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PaperTigers is a website dedicated to children’s and young readers’ books from and about the Pacific Rim and South Asia, produced by Aline Pereira and local collaborators in the Pacific Rim and beyond! Through a panorama of books published in these regions, books reviews, interviews with authors and illustrators, an art gallery, lists of essential readings and a resource section, PaperTigers wants to highlight the richness of the children’s book world in (and about!) this area, and to be a useful resource for librarians, teachers, parents, and publishers.
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1. WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water’s Website and Facebook Page Are Now Live!


PaperTigers Outreach has moved forward with a new name, WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water,  and a new website www.waterbridgeoutreach.org. Our vision remains the same: to give children in developing communities hope for the future through nourishing their minds and bodies with books and water.

WaterBridge Outreach

Waterbridge Outreach: Books +Water is a small nonprofit organization using a grassroots approach to raise funds for new projects on an individual basis.  We donate books in English and local languages and fund clean waterand sanitation projects in communities and villages in the developing world. We seek to promote multicultural literacy, education, and development that will make a long term impact, one book and one water project at a time, while building effective partnerships with local communities. Visit the website and our Facebook page to learn more about our recent book + water projects in India, Malaysia, Haiti, the Philippines and more! In addition learn more about our Writers for WaterBridge program in which award winning authors are working with us on our mission. 


WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water is a California 501 (c) (3) organization that relies on public and private support. Please help WaterBridge Outreach build a sustainable future in providing multicultural books to schools and libraries, while engaging with local communities to obtain and maintain access to clean water in areas of need around the world. Make a U.S. tax deductible contribution now, which will directly support our books and water projects. Your support will make all the difference in reducing the effects of disease, while nourishing both mind and body. Click here to learn more and if you have any questions or comments, give us a shout at info(at)waterbridgeoutreach(dot).org


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2. Farewell from PaperTigers

PaperTigers logoWe are sad to announce that, due to financial constraints, the PaperTigers website and blog will no longer be updated. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all those who have joined us on our journey to promote multicultural children’s and YA books since PaperTigers started in 2002: to you, our readers, who share our passion for getting good literature from all over the world into the hands of young readers; to all the writers and illustrators we have featured, and indeed without whom there would have been no PaperTigers; to all the publishers who have always responded so generously to our queries and requests; to all those of you we have had the privilege to work alongside who are working to promote literacy – through organisations, in the classroom, in the library or at home – or indeed anywhere and everywhere, including the vibrant, virtual world of the kidlitosphere.

But it is not all bad news, by any means. The PaperTigers site will continue to be available for the foreseeable future, as a library to be consulted; and, importantly, PaperTigers Outreach will continue, moving forward into a new chapter of its existence, with a new name, WaterBridge Outreach, Books + Water. Its new website www.waterbridgeoutreach.org will be going live soon, and we hope you will continue to be generous in your support of its work, as it increases the depth of its involvement in ensuring both books and clean water are available in local communities around the world.

And whilst PaperTigers may have come to an end, we hope that it is a case of au revoir rather than good-bye regarding its editorial team, for Corinne and I are setting up our own site, Mirrors Windows Doors (www.mirrorswindowsdoors.org), which will go live in October. Our new email addresses are:



We look forward, dear friends, to welcoming you there.

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3. Children’s literature in Iran?

iranLooking for information on the state of children’s books in Iran? Head on over to author Mitali Perkins’ blog Mitali’s Fire Escape and read her just posted interview with Ali Seidabadi. Ali lives in Tehran and “is the editor of the only Iranian journal that deals specifically with children’s literature: Research Quarterly for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. He has written more than 30 books for children and young adults, some of which have won non-governmental recognized awards in Iran and have been translated into other languages”. Click here to be taken to the article.

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4. Week-end Book Review: I Like to Play by Marla Stewart Konrad



Marla Stewart Konrad,
I Like to Play
Tundra Books, 2010.

