. The Year of Snake promises to be a time of steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for all of us to achieve what we set out to create.

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festival in the Chinese calendar and celebrations take place around the world . What better way to get into the spirit by reading some Chinese New Year children’s books! Here are a few books we’ve blogged about that we would definitely recommend:

Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series by Oliver Chin,

The Great Race / The Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Dawn Casey, illustrated by Anne Wilson;

The Day the Dragon Danced by Kay Haugaard, illustrated by Carolyn Reed Barritt

Fang Fang’s Chinese New Year by Sally Rippin

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang, illustrated by Sally Heinrich

Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat by one of my favorite authors Grace Lin. Be sure to visit Grace’s blog t0 read about her plans for bringing in the New Year with  her daughter Rain Dragon and to get some New Year crafts suggestions.

My Mom Is a Dragon and My Dad is a Boar and Hiss! Pop! Boom! by Tricia Morissey

Happy, Happy Chinese New Year! written and illustrated by Demi. Read our interview with Demi here and see our gallery of her stunning illustration work here.

And here’s a special kidlit New Year celebration  for those of you who live in San Jose, CA, USA.  Children’s author Oliver Chin will be reading from his new book The Year of the Snake: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac, on Feb. 19th at the Joyce Ellington Branch library. Details here.

 

 

0 Comments on Happy Chinese New Year! as of 2/8/2013 4:50:00 PM
Add a Comment
3. Feedback of Ms. Vin Del Rosario, School Librarian Laguna BelAir School, City of Santa Rosa, Philippines on Paper Tigers: Books+Water Book Sets

Concluding our focus on Laguna BelAir School and their involvement in our WaterBridge Outreach program we present the feedback of the school  librarian Ms. Vin Del Rosario.

The books donated by the Paper Tigers: Books+Water presented a very suitable opportunity for me to propose a reading program for the Learning Resource Center (LRC).

I am a School Librarian who oversees the operations of the Library and Learning Resource Center of Laguna BelAir School, a K-12 private educational institution located in the City of Santa Rosa, Laguna,Philippines.

This reading program was spearheaded by the LRC in partnership with the Class Advisers and Reading Teachers of students in Grades 2 to 6. One of the aims of this reading program was for students to encourage one another to read the Spirit of PaperTigers (SPT) books in the library to reach the class reading goal. The reading goal was determined by the number of students in the class, the assigned 3 SPT titles and percentage of expected participating students. To reach the class reading goal faster, more students must participate in the reading program.

This SPT Reading Program gave me more chances to reach out to the clients of the library. While the reading program was up and running, the students would wait for me every morning during their Class Routine time for the distribution of the Mini Book Certificates. These small pieces of paper certified that the student earned points for his/her class by submitting correct answers using the Book Completion Form (BCF).

This SPT reading program provided me an avenue to know in-depth the reading abilities of the students who participated in the program. In the same manner, the Class Advisers themselves professed that this activity opened another opportunity for them to know more the students in their advisory class. Some students found a chance to show off their special abilities, and for that, efforts were made to recognize these little triumphs. The tokens that were distributed to the children (ballpoint pens, bookmarks, and stickers) gave the children some sense of pride in their active participation in the SPT Reading program. Parents were given copies of the pictures taken during the SPT Reading Program awarding ceremony. The school reiterated the partnership that we need to uphold to ensure that the children will develop the habit of reading. Most of the parents appreciated the recognition given to their children.

As a School Librarian, and in conceptualizing this reading program, one of my deepest desires was to use the SPT books to encourage more students to visit the LRC. The program aimed to encourage 50% of the students in grades 2 to 6 to participate. The response of the students was so overwhelming. The SPT reading program was well accepted, it achieved 76.1% participation! They were excited to read the adventures of Kojo, Jilu, Little Leap Forward, Luis, Thomas, etc. It was unfortunate, but I had to deliberately shorten the reading program because the class reading goals have already been reached, almost two months earlier than the target time. There were days when the cues of students wanting to read the SPT books were very long, but the students still waited patiently for their turn. The book completion forms made them read the books in a more comprehensive way to be able to satisfy their want to receive the Mini Book Certificates the following morning.

This SPT reading program also created more meaningful working relationships between the library and some faculty members. The library requested for teacher volunteers who would assist the library staff during the reading sessions in the library. More than 30% of faculty members responded positively to this call. It was indeed an opportunity to practice stewardship, one of the core values that the school advocates for all the members of the school community.

After the reading program, I had opportunities to do read aloud sessions for some of the SPT books to the students in grades 2 and 3. We allowed ourselves to be absorbed by the moving stories and the artistic illustrations of the book. We joined Jilu as he explored his ger in different seasons, an experience that we do not have in the Philippines as we only have two seasons. We shared the struggles of Luis on his way to El Tormento, his passion to read was worth emulating. We all admired the skills of Thomas and his friends, they worked together to build their school. In the Philippines, we call the value of working together as “bayanihan”, which is a culture we share with the children and teachers of Chad.

I had sleepless nights checking an average of 108 Book Completion Forms daily during the SPT reading program. This I had to do as I did not want to disappoint the students who were waiting for their Mini Book Certificates the following morning. And being able to encourage 32% of non-library users to finally visit the library just to participate in this reading program was all worth the back pains and sleepless nights.

This SPT Reading Program was just a commencement activity. We have to continue encouraging the children to read and to understand the traditions, practices, and culture of different peoples all around the world. We all need to see that, while we have differences, still, we can live with respect for one another and exist harmoniously.

I look at the future with hope in my heart knowing that all other PaperTigers: Books+Water books will continue to promote these values. The teachers in the classrooms, with the prodding of the Academic Team Head, will discuss these values more deeply with the children. Laguna BelAir School will continue to explore and use the stories in the SPT book sets because the school also espouses related advocacies, appreciation of our Filipino culture and at the same time understanding other cultures… in the hope for a better world-with children growing up as stewards and adults with deeply-rooted empathy.

