Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Invitation to Children’s Book Illustrators

We are looking for children’s book illustrators from countries around the world to design bookplates for International Book Giving Day 2013! If you are interested in designing a bookplate, please contact Amy Broadmoore at amy dot broadmoore at gmail dot com.

International Book Giving Day is a grassroots, 100% volunteer initiative to encourage people to give books to children on February 14, 2013. To celebrate, people 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 book to an organization that distributes books to children in need.

Children’s book illustrators are invited to design bookplates that celebrants can attach to books they give to children. We welcome bookplates written in a variety of languages. The bookplates must be 11.4 cm x 6.9 cm (or 4.5 inches x 2.7 inches) in size. We will make the bookplates available for free at the International Book Giving Day website for people to download and print themselves. We will also offer the bookplates for sale as inexpensively as possible at International Book Giving Day’s Zazzle store.

Other ways for children’s book authors and illustrators to support International Book Giving Day:
  • Add your name to the list of people giving books for International Book Giving Day. Fill out the very brief form on the home page of the International Book Giving Day website.
  • Invite others to celebrate International Book Giving Day.
  • Take a photo of yourself leaving a book in a waiting room, giving a book to a child, or otherwise celebrating International Book Giving Day for us to share at our website or Instagram page (#giveabook).

Saturday, December 08, 2012

International Book Giving Day 2013

International Book Giving Day is a volunteer initiative aimed at getting books in the hands of as many children as possible on February 14, 2013. 

International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to engage in simple acts of giving. We will invite individuals 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 book to a local hospital, shelter or library or to an organization that distributes used books to children internationally.

In addition, we will encourage people 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 Bus, Indigenous Literacy Foundation and Pratham Books.

For more, see International Book Giving Day’s new website:!

Friday, November 23, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Golden Baobab Prize Winners Named

The 2012 winners of the Golden Baobab Prize, a leading African literary award, have been announced. This year Joy Nwiyi of Nigeria, Jenny Robson of South Africa and Botswana, and Rutendo Chabikwa of Zimbabwe were selected as the distinguished winners by a prestigious panel of judges. They join the growing circle of promising authors chosen by the Golden Baobab Prize, which is the only prize of its kind. It is awarded annually to inspire the creation of quality African literature to be enjoyed by youth readers in Africa and around the world. The prize offers a monetary award to its winners and connects outstanding stories with an array of African and international publishers. 

This year, Nwiyi’s Something for Next Time won her the Golden Baobab Prize for the best story written for ages 12-15 years. Robson’s Wha-Zup Dude? was named the Golden Baobab winner for the best story written for ages 8-11 years. Finally, Chabikwa’s A Healing Adventure and Letters from the City earned her the Golden Baobab Rising Writer Prize, which is given to a young writer, 18 years or under, who shows exceptional literary promise for his or her age.

The 2012 Golden Baobab Prize Honorable Mentions for the Junior Category (stories targeted at readers 8-11 years):

Yaba Badoe (Ghana), The Fish-Man of Purple Lake
Daniel Ansah Akrofi (Ghana), The Stray
Yaba Badoe of (Ghana), The Fisherman's Daughter

The 2012 Golden Baobab Prize Honorable Mentions for the Senior Category (stories targeted at readers 12-15 years):

Gothataone Moeng (Botswana), Absolute Truth about Red Mite 
Sedem Agbolosu (Ghana), Transfiguration

The 2012 Golden Baobab Rising Writer Prize Honorable Mention (for a promising writer 18 years and younger):

    Sarah Juma (Nigeria), Grey Marine

The 2012 Golden Baobab Prize featured a panel of renowned judges. They are CNN Hero and children’s librarian Yohannes Gebregeorgis, international children’s librarian Tanja Galetti, award-winning young African writer Kopano Matlwa, esteemed scholar Vivian Yenika Agbaw, South African children’s publisher Carol Broomhall, and acclaimed writer of African children's stories Atinuke Akinyemi-Sears. 

The mission of the Golden Baobab Prize is to ensure the creation of high quality literary content for children and young adults by discovering, nurturing, and promoting African talent.  

For further information, photos, or to arrange interviews, please contact Deborah Ahenkorah via our website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Finalists for the 1st Filipino Readers' Choice Awards

Click here to see all the finalists for the 1st Filipino Readers' Choice Awards! Congratulations to all the finalists!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The 1st Filipino Readers' Choice Awards

Filipino book bloggers and book club members have put together the 1st Filipino Readers' Choice Awards! The Awards aim to: develop awareness and appreciation of Philippine-published books, engage Filipino reading communities and honor their favorite Philippine-published books, and give Filipino readers a greater voice and recognize their vital role in the Philippine book industry.