Ages 3-6

“I like to play, don’t you?” is the opening and closing sentence in this beautiful collaboration between Tundra Books and World Vision Canada, a development and advocacy organization dedicated to helping children, families and communities across the globe overcome poverty and injustice. With text by Marla Stewart Konrad, I like to Play is the latest book in the World Vision series of photo essays, whose aim is to communicate visually the ways in which children the world over are different and the same. The other titles in the series are Getting ThereMom and Me and Grand.

The book cover of I Like to Play shows a young child playing doctor, using a toy stethoscope. Inside, simple sentences about different forms of play are accompanied by striking images of smiley children dancing, skipping, jumping, flying kites, building with blocks, playing ball; children learning and growing and making the most of their environment and circumstances; children having fun and making sense of their world through play.

The photo credits listed at the beginning indicate the countries where the photos were taken and give an idea of the book’s scope: Armenia, Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, Malawi, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Peru, Sri Lanka and Sudan.

After reading and looking at all the photos, children will figure out for themselves that rich or poor, solo or in group, with store-bought or homemade toys, or with no toys at all, playing is something children do, no matter where, no matter what.

Royalties for the sale of the book go to support World Vision’s work with children.

Aline Pereira
June 2010

paw_sm_MC To read more book reviews from the PaperTigers team, click here.

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5. Exciting news from award winning author Mitali Perkins! Open Mic: Ten Authors Riff About Growing Up Between Cultures releases in September 2013.

Mitali Perkins was born in Kolkata, India and emigrated to the United States with her family when she was seven years old. She writes fiction for younger teens and chats about books and life between cultures on the Fire Escape. You can read PaperTigers’ two interviews with Mitali here and here. She is the author of six award winning books, including Bamboo PeopleRickshaw Girl  and Secret Keeper. Her newest book , an anthology of fiction, poetry, and memoir edited by Mitali will release from Candlewick in September 2013. This is definitely a book to put on your “must read” list and Mitali is giving you a chance to win an advanced reader copy by leaving a comment on her blog. Here are the details:

OPEN MIC in 25 Days! Reviews, ARC Giveaway, and More …

Our anthology releases September 10th from Candlewick, and the reviews are beginning to come in.

From The Horn Book, where it was the reviewof the week:

“…Naomi Shihab Nye offers an eloquent poem about her Arab American dad, whose open friendliness made him ‘Facebook before it existed.’ David Yoo, Debbie Rigaud, Varian Johnson, and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich also contribute stories to this noteworthy anthology, which robustly proves Perkins’ assertion that ‘funny is powerful.’”

From ALA Booklist:

“…David Yoo’s excellent ‘Becoming Henry Lee’ is the one that will probably elicit the most laughs. But all invite sometimes rueful smiles or chuckles of recognition. And all demonstrate that in the specific we find the universal, and that borders are meant to be breached.”

From Publisher’s Weekly:

“…will leave readers thinking about the ways that humor can be a survival tool in a world that tends to put people in boxes.”

The book is a Junior Library Guild selection. Yippee!

Also, The Horn Book asked me five questions about the anthology, and the esteemed organization Children’s Book Council showed their support.

Here’s the audio version from Brilliance. Watch for a series of blog posts featuring the contributors to the anthology, pictured below:

Top Row: Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Greg Neri, Debbie Rigaud, Gene Yang, Naomi Shihab Nye
Bottom Row: Me, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Varian Johnson, Francisco X. Store, David Yoo

Exciting times, friends. In case you’re curious, here are my three “ground rules” when it comes to the intersection of race and comedy, explored further in the introduction to the anthology:

1. Poke fun at the powerful, not the weak. 

2. Build affection for the “other” instead of alienating us from somebody different. 

3. Be self-deprecatory.

We would love it if you “liked” our Facebook page.


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6. Week-end Book Review: Grandpa’s Indian Summer by Jamila Gavin, illustrated by Peter Bailey

BookCoverJamila Gavin, illustrated by Peter Bailey,
Grandpa Chatterji
Grandpa’s Indian Summer
Grandpa Chatterji’s Third Eye
Egmont, 2006.