0 Comments on Feedback of Ms. Vin Del Rosario, School Librarian Laguna BelAir School, City of Santa Rosa, Philippines on Paper Tigers: Books+Water Book Sets as of 2/1/2013 4:00:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. Feedback of Mr. Romel Obinario, Academic Team Head and Institutional Values Formation Program Head Laguna BelAir School on PaperTigers: Books+Water Book Sets

Continuing our focus on WaterBridge Outreach participants Laguna BelAir School, today we feature the inspiring feedback of Mr. Romel Obinario, Academic Team Head and Institutional Values Formation Program Head.

At the heart of every PaperTigers book is a message for all of humanity. The message each book conveys is relevant, timeless, and transcends the boundaries set by current economic, political, or cultural constructs that continue to impinge on the way peoples of the world interact today.

We at Laguna BelAir School have realized the affinity between our core values and those of the PaperTigers (PT) organization, as conveyed in the PT books that the organization has sent us. By sharing the PT books with our students, we are also imparting our core values in a way that is not awkward and forced. Through the books, they may realize that the things we say we value are not simply words to be memorized but are ideals that other people cherish and live out. Through their constant exposure to these wonderful books, and their continuous experiences in the school’s different advocacies, they may truly become what we wish them to be – stewards for a better world.

Thank you, Paper Tigers, for involving us in your outreach program. We share in Wangari Maathai’s (Planting the Trees of Kenya) advocacy of caring for the environment by planting trees and in her belief in women and in communities working together to bring about much-needed reforms. We are inspired by Kojo’s (One Hen) example of thrift and of making a difference one small step at a time. The way we view people with cultures or beliefs other than ours is challenged by the way friendship is forged between Abaani and Haki (First Come the Zebra), thereby promoting peaceful coexistence. And we are truly inspired by the boy (A Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope) who despite all adversity finds hope for a better future in a war-ravaged land.

 

0 Comments on Feedback of Mr. Romel Obinario, Academic Team Head and Institutional Values Formation Program Head Laguna BelAir School on PaperTigers: Books+Water Book Sets as of 2/1/2013 1:52:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. Must read literacy articles in the The New York Times.

Two must read articles recently published in the The New York Times: For Young Latino Readers, an Image Is Missing and Books to Match Diverse Young Readers. “Students of other races and ethnicities seldom encounter characters like themselves in books, and some education experts say that can be an obstacle to literacy.” Read what teachers, students, parents and literacy advocates have to say about this and then use The New York Times interactive page to click on book titles that feature main characters who are black, Latino, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native and read the beginning of each book.

0 Comments on Must read literacy articles in the The New York Times. as of 12/6/2012 3:15:00 PM
Add a Comment
6. PaperTigers’ Book of the Month: Dingo’s Tree by Gladys Milroy and Jill Milroy

Our newest PaperTigers’ issue is now live and  focuses on cats and dogs in multicultural children’s literature – a topic that was suggested by my 12-year-old daughter, who is animal fanatic.

Among the many highlights in the issue is our interview with Aboriginal elder and storyteller Gladys Milroy, in which she discusses her children’s book  Dingo’s Tree, co-authored with her daughter Jill Milroy, who is currently Dean of the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia. Dingo’s Tree is published by Magabala Books, Australia’s oldest independent Indigenous publishing house, and is PaperTigers’  Book of the Month. Look for our review of the book soon and in the meantime enjoy this wonderful review that Emma Perry at My Book Corner has graciously allowed us to reprint.

Located in Australia, My Book Corner provides book reviews on an entire assortment of children’s literature and is a great place to visit and find out what is hot in the world of Australian kid and YA lit. We reprint some of My Book Corner’s reviews under the reviews tab of the PaperTigers website.

Gladys Milroy and Jill Milroy,
Dingo’s Tree
Magabala Books, 2012.

Reviewed by Emma Perry at My Book Corner

Divided in to four short chapters entitled Dingo’s Tree, The Raindrop, The Tree That Walked and The Last Tree this is a poignant story about man’s destruction of the landscape and its impact on the landscape, natural resources and the animals who depend on them for survival.

Penned and illustrated by mother and daughter team Gladys Milroy and Jill Milroy this is a picture book which gives voice to the very real threats on Australia’s landscape. Mining. The beauty of its narrative, combined with the Milroys’ warm illustrations ensure that Dingo’s Tree will leave a lasting impression.

This deceptively simple yet powerful parable begins when Dingo is unable to find a tree of his own. He draws one and so begins the magical yet sad centre of this parable. The tree grows and grows too tall even for the moon to view the top, then in the aftermath of a cyclone it disappears. As a single, beautiful raindrop appears on a tiny tree, arguments ensue as to who owns it, however a much more pressing matter soon emerges.

The selflessness of crow who flies for miles each day to supply Little Tree with water, is set in parallel against man …

“mining is cutting too deep for the scars to heal. Once destroyed, mountains can’t grow again and give birth to the rivers that they send to the sea.”

The character of the Dingo continues to emerge as one of wisdom and reason, the rain drop must be reserved, saved for Dingo who will know when the time is right.

The ending is gorgeous and poignant, you can not fail to be moved by the final poetic lines followed by Dingo and Wombat’s final conversation…

An ever timely message about environment and man’s role in preserving and maintaining it.

Dr Anita Heiss’ review of Dingo’s Tree can be enjoyed here.

0 Comments on PaperTigers’ Book of the Month: Dingo’s Tree by Gladys Milroy and Jill Milroy as of 12/18/2012 6:32:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Book Week Writing Contest for Kids & Teens

Holly Kent, Sales and Marketing Manager at The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, recently emailed and asked if we could share with our readers about a great contest open to young writers in grades 4 to 12: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s annual Book Week Writing Contest for Kids & Teens. This national contest is a much anticipated part of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week and the deadline for entries is fast approaching.