Do you have favorite Philippine-published books from 2010 or 2011? Please nominate them for the 1st Filipino Readers' Choice Awards! Here are the categories for the Awards:

* Children’s picture book
* Chick lit
* Novel in English
* Novel in Filipino
* Comic/graphic novel
* Short story anthology
* Essay anthology
* Poetry collection

Click here for the nomination form. Nominations close next Monday, July 23!

YA Author Alyson Noël in Manila!

Friday July 20, 6 p.m. at Powerbooks Greenbelt 4 is the book signing event with New York Times bestselling YA author Alyson Noël! See you there. =D

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Call for Papers: Literature, Media, and the Romance of Childhood (Quezon City, Philippines)

Literature, Media, and the Romance of Childhood: States of Innocence and the Business of Frightening Our Children, an interdisciplinary conference for early career researchers and postgraduates

MA/MS/PhD students and independent researchers are welcome.

When: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 (9 a.m. - 6 p.m.*) and Wednesday, August 22, 2012 (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Where: The University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City (specific rooms to be announced)

We welcome 250- to 300-word abstracts from postgraduates and early career researchers who would like to contribute 20-minute papers to a two-day conference at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Paper topics include but are not limited to:

children's literature
innocence and experience
the sexualization of children in literature and in the media
the gothic imagination and the literature of horror
conduct literature and media didacticism
maternity, paternity, and parenting
the Harry Potter phenomenon and relevant popular literature
eroticism in literary material for children and teens
laws for the protection of children
the infantilization of women in print and visual culture, film, and/or music
anxieties of masculinity and sexual offense
parents' responses to the hyperreal and the hyper-connected world
the social impact of niched cable and TV channels for children
ante-natal parenting programs at hospitals and the economics/politics of childcare
publishing for children
omnigamy, polyamorous partnerships, the neo-nuclear family, the child-raising village
pictures/images/movements of health, illness, and rehabilitation
population and crowding, playgrounds and spaces
fashion, ethics, aesthetics for restless, disaffected, and/or anti-social youth
publishing conduct literature for the 21st century

The first day of the conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners engaged in the fields of Childhood Studies, Gothic Literature, Media Studies, Gender Studies, Early Childhood Development, Women's Health, Visual Arts and Mass Media, Children's Literature, Publishing for Children, Child Protection Services, Social Work, Community Development, and other related areas. It is hoped that the interdisciplinary nature of the conference opens up the terrain to a multitude of issues, topics, and theories surrounding Philippine and international perspectives on childhood and children's texts in various media.

The second day of the conference features artists, illustrators, publishers, bloggers, and other practitioners who have had years of experience in producing and reviewing reading material for children. Blogger-teacher Tarie Sabido chairs and moderates this round-table discussion.

All are welcome. Free admission for non-readers. Paper-readers can register at the door**.

Email 250- to 300-word abstracts and 50-word author bios to

Deadline for abstract submissions: Monday, July 23, 2012

Conference website: to be posted at a later date

*Wine reception follows a tour of the Main Library Reading Rooms and archives

**Registration fee for conference packet photocopies

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Let's have an international book bloggers meetup!!!

For me, the best thing about blogging is the people - the community I am a part of. It's a joy interacting with other lovers of kidlit and YA lit, and I have some truly amazing friendships because of the kidlitosphere/YA blogosphere. I've been able to meet many book bloggers in the Philippines, and last month in Singapore, I met Liyana of Liyanaland. We were so happy to be spazzing over YA authors and K-pop together IN PERSON. We thought, why not do this with other kidlit and YA lit bloggers? Why not have an INTERNATIONAL book bloggers meetup? If you're interested in getting together with kidlit and YA lit bloggers from all over the world, please click here to fill out Liyana's survey. Help us plan this international meetup. I think we can really make this happen!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The 2012 Golden Baobab Prize: Inspiring African Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Submit a story to the 2012 Golden Baobab Prize, a literary award for African stories that children and young adults all over the world will love!

The deadline for submissions to the 2012 Golden Baobab Prize is midnight GMT, Sunday, June 24, and the winners will be announced the first week of November.


* The author must be a citizen of an African state or a dual citizenship holder (a copy of a passport or comparable document will be required of winners).

* African citizens of all ages qualify to present submissions.

* Writers below the age of 18 years will be automatically considered for the Rising Writer Prize.

* There is no restriction on race or geographical location.

Submission Guidelines

Contestants and entries must comply with ALL of the following criteria. Works that do not conform to the rules will be disqualified.

* Submitted stories should fall into either Category A (stories for readers aged 8-11 years) or Category B (stories for readers aged 12-15 years).

* An entry should be a work of fiction between 1,000 to 5,000 words. The category a story falls into may influence its length.