Ages 7-11

Neetu and Sanjay, sister and brother, have two grandfathers – one nearby in England, Grandpa Leicester, who is very particular about how his grandchildren should behave; and Grandpa Chatterji whom they have never met until he comes from India to visit them. He couldn’t be more different to Grandpa Leicester, and much to the children’s surprise, even he is drawn under Grandpa Chatterji’s spell, despite himself. Grandpa Chatterji, in fact, possesses many qualities which make him an admirable role model for the children. His gentleness and simplicity belie his inner strength and he always has a twinkle in his eye. Life is never dull around Grandpa Chatterji, though some might call his behavior eccentric at times, which leads to some funny and unexpected adventures. He eschews anything which makes life unnecessarily complicated and is never in a hurry: but at the same time pursues a goal with charming if stubborn determination – whether it be a field of poppies on a chilly April day in England; floral garlands to welcome his family to India; or bringing back Sanjay’s lost kite using the power of his third eye.

Grandpa Chatterji (shortlisted for the Smarties Prize) and Grandpa’s Indian Summer were first published in the early ’90s. Now they have been reprinted with new illustrations by Peter Bailey, which are an added attraction – they compliment the text beautifully and will often raise a chuckle. And the real bonus for today’s generation of young readers is Grandpa Chatterji’s Third Eye: a whole new book in which Grandpa Chatterji comes back to England to bring more gentle magic and fun into his grandchildren’s lives. Gavin conveys so well the sometimes infuriating but always enchanting mixture of calm, single-mindedness and energy Grandpa Chatterji brings to everything he does. He is not concerned with the stereotypes of age and so is quite prepared to accompany Sanjay on the giant Rocket Ride at the funfair, although once is probably enough. He can’t resist joining in the children’s cricket game, with unforeseen results. He introduces the children to meditation and the notion of the third, inner eye – and each time they see him, they pick up where they have left off: within minutes of Neetu and Sanjay arriving home from school to greet a jet-lagged Grandpa Chatterjee, they are all three standing on their heads on his special rug.

Indian food and spices fill the senses: Grandpa Chatterji turns his daughter’s kitchen upside down more than once to produce the most delicious pakora (recipe supplied); Grandma Chatterji’s cakes are not only too temptingly good but provide a lesson in life when Sanjay is stranded on a tin box surrounded by ants, which have homed in surprisingly quickly on the crumbs he’s dropped; Grandpa Chatterji follows his third eye (and his umbrella!?!) in a satisfying tale in which, much to everyone’s astonishment, he discovers what could be the last remaining jar of Mrs Fernandez’ Green Chilli Pickle in the whole of England. Again, we don’t have to worry about that as the recipe is thoughtfully provided at the end of the book. However, the children are well ensconced in their Anglo-Indian culture and would opt for pizza and chips over ‘vegetable curry, runny spinach with eggs, and horrible stuff like that’ any day!

Gavin writes with great affection for her characters (even scary Grandpa Leicester is not so bad) and even characters who only appear in a brief cameo role are deftly brought to life. Neetu is definitely the older sister, reminding Sanjay of how he should behave, but she is not a goody-goody (she is not beyond disappearing under a table at a party with a plate full of Indian sweets); Sanjay, meanwhile, is the one we see growing through the three books. He is not entirely convinced at first about being in India and far away from home in Indian Summerand I love the way he plays with words in Third Eye: his excitement about Grandpa Chatterji coming to stay could not be better expressed than by his nonsensical chanting of ‘Grandpa Chatterji/ Matterji /Batterji/ Hatterji / Fatterji’. Grandpa Chatterji’s crooning to the inevitable crying baby on the flight home is not the Bengali lullaby it was on the way to England but a continuation on the theme of Sanjay’s rhymes. Flying away with Grandpa Chatterji not only brings the book full-circle but eases the wrench of having to say good-bye to characters who have worked their way under your skin at the end of a good read.