Young Canadian writers are invited to send in a sample of their best writing (stories and/or poems, fiction or non-fiction) not to exceed 1,500 words.  Judging is done by noted writers from across Canada and the winner from each grade will receive a $250 gift certificate for the bookstore of his or her choice. Two honourable mentions from each grade category will also receive $50 gift certificates.

All entries must be postmarked by February 1, 2013. The winners will be announced during TD Canadian Children’s Book Week May 4 – 11, 2013.

Contest details and entry forms can be found here.

To learn more about The Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the wonderful work they do, be sure to read Holly’s Guest Blogger posts that she wrote for us in August 2012.

0 Comments on The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Book Week Writing Contest for Kids & Teens as of 1/15/2013 4:34:00 PM
Add a Comment
8. 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content ~ Singapore

PaperTigers is a proud sponsor of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, an annual event held  in Singapore that brings together content creators and producers with parents, teachers, librarians and anyone interested in quality Asian content for children around the world. Dates for the 2013 AFCC have been announced – May 25th  – 30th , and festival organizer, The National Book Development Council of Singapore, is hard at work ensuring that this year’s program is equally, perhaps even more so, inspiring than previous years. The AFCC website has recently been relaunched and details for the 2013 festival are being added daily. Early bird registration has begun and the call for submissions has gone out for the Book Illustrators Gallery.

Both Marjorie and I plan on attending this year’s AFCC and will be speaking in several of the sessions. I was blessed to be able to attend the 2011 AFCC and have been counting down the months until I could return. It will be such a thrill to reconnect with old friends and make new ones all while being immersed in the world of Asian children’s literature! If you are able, do try to attend. It may take a wee bit of time to travel to Singapore but it will definitely be worth the effort!

(Read PaperTigers’ July 2011 issue to learn more about my time at the 2011 Asian Festival of Childrens Content).

 

0 Comments on 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content ~ Singapore as of 1/21/2013 5:28:00 PM
Add a Comment
9. Family Literacy Day ~ January 27th, Canada

The weekend is upon us and tomorrow, Sunday, is Family Literacy Day in Canada! Created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually on January 27, Family Literacy Day raises awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development. Even just 15 minutes a day can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.

Even if you are not Canadian you can still participate in Family Literacy Day!  Check out these 15-minute activites to get started and here The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has put together a list of books that share in the joys (and struggles) of families of all sizes and combinations. To see the list of  events taking place across Canada on Family Literacy Day click here.

0 Comments on Family Literacy Day ~ January 27th, Canada as of 1/26/2013 5:04:00 AM
Add a Comment
10. Laguna BelAir School (Philippines) and their involvement in our WaterBridge Outreach Project ~ Part 1

This promises to be a special week here on the blog as we spend the next few days highlighting feedback from one of our WaterBridge Outreach participants:  Laguna BelAir School in Santa Rosa City, Philippines.

Our WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water Nourishing the Mind and Body program (formerly known as Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach)  seeks to further the overall goals of the PaperTigers Program: bridging cultures and opening minds, promoting greater understanding and empathy among young people from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnicities. More specifically, WBOutreach works to advance education through books and reading, and development through clean and accessible water.

Since 2009,  the “Books” portion of WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water has seen us put  specially chosen book sets into the hands of young readers through schools and libraries, encouraging literacy, developing understanding and making reading a lifelong habit.  Each year’s  set is comprised of books that we feel provide “multicultural” or “trans-cultural” stories that promote awareness of, knowledge about, and positive acceptance of “the other” in ways children can learn and enjoy. We are convinced of the crucial role of literacy and reading in an education that fosters understanding and empathy. Click here for information on the  2010, 2011 and 2012 Book Sets can be found here and includes reviews of the books, interviews with authors and illustrators, illustrator galleries, and publishing information.

Laguna BelAir School has participated in our Book Set program for the past 3 years under the guidance of  the school’s amazing head librarian, Ms. Vin Del Rosario. Using the books Ms. Del Rosario implemented an inspiring  reading program for her students in grades 2 to 6.  Ms. Del Rosario writes:

You have chosen quality book sets, books that contain values that are important to us. It was easy for us to share the books with our students as the stories and illustrations “capture” our students’ interests.

I initiated the PaperTigers reading program to create an avenue to encourage our students to read the books in a fun way. It is also the library’s way of helping the English subject teachers to get feedback on the PaperTigers books.

This reading program is a class effort. It encourages class participation. The more these students read in a class, the faster they can reach their reading goal. Reading points were assigned to different PaperTigers books. Class advisers and Reading teachers encourage students to participate in the reading program.

The students visit the library to read the PaperTigers books during their snacks and lunch break. After reading a book, the student is given a “book completion form”, which is a small piece of paper with two or three questions about the book. Students earn points for each form they complete and are awarded a “mini book certificate”.

Originally, I had intended to run the reading program up to November 2012. However, due to the overwhelming responses of the students, we completed it by the end of September!

We have been posting Laguna BelAir’s written feedback on the book sets on our Outreach page here.  Earlier this month we received this video from Laguna BelAir school that documents their Spirit of PaperTigers reading program! Such a thrill for us to see the students and staff of the school engaging with the books we sent and I think we can all agree that Ms. Del Rosario’s reading program was a HUGE success!

http://youtu.be/v1ns1yb23T0

0 Comments on Laguna BelAir School (Philippines) and their involvement in our WaterBridge Outreach Project ~ Part 1 as of 1/28/2013 11:48:00 PM
Add a Comment
11. Continuing our focus on Laguna BelAir School and their involvement in our WaterBridge Outreach Program.

Today we continue our focus on Laguna BelAir School, located in Santa Rosa City, Philippines, and their involvement in our WaterBridge Outreach Project. The first post in the series can be read here.

Working with Ms. Vin Del Rosario, Laguna BelAir’s head librarian, PaperTigers sent 2010 and 2011 book sets to the school. These book sets were used by Ms. Del Rosario in implementing an inspiring  reading program for her students in grades 2 to 6. More information about the reading program can be found here and a video of the program can be watched here.