* There are no restrictions on themes but stories must be set in Africa or have very evident African content.

* Stories should be in written in English and should not have been previously published elsewhere, in part or in full.

* Pseudonyms may not be used. Entries must be submitted under the entrant's real name.

* Entrants may enter up to five stories.

* All entries must be the unaided work of the entrant.

* Previous entrants and winners of the Prize are eligible to enter in subsequent years.

* The title page of submissions should state the category and title of the story. All biographical information should be sent in the body of the submission email.

ALL entries will be acknowledged with an email to the address from which the entry was sent.

For all queries visit our FAQ page or contact:

Submitting Your Story

Entries should be submitted as typed Microsoft word or PDF documents. There should be a title page with the following information:

Title of Story
Age of entrant

The body of the email should include the following personal information:

Title of story
Age of entrant
Country of citizenship
Phone number (country code - area code - number)
How I heard about the Golden Baobab Prize (just a sentence or two)

Submissions will be accepted as email attachments to:

Good luck, everyone!!! =D

Guess who's number one in Asia? =D

My brother JP and his teammates Galilee and Marvin just won the gold medal in the men's team poomsae division of the 2nd Asian Taekwondo Championships in Vietnam! Click here to watch JP, Galilee, and Marvin being interviewed about their victory. The interview starts at 11:35 and is mostly in English. =D

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another Interview with Author Sue Fliess!

Gosh, do you guys remember back-to-school shopping? I LOVED back-to-school shopping. Choosing new notebooks, new crayons and other art supplies, new pencils and pens, new shoes. . . and of course, new clothes!!!

A Dress for Me! written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Mike Laughead (Amazon Children's Publishing, 2012), the companion book to Shoes for Me! (Amazon Children's Publishing, 2011), is a fun and RELEVANT picture book that captures some of the excitement - and frustration - of back-to-school shopping.

Click here to read my review of Shoes for Me! and click here to read my first interview with Sue Fliess. Then check out the book trailer below for more about A Dress for Me!

Finished watching the book trailer? Don't you just love Sue Fliess' rhymes?

Sue steps Into the Wardrobe again today to talk about A Dress for Me! Welcome back, Sue! =D

Why do picture books matter? What keeps you inspired and motivated to write picture books?

First, all books matter! But I think every kind of book serves a different purpose – and all are important. A picture book (and I do not have a background in education) is the first type of book children are exposed to, so it’s really helping develop their little spongy and curious minds, and help them make sense of the world around them. Before they even understand what the words mean, they are absorbing the illustrations – but at the same time, making a connection between the words and the illustrations in some way – and that is a powerful thing. They are long enough to hold a child’s attention, but short and engaging enough for them to want to read them over and over. I can’t think of another vehicle that does this as well as a picture book.

I love writing picture books. When I’m writing something longer and I’m struggling, my reward is to visit a picture book manuscript I’m working on and tinker. (Though, many may call that procrastinating!) I write a lot of my stories in rhyme, and frankly, it’s simply fun to write them! It is so satisfying when I get that one turn of phrase just right, or I’m able to convey a storyline in one stanza. I’m around kids a lot – my own and my friends’ children too – and it’s something about the innocence of the age that picture books target that keeps me striving to make each story better than the last. Also, the competition is fierce, so I can’t let myself settle on anything. If I’m not feeling the love for part of a story, I know it’s not going to slip by unnoticed – by a publisher, but especially by a clever kid. Thankfully I have an honest critique group! I like the challenge of writing a story in very few words and now that I’m published, I feel I have a responsibility to children to write the best stories I can.

Why did you write a companion book to Shoes for Me!?

Why not? No, seriously, when I sold Shoes for Me!, I had a bunch of other manuscripts in the file. I’d actually written a couple other for Me! books, but they were too similar to what my publisher already had in the works. So after A Pet for Me! and A Sport for Me! were turned down I got smarter about it and pitched several ideas to my editor to see if anything resonated. They were open to seeing A Dress for Me! so I got to work. I was thrilled when they made an offer! I have a few other ideas up my sleeve, so hopefully you haven’t seen the last of these books.

I'm definitely looking forward to more for Me! books!

What do you hope children will take away from Shoes for Me! and A Dress for Me!?

Honestly, my only real hope is that children think they are fun, can relate to the topics on some level, enjoy the illustrations, and want to read them more than once. There are no heavy underlying teaching messages — I only hope they convey that it’s okay to be yourself, and that they can be empowered to make decisions even at a young age.

What are some of your favorite responses to the books?

From a mom: “My child has your book by her bed and asks to read it every night. It’s her new favorite.” From a 5 year old girl: “I counted the number of shoes. It’s 132.” “My favorite is the dress that shimmers.” And probably two of my favorites from a school visit: “Now that you are a famous author, do you live in a mansion?” I wish! The other: “Do you have an agent, and does she make more money than you?” That was from a third grader! [Whoa. *whispers* And what's the answer to that question?]

