Happy National Children’s Book Day!
I came from the Philippine Children’s Book Summit today (and promptly fell asleep as soon as I got home) so the reportage will have to wait until after Saturday’s NCBD Fair.
In the meantime, here’s my last entry for the #NCBD2015 Blog tour.
The prompt for this week is:
Hulyo 20 – 25: Wish List
Anong Pilipinong aklat pambata o pangkabataan ang gusto mong mailimbag? (Maaaring paksa, uri ng aklat, o ng isang manunulat o ilustrador. Maaaring maglista nang higit sa isa pa.)
Here’s my wishlist:
1) More books for middle readers. Now that we have a lot of new titles in the YA segment, I think we need to fill the gap for middle readers in terms of chapter books. I love Xi Zuq and Al Estrella’s “Supremo” and enjoyed Justine Hail’s “The Secret Story of Shy Shelly,” but I hope our publishers come up with more titles because it’s wide open right now.
I’d like to see a series, because they’re quite popular with the age group — look at Geronimo Stilton, Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, Captain Underpants and Magic Treehouse. They’re highly readable, and the familiar characters keep the kids reading on to the next books. I often encounter kids at the bookstores begging their parents to buy them new titles for their collection, and they purchase multiple titles each time, so it’s a good market to break into.
2) Storybook apps. I keep Adarna’s apps (A Day in the Market and That Won’t Wake Me Up) on my iPad because they’re always handy for entertaining antsy kids (e.g. nieces and nephews, friends’ kids), and they’re always a hit — the kids even choose the apps over casual games! It helps that the books are familiar already; most of the kids I’ve tried the apps on either have the books already or have encountered them in school, so they’re glad to see familiar titles on my iPad.
3) A Filipino kids almanac. Here’s another perennially popular type of book (and by now you can tell I hang around bookstores checking out the stuff people are putting into their baskets). I devoured these annual almanacs when I was young; they’re fun and colorful trivia compilations, but the content is always international, featuring Hollywood teens, pop stars, athletes(though I’ve seen Pacquiao in some of the recent ones), animal fun facts, and there’s usually a big section detailing all the US states and their capitals and state symbols (which is of no use to Filipino readers).
I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a local counterpart — there’s so much to write about and so much young readers can learn about the Philippines!
4) More comics and graphic novels. While the comics industry is growing in the Philippines, and we’ve seen plenty of titles in recent years (and the Komikon crowd is always huge), we need more titles for young readers, and I’m glad the industry is going in this direction. Rob Cham’s Light (under Adarna’s new Anino Comics imprint); Elbert Or’s Manosaur and Bakemono High; and Robert Magnuson’s Kuting Magiting are great to start with, and I’m looking forward to seeing more comics and graphic novels for young readers in the coming years.
So the blog tour has wrapped up and the Philippine Children’s Book Summit took place today, but we still have the NCBD Fair on Saturday at the Rizal Library, Ateneo! Entrance is free and there’s lots of fun activities for kids and kids-at-heart (including Flips Flipping Pages’ book discussion: Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! by Nanoy Rafael and Serj Bumatay), so come and join the festivities. I’m on FFP booth duty, so I’ll definitely be there.