Feedback on the book sets is a crucial part of our project as we want to share the responses of  teachers and librarians, children and parents, to the book sets with others around the world. Feedback can be  like ripples in a pond, spreading out across the globe, and one never knows what hearts and minds might be moved, and lives touched, by the book sets. Ms. Del Rosario went above and beyond in providing us with feedback from the students and teachers at her school and as our Feedback Coordinator Dr. Barbara Bundy recently stated “We are awed and also very grateful to all of you at Laguna BelAir School for treasuring these books and using them to engage your pupils and to promote both reading and cultural literacy on the one hand, and the values of your own school on the other hand.”

Following is some of the wonderful feedback we received from Laguna BelAir students. Click here to read all the feedback submitted.

Biblioburro

Please read the book because it is full of lessons about life. I’ve learned that one way to help solve poverty in the country is by sharing your knowledge to less fortunate ones, like what Luis did in the story.

Luis and I are both book lovers. We like to read books to other people. We are inspired with the stories we read.

Rain School

The part that I liked the most was when the students are building their school. I was amazed how the children who are so young would volunteer and help to build their school.

I recommend this book because I know that the readers would love it and enjoy it. They will be happy to know the culture of Africa.

A Child’s Garden

I recommend this book because it is a story of hope and undying love for the environment. It is also a nice story because even though the soldiers destroyed the plant, the boy did not lose hope. That is a good example for children like us.

Planting the Trees of Kenya

The similarity between my way of life and Wangari’s is that we both aim to help people in the best way we can. I admire Wangari because she helped others to rise from poverty by giving the people seedlings, teaching them how to plant, and telling people how to plant more instead of cutting and removing trees.

The Storyteller’s Candle

My favorite character is Pura Belpre because she is a talented storyteller. She has the ability to motivate and inspire others to read books.

First Comes The Zebra

My favorite part of the story is when the sun rising over the grassland in Kenya.

0 Comments on Continuing our focus on Laguna BelAir School and their involvement in our WaterBridge Outreach Program. as of 1/30/2013 4:26:00 AM
Add a Comment
12. Laguna BelAir School’s Teachers Feedback on the PaperTigers’ Book Sets (Part 3 of our focus)

Yesterday on the blog we highlighted student feedback from Laguna BelAir School that we received on the 2010 and 2011 book sets. Today it’s time to read some of the wonderful comments we received from the teachers.  As I mentioned yesterday obtaining feedback from our participants is a crucial part of our WaterBridge Outreach project and we are most appreciative of the students and staff at Laguna BelAir School who took the time to share their thoughts and comments on the book sets.

Question: How specifically have the PaperTigers book/s (any of them) helped you to open your pupil’s minds and hearts to other places and other cultures

The PaperTigers books are stories of different countries. Because of this, the stories helped me in opening my pupils’ minds and hearts to other places and other cultures. For instance, the book Rain School relates the culture of children who don’t have a formal school to enter to, yet they still loved schooling despite of their unfortunate situation. The books tackled variety of stories introducing other places specifically remote places and containing adventures of young children. The lessons they hopefully learned might have opened their minds to the fact that more children are still wanting or excited to be educated and that my pupils are more fortunate than them. ~ Ms. Sheila Lumbay, English 1 and 2

Since most of my pupils don’t experience too many hardships in their lives, it is difficult for us teachers to open their minds in the reality of the world. But with the help of the PaperTigers books, they became aware of the different cultures. I have read a pupil’s answer regarding the difference of his life to the lives of the characters in the story. He said that he is fortunate because he doesn’t need to build his own school compared to the children in the book Rain School. With the help of the books, they become thankful with what they get, as well. ~ Ms. Kate Caling, English 3 and 4

Question: What was your favorite PaperTiger book/s among your pupils and why?

The favorite books among my Grade 5 students are One Hen and A Child’s Garden. But most of the students like A Child’s Garden because it is a story of hope despite local conflicts in the country. ~ Mr. James Alvin Mirador, English 5

Biblioburro was the favorite book of my pupils because most of them were able to read and to reflect in the story. The book has inspired them to read and borrow more from the library. In fact, one of their comments says that they also want to be like Luis who was a generous man and really loved reading books and shared those books to the children from far-flung places. ~ Ms. Sheila Lumbay, English 1 and 2

Question: How specifically have the PaperTigers book/s (any of them) helped you teach English and encourage reading among your pupils?

These books helped me little by little to appreciate reading. I learned a lot about other cultures and started to get fascinated in books. They said that if you want to learn more vocabulary words, try reading children’s books. It’s true! It widens not only my vocabulary, but also my students’. I could easily motivate them because I incorporated the stories in my lessons. The students and I were hooked with the books. ~ Ms. Emirose Gonzale, English 6 and English Coordinator

Do click here to read the entire teachers’ feedback document.

0 Comments on Laguna BelAir School’s Teachers Feedback on the PaperTigers’ Book Sets (Part 3 of our focus) as of 1/31/2013 3:12:00 AM
Add a Comment
13. The Jungle in the Book: an Interactive Art Exhibition for Children ~ Tara Books’ Book Building, South Chennai, India

A few weeks ago I blogged about Tara Book’s new Book Building. Situated in South Chennai, India, the Book Building not only houses all aspects of Tara Books‘ award winning  publishing business but is a unique cultural space dedicated to exploring the form of the book. Book lovers and visual lovers of all ages are invited to the Book Building to enjoy ongoing exhibitions, watch visual artists at work, participate in workshops, browse though books and art prints in the  bookstore, enjoy specially commissioned wall murals created by a range of Tara Book artists, and more!