Do you remember the very first time you chose a dress for yourself? What was your favorite dress as a child?

I remember many shopping occasions with my mom and sister, mostly for back-to-school clothes. My mom never went crazy with the shopping, so we actually really appreciated getting new clothes. I loved that feeling of reinventing myself with new outfits. As if I had the right clothes, I could do anything or be anything I wanted to be. I don’t remember the very first time I chose a dress for myself, but I do remember a long plaid dress (we’re talking 70’s style) that I loved, and also a nightgown with flowers on it that I’d wished was a real dress I could wear to school. I have a picture of the plaid dress, which I wore to a photo shoot. Not surprisingly, I’m holding a book as a prop!

Awesome, Sue! Thank you so much for sharing that picture. =D

What is next for you? I read something about a delicious birthday book!

Yes! I have been having an unbelievable year. First, my third picture book comes out this July, Tons of Trucks, which is a touch and feel novelty book about all things trucks, with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books. I’m very excited to see it come to life, as it was one of the first manuscripts I’d written. This February I sold three more books! One is a picture book about a child who is gluten-intolerant celebrating a birthday, called Celebrate Me, Gluten Free, to Albert Whitman & Co., set to come out in Fall 2013. I also sold two stories to Random House, which will become Little Golden Books! Robots, Robots, Everywhere! will come out in Fall 2013, and A Pirate’s Life will come out sometime in 2014.

Celebrate Me, Gluten Free sounds FABULOUS. I don't think there's ever been a book like it before.

Thank you so much for talking picture books and dress shopping with me, Sue.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Press Release: Philippine Speculative Fiction Series Joins Flipside's Spec Fic eBook Lineup

The first volume of the anthology‭ ‬Philippine Speculative Fiction,‭ ‬which was first released in‭ ‬2005‭ ‬and paved the way for a unique literary movement in the Philippines,‭ ‬is now available as an eBook on Amazon and Flipreads.‭ ‬Series editor Dean Francis Alfar has partnered with Flipside Publishing to make the first four anthologies in the series available.‭ ‬The two books complement the speculative fiction eBooks in Flipside Publishing's lineup.

“Speculative Fiction opens the trapdoor of the imagination beneath our feet,”‭ ‬says Dean Francis Alfar,‭ ‬on why the genre is important.‭ “‬As we fall to new worlds,‭ familiar or far-flung,‭ ‬we open our eyes and minds to new ways of seeing and thinking.‭ ‬Throughout human history,‭ ‬the ability to imagine has driven us forward.”

Stories from the‭ ‬Philippine Speculative Fiction series have been included in the Honorable Mentions list of‭ ‬The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link‭, and Gavin J.‭ ‬Grant,‭ ‬while the individual anthologies have been praised by World Fantasy Award-winning author Jeffrey Ford and SF writer Nancy Jane Moore.

Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol.‭ ‬1 is now available on Amazon for‭ ‬$0.99‭ ‬and‭ Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol.‭ ‬2 for‭ ‬$3.99.‭ ‬The next two volumes will eventually be released in May.‭ ‬The eBooks are also available at‭ ‬ for P80 and P195 respectively.

Other speculative fiction titles that Flipside Publishing has published include‭ Lower Myths by Eliza Victoria,‭ ‬Alternative Alamat edited by Paolo Chikiamco,‭ ‬Geek Tragedies by Carljoe Javier,‭ ‬News of the Shaman by Karl De Mesa,‭ ‬and‭ ‬Ghosts of Infinity edited by Lara Saguisag‭ and ‬April Yap.‭

Flipside Publishing Services Inc.,‭ ‬sister company of Flipside Digital Content,‭ ‬is involved in leading-edge conversion,‭ ‬production,‭ ‬and publishing of eBooks.‭ ‬Over‭ ‬100‭ ‬eBooks are available for the Amazon Kindle,‭ ‬Apple iTunes,‭ ‬and B&N Nook.

This is late but. . .

I really want to congratulate Filipina singer Charice Pempengco for winning this year's Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Asian Act!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thank you. :o)

Remember my blogging workshop at the Filipinas Heritage Library? The picture above is with about half of the participants. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of the participants. I really enjoyed meeting new people and talking about blogging and other social media!

Monday, April 02, 2012

I have to agree with the fans who say. . .

That the movie adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender should have been a bit more like this:

Read: ASIAN (and Inuit!) people with elemental powers.

And yes, I'm bringing this up again because of those racist Hunger Games tweets, because Avatar: The Legend of Korra has started (Why do I get the sinking feeling there are still people out there who will deny the Asian and Inuit roots of the Avatar world?), and because I like that K-pop group in the video.