Marjorie Coughlan
July 2006

paw_sm3To read more book reviews from the PaperTigers team, click here

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7. Celebrating René Colato Laínez’s 10th book release “Señor Pancho Has a Rancho”!

Rene Colato LainezRené Colato Laínez is the Salvadoran American award-winning author of many multicultural children’s books and has been a featured guest blogger here on the PaperTigers blog. Earlier this month René’s 10th book, Señor Pancho Has a Rancho, was released!  As René says in his blog post introducing the book:

When I came to the United States, I discovered that not only people had problems learning a second language. Many farm animals had the same challenge too! El pollito said pío pío and the chick said peep peep. I am sure that you know that Old MacDonald had a farm. Now, he has a new neighbor, el señor Pancho, and in his rancho he has many animales.”


Señor Pancho Has a Rancho
By René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Elwood Smith (Holiday House, Inc.)senorpancho

“Old MacDonald Had a Farm” goes multicultural in this rollicking Spanish-English rendition.

The barnyard animals on Old MacDonald’s and Señor Pancho’s farms have a hard time communicating. MacDonald’s rooster says cock-a-doodle-doo! While Señor Pancho’s gallo says quiquirquí. The English-speaking chick says peep, peep, but el pollito says pio, pio. Then the cow says moo—and la vaca says mu! Maybe they’re not so different after all! So all the animals come together for a barnyard fiesta, because dancing is a universal language.

… [Readers]  will enjoy learning the names of the animals in both English and Spanish and comparing the onomatopoeia in each language. Chock-full of bicultural fun on the farm. -Kirkus Reviews

This is an excellent choice for read-alouds, but it also includes a glossary and pronunciation guide, making it useful in one-on-one contexts for young readers looking to develop Spanish vocabulary. -School Library Journal

To celebrate the book release René has been deemed  Luna Press and Bookstore’s author of the month in September and will be appearing in the store on September 14th to read from and sign his books.  Lots of fun activities are planned and you can visit Luna’s Facebook page or René’s blog for more details. The store is located at 3790 Mission Street in San Francisco.

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8. Anitha’s Bookshelf: Hyderabad, India


Bookshelf #29:
Anitha Ramkumar
Hyderabad, India

Anitha is Head of School Library Services at TreasureHouse.in , a Children’s Library and Experience Center located in Saptaparni, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. She also blogs over at Saffron Tree: a potpourri of book reviews and literary resources for children for a lifelong love of reading. Back in 2009 Anitha blogged about her bookshelves here. Since then she and her family have  moved continents and have bookshelves all over the house with the pièce de résistance being this teak, 100 year old bookshelf she inherited.

For details on how to submit a photo of your child’s bookshelf to our Around the World in 100 Bookshelves, click here.

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9. Poetry Friday: Meeting up with Debjani Chatterjee

Let's Celebrate! Festival Poems from Around the World. edited by Debjani Chatterjee and Brian D'Arcy (Frances Lincoln, 2011)I was in Sheffield (UK) yesterday and met up with Debjani Chatterjee and her husband, fellow-poet Brian D’Arcy, which was definitely something to celebrate – so for today’s Poetry Friday, I turn to the recent book they edited together, Let’s Celebrate! Festival Poems from Around the World, imaginatively illustrated by Shirin Adl (Frances Lincoln, 2011). And since the joyous Jewish festival of Purim falls this weekend, here’s the beginning of “Three Loud Cheers for Esther: A Poem for Purim” written by Debjani and Brian:

Listen to the tale of Esther:
The story of a savvy queen
Who became her people’s saviour.
Let’s hear: ‘three loud cheers for Esther!

Stamp your feet and shake your gregger…’

The whole poem evokes a traditional Purim spiel, reflected also in Shirin’s illustration in the book, which shows a young audience enjoying a puppet play, greggers and hamentaschen in hand, for, as we learn in the backmatter information About the Festivals, “Home-made rattles called greggers are shaken to drown out Hamen’s name whenever it is mentioned.  Poppy-seed cakes called hamentaschen or ‘Haman’s ears’ are eaten.”