A new exhibit has just been launched at the Book Building and we thank Pallavi Vadhia of Tara Books for sending us the details. The Jungle in the Book is an interactive art exhibition which runs until the end of August and aims to promote the joy of  reading, picture books and art to children. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of free events and educational workshops (offered in English and Tamil) for children, their parent and educators. Highlights include:

Saturday, July 21 ~ What is a Picture Book? What can we do with it? An informative workshop showing parents and teachers ways to use picture books. Conducted by Salai Selvam, an education and literacy activist and Tara Books Publisher Gita Wolf,

Saturday, August 11 ~ Look, Read and Think! How pictures communicate ideas – Working with the idea of human rights. Hosted by Salai Selvam.

Saturday, August 18 ~ An Artist at Work: open house event. Watch Sunita an amazing artist from the Meena tribe in Rajasthan.

To see the entire list of events and workshops click here. To see some photos of the exhibit visit Tara Books’ Facebook page.

0 Comments on The Jungle in the Book: an Interactive Art Exhibition for Children ~ Tara Books’ Book Building, South Chennai, India as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. PaperTigers’ Global Voices: René Colato Laínez (USA/El Salvador) ~ Part 2

My Life in the United States ~ by René Colato Laínez

Part 2 of 3 (Read Part 1 here)

For Christmas of 1984, my mother sent me a new pair of shoes from the United States. I still remember my father’s words, “These are good gringos shoes. These are very good shoes for the trip to the United States.”

On February 17 1985, my father and I left El Salvador. Two days later, we arrived in Mexico City. Then, we were stuck in Mexico City for almost two months. We could not continue our journey because Mexican immigration took all the money from my father. It wasn’t until April that my mother sent us more money for our trip. During my journey, my father and I crossed three countries and climbed the mountains from Tijuana to the United States. But we made it to Los Angeles. My shoes were not new anymore. They had holes everywhere. One shoe was missing the sole.

There are certain moments that mark your like forever. My journey and my new life in the United States as a new immigrant created a big impact in me and in my writing. In my book, My Shoes and I, I tell the story of my journey and in my other books I write about the new immigrant child in the United States. Most of my books are based in my life and some are autobiographical just like René Has Two Last Names/René tiene dos apellidos and I Am René, the Boy/ Soy René, el niño.

I experienced the silent period and many culture shocks. In El Salvador René is a name boy. I could not believe it that in the United States my beautiful name was a girl’s name, Renee. Children not only laughed because I had a girl’s name but also because I had two last names, “Your name is longer than an anaconda” “You have a long dinosaur’s name.”

I was able to adapt to the new country. I studied really hard and graduated with honors from high school. Then, I went to college and became a teacher. But I did not have legal papers yet. My mother became a resident thanks to the amnesty program. She applied for my papers but it was 1993 and I had not received my green card. I started to work as a teacher because I got a work permit. For two years, I received letters from LAUSD, “We need to have evidence of your legal status. Your work permit will expire soon.” But finally in 1995, I received the famous immigration letter. Yes! I had an appointment to get my green card. It was not green after all. It was pink!

The ideas to write many of my books are born in the classroom. One day, a first grader told me, “I want to write a letter to my mamá. She is in Guatemala and I miss her so much.” That night I wrote a story named

0 Comments on PaperTigers’ Global Voices: René Colato Laínez (USA/El Salvador) ~ Part 2 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
15. Renowned New Zealand children’s author and librarian Margaret Mahy has passed away.

Posted on the TVNZ website:

Acclaimed NZ children’s author Margaret Mahy passes away

Margaret Mahy, one of the world’s leading children’s authors, has died aged 76. The celebrated writer died in Christchurch this afternoon after a brief illness.

Click here to read the article.

0 Comments on Renowned New Zealand children’s author and librarian Margaret Mahy has passed away. as of 7/23/2012 1:48:00 PM
Add a Comment
16. SingTel Asian Picture Book Award~ Submission deadline is Dec. 31, 2012

Attention authors and illustrators! Have you heard about the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award? If you have written or illustrated an unpublished Asian-themed picture book (targeted at children ages 0 to six years old) the National Book Development Council of Singapore looks forward to receiving your submission for this new award! Entries are being accepted until Dec. 31, 2012 with the inaugural SingTel Asian Picture Book Award to be presented next May at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Submissions will be accepted from writers and/or illustrators of any nationality and from any country who are 18 years of age and above. Here’s the press release:

The National Book Development Council of Singapore is delighted to announce the inaugural SingTel Asian Picture Book Award. Beginning in 2013, the award will be presented annually for an outstanding unpublished picture book with a distinctly Asian theme.

The objectives of the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award are as follows:

a) To encourage and inspire the publications of more Asian-themed picture books

b) To stimulate public interest and support for picture books with Asian themes

c) To recognise and award a prize to an excellent picture book with Asian theme each year

The SingTel Asian Picture Book Award offers a total of S$10,000 for the First Prize consisting of S$5,000 for an author and S$5,000 for an illustrator. These will be individually known as the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award – Author, and the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award – Illustrator.

Closing date for submissions is 31 December 2012. Official rules and regulations can be found here.

For more information, please visit www.bookcouncil.sg.

PaperTigers is proud sponsor of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content and looks forward to working with the AFCC in promoting and highlighting the richnesses of Asian Children’s literature.

0 Comments on SingTel Asian Picture Book Award~ Submission deadline is Dec. 31, 2012 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
17. PaperTigers’ Global Voices: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre presents: TD Canadian Children’s Book Week ~ by Holly Kent, Sales and Marketing Manager, The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre runs several programs that promote the reading, writing, illustrating and publishing of quality Canadian children’s books in Canada. TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is one of our most ambitious programs, and the results are overwhelming.

Each year, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre sends dozens of authors, illustrators, and storytellers on a whirlwind of tours in every Canadian province. The first Book Week took place in 1977. Eleven authors set out on the first Children’s Book Festival tour sponsored by the one-year-old Children’s Book Centre. Today, close to 35,000 children, teens and adults participate in activities held in every province and territory across the country. In 2012, 29 touring creators gave 396 readings in schools, public libraries, bookstores and community centres host events as part of this major literary festival.