[Cross-posted from Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind.]

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WTF? It's in the book, people! And that's RACIST.

Book blogger Charles Tan told me a bit about this and then Tu Books editorial director Stacy Whitman shared a link on Facebook. . . Apparently there are Hunger Games fans who are very disappointed, even outraged, about the black actors cast in the movie.

*flips tables*

Click here to read an article about it.

Edited to add: I'm angry I'm angry I'm angry. So one of the messages being sent is that Amandla Stenberg "ruined" the Hunger Games movie BY BEING BLACK??? I cannot find the words to describe how angry I am right now.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fine Dining: A Film by Lance Katigbak

This "short film on poverty, dignity, and the unconquerable nature of the human soul" by 18-year-old Filipino Lance Katigbak won the People's Choice Award at this year's Manhattan International Film Festival. :o)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Tarie: Hi, everyone! Please help me welcome YA author Meredith Zeitlin Into the Wardrobe! She's here to introduce her debut novel Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters, which was released just this month!

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (Putnam Juvenile, 2012)

Book description from Amazon:

"Let's say you're fourteen and live in New York City. You'd think your life would be like a glamorous TV show, right? And yet . . . You don't have a checking account, much less a personal Black American Express card. You've never been to a club, and the only couture in your closet is a Halloween costume your mom made from an old laundry bag.

In other words? You're Kelsey Finkelstein - fourteen and frustrated. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled. Kelsey wants to rebrand herself for high school to make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny. But just because Kelsey has a plan for greatness . . . it doesn't mean the rest of the world is in on it."

Watch the book trailer below:

Guest Blog Post by Meredith Zeitlin

The Story Behind the Story: How the Book Came to Be

When I first moved to Brooklyn, I babysat for an awesome little girl... who is now taller than I am, by the way. (Why?!?) Anyway, I would read her YA books while she did her homework, and with few exceptions, I found myself very bummed out by them. I thought they seemed cookie-cutter and not very well-written and, most importantly, not at all the sources of comfort I grew up with, which were filled with relatable characters who were awkward and desperately trying to figure things out. Instead these were all about super rich and sophisticated kids, the likes of which I certainly never met when I was fourteen.

Since then, I've been turned on to lots of amazing contemporary YA writers – they are definitely out there! But at the time, I was so disappointed. I thought, maybe I'll write something myself.

I had been writing a personal blog for a few years at that point (mostly to keep the creative juices flowing while I bartended and babysat and temped), which was basically an account of all the ridiculous things that always seem to happen to me. Of course, since I was a so-called adult, some of the recent adventures were a bit on the racy side, but I thought: What if I wrote a story that's about the disastrous things that happened when I was growing up? After all, I've almost completely recovered!

So, I came home one afternoon and sat down in my living room and wrote the first sentence of the book – the same first sentence that you'll see in the finished version. I wrote a few pages and closed the computer. Then I watched a bunch of TV and ate some ice cream and thought: “I should really work on that some more.” Then the Procrastination Monster and I did everything BUT write for a while. And that was how the book got written, over about six months. When inspiration struck, I'd write something – for five minutes, or thirty – and then I'd do something else.

I specifically remember when I realized I had an actual book; I was sort of shocked. This was the first major writing project I'd actually seen all the way through, and it was scary! Did I have to do something with it now? If so, what? And, of course, I had to figure out how the heck to end the book, which had me stumped for ages.

The book changed a lot during the unusually long editing process (which involved my first editor getting let go amidst a typically Kelsey-like book editing experience. Why I ever expected things to go smoothly is beyond me). The tense changed from past to present, at one point there was a totally different narrative style, Travis had a much bigger part for a while that involved her being a child star, and Ben went through all kinds of incarnations. Ironically, the finished book is more like the original draft than any of the ones in between. But as frustrating as it was, all the work on unused drafts led to a clearer, more pared down book, so it was worth it. And the original story – and my original purpose – never changed.

So, there you have it: the book about a catastrophe-prone fourteen-year-old is actually about a slightly older (yep, that's what I'm going with) Brooklynite who loves candy and TV. And sometimes pulls it together long enough to write a book that she hopes kids (and their babysitters!) will relate to and love.

Tarie: Thank you so much, Meredith, and the very best of wishes for Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

"How do I start a blog?"

Over the years, several people have asked me, "How do I start a blog?" I finally get the chance to answer that question formally! On March 14 and 28 (both Wednesdays), 6-9 p.m. at the Filipinas Heritage Library, I will be teaching a blogging class for beginners. If you have been thinking of starting a blog, but are unsure about how to go about it, this class is for you. If you have *just* started a blog, and have been wondering how to use it to brand your expertise or how to earn real rewards from it, this class is for you. We'll be discussing the hows and whys of blogging and other social media and even workshopping blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, and other content you create and share using the Internet.