Let’s Celebrate! is a wonderful gathering of poems, bringing together a whole world of festivals, so I was delighted to hear that a second anthology, this time about children playing around the world, is nearing completion. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye open for it and I’ll keep you posted!

It was lovely to catch up with Debjani and to meet Brian – thank you, both.

Poet Debjani Chatterjee and Marjorie Coughlan (PaperTigers) in SheffieldPaperTigers

Debjani shared with me some of the beautiful poster poems she had created as part of a community mother-daughter poetry project with Roshni Sheffield Asian Women’s Resource Centre. She is also very  involved in running a local cancer support group called The Healing Word, and you can read some of her powerful poetry about her own cancer journey in her Dare to Dream collection, and in this issue of Poetry Express, the journal of Survivors’ Poetry, which promotes poetry by survivors of mental distress (Debjani is its patron).  Debjani is also a noted translator of poetry – do read these “Eight Poems by Five Bengali Poets” and her prize-winning translation of some of Bangladesh’s national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam’s work.  You can find out more about Debjani and her many books of poetry and children’s stories on her website.

This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Sheri Doyle – head on over… And Happy Purim!

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10. 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.

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11. Latest news on IBBY regional and international conferences and more! Mark your calendars.

IBBY logo International Board on Books for Young People

paw_sm3The IBBY press conference at the 2013 Bologna Children’s Book Fair will take place March 25 at 2:30 pm. Highlights will include:

~ IBBY Documentation Centre of Books for Disabled Young People
~ IBBY Projects (including the the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund and the IBBY-Yamada Programme)
~ International Children’s Book Day 2013
~ 2013 Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities
~ 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Awards

paw_sm3The United Arab Emirates Section of IBBY (UAEIBBY) will organize the First International Board on Books for Young  People Conference for the Region of Central Asia and North Africa (CANA): Bringing Books and Children Together in Sharjah, UAE,  April 21 – 23, 2013.

paw_sm3The Indonesian Section of IBBY (INABBY) has announced the  1st Asia and Oceania Regional IBBY Congress to be held in Bali, Indonesia, May 23 – 26, 2013.

paw_sm3The USA section of IBBY ( USBBY) is sponsoring the 10th IBBY Regional Conference: BookJoy Around the World in St. Louis, MO,  October 18 – 20, 2013.

paw_sm3IBBY Cuba will be hosting the Congreso Internacional Lectura 2013: para Leer el XXI  to be held October 22 – 26, 2013 in Havana, Cuba.

paw_sm3IBBY India and Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children (AWIC) is organizing The International Conference on Literacy Through Literature to be held in New Delhi, India, February 6 – 8, 2014.

paw_sm3The IBBY 34th International Congress: May everyone really mean everyone. Reading as an inclusive experience will be held in Mexico City, Mexico, September 10 – 13, 2014. Submissions are now being accepted for a special issue of Bookbird to coincide with the Congress. Papers are welcomed that examine texts for children from Mexico or the Latin American world as they relate to or intersect with the conference theme. See Bookbird’s website at www.ibby.org/bookbird for full submission details.

paw_sm3The 33rd IBBY Congress took place this past summer in London and a selection of videos of some of the plenary and other sessions are now available on the Congress website. Click here to watch them. Hopefully PaperTigers Editor Marjorie Coughlan’s session Escaping Conflict, Seeking Peace: picture books that relate refugee stories, and their importance will be uploaded soon so that those of us that couldn’t attend can enjoy her presentation.

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12. Week-end Book Review ~ The Year of the Snake; and The Year of the Dragon, by Oliver Chin and Jennifer Wood`

Book covers: The Year of the Snake; and The Year of the Dragon by Oliver Chin, illustrated by Jennifer Wood (Immedium)Oliver Chin, illustrated by Jennifer Wood,
The Year of the Snake: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac
Immedium, 2013;

The Year of the Dragon:.Tales from the Chinese Zodiac
Immedium, 2012.