The best thing, in my opinion, about TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is that so many communities who wouldn’t normally be included in an author tour are able host readings and presentations. Aside from the fact that authors are touring less and less, Canada is big – really big. Travel to less populated cities and towns can be prohibitively expensive. TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is sometimes a child’s first encounter with an author, and often their first experience getting excited about reading.

Willow Dawson, an author/illustrator from Ontario read at Eliot River Elementary School in Cornwall, PEI during TD Book Week 2012: “After the session, a bunch of kids stayed behind for autographs. Thankfully, I didn’t have to rush off to the next event so there was a little time to draw each of them a small picture. The next day I received a really beautiful email from a mother thanking me for inspiring her son to read for the first time in his life. He was one of the kids who stayed after for a picture! Her message really made me choke up.”

Each year, TD Book Week celebrates a specific theme for which books are chosen and classroom materials are created. The 2012 theme was Read a Book, Share a Story, selected in part to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lillian H. Smith becoming the first trained children’s librarian in Canada, and in the British Empire. The twenty-nine authors, illustrators, and storytellers who toured Canada were the very embodiment of this theme.

The 2013 TD Canadian Children’s Book will be held May 4 – 11 and we are excited to announce the authors, illustrators and storytellers who will be touring. Visit the TD Book Week site in September to find out what province/territory

0 Comments on PaperTigers’ Global Voices: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
18. 2012 South Asia Book Award Winners Announced!

The South Asia Book Award, administered by the South Asia National Outreach Consortium, is given annually for up to two outstanding works of literature, from early childhood to secondary reading levels, which accurately and skillfully portrays South Asia or South Asians in the diasporas, that is the experience of individuals living in South Asia, or of South Asians living in other parts of the world. Up to five Honor Books and Highly Commended Books will also be recognized by the award committee for their contribution to this body of literature on the region.

PaperTigers congratulates the recently announced 2012 South Asia Book Award winners:

2012 WinnersBook Cover for Island's End

book cover

Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (Henry Holt and Company, 2011). Pen Pals Elliot and Kailash discover that even though they live in different countries—America and India—they both love to climb trees, own pets, and ride school buses (Grade 5 & under).

Island’s End by Padma Venkatraman (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2011). A young girl trains to be the new spiritual leader of her remote Andaman Island tribe, while facing increasing threats from the modern world(Grade 6 & above).

2012 Honor Books

 

Sita’s Ramayana by Samhita Arni, illustrations by Moyna Chitrakar (Groundwood Books, 2011). The  Ramayana, one of the greatest legends of ancient India, is presented in the form of a visually stunning and gripping graphic novel, told from the perspective of the queen, Sita (Grade 6 & above).

Following My Paint Brush by Dulari Devi and Gita Wolf (Tara Books Pvt. Ltd, 2010). Following My Paint Brush is the story of Dulari Devi, a domestic helper who went on to become an artist in the Mithila style of folk painting from Bihar, eastern India (Grade 5 & under).

No Ordinary Day by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood Books, 2011). Valli has always been afraid of the people with leprosy living on the other side of the train tracks in the coal town of Jharia, India, so when aa encounter with a doctor reveals she too has the disease, Valli rejects help and begins a life on the streets. (Grade 6 & above).

0 Comments on 2012 South Asia Book Award Winners Announced! as of 8/10/2012 8:06:00 AM
Add a Comment
19. PaperTigers’ Global Voices: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre Presents: The Art of the Picture Book Exhibition ~ by Holly Kent, Sales and Marketing Manager, The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

(Part 3 of 3. Read Part 1 “The Canadian Children’s Book Centre Presents TD Canadian Children’s Book Week” here and Part 2 “The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s TD Grade One Book Giveaway Program”  here.)

It is through the support of generous sponsors, donations, and our members and subscribers that the Canadian Children’s Book Centre is able to run its many programs. We also hold fundraising events – one of the most exciting being The Art of the Picture Book Exhibition and Auction.

Over 80 original illustrations from Canadian picture books will be on exhibit at the world-famous Montreal Museum of Fine Art in fall 2012. Some of the most stunning images from Canadian picture books will be part of the exhibition celebrating Canadian children’s book illustrations. The exhibit will run from September 11 to October 14.

The kicker (for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre) is that each piece has been graciously donated by leading Canadian illustrators and the sale of these pieces will raise funds to support our programs, publications, and operating costs.

Works have been donated by renowned artists including Rebecca Bender (image on left), Geneviève Côté, Barbara Reid, Michael Martchenko, Mélanie Watt, and many more.

The month-long exhibit will be followed by Take Home an Original, an auction of the original art, on the evening of October 16, 2012.

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1976. We are dedicated to encouraging, promoting and supporting the reading, writing, illustrating and publishing of Canadian books for young readers. Our programs, publications, and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents select the very best for young readers.

At the heart of our work at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre is our love for the books that get published in Canada each year, and our commitment to raising awareness of the quality and variety of Canadian books for young readers.

Our programs, such as TD Canadian Children’s Book Week and the TD Grade One Book Giveaway, are designed to introduce young Canadian readers not only to the books all around them, but to the authors and illustrators that create them. Our quarterly magazine Canadian Children’s Book News and the annual Best Books for Kids & Teens selection guide are designed to help parents, librarians and educators discover the world of Canadian books and to help them to select the best reading material for young readers.

We are thrilled to have The Canadian Children’s Book Centre join us as PaperTigers’ Global Voices Guest Blogger for the month of August. Part 1 of the series “The Canadian Children’s Book Centre Presents TD Canadian Children’s Book Week” was posted here. Part 2 “The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s TD Grade One Book Giveaway Program” was posted here.

0 Comments on PaperTigers’ Global Voices: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
20. Week-end Book Review: The Conference of the Birds by Alexis York Lumbard, illustrated by Demi

Retold by Alexis York Lumbard, illustrated by Demi,
The Conference of the Bird
Wisdom Tales, 2012.