For more details, click on the picture above. To register for the class, please contact Joy de Asis-Villaflores at 892-1801, send an SMS to 0917-561-2413, or email Thank you so much, and I hope to see you there! I'm really excited about sharing my passion for blogging!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Press Release: The Philippines' Premiere University Press Holds Anniversary Sale

In celebration of its 47th anniversary, the University of the Philippines Press (UP Press) will be holding its annual month-long sale. All UP Press titles, bestsellers, and new releases will be sold at a 20% discount, and all consigned titles at a 5% discount. The book sale runs from March 1–31, 2012.

The UP Press bookstore is located at E. de los Santos Street, UP Campus, Diliman, Quezon City and is open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For inquiries, call the UP Press at +63 (2) 494 2527 and +63 (2) 926 6642 or reach them online via their website.

Or like their Facebook fan page.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

March 7 is World Read Aloud Day

PRESS RELEASE: Celebrate the Power of Words and Stories and Take Action for Global Literacy with LitWorld

Worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate. Imagine a world where everyone can read... 

On March 7, 2012, LitWorld, a global literacy organization based in New York City, will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day. World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology. By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Please give a child a book on Valentine's Day!

Or let a child borrow one. =D

PRESS RELEASE: International Book Giving Day (February 14th)

International Book Giving Day is a day dedicated to getting new, used, and borrowed books in the hands of as many children as possible. Tomi Ungerer, Judy Bloom, Katrina Germein and several other great authors are participating. It would be great to have you participate too!

We hope that we can connect people from around the world via International Book Giving Day’s website, Facebook page, flickr group, etc. and work together to focus on a good cause: getting books to kids.

Three simple ways you can celebrate International Book Giving Day:

1. Give a book to a friend or relative.

Is there a child in your life who would enjoy receiving a book on February 14th? In lieu of or in addition to a card or box of chocolates, choose a good book from a bookstore or public library to give to your child, grandchild, friend, or neighbor.

2. Donate a book.

Wrap up a box of children’s books that your kids have outgrown and get them in the hands of children who could really use a book or two. Donate your books to your local second hand store, library, children’s hospital, or nonprofit organization working to ensure that all kids have access to books.

3. Leave a book in a waiting room or lobby.

Choose a waiting room where kids are stuck waiting and there are few to no good books available. Purchase a good book, and deposit your book covertly or overtly in your waiting room of choice. The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids, so choose a fun book, nothing controversial.

Let us know that you are participating, and we will add you to our list of people giving books for International Book Giving Day.

You can also connect with participants worldwide by sharing photos and ideas at International Book Giving Day’s website and Facebook page.

It would be fantastic to have your help with encouraging others to participate. Please, consider inviting authors, friends, and family in countries around the world to take part in International Book Giving Day.

Let's see how many people we can get to commit to giving a book to a child by February 14th!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I have a crayon problem.

I still color in coloring books, love the smell of new crayons, and hate stubby crayons. The result is that every time I see boxes of crayons in a store, I have to buy one. Every. Single. Time. I have boxes of unopened crayons at home.

Is there a name for my problem? O_o

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Illustrator Interview: Holly Meade

Yahoo! Welcome to the first day of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour. Every year, the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) presents the Sydney Taylor Book Awards to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience - and the winners are celebrated and showcased through a blog tour!

For the blog tour, I have the honor of interviewing Holly Meade, winner of a Sydney Taylor Honor in the Younger Readers Category for illustrating Naamah and the Ark at Night (Candlewick, 2011). =D

Congratulations, Holly!!

Please tell us: Why do you illustrate for children? What keeps you motivated or inspired?

I illustrate for children because it's fun as well as challenging to create pictures with a child's view in mind.

What is your studio or work space like?

My studio is in my home, in a rural part of the Maine coast. It sits on the edge of a field that rolls down to the ocean. [Sounds beautiful!] This view means a great deal to me. The big open space seems to say "anything's possible." The beauty of the changing seasons, the many animals I see pass (I've seen moose and bobcats from my studio windows, as well as the more common critters), and the lovely air that floats in, all serve to inspire my work. The work space itself is kind of cluttered, full of art materials and large work tables and reference materials.

What was your creative process for Naamah and the Ark at Night?

Naamah and the Ark at Night was created by watercoloring large sheets of paper with color and patterns, cutting the necessary shapes, then assembling them into pictures. Details were added last. Before this, the entire book was drawn in black and white, using imagination and reference materials. I referred closely to this when constructing the illustrations.

