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Meet Me in Manila

This is a thrill. I’ve been invited to speak about Sari-Sari Storybooks at the June 8 Meetup for the Society of Children’s Book Writers + Illustrators, Manila chapter. I’ll talk about the project, it’s structure, and why I think it’s vital to support Filipino languages via children’s books. Alyssa Sarmiento, co-author of “Melo the Umang-Boy,” will also share some of her process in developing the Ivatan story in Batanes. If you are an illustrator, writer, […]

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A Sulu Folktale: “Rajah Sulayman and the Birds”

One day Rajah Sulayman took a walk with his followers, the birds. They went to Parang Hunain. When they returned home, the rajah was very tired. Sitting on an armchair, he soon fell asleep. The moment the birds saw their master sleeping, Bugguk (the heron), called his friends together and said, “Friends, let us have a lively conversation among ourselves. Instead of remaining quiet, it is preferable to talk.”

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The ABC of it: Why Children’s Books Matter

This thoughtful exhibition at the New York Public Library has it’s final day tomorrow (Sunday, Sept 7). If you’re in New York, I highly recommend taking a look this weekend. The New York Public Library is at Bryant Park, open Sat from 10 am – 6 pm, and Sun from 1 – 5 pm. It’s free. The show traces the history of the children’s book, from early religious texts printed for “moral betterment” of children, […]

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“Speaking to My Father in a Dead Language”

The loss of languages, and the often twinned issues of migration and parent-child relationships, is a global issue. This was an article on speaking his father’s lost Calabria (a dialect of Southern Italy), by Joseph Luzzi. “My family had no need to worship the idols of the second- and third-generation immigrants, with their cries of “mamma mia.” When my father swore at me in Italian, he did so out of anger and not nostalgia. “ […]

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