Ages:  7 +

Artist Demi has provided a lavish visual feast to illustrate Alexis York Lumbard‘s adaptation of a Sufi classic, The Conference of the Birds. Farid al-Din Attar’s 12th century Persian poem presents an analogy of the human spiritual quest through the quest of thirty birds (si morge in Persian) to find Simorgh, a phoenix-like enlightened being reputedly residing on a faraway holy mountain. They are led by a hoopoe, the long-beaked, apricot-crested bird with dramatic black and white markings that is legendary in desert countries for finding underground water.

Along the way, various birds suffer the same setbacks human beings do on their spiritual paths: in Lumbard’s text, the duck procrastinates; the parrot is attached to her gems; the finch fears a storm; the partridge becomes impatient; the hawk forges ahead and gets lost. With the hoopoe’s encouragement, presented in verse, each bird lets go of whatever obstacle is in its way.

“So do not let your many doubts
Destroy this golden chance.

Release their hold upon you now,
and to your King advance!”

Demi’s vivid water colors and lively lines reveal quirky individual bird personalities and egos as she renders the birds overcoming trepidation in response to the hoopoe’s admonishments. Her paintings, on pale or midnight blue washes, are framed with gold borders that depict in tiny images characteristic postures of the particular bird in question. Young children can intuit an inspiring story from the illustrations alone.

In traditional versions, the birds arrive at the holy mountain to find not Simorgh, but a reflecting pool in which they see themselves. The story subtly suggests that one finds the infinite in the particular, the holy in the very self that seeks the Other. Lumbard has appended a page to her version in which the sun on the water transforms the birds’ reflections into dazzling light. “In this moment of silence when no thoughts…passed before their minds, the birds found themselves in the loving embrace of God, their true King.”

Islamic scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr‘s introduction offers background on the original Persian poem. Parents and teachers who prefer that young readers realize for themselves the profound wordless insights of this enduring story may find, for example, Peter Sis‘ beautifully printed 2011 version more to their liking; but many others will appreciate Lumbard’s explication and look forward to her continued project of providing children with books of spiritual guidance.

Charlotte Richardson
August 2012

NB: Read our interview with Demi here and view our gallery of her work here.

0 Comments on Week-end Book Review: The Conference of the Birds by Alexis York Lumbard, illustrated by Demi as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
21. Nigerian Tribune Article: International Literacy Day: Promoting literacy to tackle insecurity

African Library Project recently posted a link on their Facebook page to an interesting article published in the Nigerian Tribune: International Literacy Day: Promoting literacy to tackle insecurityLiteracy and Peace was the theme for this year’s International Literacy Day, which was celebrated on September 8, and in the article writer Adewale Oshodi examines the connection between literacy and peace in Nigeria.

According to UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report on Education for All, sub-Saharan Africa still has one of the lowest regional literacy rates, and not much is being done towards raising the level in this part of the world. This should, therefore, give everybody a cause for concern, especially the fact that there is a link between illiteracy and violence, and going by what is happening in most African countries, South of the Sahara, it is high time the authorities took the issue of literacy seriously.

Oshodi compares the rates of literacy, violence and poverty in different regions of Nigeria and concludes

With this analysis, it can be ascertained that there is a link between illiteracy and violence, and this year’s International Literacy Day’s theme, Literacy and Peace, should be taken seriously by those in positions of authority, thereby making it possible for a larger percentage of the populace to acquire education, and as a result of this, conflicts and violence are being eliminated in a way.

The article continues with Oshodi interviewing  government officials on their thoughts about the correlation between literacy and peace and what steps and programs are being implemented to improve literacy in their regions.

To add your thoughts on the article, come join  in the discussion happening on African Library Project’s Facebook page.

To learn more about our Spirit of PaperTigers Project which works to advance education through books and reading, and development through clean and accessible water, in various regions and areas throughout the world, click here .

0 Comments on Nigerian Tribune Article: International Literacy Day: Promoting literacy to tackle insecurity as of 9/17/2012 4:12:00 AM
Add a Comment
22. The Tiffin by Mahtab Narsimhan

A few months ago while at my local library I came across a copy of the children’s book The Tiffin by Mahtab Narsimhan. I was running late and didn’t have time to read the book flap but because I was so intrigued by the cover I checked the book out. Later that night I began to read The Tiffin and was instantly hooked! Set in India the book tells the story of the rare time when a tiffin (a box lunch delivered by a dabbawalla) goes astray. The tiffin contained an important note which when lost results in devastating consequences. The Tiffin is a book that can be judged by it’s intriguing cover and I was up until the wee hours of the morning reading it from start to finish.

The next day, a wee bit sleep deprived, I spent some time on the computer researching the book and learning more about author Mahtab Narsimhan. Originally from Mumbai,  India, Narsimhan  now resides in Toronto, Canada.  The catalyst that started her writing career was a tragic one. In 2003, devasted by her father’s death she began to write down her thoughts and memories of their life in India.  These scribblings, along with her love for fantasy, morphed into the idea of writing a novel and her first book The Third Eye was published in 2007. Sequels The Silver Anklet followed in 2009 and The Deadly Conch in 2011. Narsimhan has also published two anthologies Piece by Piece: Stories About Fitting Into Canada (Penguin Canada, 2010) and Her Mother’s Ashes Part 3 (TSAR Publications, 2009).

The Tiffin  has been nominated for several  awards and is shortlisted by the Canadian Library Association for the 2012 Book of the Year for Children Award.  If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend you add it to your “Must Read” list.  Check out this wonderful review of the book by West Vancouver librarian  Shannon Ozirny (who you may remember was the MC at the VCLR Serendipity Conference that Marj and I presented at in Vancouver early this year). Shannon’s review was printed in the November 2011 issue of Quill and Quire and is partially reprinted here with Quill and Quire’s permission.