What was your favorite part about illustrating Naamah and the Ark at Night? What was the most challenging part?

I guess my favorite part was working with such an old and well loved story, but with the wonderful new view point of Naamah. The most challenging part was selecting which animals to include.

You have several awards, including a Caldecott Honor for Hush! A Thai Lullaby, written by Minfong Ho (Scholastic, 2000); a Charlotte Zolotow Award for Creative Writing for John Willy and Freddy McGee (Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 1998); and now a Sydney Taylor Honor. What do these awards mean to you?

They're affirmations that these books are meaningful to children, and that's meaningful to me.

Congratulations again, Holly! And thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Dear readers, please visit Ima On & Off the Bima for an interview with the author of Naamah and the Ark at Night, Susan Campbell Bartoletti. And click here for the rest of the stops on the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Schedule of the 2012 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour!

The Sydney Taylor Book Awards recognize and honor outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Every year the winners are celebrated and showcased through a blog tour. Below is the schedule for this year's exciting roundup of interviews with the winning authors and illustrators!

Sunday, February 5

Susan Campbell Bartoletti, author of Naamah and the Ark at Night
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
at Ima On & Off the Bima

Holly Meade, illustrator of Naamah and the Ark at Night
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
at Into the Wardrobe (Here here here!)

Shelley Sommer, author of Hammerin' Hank Greenberg, Baseball Pioneer
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Older Readers Category
at Great Kid Books

Monday, February 6

Marcia Vaughan, author of Irena's Jar of Secrets
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Older Readers Category
at Shelf-Employed

Ron Mazellan, illustrator of Irena's Jar of Secrets
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Older Readers Category
at The Children's War

Tuesday, February 7

Trina Robbins, author of Lily Renee, Escape Artist: From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Older Readers Category
at Bildungsroman

Anne Timmons (and possibly Mo Oh), illustrators of Lily Renee, Escape Artist: From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Older Readers Category
at Gathering Books

Morris Gleitzman, author of Then
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
at The 3 R's

Wednesday, February 8

Michael Rosen, author of Chanukah Lights
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
at A Chair, a Fireplace, & a Tea Cozy

Robert Sabuda, illustrator/paper engineer of Chanukah Lights
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
at Practically Paradise

Susan Goldman Rubin, author of Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Older Readers Category
at Cynsations

Robert Sharenow, author of The Berlin Boxing Club
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
at Jewish Books for Children

Thursday, February 9

Durga Yael Bernhard, author and illustrator of Around the World in One Shabbat
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
at Frume Sarah's World

Shirley Vernick, author of The Blood Lie
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
at The Fourth Musketeer

Friday, February 10

Eric Kimmel, author of The Golem's Latkes
Sydney Taylor Notable Book, and winner of the National Jewish Book Award
at Ann Koffsky's Blog

Gloria Spielman, author of Marcel Marceau, Master of Mime
Sydney Taylor Notable Book, and finalist for the National Jewish Book Award
at Shannon and the Sunshine Band

Richard Michelson, author of Lipman Pike: America's First Home Run King
Sydney Taylor Notable Book, and finalist for the National Jewish Book Award
at Blue Thread

Sydney Taylor Award Winners – Wrap-Up
All winners, all categories
at The Whole Megillah


So my favorite rapper, Zelo, is a fifteen-year-old prodigy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Press Release: Angry Robot Announces Strange Chemistry Launch Titles

Strange Chemistry - the YA imprint of award-winning indie genre fiction publisher Angry Robot - has announced two deals that will help launch the list into publishing super-stardom.

Imprint editor Amanda Rutter has revealed that Strange Chemistry’s first two titles will be. . .

Shift by Kim Curran

When your average, 16-year-old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not quite so average after all. He’s a Shifter. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world quickly starts to unravel around him he realizes that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

Julie is an apprentice witch – or so she believes. When a dark power comes stalking out of the past to haunt her and her mother, Julie learns that she is far more than just a witch. With the help of her best friend Marcus and a rather unusual Great Dane, Julie has to race against time to ensure she can defeat the bad guy, save her mother and avoid being grounded – again!

For more information, review copies, interview and feature requests, contact marketing manager Darren Turpin at

2012 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Announced by Association of Jewish Libraries

Cross-posted from Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 Sydney Taylor Book Awards! The Sydney Taylor Book Awards honor new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. The winners will receive their awards at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Pasadena, California in June.

