Filipina Book Writers: What is Your Child Reading?
What is your child reading?
Three Filipina book writers says it’s time to engage children with fairy tales and adventures in the Philippine setting. Instead of foreign characters, why not local characters who can inspire children to learn about Filipino values. Why shouldn’t the setting be in our home country? Why shouldn’t it be written in Tagalog or in a particular dialect?
“The amount of things you can talk about with children are limitless if you find the right book that could act as a springboard to discussions,” says book author and teacher Maita Salvador.
She and two other Filipina book writers are passionate about teaching the younger generation about our country’s culture, history and identity. Get to know these authors below:
May Tobias-Papa weaves adventure stories that touch on Filipino culture, morals and traits. Her book “Araw sa Palengke” is about a little girl’s first time visit to the market with her mother. Through the eyes of this little girl, the author takes her young audience to see and hear the sounds in the market place.
In writing these books, Tobias-Papa is inspired by people in her life. In her almost 20 years of writing and illustrating children’s books, she has given life to characters that usually carry moral and cultural traits and practices innate in Filipinos.
Tobias-Papa says that when she was young she read and was entertained by adventure stories of children living abroad. Her goal is to break down borders and teach kids to enjoy and learn about Filipino culture.
Weng Cahiles touched on history in writing her book “What Kids Should Know About Andres and the Katipunan.” It is a book that talks about Andres Bonifacio’s life as a husband, a brother and a revolutionary leader.
“I just want kids to feel the same way I feel about Bonifacio and to let them know how great of a man he is and how important his role is to our history—that a big part of our freedom can be attributed to his deeds,” says the author.
Cahiles’ book has been recognized as one of the books kids love to read in the 2014 National Book Awards. The author continues to write stories and poetry that demonstrate a strong sense of passion, democracy and patriotism.
Maita Salvador wrote “When Zero Left Number Land” in Tagalog and English. It is a fantasy book about Zero, the character, who decides to leave Number Land to find a place where he feels he belongs.
The author, who is also a Reading Education teacher, says she sees the need for more Filipino-published books to target the middle graders. She also strongly believes that it is important to promote children’s literature through local languages.
Salvador’s dream is to one day write books in Kapangpangan, her native dialect. “Since I am blessed with a mother tongue other than Filipino (language), I should probably take this as an opportunity to be of service to both children and teachers in my province,” she says.
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- Filipina Book Writers: What is Your Child Reading? - March 25, 2015