Ages: 5-8

The latest two offerings in Oliver Chin’s series of Tales from the Chinese Zodiac, this year’s The Year of the Snake and last year’s The Year of the Dragon are welcome additions to this imaginative menagerie of endearing characters, whose stories embody the chief characteristics of each animal of the Chinese Zodiac in turn.

These are also tales of friendship and finding a place in the world…

Read the full review

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13. Week-end Book Review ~ Juba This, Juba That, by Helaine Becker and Ron Lightburn

Cover: Juba This, Juba ThatHelaine Becker, illustrated by Ron Lightburn,
Juba This, Juba That
Tundra Books, 2012.

Adapting a traditional “juba” rhyme, and certainly maintaining the toe-tapping snappiness for which juba is renowned, poet Helaine Becker and illustrator Ron Lightburn have created a dynamic, joyous picture book that will have young readers up on their feet dancing along in time to the words. While the poem creates a narrative of Juba having a fun time at a fairground, the illustrations contextualise the sequence within the suggestion of a dream; so despite its lively energy, the book would also work well as a bed time story…

Read the full review

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14. Happy Valentine’s and Happy International Book Giving Day!

It’s February 14th and time to celebrate!   Besides giving chocolate or candy for Valentine’s Day, do consider joining in the International Book Giving Day celebrations and showing some love by giving a child a new, used or borrowed book! International Book Giving Day is a volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books.

  • Most children in developing countries do not own books.
  • In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books.
  • In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books.

International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th. Individuals are invited to 1) give a book to a friend or family member, 2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read, or 3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need internationally.

In addition, people are encouraged to support the work of nonprofit organizations (i.e. charities) that work year round to give books to children, such as Room to Read, Books for Africa, Book Aid International, The Book BusIndigenous Literacy Foundation, Pratham Books and PaperTigers’ WaterBridge Outreach~  Books + water: nourishing the mind and body.

As soon as I frost my Valentine’s Day cake, I’ll be heading out to my local library to drop off a bag of gently read children’s and YA books.  Show your love and get involved too! International Book Giving Day is truly an international holiday and last year was celebrated by people in Australia, Canada, South Africa, France, India, Ireland, Japan, the Phillippines, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US! Visit the International Book Giving Day website, facebook page or twitter account (#giveabook) to see how others are celebrating and share your plans.

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15. The Girl, the Old Man and the Book, animation by James Rumford

Watch this charming and thought-provoking animation, The Girl, the Old Man and the Book by James Rumford – and you can read a bit of background from James’ blog here.

James is the creator of Rain School, one of our 2011 WaterBridge Outreach Book Set – you can read our interview with him here, and visit our online Gallery of his work.

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16. 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.



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17. February 2013 Events

Click on event name for more information

Exhibits of Winning Entries from the 2012 Growing Up Asian in America Contest~ ongoing until Feb 2013, USA

National Storytelling Week~ ongoing until Feb 2, United Kingdom

Taipei Book Fair~ ongoing until Feb 4, Taipei, Taiwan

Kolkata Book Fair~  ongoing until Feb 13, Kolkata, India

Nami Island International Illustration Concours for Picture Book Illustrations~ submissions accepted until Feb 15, Korea

Children’s Literature and Social Justice~ ongoing until Mar 19, Portland, OR, USA

Tall Tales & Huge Hearts: Raúl Colón~ ongoing until Mar 29, Abilene, TX, USA

AFCC’s Book Illustrators Gallery~ submissions accepted until Mar 31, Singapore

Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards Celebrating Multicultural Awareness, International Understanding and Nature Appreciation~ submissions accepted until June 25, 2013, USA

Black History Month~ Canada

African American History Month~ USA

National African American Read-inUSA

28 Days Later: A Black History Celebration of Children’s and YA Lit~ Feb 1 – 28, USA

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival: Presents The Kids Lit Fest 2013~ Feb 2 – 10, Mumbai, India

MA Children’s Book Illustration Exhibit~ Feb 4 – 9, London, United Kingdom

World Book Fair ~ Feb 4 – 10, New Delhi, India

Sun Gallery’s  Annual Children’s Book Illustrator Exhibit~ Feb 6 – Apr 6,  Hayward, CA, USA

Pratham Books’ Events at the Kala Ghoda Kids Lit Fest~ Feb 7 and 9, Mumbai, India

First Nations Public Library Week: From Campfires to the Digital World: Storytelling Through Time~ Feb 11 – 16, Province of Ontario, Canada

Imagine Children’s Festival~ Feb 11 – 24, London, United Kingdom

Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature Featuring Margarita Engle~ Feb 12, Davis, CA, USA

International Book Giving Day~ Feb 14

2012 Cybils (the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards) Winners Announced~ Feb 14

Chapter & Verse’s (A Book Club for Adults Discussing Children’s Lit) Discussion of ALA/ALSC Award Winners~ Feb 21, USA

International Mother Language Day~ Feb 21

21st Annual Hubbs Children’s Literature Conference~ Feb 23, St. Paul, MN, USA

All In! Young Writers Media Festival~ Feb 23 – 24, Singapore

Freedom to Read Week~ Feb 24 – Mar 2, Canada

The Literature Centre (formerly Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre) Exhibits and Programs~ Fremantle, Australia

Dromkeen National Centre for Picture Book Art Exhibits~ Riddells Creek, Australia

Books Illustrated Events and Exhibitions~ Middle Park, Australia

International Youth Library Exhibits~ Munich, Germany

Tulika Book Events~ India

International Library of Children’s Literature Events~ Tokyo, Japan

Newcastle University Programme of Talks on Children’s Books for 2011-2012~ Newcastle, United Kingdom

Seven Stories (the National Home of Children’s Books in Britain) Events~ Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Discover Children’s Story Centre~ London, United Kingdom

Arne Nixon Center’s Children’s Literature Book Clubs for Adults Events~ USA

Events Sponsored by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress~ USA

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art~ Amherst, MA, USA

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Exhibits~ Abilene, TX, USA

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Events

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18. 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.

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19. 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.

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20. ALA Youth Media Awards Have Been Announced!

Earlier today the American Library Association announced the 2013 Youth Media Awards Winners. Click here to read the press release.

Highlights include:

John Newbery Medal Winner (for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature):

The One and Only Ivan written by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2012)

Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner (for the most distinguished American picture book for children):

This Is Not My Hat, illustrated and written by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press, 2012).

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award Winner (recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults):

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America, written by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Disney/Jump at the Sun Books, 2012).

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award Winner (recognizing an African American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults):

I, Too, Am America, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Langston Hughes (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012)

Pura Belpré (Author) Award Winner (honoring a Latino writer whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience):

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012)

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award Winner (honoring a Latino illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience):

Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert, illustrated by David Diaz, written by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2012)

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21. 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!


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22. 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.


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.

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23. 2013 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature Winners Announced!

The Asian Pacific American Libraries Association has announced their 2013 literature award winners. Thanks to Shen’s Books for publishing the press release. Highlights include:

Picture Book Winner: Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth, written by Joan Schoettler and illustrated by Jessica Lanan, published by Shen’s Books.

Picture Book Honor: A Path of Stars written by Anne Sibley O’Brien, published by Charlesbridge.

Children’s Literature Winner: Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan, written by Hildi Kang, published by Tanglewood Publishing.

Children’s Literature Honor: Shark King by Kikuo Johnson, published by Toon Books.

Young Adult Literature Winner: Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary written by Keshni Kashyap, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Young Adult Literature Honor: Ichiro written by Ryan Inzana, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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24. 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.

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25. 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.


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