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers:

Chanukah Lights by Michael J. Rosen with artwork by Robert Sabuda (Candlewick Press)

The Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Younger Readers:

Naamah and the Ark at Night by Susan Campbell Bartoletti with illustrations by Holly Meade (Candlewick Press)

Around the World in One Shabbat: Jewish People Celebrate the Sabbath Together written and illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard (Jewish Lights Publishing)

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Older Readers:

Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein by Susan Goldman Rubin (Charlesbridge Publishing)

The Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Older Readers:

Lily Renee, Escape Artist: From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer by Trina Robbins with illustrations by Anne Timmons and Mo Oh (Graphic Universe)

Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg: Baseball Pioneer by Shelley Sommer (Calkins Creek)
Irena’s Jars of Secrets by Marcia Vaughan with illustrations by Ron Mazellan (Lee & Low Books)

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Teen Readers:

The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow (Harper Teen)

The Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Teen Readers:

Then by Morris Gleitzman (Henry Holt and Company)

The Blood Lie: A Novel by Shirley Reva Vernick (Cinco Puntos Press)

Congratulations again to all the winners! Click here to see the list of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards Notable Books.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

See you on Saturday? Everyone's invited!

Filipino book bloggers meet up this Saturday, January 21, 3 p.m. at Libreria Pilipinas.

Please check out. . .

My interview of author/illustrator Joyce Wan! :o)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

YA SFF Panel

Hi. =D I had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion on young adult science fiction and fantasy. Click here to read the discussion!

An Inspiring Blog Story

I've shared this on Facebook, but I'll go ahead and share it here too. :o) This is an interview with former children's book illustrator now fashion blogger Garance Dore, someone I really respect and admire because of her blogging philosophy and blogging ethics. I'm inspired to stay true to myself as a blogger!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Alternative Alamat: An Anthology of Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology


Philippine mythology is full of images that ignite the imagination: gods of calamity and baldness, of cosmic time and lost things; the many-layered Skyworld, and weapons that fight their own battles; a ship that is pulled to paradise by a chain, and a giant crab that controls the tides… yet too few of these tales are known and read today. Alternative Alamat gathers eleven stories, by contemporary authors of Philippine fantasy, which make innovative use of elements of Philippine mythology. None of these stories are straight re-tellings of the old tales: they build on those stories, or question underlying assumptions; use ancient names as catalysts, or play within the spaces where the myths are silent. What you will find in common in these eleven stories is a love for the myths, epics, and legends which reflect us, contain us, call to us–and it is our hope that, in reading our stories, you may catch a glimpse, and develop a hunger, for those venerable tales.

Alternative Alamat also features a cover and interior illustrations by Mervin Malonzo, a short list of notable Philippine deities, and in-depth interviews with Professors Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita.

The digital edition of Alternative Alamat, co-published by Flipside Digital Content, may now be purchased for US$4.99 at the Kindle store and for PHP235.00 at, and will soon be available at the Apple iTunes and Barnes & Noble Nook stores.

For more information please feel free to visit the Alternative Alamat page on For any inquiries, please email us at

Thursday, January 05, 2012

An Inspired Choice :o)

Press Release: Walter Dean Myers Named New [US] National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Walter Dean Myers, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and two Newbery Honors, was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. Myers will serve in the position during 2012 and 2013, succeeding Katherine Paterson. Myers has chosen “Reading Is Not Optional” as the heading for his platform. The inauguration ceremony will take place on January 10 at 11:00 a.m. in Room LJ 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

“Walter Dean Myers is one of America’s preeminent authors of books for young people,” said Dr. Billington. “He is a lifelong advocate for reading for young people, and he has practiced what he preaches in schools and detention centers across the country.”

The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature is named by the Librarian of Congress for a two-year term, based on recommendations from a selection committee representing many segments of the book community. The selection criteria include the candidate’s contribution to young people’s literature and ability to relate to children. The position was created to raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council (CBC), Every Child a Reader, and the CBC Foundation are the founders and sponsors of the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature initiative. Financial support for the National Ambassador program is provided by Penguin Young Readers Group, Scholastic Inc., HarperCollins Children’s Books, Random House Children’s Books, Candlewick Press, and the Lois Lenski-Covey Foundation.

“Walter Dean Myers is well-known to attendees of our National Book Festival,” said Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole. “He was a popular presenter in 2001, during our first festival, and also in 2003 and 2005. We look forward to his appearance at this year’s festival in September.”

“Walter Dean Myers is a wonderful storyteller and authentic voice,” said Robin Adelson, executive director of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader. “His pioneering novels are hard-hitting and, at the same time, deliver a powerful sense of hope and dignity, and we believe he will do the same as the next ambassador.”

Walter Dean Myers boasts more than 100 published books, including the New York Times bestseller Monster, the first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, a National Book Award Finalist, and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. He is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults and in 2009 delivered the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, a distinction reserved for an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of children’s literature. He is among today’s most-honored authors. Myers grew up in Harlem, which is the setting for many of his books, and currently resides in Jersey City, N.J.