The Tiffin
by Mahtab Narsimhan
(Dancing Cat Books, 2011)
Reviewed by Shannon Ozirny

In the context of children’s literature, the term “other worlds” often connotes places that are purely imaginary and only reachable by an enchanted cabinet or peculiarly numbered train platform. But Toronto-based, Silver Birch Award–winning author Mahtab Narsimhan (the Tara Trilogy) introduces children to the “other world” of the dabbawallas of her native Mumbai. Despite being very real and accessible by traditional modes of transport, this world will be just as awe-inspiring for North American young people as any fantasy realm could hope to be (click here to read more!)

And here is the book trailer

 

0 Comments on The Tiffin by Mahtab Narsimhan as of 9/25/2012 1:35:00 AM
Add a Comment
23. It’s the book trailer to award winning author Grace Lin’s new novel Starry River of the Sky!

Just released today it’s the book trailer to Grace Lin‘s newest novel Starry River of the Sky! Already receiving rave reviews, Starry River of the Sky is the companion book to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon which was awarded the prestigious Newbery Honor Award in 2010. Starry River of the Sky officially launches October 2nd but for those of you that just can’t wait to get a copy it is already available on Amazon or, if you reside near Cambridge, MA, you can attend the  booklaunch this Sunday, September 30th and get a signed copy! Be sure to visit Grace’s blog on October 2nd and join in the online launch party! Grace will also be going on a short, 3 stop book tour in October to promote the book. Why such a short tour? Not only is Grace celebrating the launch of her new book, she and her husband just celebrated the birth of her first child, a daughter, a mere 4 months ago! Congratulations Grace!

NB: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was one of the books we selected to be included in our 2010 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set.  Each year we send carefully chosen books to particular schools and libraries in various parts of the world. The books chosen seek to provide “multicultural” or “trans-cultural” stories that promote awareness of, knowledge about, and positive acceptance of “the other” in ways children can learn and enjoy. We are convinced of the crucial role of literacy and reading in an education that fosters understanding and empathy. To learn more about our Outreach program click here and to read our recent announcement of the 2012 book set click here.

0 Comments on It’s the book trailer to award winning author Grace Lin’s new novel Starry River of the Sky! as of 9/26/2012 4:17:00 PM
Add a Comment
24. Photos from WaterBridge Outreach Participant: Laguna BelAir School, Philippines

Laguna BelAir School, located in Santa Rosa City, Philippines, is a participant in our WaterBridge Outreach Program. We highlighted their feedback on the 2011 Book Set last week and we have just updated their feedback page with new photos. Click here to view.

0 Comments on Photos from WaterBridge Outreach Participant: Laguna BelAir School, Philippines as of 12/4/2012 5:11:00 PM
Add a Comment
25. PaperTigers’ Global Voices: Richa Jha (India) ~ Part 3 of 3

It’s been our privilege to have Indian writer, editor and blogger Richa Jha as our guest blogger for the past two weeks. Today we present the final part in her three part series:

Reader-less Books: Reading Habits of Indian Children ~ by Richa Jha

If  you haven’t read the previous entries, you can get caught up by reading  Part 1 here  and Part 2 here. In today’s post Richa addresses some of the reasons on why Indian youth may not be reading books written by Indian authors.

We can’t see them

Our books get lost in the sea of international books on the bookshelves at the stores, especially when there are tens of series vying for attention. A single spine in the middle of it is no show. Some of the bookstores do have dedicated shelves or sections for Indian authors, but the traffic is thin there. Children’s books continue to figure low on most publishing houses’ agenda. The lack of the necessary promotional push for these books from their side affects their visibility. So does the media’s cool shrug at most of these books. The bookstores aren’t too enthusiastic either to back the Indian authors as they don’t see them moving off the shelf much. This chicken-egg situation only compounds the general feeling of apathy that the Indian authors sense towards their work, in general, from all sides.

Let’s blame it on our parents!

My generation of parents grew up on a staple diet of Enid Blyton and Edward Stratemeyer (creator of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew), and for most, that fodder lies frozen in time. An essential rites of passage, we expect to see our children reading these. Most parents shy away from even exploring the Indian-Author shelves at bookstores.

At the same time, we do have a new (but small) breed of parents who are keen to introduce their children to the growing world of Indian YA fiction. But while the parents take care to buy these books, most children are reluctant to explore them. Buying, therefore, isn’t always enough. A possible way to get our kids interested in them would be to explore the book together. I remember sitting with my son a couple of years ago and reading aloud a relatively unknown gem by Ranjit Lal, The Red Jaguar on the Mountain. By the end of the first chapter, he was hooked and came back later to say, ‘The book is so cool!’

Things can only get better from here. Last month, India’s first zombie fiction for young adults, Zombiestan by Mainak Dhar hit the shelves (the second one by him is due for a release soon). Payal Dhar’s There’s a Ghost in My PC, Oops the Mighty Gurgle by RamG Vallath and The Deadly Royal Recipe by Ranjit Lal – all for middle schoolers slated for release soon – promise to be a hell of an adventure-and-fun packed reads. There’s visible promotion around them and the publishers and the authors seem to be having fun talking about their books. Don’t stop me from turning up that bubbly voice inside me that’s humming now-these-are-what-our-children-will-go-grab. Out of choice. Ahem! Amen.

Richa Jha is a writer and editor and, like many of us, nurtures an intense love for picture books. In her words:

I love picture books, and want the world to fall in love with them as well. My blog Snuggle With Picture Books is a natural extension of this madness. The Indian parents, teachers and kids are warming up to loads and loads of Indian picture books beginning to fill up the shelves in bookshops. It’s about time we had a dedicated platform to it. The idea behind the website is to try and feature every picture book (in English) out there in the Indian market. Usually, only a few titles end up getting talked about everywhere, be it because of their true merit, or some very good promotion, or some well-known names associated with them. There are many other deserving titles that get left out in the visibility-race. This website views every single book out there as being deserving of being ‘seen’ and celebrated.

0 Comments on PaperTigers’ Global Voices: Richa Jha (India) ~ Part 3 of 3 as of 12/5/2012 4:19:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts