Children’s Book Annotations

Type: Realistic Fiction

Subtype: Social Realism

Title: The chosen baby

Author: Valentina P. Wasson

Illustrator: Hildegarde Woodward

Place and Date of Publication, Publisher: Philadelphia: The Lippincott Company [c1950]

Number of Pages: 46 pages

 

Summary:

Mr. and Mrs. Brown, a happy couple who have been married for quite some time, wanted to have children. Despite not being able to biologically parent one, they fill their home with two lovely, adopted children named Peter and Mary. Peter was adopted first. He was chosen. The couple had to wait for months to find a baby for them, as many people then wanted to adopt children. When the baby finally arrived, the Brown family loved him dearly and doted on him. Then, came Mary. She, too, was chosen. The couple asked Peter if he wanted a little sister. After several months of waiting, the family got a baby girl. Peter and Mary get along well. Peter is fond of being a big brother. The couple treat the children like they are their own.

 

Remarks:

The plot was realistic, and the topic is very sensitive. Adoption may be a part of a society nowadays, however, in a world where family would normally equate to blood relations, the idea of parenting someone other than your own child is a unique setting. This is especially difficult to explain to a small child who is only beginning to discover his own identity. The idea of being adopted can affect the child’s feelings of belongingness. In addition, the outside environment may not be as welcoming even when the home is full of love and warmth. For instance, young classmates at school may find this arrangement funny and tease the adopted child.

I think this book may be helpful in reassuring adopted children that they are as special as kids who were born out of the womb. The book emphasizes how adopted children are chosen. They are special. They are wanted. Although being chosen may have negative connotations as well (such as, the child was only one of the many options etc.), the book is able to highlight the love and joy the parents felt when they first held their child. I recommend this story for young 4-8 years old kids. It would be a good way for them to learn how to understand and accept situations different from the norm.

 

 

Type: Modern Fantasy

Title: Ang bisikleta ni Momon = Momon and the old bike

Author: Rebecca T. Anonuevo

Illustrator: Jo Ann A. Bereber

Place and Date of Publication, Publisher: Quezon City : Adarna House, 2004.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Awards Received:

Summary:

Momon and the old bike (Ang Bisikleta ni Momon) is a story about a boy called Momon and his rusty, old bicycle which was passed on to him from his kuya (oder brother), and ate (older sister). The story begins with Momon comparing his bike with the others which ran faster, had new features and looked brand new. Momon would remark how their bicycles can do a lot of things his bicycles cannot, or how they are better than his. These rumblings his bike would rebut by trying to convince him that new bikes were no better than it. It argued that it had been through a lot with him.

One day, Momon found that his bike was nowhere he had left it. He thought perhaps his bike ran away, hurt by his comparisons. Momon began to recall how it was the first bicycle he ever drove. Because of it, he learned how to ride. His bike also taught his ate and kuya. Momon then realizes how important his bicycle is to him. To his relief, he finds that the bike was, after all, not missing. It only was fixed and repainted to make it more sturdy and durable. From that day forward, Momon wanted no other bike than his.

Remarks:

The talking bicycle was very amusing. Although not realistic, this story is able to tell children the importance of not being too materialistic. Also, young kids tend to be jealous of toys other kids have. Momon’s story would make them realize how valuable to appreciate what you have while you still have it. It also teaches kids to be thankful for what they are enjoying. The ending also teaches resourcefulness. By showing how the old bicycle can be restored into its original form, children are taught to be resourceful. They learn that if they want a new toy, they don’t necessarily have to keep asking their parents to buy them one. Sometimes, they can make do with what they already have and make the most out of it. The results, as shown in the ending, were not at all disappointing. The bike was as good as all the other new ones can be.

This book is probably recommendable for children who are already in school. Particularly, kindergarten to grade 2 students may find this amusing. Because of its magical theme, even young children would be amused by the story.

 

 

 

Type/s: Traditional Literature (Fable), Informational Text, Realistic Fiction

Subtype: Contemporary Realism, Animal Fantasy

Title: Bakawan

Author: Catherine Yu Untalan, Reena Rae De Leon Sarmiento, Mae Astrid Tobias

Illustrator: Van Zeus Allen Bascon

Place and Date of Publication, Publisher: Quezon City : Adarna House, c2009

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Awards Received:

Summary:

Bakawan (mangrove) is the habitat of many animals. It started as a very secure, serene and clean place. In the Bakawan, all animals remained in the mangrove but one: Tagak, a crane. The tall, white crane would always bring home stories of the world outside the mangrove. Animals in the Bakawan would listen to him in awe as he described the city. One day, Tagak, who is ever inquisitive, brings home not just the tales of his adventures in the city, but also ‘strange’ objects it got as a souvenir from the city. The crane kept doing this until the Bakawan was filled with those strange objects. The objects turned out to be harmful not just to the inhabitants but also to the habitat. Tagak himself became a victim of the strange objects (which were really plastics). The animals then decided to get rid of all those objects properly. They segregated the wastes and put them in their proper place. In the end, the Bakawan was restored to its original state.

Remarks:

I found it difficult to categorize this story. It was a fable and an informational text at the same time. I liked this book as it is able to raise awareness of and concern for the environment among readers. It was very informative as the animals showed how to segregate the trash properly. There were quite clear instructions (but not very much emphasis on technicalities as this is a children’s book). The illustrations were especially useful as it aided the reader in imagining what the strange objects actually were. This book can be read by children and adults alike. For children, it is advisable that they read it in the grade school as it is during this period that they start to learn more about science and the environment. This book is able to develop in them the concept of a ‘waste’ and could be useful in showing them how a simple act of cleaning up (e.g. their toys) and not wasting food can help the environment.

 

 

Type: Informational Text

Subgenre: Science Education

Title: The Hairy Book

Author: Babette Cole

Illustrator: Babette Cole

Place and Date of Publication, Publisher: London : Red Fox Book, c1984, c2003.

Number of Pages: 36 pages

Award Received: Kurt Maschler Award

Summary:

The whole book revolves basically around one thing: hair.

Hair in the feet, the armpits, head— hair is everywhere. Each page is a site where hair is to be found…up until the last page where the protagonist turns out to be one with no hair under his hat!

 

Remarks:

The story was just entertaining and light. The illustrations were full of colour and the images have a tinge of humour. I classified this as an informational text as it is a very good way of teaching kids about hair.

Children who are also beginning to grow hair in previously hair-free places will learn from this book that it is only normal for a change to happen. However, young kids in kindergarten to grade 2 would appreciate the illustrations the most. Also, they might find the abundance of hair in the pages as amusing. They may not yet understand the significance and pass this book as one of those ‘fun’ stories.

 

 

 

Type: Informational Text

Title: How much is a Million?

Author: David M. Schwartz

Illustrator: Steven Kellogg

Place and Date of Publication, Publisher: New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, c1985.

Number of Pages: 40 pages

Awards Received: ALA Notable Book, a Reading Rainbow Feature Selection, and a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book for Illustration

 

Summary:

Marvellosissimo is a mathematical magician who teaches kids the concept of a million, a billion and a trillion. He illustrates how tall a million, billion and a trillion children would be if one were above the other vertically. The magician introduces the concept of counting and numbers in a very fun and relatable manner. Objects such as stars were used to show the immensity of a million. The concept of counting time was incorporated with counting to a trillion. This book makes learning Math as enjoyable as can be!

 

Remarks:

I love this book! It was visually appealing and very accommodating. It was very interactive! Kids are able to imagine the numbers coming into life. The magician was able to play the role of the teacher who frames the difficult concept in such a way that it is very applicable to real life. Illustrations were very well-done and entertaining. Despite the immensity of the numbers kids will not feel overwhelmed by the idea of a million with the tangible examples. I recommend this to be read to children aged 3 years old and above. This book is a good tool for kindergarten student who are just being introduced to Math, to develop a love for it. Often Math is mistaken as a very difficult and boring subject. However we can prevent this intimidation from young children (especially young children) if we don’t pour the hard concepts first and instead illustrate how those concepts are relevant to their lives.

 

 

 

 

Type: Realistic Fiction

Title: I just Forgot

Author: Mercer Mayer

Illustrator: Mercer Mayer

Place and Date of Publication: New York : Golden Books, c1988.

Number of Pages: 24 pages

Awards Received:

 

Summary:

This story is about Little Critter who somehow ends up forgetting everything he should do. In each new page is a new “I forgot” statement from Little Critter. He forgets to turn off the faucet, or feed the pets at home. He doesn’t forget the refrigerator door or the toys on the floor—he’s just not done with them. On and on the list goes on, but of all things, there’ one thing this cute protagonist never forgets: his bedtime story and the goodnight kiss from mom

 

Remarks:

I found the story very relatable. The illustrations exude so much innocence in every mischief (ironically) that one cannot help but roar in laughter. You just remember. You recall how funny those ‘scolding sessions’ with your parents now seem. The facial expressions of the characters in this story just say it all. Mayer really drove it home for me. I was reminded of my childhood—and all the little things I also forgot to do. I would remember the constant reminder from mama, or the annoyed remark from my father whenever I forgot something repeatedly for 3 consecutive days. I feel that as much as this book would be appreciated by young children (from age 7—around the time when children are slowly introduced to their household responsibilities and rules), it can also be read by adults who have kids (to help them understand, and remind them that they too were once as mischievous) or teens like myself who just wants to reminisce their childhood experiences.

 

 

 

Type: Realistic Fiction

Subtype: Emotional Realism

Author: Hans Wilhelm

Illustrator: Hans Wilhelm

Place and Date of Publication: New York : Crown, c1985.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Awards Received:

Summary:

This is a story of a boy and his dog, Elfie. The duo grew up together—with the dog growing up incredibly faster than the boy does. He calls Elfie the best dog in the world, and the two are inseparable. However, as the boy grew taller Elfie grew rounder. Elfie was growing old. It started to sleep all day, too tired to play. It would refuse to go up the stairs as that would entail so much effort…but no, the boy would carry him all the way up so they could sleep next to each other. When Elfie’s condition became worse rather than better, the boy set up a comfortable basket at the foot of his bed for him to lie on at night. The boy would tell Elfie, night after night: “I’ll always love you.” One morning, the family found that Elfie had died during the night. The boy, although he was offered a new pet from his neighbour, refused the offer. Instead, he gives the neighbour the cart Elfie used to ride on: they would need it more than he does now. Although the boy was sure Elfie won’t mind new pets, he wasn’t ready yet. However, he says in the end that, in time, whether the new pet was a dog or another kind of animal, he’ll never forget to tell it this: “I’ll always love you.”

Remarks:

This story moved me to tears. I love dogs and I have also lost one dog before. I see our dogs as family and so I can relate very much to the little boy. This story is so full childhood joy. The love between the boy and Elfie just leapt out of the pages and seemed very real to me. It was so sincere.

The illustrations were simple but very touching. Although it aided me as I read, the story was so compelling that it could have stood alone. However, since this is a children’s book, I concede that the illustrations are needed. I would recommend this to children as young as 5. I don’t think there should be an upper-limit age cap as even adults can relate to stories such as this. The story teaches children about compassion, and, surprisingly, about death and loss. The good thing about the story is that it presents the reality of life in a very optimistic light. After the loss, hope was presented. After the death, acceptance was introduced.

 

 

 

 

Type: Modern Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Subtype: Magical Powers

Title: The Kingdom with No Stories

Author: Mary Ann Ordinario-Floresta

Illustrator: Yasmin S. Ong

Place and Date of Publication: Kidapawan City : ABC Educational Development Center, 2000

Number of Pages: 33 pages

Awards Received:

 

Summary:

Once, in a faraway kingdom a king prohibited his people from writing stories. Anyone who wrote a story is to be punished by lighting the fire of the oven from dawn till night with the pages of the story. In that kingdom, however, lived a young girl named Rainmari who loved writing stories. Even if the king prohibited it, she would write stories and keep them inside her rag doll. One day, a crow saw he hiding her story in the doll. It immediately reported to the king and Rainmari was punished. For 99 days she burned her stories in the fire and picked up the ashes of her stories. On the last day, when she was about to burn her last page, the prince saw her and read the story. The prince was so taken by the story that he asked the king to turn the ashes into paper once more so he could read the rest of the story. However, the sorceress weren’t able to bring back the stories Rainmari wrote. On the 100th day, Rainmari leaves the kingdom and scatters the ashes to the wind. She prays for God to return the stories to the children. The kingdom was then filled with books the following day and the king learned to accept stories. Rainmari was never seen again.

Remarks:

The story reminded me of a historical event when books were burned by authorities to eliminate certain ideologies. This aspect made me classify this book under historical fiction as well. However, the sudden use of magical powers made this book a modern fantasy as well. I liked this book because it tells children so much about its own importance. Books are not just mere paper. They are preservers of history, culture and tradition. Stories in a book can encapsulate eras and dynasties in its pages. It is very hard to live without books since these serve as our guide in our day-to-day living. Records, data, and even folklore all have lessons to convey. This book is a good read for children aged 7 and above.

 

 

 

Type: Biography

Title: A Different Kind of Policeman

Author: Emma R.Tan

Illustrator: Roberto A.Alejandro

Place and Date of Publication: Makati City : The Bookmark Inc., c2007

Number of Pages: 16 pages

Awards Received: Kiran Bedi received 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service

Summary:

Kiran Bedi is a policewoman in India. Born in Punjab, she grew up wanting to protect persons who need help. She took a course in the social sciences in college then proceeded into law school. Despite having other passions such as sports, Kiran was more inclined to public service. She noticed how the poor behaviour and incompetence of the police made people lose respect for them. Kiran believed that the police are vital to law enforcement. She knew that is never too late to change the system. Thus after finishing her studies she decides to enter into the police academy. She is the first woman to ever enter the service. She was assigned to Tihar prison in where she introduced many changes and improvements in the practices within the police force. Rules applied to all, even to higher-ups. Prisoners were taught different skills and values. Inmates were also regularly consulted as to how they were being treated and if they had any concerns. Though her leadership, the prison became a place where people were treated with dignity, wardens and prisoners alike. Violence was reduced and prisoner’s productivity increased. The Tihar prison soon became a model for the whole country.

Remarks:

This biography is about a woman who had extraordinary amounts of courage, will, discipline and compassion. The author introduced her in a very holistic manner. Kiran was good in sports, in academics, and in her social life. Of all the biographies I read, this one inspired me the most. Perhaps I liked it because the story is about women empowerment. Kiran is an Indian, and India is known to take social norms very intensely that breaking away from stereotypes very difficult. A woman to gaining recognition in a man’s field is laudable. In addition, I can relate very much to the people in India who mistrust their policemen so much. I recall how I would roll my eyes at policemen stationed next to roads giving tickets to traffic ‘violators’. The profession has been given a negative stigma of being unreliable. This book has broken so many past prejudices of mine. I appreciate how the story constantly revolves around change and consistency at the same time. It is possible. Kiran has embodied change all throughout yet has proven to stay true to her core. Although she was breaking social barriers, she was doing this by staying true to her principles. This book is highly recommendable for ages 10 up. Children much younger may not fully grasp the idea behind there being a prison.

 

 

 

Type: Poetry

Title: Hush!: A Thai Lullaby

Author: Minfong Ho

Illustrator: Holly Meade

Place and Date of Publication: Makati New York : Orchard Books, c1996.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Awards Received: 1997 Caldecott Honor Book

Summary:

Set in a quiet, rural community, Hush! is a story of a mother trying to keep her baby asleep. She is constantly alert to any sounds produced by nearby animals. The sequence of sounds hat she one by one quiets include the mosquitoes weeping in the wind, a lizard peeping in the ceiling, a cat creeping under the house, a fat gray mouse squeaking by the rice barn, a buffalo sweeping at the hay and an elephant shrieking through the forest. When the mother finally succeeded in quieting the surroundings, her little baby awakens—with his eyes bright and round.

Remarks:

Since this is from Thailand, the lullaby is new to my ears. The story is bordering on reality and fantasy as the mother is able to converse with the animals. On the surface, this useful in teaching kids the different sounds of animals and the beauty of rhyming words. Rhythmic patterns and the use of sounds are very effective in making the lullaby pleasing to the ears. Repetition of the word hush was also able to put emphasis on the main theme of the book. However, what struck me the most about this work is the mother’s patience. This is shown in her repetition of the word hush and her efforts to personally confront the noisemakers. One noticeable element to reinforce her character is that the animals grew larger with every flip of the page. I can imagine how the author intended to make this very important detail to drive a point: mothers are willing to face anything to ensure their children’s welfare. She saw everything and heard every single sound, from the mosquito to the elephant. This came across to me as how mothers can be a bit too hands-on when it comes to the affairs of their children—not one spot is left unchecked.

This story can appeal to many grown-ups as well as young kids (as young as 4 y/o). I believe the author wrote this to remind us of how much our mothers have sacrificed for us despite knowing that at the end of the night, babies rarely stay asleep no matter how quiet the surrounding is. The children just end up doing what they choose to do.

 

 

 

 

Type: Historical Text

Title: Rosa

Author: Nikki Giovanni

Illustrator: Bryan Collier

Place and Date of Publication: Makati New York : Orchard Books, c1996.

Number of Pages: 34 pages

Awards Received: The Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award for illustration

Summary:

Rosa Parks is an African-American seamstress in Montgomery. The events are set at a time when African-Americans in the USA are not treated as equals of the whites. One afternoon, as Rosa rides a bus home and sits on the ‘neutral section’ (where whites and blacks alike may sit) the bus driver tells Rosa to give him the seat. At this, Rosa is perplexed. The section was open to all. She has the right to be there. Thus, she sums up all the courage she has and says no. Rosa is arrested after.

Rosa’s arrest led the other African-Americans into action. With the leadership of Martin Luther King, they led a strike against buses that segregated passengers. Instead of riding a bus, the people chose to walk. Almost a year after, on November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that segregation is illegal. Rosa Parks said no to segregation and yes to change.

Remarks:

This historical account of how the Blacks gained equal treatment and protection from the Government is an avenue for raising awareness amongst readers. This story reminds me so much of the first EDSA revolution when the Filipino people vouched for Cory Aquino in support for her late husband. Ninoy, in this case, was the Rosa of EDSA. I believe the author wants children to realize that not all standards set by the society are right and irreversible. In a generation where bullying is quite rampant, this book will somehow discourage such behaviour by empowering the bullied and transforming the bullies. Basically, the book tells the readers that a NO could lead to so many things, including a positive change and, eventually, a YES. This doesn’t mean that refuse to do our responsibilities or follow the law. The author was able to establish Rosa’s character so much that one will not question her decision to refuse. In addition, I think this historical text’s main purpose is to make readers realize that revolutions and strikes are not necessarily violent and harmful. A peaceful protest can be as, or even more, effective than other forms of activism. This book is quite wordy that I recommend it to be read by Grade-schooler. Preschoolers may not find the topic and the images as interesting.

 

 

 

Type: Historical Text

Subtype: Informational Text

Title: Diola: Ang Bayani ng Philippine Eagle

Author: Mary Ann Ordinario Floresta

Illustrator: Yasmin S.Ong

Place and Date of Publication: Kidapawan City : ABC Educational Development Center, c2000.

Number of Pages: 28 pages

Awards Received:

Summary:

Diola is a female Philippine eagle who was surrendered by Arthur Garcia to the Monkey Eating Eagle Rehabilitation Center while she was still an eaglet. Diola had no parents as they were both killed by hunters. In the rehabilitation center, Diola is placed under the care of Mang Goning. In order to provide for the little eaglet’s needs, Mang Goning mortgaged his plow. When Diola was fully grown and ready to rear her own eaglets, she refused to mate with any male eagle. As a result, they had to resort to artificial insemination. Diola was the first successful mother of an eaglet born out of this procedure. She bore two eaglets in her lifetime which were named, Pag-asa and Pagkakaisa. Although Viola died two years after giving birth to her first eaglet, she is remembered as the hero of Philippine Eagles.

Remarks:

As much as this text is informational, I found it very historical as well. Although the events in the story happened not so far back in history, I felt that they were relevant. Diola was the pioneer in artificial insemination in eagles. Eagles are known to be able to rear up to one eaglet per year, and this still depends on whether they actually reproduce. It is not unknown to many that Philippine eagles are growing extinct. I think the author is well aware that increasing their numbers is very important so she decides to write an account on that historical day that Diola gave birth to an artificially inseminated eaglet that is reared in captivity. By immortalizing this event, the writer is able to raise consciousness on the plight of Philippine eagles as well as the ways to prevent their extinction. This is also helpful as it gives explicit information as to where to surrender eagles (e.g. Monkey Eating Eagle Rehabilitation Center), and why surrender eagles in case one finds them. Finally, I think this book is most interesting to Grades 3-6 students who are starting to learn about ecological sciences and the like.

 

 

 

Type: Science Fiction

Title: Planetang Asul: May mgatao nga kaya sa ibang daig-dign

Author: Victoria Anonuevo

Illustrator: Jess Abrera

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City : Children’s Communication Center, c1980

Number of Pages: 30 pages

Awards Received:

Summary:

Often, after his duties as a shepherd, Angelo would wonder as to whether other beings exist in the stars. He and his carabao Dupong would sit under the skies and look at them every night. One fateful evening, an object suddenly falls from the skies. It was a rocket ship! Inside was Ason, a being from the planet called Asul. Angelo and Dupong immediately became friends with Ason and very curious of where he came from. Ason brings Angelo and Dupong to his planet. The two enjoyed being with the people of the Asul planet. Everything in that planet was color blue—from the plants to the animals.Food was in abundance and life seemed easy. They even had human-like beings which they call robots! However, Angelo noticed that the people from that planet seemed to be constantly anxious. He later was told that it was because of the Asmas—beings who wish to invade the planet Asul. It wasn’tlong before he met the Asmas.. They attacked the planet. They were slowly gaining the victory. Ason told Angelo and Dupong to go back to their planet. Despite them trying to convince Ason to come along, Ason refuses as he wishes to fight until the end. As the two fly away from the Asul planet, the planet suddenly explodes. Angelo and Dupong go back home hoping that they will some day see their friend again.

Remarks:

Planetang Asul is a thinly veiled story of freedom and nationalism. The book itself is old and worn-out. The graphics too are not as captivating as the other books’. However, what drew me to this book was its story. I found it very controversial. The presentation was simple but the ideas were clearly trying to imply something. I am not sure if I’m overanalyzing but the idea of Angelo and Dupong going to a different planet and finding problems similar to our world’s must imply that the issue of freedom from oppression surpasses physical boundaries—it can happen to anyone, anywhere. Also, the people in the Asul planet were living bountifully until the Asmas arrived. This must be a symbolism that author used to show how oppression can lay waste even on the best social structure/world. The final blow is when the planet finally explodes. Readers are forewarned of the perils of trying to covet another’s possession (be it physical or intangible). Ultimately, such efforts lead to destruction. As this story requires supervision of parents, I think it is recommendable that students aged 10 up read this.

 

 

 

Type: Biography

Title: My Role Model

Author: Bienvenido A. Tan

Illustrator: Jerome Jacinto

Place and Date of Publication: Makati City : Bookmark, [2011]

Number of Pages: 16 pages

Awards Received:

Summary:

Lory died when he was 27 years old. He was the only child of Vidal Tan and Teresa Yulo Tan. The storyteller is Lory’s younger cousin. Lory was his role model. He described Lory as an energetic young man who had a lot of charisma. He studied in Ateneo and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Despite his popularity, Lory is known to be a humble and principled young man.   When the Japanese war broke out in 1941, Lory was assigned to a military division based in Tagaytay. They were later on moved to Bataan where they were to wait for U.S. reinforcements. However, these never came. Bataan and Corregidor finally fell, and Lory, along with the troops, walked the death March to Capas, Tarlac. Lory made it to Tarlac but developed health complications. They were then offered release if they pledged allegiance to the Japanese government—to which Lory refused. He was sentenced to be shot. Had it not been for Mr.Inamura who intervened to Lory’s custodians, Lory would have died earlier. However, in the end, the aftermath of the war led to his poor health and heart attack.

Remarks:

Although I wasn’t alive during those periods, I feel very grateful towards all who braved the Death March. My great-grandfather was also part of the USAFFE. The local government of Cagayan enlisted strong, capable men. If I’m not mistaken, he too was in either Bataan or Corregidor. I was told that my lolo actually made it to Tarlac. However, as he was already in his late 30’s to early 40’s by then, the harsh conditions in the camp led to his death. He never came back alive. Though long over, I realize that these stories do not only hold facts and lessons…they also bring with them memories. I never met my lolo but it feels so surreal reading about someone whom he might have actually exchanged glances/greetings with. This possibility makes the story more relatable to me. I now understand why Lory refused to denounce his beliefs. Perhaps, despite the hardships, the camaraderie and bond formed between the soldiers were too strong. Together they had the courage to fight even to ate if it was for the sake of the motherland.

I think this book is a good read for all ages. However, younger kids may not appreciate the theme. Thus, I recommend it for students Grades 5 up.

 

 

 

Type: Historical Text

Title: Golem

Author: David Wisniewski

Illustrator: David Wisniewski

Place and Date of Publication: New York : Clarion Books, 2007, c1996.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Awards Received: 1997 Caldecott Award

Summary:

In 1580, the city of Prague was divided by differing beliefs. Constant feuding between the various social groups resulted in sometimes harmful and violent encounters. Among the most pressed are the Jews. Rumors have been circulating that the Jews are mixing blood with their unleavened Passover bread. Jews were treated unequally in their society. They were isolated from the rest of the city and were forbidden to use weapons or obtain protection from the law. Deeply troubled, Rabbi Loew prayed for deliverance. Appearing in his dream was the answer: GOLEM. Golem is a clay that can only be brought to life and controlled by the most righteous, the tzaddik. Rabbi Loew spent days purifying himself. Hev successfully forms Golem and commands him to protect Jews—as that was his sole reason for existence. When the emperor saw that Golem was really powerful, he offered to ensure that Jews will never be in danger in exchange for Golem’s disappearance. Although against Golem’s wishes, Golem was once more turned into clay by Rabbi Loew, awaiting to be summoned again.

Remarks:

The subject, to a non-Jew, can be quite overwhelming. Several terms (perhaps in Hebrew) were mentioned as well as customs. Thus, the illustrations were very useful in conveying the message. One good point in this text being deeply rooted in the Jewish culture is that readers are able to learn more about their life, and subsequently understand their practices. The Jews have been persecuted for the past centuries, sometimes for simply having a Jewish heritage.

We also develop sympathy for Golem. I cannot help but feel sad for him. If I were Golem, I would feel cheated. People only knew me when they needed me. However, I understand that Golem was made from clay. Yet, I cannot help but wonder since men were believed to also come from dust. Also, I read a review online that said that perhaps Golem stood for Israel—the promised land that will finally be its home and protect it from persecutors. In general, I think this book is hard to digest. I would recommend it to be read by a high school student.

 

 

 

 

Type: Biography

Title: Duke Ellington : the piano prince and his orchestra

Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrator: Brian Pinkney

Place and Date of Publication: New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Paperbacks for Children, 2007, c1998.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Awards Received: Caldecott Honor book and Coretta Scott King Awardee picture book

Summary:

Duke Ellington was born as Edward Kennedy Ellington in Washington, D.C. in 1899. He was described as a ”smooth-talkin’, slick-steppin’, piano-playin’kid.” Yet, as a young boy, Duke was not very inclined to music. He was more interested in baseball. It was only until years later that he discovered a newfound love for playing the piano. At first, it only “crude tinkling,” but with practice, Duke got the hang of playing and began to play his own melodies. He soon became popular among his colleagues and formed a band called Washingtonians. They would play in all kinds of NYC honky-tonks. It was on the autumn of 1927 that the group got their biggest break yet. They were invited to perform at the Cotton Club. Their music was broadcasted over the radio. Sonny played the trombone, Toby was on the brass sax, James did the horn and Duke was the master of the piano. Duke collaborated with Billy Strayhorn in song writing. Together they composed a lot of Duke’s hits. As duke was African American, he dedicated the song Black, Brown, and Beige to his people.

Remarks:

I never knew who Duke was until I read this book. The colourful illustration was perhaps one important factor that convinced me to read his biography. First of, he lived way before my time. Second, his style of music is quite different from mine. However, one good thing about biographies, (which this one achieved) is that it allowed me to relive history. Because of this book, I actually searched Duke Ellington on youtube. I find his compositions sophisticated, classy, smooth and romantic all at the same time—one piece I listened had no lyrics but you could imagine the story with the movement of the tunes. Listening to his music also justified the lively colors in the drawings. Each page just bursts into life. The colors tells stories just like the tunes. Also, the language used in the narrative is very reflective of Duke’s personality (from what I’ve read). Words used sounded as if they were spoken right out of an African-American’s mouth (not to be racist). One critique that I might give to this text is that it’s a bit long. Young kids may altogether decide not to read and instead look at the pictures. Although the words were very conversational, paragraphs were long. I think high school students will appreciate this best, although older people might find this most interesting.

 

 

 

 

Type: Science Fiction

Title: Planetang Asul: May mgatao nga kaya sa ibang daig-dign

Author: Victoria Anonuevo

Illustrator: Jess Abrera

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City : Children’s Communication Center, c1980

Number of Pages: 30 pages

Awards Received:

Summary:

Often, after his duties as a shepherd, Angelo would wonder as to whether other beings exist in the stars. He and his carabao Dupong would sit under the skies and look at them every night. One fateful evening, an object suddenly falls from the skies. It was a rocket ship! Inside was Ason, a being from the planet called Asul. Angelo and Dupong immediately became friends with Ason and very curious of where he came from. Ason brings Angelo and Dupong to his planet. The two enjoyed being with the people of the Asul planet. Everything in that planet was color blue—from the plants to the animals.Food was in abundance and life seemed easy. They even had human-like beings which they call robots! However, Angelo noticed that the people from that planet seemed to be constantly anxious. He later was told that it was because of the Asmas—beings who wish to invade the planet Asul. It wasn’tlong before he met the Asmas.. They attacked the planet. They were slowly gaining the victory. Ason told Angelo and Dupong to go back to their planet. Despite them trying to convince Ason to come along, Ason refuses as he wishes to fight until the end. As the two fly away from the Asul planet, the planet suddenly explodes. Angelo and Dupong go back home hoping that they will some day see their friend again.

Remarks:

Planetang Asul is a thinly veiled story of freedom and nationalism. The book itself is old and worn-out. The graphics too are not as captivating as the other books’. However, what drew me to this book was its story. I found it very controversial. The presentation was simple but the ideas were clearly trying to imply something. I am not sure if I’m overanalyzing but the idea of Angelo and Dupong going to a different planet and finding problems similar to our world’s must imply that the issue of freedom from oppression surpasses physical boundaries—it can happen to anyone, anywhere. Also, the people in the Asul planet were living bountifully until the Asmas arrived. This must be a symbolism that author used to show how oppression can lay waste even on the best social structure/world. The final blow is when the planet finally explodes. Readers are forewarned of the perils of trying to covet another’s possession (be it physical or intangible). Ultimately, such efforts lead to destruction. As this story requires supervision of parents, I think it is recommendable that students aged 10 up read this.

 

 

 

 

Type: Realistic Fiction

Title: Salamat po!

Author: Russell Molina

Illustrator: Tokwa Penaflorida

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City: LG&M Corporation, c2013

Number of Pages: 23 pages

Awards Received:

Summary:

A young boy wakes up to a very special day—so special that he finds something to be thankful for in everything. He is thankful for the rooster that wakes him up every morning, and to the rice he eats for breakfast. He is thankful for his friends (even when they tease his big ears sometimes) and the games they get to play, rain or shine. He is thankful for his siblings, even when ate sometimes has a world of her own and kuya keeps the bike to himself, for they are there for him whenever he needs help. He is thankful for his grandparents, lolo is full energy and lola is ever persistent with her reminders. He is thankful for his parents–both the one beside him, and the one overseas. He is thankful for the day and all its joys, and ends it in anticipation of an even brighter tomorrow. Every day is special to this young boy.

Remarks:

The book made me quite sad. Nevertheless, it was beauty in simplicity at its finest. The illustrations were soft but very colourful, as if reminiscent of a happy memory. I was moved because realized how I have forgotten to appreciate the simple joys of life. Sometimes I even forget to pray, or thank God for another day. As I grew older, life moved faster…or so I thought. I did not notice the beauty of the sunrise for I was too preoccupied with what I had to do for the day.

In general, I really recommend this book. I think this should be a staple in the bookshelves of professionals who are most easily caught in this trap of everyday life. This book should be a good breather. It transcends all age boundaries as it teaches children the joy of being grateful as effectively as it reminds adults what they might have forgotten as they grew more with the world: contentment.

 

 

 

 

Type: Traditional Literature

Title: Ang Mahiwagang Kuba

Author: Christine S. Bellen

Illustrator: Sergio T. Bumatay III

Place and Date of Publication: Mandaluyong City : Anvil, 2011.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Summary:

In a kingdom long ago, there lived a king whose body was covered with wounds and maggots. No physician was able to cure him that the princess promised her hand to anyone who could. However, those who tried but failed were banished. One day, a hunchback, upon hearing of the princess’ promise, came to the castle and healed the king. Abhorred by the hunchback’s appearance, the princess refused to marry him. The Hunchback was desperate: indeed, he needs no marriage, he only asks for a kiss—which the princess rudely turns down. Hurt, the hunchback cries on the marble steps of the castle where a poor beggar girl, who’s carrying her mother on her back, finds him. She is moved by his sorrow and kisses his forehead. The hunchback suddenly turns into a handsome prince. Upon seeing this, the princess immediately takes back her refusal. However, the prince has decided to marry the beggar. When the prince brings his bride back to his kingdom, his father, the king, is angered by the princess’ behaviour and decides to go to war against that kingdom. In the end, the two kingdoms make peace. The King who was infested by maggots also found that the beggar girl was in fact his daughter by his first wife! In fact, the woman the beggar was carrying was his wife! The family unite and lived peacefully after.

Remarks:

This tale resembled the story of Beauty and the Beast. The theme was usual. However, what set this story apart, for me, was the infusion of one element spread all throughout the story: filial love. The princess, although dishonouring her promise in the end, was initially willing to sacrifice her freedom of choice for her father’s well-being. The king (the hunchback’s father) will go to war to avenge the mistreatment of his son. The rude princess, upon finding out that the beggar was actually her sister, begs for forgiveness in the end. Most importantly, the beggar girl (now a princess) carried her mother on her back for most of her adult life! The characters were not human-like, (and certainly looked as queer as the hunchback!) that one realizes how ‘normal’ can be so easily defined by society. Finally, just when I thought this story has run out of twists, the last page shows a picture of a boy with a disability walking with his crunches…he is the writer of the story!

This story is eye-opening. The unconventional last page sent the message to children that the hunched back could stand for their disabled classmate, neighbour or playmate. It is important for children to understand that an ugly exterior doesn’t necessarily reflect one’s true nature. Perhaps the hunchback only needed to be loved and accepted …that love revealed a person’s inner beauty. This breaks social stigmas attached to some groups who are deemed as ‘different’. Who are we to set such standards when nobody is perfect?

I recommend this book to children aged 4 and above. I think the pictures and the characters would interest them. Also, the topic is relevant in forming the values of the young kids.

 

 

 

Type: Traditional Literature

Title: The Treasure

Author: Uri Shulevitz

Illustrator: Uri Shulevitz

Place and Date of Publication: New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1978

Number of Pages: 31 pages

Awards Received: Caldecott Honor Book

Summary:

Once, a poor old man named Isaac dreamt of finding a treasure. It was under the bridge by the Royal Palace in the city capital. He ignored the dream until it came for the third time. Then, he decided to give it a try. He travelled on foot (most of the time) through forests, and mountains until he reached the capital city. The old man dared not look all over the river for the treasure. He found that the bridge was guarded day and night. Instead, he decided to sit by river until one of the palace guards asked him why he was there. The old man narrated his dream. The guard only laughed at it. The palace guard said that he too once dreamt of finding a treasure under the stove of a fellow named Isaac whose house is in the same city from which the old man came. The old man goes back home and finds the palace guard’s dream to be true. He never lived in poverty again.

Remarks:

This story is very interesting. It started very ordinary, and then began peaking at the very end. It actually stopped at the very top, there wasn’t even a denouement. The old man got his happy ending, and that was the end. This is the reason why I classified this story as traditional literature. Although the flow of the story was cliché, the ending was insightful. The last sentence was: Sometimes, one has to travel far to discover what is near. I was enjoying the story and passing it off as a very usual rags-to-riches tale of a man who happened to be very lucky and obedient, until I read that line. It is very smart of the author to drop this lesson at the very end that I was almost ready to read it all over again just to make sure I savor every moment. The thing is, I didn’t that lesson coming. I have read The Alchemist but I didn’t have an inkling that this story would take on a similar turn.

As for the overall visual effect of the book, I personally liked its format. The pages are not too crowded that readers are able to digest the information. Usually, a sentence would fill one page while the illustration for that scene is on the other. I think this book can be read to Grade 4 students. The plot may not be as engaging to a younger audience as it will be to older ones who can appreciate depth in the story…the moral lesson too will seem ambiguous to a younger child.

 

 

 

 

Type: Traditional Literature

Title: Iba’t Ibang Lahi

Author: Boots S. Agbayani

Illustrator: Almar Denso

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City : Lampara Publishing House, Inc., [2009]

Number of Pages: 16 pages

Summary:

In the beginning of time, Bathala decided that for his creation to be complete, he needed beings who will take care of his creations. Thus, he decided to create human beings. On the first try, Bathala fell asleep and left the clay under the scorching heat all day. On the second try, Bathala was a little too careful that made sure to let the figure dry after sunset. It turned it to be pale come morning. On his third try, Bathala kept watch of the clay figure and made sure that it was only exposed to the sun’s rays at dawn. However, as a result, it got the yellowish color of the morning sun. Still, Bathala went for a fourth attempt. He let the fourth figure dry under the setting sun. Thus, the reddish color. Finally, for his last clay figure, God decided to create the figure when his shadow is the same height as he is. The figure, then, took on the color brown. All five were said to be the ancestors of the human race. Each was different, but equally special.

Remarks:

Of the books with legends, I found this one to be the timeliest. Yes, the setting was way back at the beginning of time. However, the topic was relevant to this day and age. At a time when social norms became more limiting than liberating, it is important for children to understand that diversity is normal. It was there since the beginning of time. God may have made a lot of trials, yet, in the end, He loved them all the same. Perhaps He had to make several in order to make each one special. Different is special. However, one critique I might give this book is that the reader might misinterpret Bathala’s multiple attempts at making the human being. It appeared as though he was setting all the previous ones aside for they turned out to be a mistake. I wish they could have structured the plot in such a way that Bathala was delighted at arriving at something he didin’t expect that he decided to do the rest differently from one another to see the beauty each turn out to be. Also, the facial expressions of Bathala in the illustrations displayed his dismay in the previous figures. Although, this is very encouraging for the Filipino audience (majority of which are brown-skinned), it doesn’t help in promoting respect and acceptance. This book is very easy to read, even out loud, that children in kindergarten might enjoy being told this story.

 

 

 

Type: Traditional Literature

Subtype: Folktale

Title: Maria Cacao

Author: Boots S. Agbayani

Illustrator: Almar Denso

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City : Lampara Publishing House, Inc., [2009]

Number of Pages: 16 pages

Summary:

Maria Cacao is a fairy in Argao, Cebu. She lives in the Lantoy Cave. This fairy tends her own garden of fruits and vegetables. She also owns a golden ship that she uses to transport her fruits and vegetables to tother towns where she may sell it. Maria took care of the forest. She also took care of the citizens. She would lend them her kitchen utensils whenever there was a feast. Unfortunately, people began to change. They abused Maria’s kindness and even failed to return her utensils after borrowing them. Some even stole the gold from her ship! Maria was very distraught. Everything she had, she shared. Everything she shared, she lost. The fairy decided to leave Argao, and was never heard of again.

Remarks:

This book tells of a very valuable lesson a lot of people tend to forget. It is common courtesy to return the things you borrow in the same state as it was when it was lent to you. However, due to unforeseen circumstances (sometimes), we do not only return it in a much reduced state, there are times when we fail to return them at all. This often happens between close friends. Perhaps, the author’s intention was to teach children the value of trust. We allow what is ours to slip out of our hands and sight because we trust the other person to whom we gave it. This story teaches kids to be sensitive to other people’s feelings and respectful of other people’s possessions. I’ve had this book since I was a child and the illustrations have always left a ‘provincial/local’ impression on me. It felt like home. The texture of the images reminded me of ‘banig’.

Books that teach children values are must be read to them during their formative years. I think children in Grade 1 would be able to grasp the lesson easily since most students have a habit of borrowing school supplies from classmates as early as then.

 

 

 

 

Type: Historical Text

Subtype: Biography

Title: The Man Who believed in the Poor

Author: Lin Acacio Flores

Illustrator: Rommel Joson

Place and Date of Publication: Makati City: Bookmark, c2007.

Number of Pages: 16 pages

Summary:

Professor Yunus is a teacher of economics. One day, as he strolls outside the university, he finds a woman making bamboo stools and selling them to traders for prices way below their worth. He found that these people had been fooled by traders who take advantage of the women’s lack of information and desperation. He lends her capital to make stools and tells her to sell the product herself. He then does this to many other women selling in the streets. He loans out money for their capital and doesn’t ask for interest, just the principal. Prof. Yunus then convinced his bank owner friend to lend to these people. The deal was, if they fail to pay, then Prof. Yunus has to pay. The women prove to be good at business and diligent at paying their debt. Afterwards, they decided to form a bank that if for the poor. They called it Grameen Bank.

Remarks:

First of all, I think Bookmark publishes really inspiring stories of real people. This one perked my interest since the protagonist was also in the field of Economics. Indeed, our field is concerned about making money. However, it is more about how to manage the scarcity of that money (resources) in order to fully maximize society’s welfare. I laude Prof. Yusun for inspiring women to do more and get more from what they work for. He taught them how to fish and did not simply give them the fish. A fish handed out on a silver platter would soon run out. However skills are difficult to lose. This story should inspire a lot of government officials. Programs should not just be designed to give short-run solutions to problems. Government should address the issue from its core to prevent it from resurfacing. When it resurfaces, it almost means that the government wasted resources on a futile effort. Often, these days, government officials tend to be more of a politician with personal motives rather than a public servant.

Well done were the illustrations! The palette was full of bright colors as a symbol of hope. The pictures were also able to convey the emotions in the text. I would recommend that Grade 5 and above students. The concept of loaning may be too complicated for younger children. However, it is good to note that this story teaches younger kids the importance of caring for the poor.

 

 

 

Type: Historical Text

Title: The glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot

Author: Alice Provensen

Illustrator: Alice and Martin Provensen

Place and Date of Publication: New York, N.Y. : Puffin Books, 1987, c1983.

Number of Pages: 39 pages

Awards: Caldecott Award, School Library Journal Best Book, ALA Booklist Children’s Reviewers’ Choice

Summary:

The year is 1901, in the city of Cambrai in France. The Bleriot family were riding around the city when, suddenly, a flying machine appears in the skies. Louis, the head of the Bleriots, wanted nothing else at that moment but to make one as well! He then proceeds to making various prototypes for the design of his aircraft. The first few fail. Some barely, others never left the ground. It is Bleriot VII that finally succeeds in flying into the air. It wasn’t perfect, however, it was the predecessor of the model which crossed the English Channel (from France to England) in 37 minutes! Bleriot XI landed on England on July 25, 1909, making Louis Bleriot one of the pioneers of modern aviation.

Remarks:

I noticed this book received a lot of awards (which is probably why I looked into it). I was generally not interested in aviation. I have not even been on a plane. However, when I read the book, I realized why it received such recognition. First off, the illustrations were beautiful. Since this is a historical text, I think it is crucial that present-day readers are able to relate to the content and visualize what the first airplanes looked like. Louis Bleriot’s persistence and patience reminded me so much of Thomas Alva Edison. Indeed, perhaps, the greatest discoveries are made not necessarily by the most intelligent mind but by the most persistent ones. One important lesson that kids can take away from this book is that hard work, perseverance and patience pay off. Also, children realize that there are no instant successes. It opens their eyes to the reality of life: it is not perfect, definitely not a paradise. However, it makes you a better person as you go through it. As you become better, you might even make the world a better place.

This book can be read to children in Grade 1. However, I think the teacher should guide the students through this reading since some of the terms may be unfamiliar.

 

 

 

Type: Biography

Title: First International Filipino Diva

Author: Lin Acacio Flores

Illustrator: Jomike Tejido

Place and Date of Publication: Makati City: Bookmark, Inc., [2012]

Number of Pages: 16 pages

Summary:

Jovita Fuentes was born to Don Canuto and Donya Dolores Fuentes. When she was a baby, someone predicted that she was going to be a good singer due to her loud cries. When Jovita was a young girl, she and her siblings heard the neighbours singing a zarzuela. Jovita was entranced. Soon, the siblings began performing in their own made-up plays. Jovita also took piano lessons. As she grew up, her interest and talent improved with her that she soon trained under an Italian vocal coach named Sra. Fornari. She began gaining popularity locally as she performed in various gatherings. Then, Jovita went to Milan and stayed there to train for 8 months. She has since gained recognition in the international stage.

Remarks:

Regine Velasquez, Lea Salonga and Lani Misalucha I know. However, it was Jovita Fuentes, I was not familiar with. She was born in the late 1800s and was popular in the first quarter of the 1900s.

I used to perceive biographies differently in the past. Narration of reality always seemed to bore me. However, this story makes me laugh every now and then. After reading Bleriot, I realize that successful people are there for a reason. Bleriot was persistent. Jovita was bold. She was frank. She knew what she wanted and is not afraid to ask or work hard for it. She was also hard-working. She knew her priorities. She had a dream…just like Bleriot, like Edison. Children will be inspired by such attitude as they will realize how important it is to know where you want to go In order to get to the right destination, you first have to get the right directions. Despite being born almost a century after this woman, the biography is able to make me feel her strong presence. I can imagine how driven this woman was. Children in Grade 3 might appreciate this already because of the colourful pictures.

 

 

 

Type: Biography

Title: The Lucky Doctor

Author: Nikki Dy Liacco

Illustrator: May Tobias Papa

Place and Date of Publication: Makati City : Bookmark, c2007.

Number of Pages: 16 pages

Summary:

Tetsu Nakamura enjoyed taking strolls in the mountain where he lived in Kyushu Island. As a young boy, he was fascinated by the different creatures in the mountains. He would study the animals and insects. When he grew up, he took up medicine to follow his father’s wishes. Upon graduation, Tetsu joined a trekking team to Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan. There, he finds life to be different from the way he was used to.

Remarks:

The biography of Tetsu focused on him having a new set of eyes. Tetsu has always been fond of observing the world and discovering new things. He always wandered to secluded places in the mountains, even when he had to go alone, to learn about the unknown .When he got to Afghanistan, he realized how difficult seclusion can be for the Afghan people. Medicine should be coupled with food and proper sanitation—which the people did not have. I was not able to grasp the meaning of the title immediately. Initially, I thought he was the lucky charm because he was able to improve the lives of the people he visited. Then, I thought, perhaps it was because, the people were actually able to help improve his perspective in life. Finally, I realized, he may have thought himself lucky to have been born in a place where it is not too far away for help to reach.

This book is a great window for people who live in developed areas to understand the plight of the poor. Progress is often caged in one area where business is booming. Growth must be inclusive. Publishing the life and times of a man who could have spent his life becoming a top-rank doctor but instead chooses to go down to the grass roots to help the poor is very inspirational. Children aged 12 and above may even be inspired to pursue medicine because of this text!

 

 

 

 

Type: Modern Fantasy

Title: Free Fall

Author: David Wiesner

Illustrator: David Wiesner

Place and Date of Publication: New York : Clarion Books, c1991.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Award: Caldecott Honor Book

Summary:

A young boy falls asleep with a book in his arms. He wakes up to a chess board castle with chess pieces for knights. Then, he is transported to a forest where a dragon lives. He moves deeper into the scene and finds a tree that resembled the pages of a book! It was a portal…to yet another adventure. The boy finds himself hoping from one book to another. Objects were never as they seemed. Finally, the boy is led back to his bedroom by swan-morphing autumn leaves. It had been a wonder filled dream.

Remarks:

This story is perfect for its title. The book revolved around the boy’s boundless imagination. Free fall demonstrated how our dreams can have no limits. A cat can turn to a dragon at a turn of a page. One aspect that I appreciate about this book is it makes you fully aware that you are in a dream yet makes sure you are still lured in by the story…even when you know it’s not real. Illustrations were beautifully and wittily done. The book, by the way, had not text. Everything was just pictures—another aspect that added to the ‘free fall’ effect. The boy’s dream becomes the reader’s dream as well. The reader may interpret the pictures any way he/she wants to. This book will fascinate children around the age of 5.

 

 

 

 

Type: Modern Fantasy

Title: Tuesday

Author: David Wiesner

Illustrator: David Wiesner

Place and Date of Publication: New York : HarperCollins, c1991.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Award: Caldecott Honor Book

Summary:

On a Tuesday evening, around eight, frogs on lily pods start to levitate. One after another they appeared. There were frogs in the garden, frogs on the streets, frogs chasing the dog and frogs in the living room where grandmother sleeps. The mysterious lily-pod riding frogs float in the air until daybreak, when the pods start crashing to the ground.

A week after (next Tuesday), around eight in the evening, pigs are seen floating in mid-air.

Remarks:

Tuesday is another story book that had very few words in it. Most of the story is told by the pictures. All that was in text were the date and the time. Again, readers are left to imagine the actual scene happening in the story. This style, from what I have observed, works quite well with this kind of genre. Wiesner, the author and illustrator of Tuesday and Free Fall, was able to capture the essence of fantastical stories by making the books, in a way, interactive. Modern fantasy can take unexpected twists turns that allowing readers to imagine only makes the story more exciting. Because of the colourful and vivid illustrations, children’s interest are easily piqued. Usually, books about modern fantasy or sci-fi are lengthy as they require details (nature of the topic). In this case, Wiesner is able to contain the gist in the pictures.

 

 

 

Type: Modern Fantasy

Title: Tuesday

Author: David Wiesner

Illustrator: David Wiesner

Place and Date of Publication: New York : HarperCollins, c1991.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Award: Caldecott Honor Book

Summary:

On a Tuesday evening, around eight, frogs on lily pods start to levitate. One after another they appeared. There were frogs in the garden, frogs on the streets, frogs chasing the dog and frogs in the living room where grandmother sleeps. The mysterious lily-pod riding frogs float in the air until daybreak, when the pods start crashing to the ground.

A week after (next Tuesday), around eight in the evening, pigs are seen floating in mid-air.

 

Remarks:

Tuesday is another story book that had very few words in it. Most of the story is told by the pictures. All that was in text were the date and the time. Again, readers are left to imagine the actual scene happening in the story. This style, from what I have observed, works quite well with this kind of genre. Wiesner, the author and illustrator of Tuesday and Free Fall, was able to capture the essence of fantastical stories by making the books, in a way, interactive. Modern fantasy can take unexpected twists turns that allowing readers to imagine only makes the story more exciting. Because of the colourful and vivid illustrations, children’s interest are easily piqued. Usually, books about modern fantasy or sci-fi are lengthy as they require details (nature of the topic). In this case, Wiesner is able to contain the gist in the pictures.

 

 

 

Type: Modern Fantasy

Title: Ang dakilang Benito at ang dalawang ngipin niya sa harap

Author: Augie and Mike Rivera

Illustrator: Jason Moss

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City : Adarna House, c2001.

Number of Pages: 30 pages

Award: Second Prize-Short Story for Children 1999, Don Carlos Palance Memorial Award for Literature

Summary:

There was once a boy who was born with a full set of teeth. His name was Benito. Her mother died in his infancy and he was placed under the care of Sister Margarita of Periwinkle Sisters. Benito’s teeth grew with, especially the two front ones. They grew to about six inches and were as wide as a spatula. Benito was often teased because of his teeth that he decided to isolate himself from the others. He did all sorts of way to remove his two front teeth. Alas, no matter how fast the train, or how sturdy the trees were, Benito’s two front teeth won’t budge. Benito took comfort in the turnips of the monastery. As he was munching on them, he didn’t notice that he had carved out a swan figure out of the turnip with his two front teeth! Benito then discovered how special his extra-sized teeth can be, who else could have carved with his teeth but him? Benito became a popular sculptor ever since.

Remarks:

I classified this work as modern fantasy since an extra-sized teeth is really not usual (if they even exist). This extra touch of magic made this fictional story fantastical. I especially picked books that featured people like Benito who’s able to overcome his circumstances and turn it into something great. Indeed, his teeth was a blessing in disguise. More than addressing bullying in schools, this story could teach children to not let themselves be bullied. Benito, despite being repeatedly turned away, repeatedly tried to redeem himself. There will not be bullies if there are no victims. Children in kindergarten will appreciate the story as well as the illustrations. The pictures were very expressive.

 

 

 

Type: Realistic Fiction

Title: The Stray Dog

Author: Augie and Mike Rivera

Illustrator: Jason Moss

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City : Adarna House, c2001.

Number of Pages: 30 pages

Award: Caldecott Honor Book

Summary:

Sunday is picnic day at the park for this family. They routine every Sunday stayed fairly the same until Willy came. Willy was a stray dog in the park. He happened to chance by the family’s picnic table that Sunday morning. The two kids were so fond him! The little and his elder sister played with Will all day long. In fact, they give him that name. When it was time to go, the parents cannot bring Willy along as the dog may have had an owner. All week long, the family is pestered by thoughts of Willy that they could hardly wait for next Sunday. Fortunately, they saw Willy again at the park. However, he was being chased by a dog warden. The little quickly took off his belt and said that it was Willy collar. Then, his sister took of her ribbon and said that it was Willy’s leash. At last, Willy can come home with them.

Remarks:

I found this story very heart-warming. I loved how quick-witted the kids were when the need called for it. Also, the book shows how the children learned to take responsibility for Willy. They would bathe him, feed him and play with him. This book is able to show that having a pet can be beneficial to the children’s growth. By having to look after something else, children are taught responsibility. If they wish to keep the dog, then, they must help in taking care of it. Pets are, indeed, already part of the family. Illustrations were as cute as Willy. I would recommend that children in Grade 2 read this, especially those who like animals. Children should learn at an early age that there are certain things in life that come with a price.

 

 

 

Type: Realistic Fiction

Title: The Stray Dog

Author: Marc Simont

Illustrator: Reiko Sassa

Place and Date of Publication: [New York] : HarperCollins Publishers, c2001.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Award: Caldecott Honor Book

Summary:

Sunday is picnic day at the park for this family. They routine every Sunday stayed fairly the same until Willy came. Willy was a stray dog in the park. He happened to chance by the family’s picnic table that Sunday morning. The two kids were so fond him! The little and his elder sister played with Will all day long. In fact, they give him that name. When it was time to go, the parents cannot bring Willy along as the dog may have had an owner. All week long, the family is pestered by thoughts of Willy that they could hardly wait for next Sunday. Fortunately, they saw Willy again at the park. However, he was being chased by a dog warden. The little quickly took off his belt and said that it was Willy collar. Then, his sister took of her ribbon and said that it was Willy’s leash. At last, Willy can come home with them.

Remarks:

I found this story very heart-warming. I loved how quick-witted the kids were when the need called for it. Also, the book shows how the children learned to take responsibility for Willy. They would bathe him, feed him and play with him. This book is able to show that having a pet can be beneficial to the children’s growth. By having to look after something else, children are taught responsibility. If they wish to keep the dog, then, they must help in taking care of it. Pets are, indeed, already part of the family. Illustrations were as cute as Willy. I would recommend that children in Grade 2 read this, especially those who like animals. Children should learn at an early age that there are certain things in life that come with a price.

 

 

 

Type: Realistic Fiction

Title: Hating Kapatid

Author: Raisa Rivera Falgui

Illustrator: Fran Alvarez

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City : Adarna House, c2001.

Number of Pages: 30 pages

Summary:

A boy and his older brother always come home from school with merienda (snack) served ready. Their mom would often leave the food on the table and ask the older son to divide it equally, hating kapatid. The younger son never knew that ‘hating kapatid’ stood for equal division. His older brother would always divide the pie unequally, with the larger share going to him. He would aways say that it was because he was older and taller. One day, the younger son goes to his classmate’s house. He divided the food saying it will be hating-kaibigan instead of hating kapatid. He notes that hating kaibigan was equal division, hating kapatid wasn’t. He was shocked to find out that the meant the same thing! When he goes home, he shares his sapin-sapin (a Filipiino rice delicacy) with his brother. This time, he does not only divide it between the two of them…he slices one part for nanay and another for tatay, hating pamilya.

Remarks:

This story of the two siblings reminded me so much of my brother and sister. Often during meal times, my brother would be the first one to get to the table. He wants to make sure he gets the best part of the fish (the one with the most fat) or the crunchiest chicken. Rivalry, especially when it comes to food, is no alien to families with more than one child. I was amused by the story because the older brother was actually able to exercise his power on his younger brother. In our house, my siblings won’t let you get ahead of them. Despite being the eldest, I am the one who has to settle for the third best to avoid conflict. My brother and sister are unfortunately, not as innocent as his. This will be very amusing for young children to read. Kids as young as 5 years old may be able to relate to this story The illustrations depicted two blue, amoeba-like brothers. Often, I noticed that in order to make realistic fiction more interesting, the illustrations are less realistic (in comparison to some characters in the modern fantasy stories that I have written an annotation about).

 

 

 

 

Type: Realistic Fiction

Title: Hating Kapatid

Author: Raisa Rivera Falgui

Illustrator: Fran Alvarez

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City : Adarna House, c2001.

Number of Pages: 30 pages

Summary:

A boy and his older brother always come home from school with merienda (snack) served ready. Their mom would often leave the food on the table and ask the older son to divide it equally, hating kapatid. The younger son never knew that ‘hating kapatid’ stood for equal division. His older brother would always divide the pie unequally, with the larger share going to him. He would aways say that it was because he was older and taller. One day, the younger son goes to his classmate’s house. He divided the food saying it will be hating-kaibigan instead of hating kapatid. He notes that hating kaibigan was equal division, hating kapatid wasn’t. He was shocked to find out that the meant the same thing! When he goes home, he shares his sapin-sapin (a Filipiino rice delicacy) with his brother. This time, he does not only divide it between the two of them…he slices one part for nanay and another for tatay, hating pamilya.

Remarks:

This story of the two siblings reminded me so much of my brother and sister. Often during meal times, my brother would be the first one to get to the table. He wants to make sure he gets the best part of the fish (the one with the most fat) or the crunchiest chicken. Rivalry, especially when it comes to food, is no alien to families with more than one child. I was amused by the story because the older brother was actually able to exercise his power on his younger brother. In our house, my siblings won’t let you get ahead of them. Despite being the eldest, I am the one who has to settle for the third best to avoid conflict. My brother and sister are unfortunately, not as innocent as his. This will be very amusing for young children to read. Kids as young as 5 years old may be able to relate to this story The illustrations depicted two blue, amoeba-like brothers. Often, I noticed that in order to make realistic fiction more interesting, the illustrations are less realistic (in comparison to some characters in the modern fantasy stories that I have written an annotation about).

 

 

 

 

Type: Realistic Fiction

Title: Yo! Yes?

Author: Christopher Raschka

Illustrator: Christopher Raschka

Place and Date of Publication: New York : Orchard Books, 1998, c1993.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Awards: Caldecott Honor Book, American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, NCTE Notable Trade Book in the Language Arts, Parenting Magazine Best Book of the Year

Summary:

Yo! Yes? is a book that demonstrates how two strangers become friends. One of the boys stand in the left page while the other is on the right. They exchange short sentences all throughout the book until they finally learn to understand one another. And become friends.

Remarks:

This story showed how communication can take so many forms. The story was driven by what most would consider as small talk. However, for those two, they became instant friends because of such exchanges. This book is also very symbolic as it bridges racial boundaries given the two characters’ appearances. One boy was African-American, while the other was a White. I commend the illustrator for being able to utilize the limited words and pictures (there were only two characters in the story). The words were colored according to the emotion evoked. The size of the one-liners were also a significant factor that enhanced the experience for the reader. Larger texts were given greater focus, they also stood, perhaps, for stronger emotions. Kids in kindergarten will have fun reading this story out aloud in class, or even with a friend.

 

 

 

Type: Informational Text

Title: Nice or Nasty: learning about drugs and your health

Author: Claire Llewelyn

Illustrator: Mike Gordon

Place and Date of Publication: London : Wayland Publishers Ltd., c1998.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Summary:

Drugs are chemical substances that have various uses. Some are used for medicinal purposes, some of which are taken regularly, while others are ingested whenever you feel ill. These medicine are taken in specific doses. Too much, or too little could be harmful to one’s health. The drugs that are not medicines. Cigarette and alcohol, for instance. Cleaning detergents are an example as well. These non-medicinal drugs are not to be ingested. Our body is precious that it’s important to watch what we take into it. Never swallow things that might harm it.

Remarks:

This text is very loaded with information! It began with a short description of what a medicine is. Then, the author goes on and enumerates the various uses of which. What this book is able to do, that most others may have not, is that it did not only tell children what a medicine is, but it also put emphasis on when, how and where to use it. Drugs are indeed very harmful if used improperly. This book should be in every science course in grade school! The colourful illustrations allow the children to visualize the text and aid them in understanding the contents. With the help of a teacher, drugs (the harmful ones) can be discussed in class without bringing up much controversy. Incorporating such lessons in Grade 3 classes may be helpful.

 

 

 

Type: Informational Text

Title: Tuldok: Ang Pinagmulan ng Buhay

Author: Ompong Remigio

Illustrator: May Tobias-Papa

Place and Date of Publication: [Manila] : Lampara Pub. House, c2009.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Award: Ikalawamg Gantimpala-Maikling Kathang Pambata 1996, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature

Summary:

A lot of things begin with a single dot. I, myself, came from a dot—which my mom and dad formed together because they loved each other. That dot was divided into two, then four, and so on until I was a baby in mom’s womb. From the dot sprang my heart, limbs, foot and head. When I grew bigger, I began hearing sounds, feel touches and respond to them. My surroundings grew smaller as I grew larger. After 9 months, I was finally born. The outside world was so bright , and noisy. Thankfully, I hear her familiar voice:”Baby…si Mommy, nandito na.”

Remarks:

This book is the answer to many little children’s questions. Often parents are faced with the dilemma of answering questions from children regarding this topic. They are torn between telling the truth and censoring some parts. It is hard to explain such things to little kids especially when a lot of processes involved in the explanation require adult experience. Well, parents could read this alongside their kids to explain how life comes to be. The book includes illustrations of the baby’s form from time to time. Also, the first part of the book immediately communicates this: children are born out of love. Finally, the illustrations were very beautiful—especially those of the couple! The future father doted on his wife and their baby. I was really moved by the expressions on the faces of the two characters. The guy was affectionate and the woman looked very peaceful. They both seemed very happy that you can’t help but absorb the good vibes.

 

 

 

Type: Informational Text

Title: Waaahh! Nakagat ako ng aso!

Author: Luis P. Gatmaitan

Illustrator: Jomike Tejido

Place and Date of Publication: New York : Orchard Books, 1998, c1993.

Number of Pages: 29 pages

Summary:

They say that dogs are man’s best friend. Yet, what happens when the dog harms its friend? This is a story of a little girl and her puppy. Janella’s puppy is named Bruna. All day long, the two would play, especially when Janella is not in school. They are inseparable. One day Janella gets bitten by Bruna. At first, they are hesitant to tell their parents that Janella was bitten. When they told them, however, Janella was immediately brought to the clinic. The doctor advised the family to keep close watch of Bruna, in case the dog has rabies. They observe her for 10 days. Luckily, Bruna is free of rabies, and so is Janella! The two go to the veterinarian’s office to vaccinate Bruna against rabies.

Remarks:

A lot of Filipino households own a dog. Raising awareness as to how to properly take care of them is thus very tantamount to ensuring not only the safety of the household but also of the community. There cases where the dog would bit a neighbour. Sice rabies is currently an incurable disease, prevention is the only option. As the book pointed out, there are right and wrong first practices for dog bites. Also, the right treatment must be given immediately to prevent the situation from worsening. Not telling one’s parents for fear of being scolded is not a reason. It is important for kids to realize that unser such circumstances, it is best to consult with a doctor. Also, this precautionary story tells us to be mindful of our actions towards our pets. After all, they are still animals who also get irritated by certain behaviours. I recommened this book to Grade 1 students. They are the ones who already like staying outdoors and aree very active. Their chance of running into a stray dog with rabies are much higher. Thus, it is important for them to understand the dangers of being bitten. However, the text is quite lengthy that it would been helpful for the teacher to break it down into important points

 

 

 

 

Type: Science Fiction

Title: Blip

Author: Rene O. Villanueva

Illustrator: Beth Parrocha-Doctolero

Place and Date of Publication: [Manila] : Lampara Pub. House, c2010

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Summary:

Blip was created by the Minister and Countess of the Respectable Republic of Scissors for a special purpose. He was to swallow every negative word from the television and replace it the word blip. He thought it was such a honourable job. Soon enough, no longer can the viewers hear profane language from drama actors or even hear negative news! The citizens were so frustrated to hear this word instead: blip. As the negative remarks inside him grew larger in number, Blip also expanded in size. Soon, he was way too full of negativity that Blip suddenly exploded! All the negative words suddenly burst out for the whole world to hear.

Remarks:

This story is very insightful! First, the Minister and the Countess reminded me of the MTRCB who screened and rated TV shows,. From the point of view of a parent with a very young child who’s only earning about the world, the efforts of the Minister and the Countess are much appreciated. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with banning profanity in media. However, news, no matter how negative or sad it is, must be reported. People have the right to know. The decision depends on the societal values within the community. One scene, perhaps, that really struck me was when Blip actually exploded. Even when he has expanded, the magnitude of the negative words were too much for him to digest. A closer analysis of this event will allow one to realize just how dirty our world has become The dirt was not so much in what we throw with our hands as it is with what we throw out of our mouths.

 

 

 

Type: Science Fiction

Title: Eli’s Lie-O-Meter

Author: Sandra Levins

Illustrator: Jeff Ebbeler

Place and Date of Publication: Washington, D.C. : Magination Press, c2010.

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Summary:

Eli’s troubles begin when the mailman delivered the Super-Deluxe Lie-O-Meter. The contraption looked like a regular clock. Yet, it has the capacity to determine whether a person is telling the truth or just lying. On many occasions, Eli would be caught red-handed by the Lie-O-Meter (and subsequently, reprimanded). One day, Eli’s lie sent Duffy, their dog, out of the house. This lie was kept a secret from his mom (although not from the Lie-O-Meter!). Eli soon missed Duffy and admitted to the lie. The Lie-O-Meter spits out a big, oversized TRUTH ticket!

Remarks:

The illustrations were simply commendable! The colors burst into life and made the page look as if it was glowing. Since the Lie-O-Meter is a made-up machine, the illustrations were able to aid readers in visualizing the setting. The plot itself is good. Children who read this will realize that sometimes, telling the truth, even when it hurt, is the best course of action. Sometimes our lies can have negative spill-over effects on other people (or on our dogs!). Aside children, parents can also learn from this story. Children are reluctant to tell the truth because they’re afraid of being punished. Perhaps, parents must consider this. Children in Grade 2 will enjoy reading through this story.

 

 

 

Type: Play and Drama

Title: The Valiant Lam-Ang

Retold by: Ma. Ainyle Ephraimmee N. Orara … [et al.]

Place and Date of Publication: Quezon City : Katha Pub., c2008.

Number of Pages: 40 pages

Summary:

Lam-Ang is the son of Don Juan and Namongan who lived in Nalbuan. As soon as he was born, he could already speak. He even chose his own name. Then, when he grew up, he hunted down the Igorots that killed his father. It was said that after the battle, Lam-Ang was so dirty that when he bathed in the Amburaya River, the water turned into poison. After bathinG, Lam-Ang proceeds to pursuing the lovely maiden named Donya Ines Kanoyan. Unfortunately, Ines had a lot of suiotrs. To impress her, he ruins then raises up again a structure. Then, he offers her a huge dowry to get her hand in marriage, The two eventually marry. As per the customs in Nalbuan, Lam-ang has to fish for rarang. However, a death omen has appeared to him in a dream saying that if goes there, he will die. Nevertheless, he leaves his wife and hunts the rarang. Lam-Ang dies but is raised to life after Ines gathered her bones. The two lived happily with the townsfolk of Nalbuan.

Remarks:

The book I read was a children’s book. It was obviously shorter than the epic yet was equally entertaining. Lam-Ang stood for a lot of ancient Filipino customs and values. He exhibited dauntlessness, perseverance, strength, and honor. Lam-Ang struck me the Filipino Superman. He was protective of his family, true to his word and, was popular with girls. It’s my first time reading this story and I was taken aback by the supernatural and fantastical elements of this epic. Some of its features overlaps with traditional literature. However, I classified it under play and drama since this classic story has been often retold in stage plays.

I also took notice of Lam-Ang’s parents, Don Juan and Namongan. The husband’s treatment of his wife should be upheld in the present society. Women must be given proper attention and care just like Namongan. Don Juan was the ideal gentleman. He did shores without being told off and risked his life for his family. I cannot believe I never read this as a child. It would be helpful if this story is discussed in the classroom setting. Some children might have difficulties grasping the significance of Lam-ang in their daily lives. I think high school students are the best audience for Lam-ang’s story.

 

 

 

Type: Play and Drama

Title: Animasia’s Ibong Adarna

Retold by: Maria Elena Paterno

Place and Date of Publication: Makati City : Bookmark, 2008.

Number of Pages: 80 pages

Summary:

Once, there was a faraway kingdom called Berbanya. It was ruled by a just king who had three sons: Pedro, Diego and Juan. One day, the king suddenly fell ill and no physician was able to cure him. Thus, they send the first son to catch the Ibong Adarna whose singing voice is said to heal all kinds of ailment. When the first son didn’t return, the second son was sent. Alas, he too was not successful Thus, Juan, the youngest, was sent. He met an old lady on the way and offered her his food portion. In exchange for his kindness, the old lady leads him to an old hermit who tells him the secret to catching the magical bird. After successfully catching the bird and freeing his brothers from the spell, the three princes are stopped on their tracks by the evil Chief-of-Staff Sakim. Sakim has been plotting to steal the gold from the kingdom of Berbanya. They are able to defeat him and eventually cure the king.

Remarks:

I think Animasia’s version of Ibong Adarna is quite different from the original story. In this book, the three brothers were not competing for the throne (although Pedro was slightly competitive at the start). Instead, they had one common enemy in Sakim, their father’s chief of staff. Also, in this book, the Ibong Adarna does not fall for Juan and returns to Mt. Tabor. She instead becomes good friends with the kingdom. Generally, this version is more child friendly. Feuding brothers would not be a good example for children, while a love story may not be appropriate for the audience.

The illustrations were child-friendly. Very vibrant colors that attracts the eyes to the images were used. The book was also triple the size of a usual story book, leaving enough space for large images. With this version, I think kids in Grade 2 will easily find the book interesting.

 

 

 

Type: Play and Drama

Title: Don Quixote

Retold and Illustrated by: Marcia Williams

Place and Date of Publication: Hong Kong: South China Printing Co. (1998)

Number of Pages: 28 pages

Summary:

Quixada is an eccentric old man. He spends his fortune to buy books bearing tales of knights. Day in and day out he would devour the tales. He would not even eat. In hhis dreams, he’s be in the books. It was so until his mind became totally convinced that the books were his reality. He then leaves his house one night to pursue the valiant life of a knight. He calls himself Don Quixote de la Mancha. No knight is without a lady. Thus, he picks Dolcinea, the girl from the farm in Aldonza. On his way, Don Quixote meets with various misadventures. He sees giants in windmills and a raging battle ensuing in a dusty road. At a time when knights no longer exist, how does Don Quixote plan to live?

Remarks:

This tale is brilliantly retold by Marcia Williams in a children’s book. The style of writing was perfect for the illustrations. Although the book seemed too crowded at first look, the comics-style worked for this comedic story. The illustrations made Don Quixote less like a scary lunatic and more like a pathetic yet harmless old man who just wants more out of life. The plot in general seemed satirical to me. Perhaps, this novel was first written to make fun of the suit and high life that knights claim to live. Presented in a setting when it is inappropriate, knighthood is nothing but folly. Perhaps, doing well doesn’t always have to come after the assumption of getting recognition. Those days have gone out of style.

Children will the find the pictures very entertaining. Kids from age 8 and above might enjoy looking at the pictures. The facial expressions of the characters can speak for themselves. In fact, Williams has designed this book so that the text was only supplementary to the illustrations.

 

 

 

 

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Homonyms.

 

I was full.

Oh, I was full!

Was full to my hearts desires.

Yet… had I been I a fool?

Oh, indeed, a fool!

…To feel full but empty inside.

asdfgkhjhglfhkdsvkdfkbvdfbloadlfv.

Ah, the same sound I hear but different words I see.

Full! Fool!

To hear is not to see.

To hear is not to know…

fully.

Homonyms . Because hearing is not everything. Because is English complex (!)

Because declarations may have double meanings. Because a single statement has various contexts.

Because words can be twisted like pretzels…and still sound the same…be the same, the same bread…but twisted. 

Ah, homonyms homonyms. 

Do something ’bout what you hear, fellas.

Know the Truth. Go beyond hearing.

Listen. Read.

Remember. Pray.

Live.

” But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

– James 1:22-25

Ecooon <3

Insights: Econ and Life ❤

Sooo, while studying GDP for my macroeconomics exam tomorrow, I read through this slide :

 

image

 

Then it hit me: IN ORDER TO GROW (not just economically.hahahaha.) ONE MUST:

(1) HAVE RESOURCES…and, more importantly, (2) one must efficiently use these resources.(IN SHORT: Use it PROPERLY).

I was like: O.O

and like: Wait a minute this just doesn’t apply to economics! Dude, this applies to life as well.

Know what you have, and learn to use it well.

We already have everything because we have Him ❤ All we need to do is grab this opportunity and use His gifts well.

 So what are you waiting for? Tara! 

I am super thankful kay Lord for making me appreciate so so much this stuff that I’m studying 🙂 I love ECOOONNN! 

But of course, I love God more :))))

Pero, sobrang eksayted na akong maging ekonomista! Kamown! Salamat sa pangarap na inilagay mo sa puso ko! 🙂

There:) Hahaha, sorry aktib.  I just wanted to share the joy of finally seeing the light…

Let’s maximize the talents He gave us, let us not bury them in the ground 🙂

 

Feelings

 

So I was chatting with a friend of mine (just a while ago? hahaha laaattteee naaa.) and super sabaw na at sleepy na kami when out of nowhere I just talked Poetic. (I hereby declare that an official language–in this blog, that is) ahahaha. And yeah. i just wanted to share this. I actually edited this A LOT. hahaha. The original one was really O.O. srsly. Pretty sabaw but profound (I hope so. ahahaha).

 

What are feelings?

Ugh…What is a feeling indeed?

Is it when you’re cold from the rain drops

That touch your skin like tiny beads?

Is it that warm sweat dripping

across your face in the heat?

A feeling…how does it feel…

like?

Is it the warm breeze on summer days,

That chase you off the streets?

Is it as chilly as the monsoons,

Forcing you to hide behind sheets?

Does it sweep one off his feet?

Regardless, of state, I bid?

Is it that emptiness and hurt…

In the stomach when there is none to eat?

Is it that urge to throw up after consuming…

More than your limit shall permit?

Ah, can it in fact be bought and consummated?

Does it run out?

Can one sustain it?

Is it hidden inside one’s closet…

As the clothes one no longer can fit in?

Or…is it kept in a chest like a treasure

to be opened if time bids it to draw near?

Shall I call it?

Must I keep it?

Do I have it…kept within?

AH. 

A feeling… an idea of which I still have none of.

Does it stay? Will it go?

Is it a ‘Yes’? Perhaps a ‘No’?

For certain…it gave birth,

to confusion.

My heart, dear, is in utter

confusion.

What does this mean?

Is it feelings I feel in here?

I know.

Now, I see…

AH. AHA. HAHAHAHAHA.

Funny how I ask,

oh, all this time I should’ve known…

If feelings indeed are true.

It all shall come from You.

This heart is… fickle

Guard it…like a tower

Guard  its base.

Storms shall shake it.

Raindrops shall fall.

Heat will beat on it…

But bid the tower not to fall, or MELT.

Hunger shall haunt it…

In that tower,  none is of the flesh.

It will wilt…run dry,

Without Thine, it could die.

Fill  it, surround it…

Let not Rapunzel…let down her hair,

to a mere stranger.

Do not let down your heir.

I rest this heart on You…

Hold it, lest feelings sway its Truth.

I know not what feelings are.

Perhaps not now…nor tomorrow…

nor…nor… am I ever certain if of feelings

I shall be certain of…

One thing…God is love.

Is love a feeling?

No… a feeling is fleeting.

Ah, feelings can change.

They can never be the same.

He stays the same.

God is love.

I felt it…but, what is this?

How can a feeling so fickle be certain when it’s Him?

Perhaps, this is not a feeling…

Perhaps…this is the truth.

And the Truth…I can hold onto….

I can be certain of…

I can believe…

That… I shall remember…

through any season,

or weather…or feeling.

God is love.

Still I ask: “Have I answered…

that which I asked…from the start?”

What is a feeling?

Ah, I have resolved.

It doesn’t matter.

That which got me started…shall not

determine how I go on.

What is a feeling…

IF I HAVE LOVE?

I have love…

And love shall suffice…

It completes, it stays…

It is enough…

More than I can ever ask…

from feelings…

Love

…and God is love.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.  -1 Corinthians 13:1-8

With love,

🙂

Once Upon a Time: A Love Story

Image

be·gin·ning  [bih-gin-ing] noun

  1. the point of time or space at which anything begins
  2. origin; source; first cause.

(Source: dictionary.com)

A beginning is defined as a point in time or space at which anything begins (well.) and, take note of thisit is also defined as the origin, or the source of something. 

The book of Genesis is a book of beginnings. In fact genesis means beginning. 

It was the beginning of time, existence, life, and… (I’m running out of profound examples), trees, birds, lions, the sun, the moon, the ocean, the skies, and oh, it was also the beginning of a love story…written by the author of love Himself…written for all of us.

I know it’s normally a bit out of season (Valentine’s is a looonngg way off) but the thing about love is that it never, ever goes out of season. (kamown!) We loooovvvee love because we were created out of it, not just by our parents, but by our aweesome God 🙂

We, actually I, often sing about letting the love begin…and letting the light come shiiiinning in! …It may never come again, let it in. Let the love begin~ 

But how did love begin?

Do you think it began with you meeting him(/her)? Then it is all good?

Then all else just follows? Then all else just falls into place when you fall in love?

O.O ???!!!!

I thought so too.

But let me to tell you what I think now.

I believe it all started with the beginning…of all things.

If love is that eternal it must have existed way back when everything else has just started…

And once upon a time, this beginning of all things started with nothing

and God.

The thing about God is that He can turn nothing into everything

From total darkness sprang the heavens, and the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars in sky~(this is starting to sound like a song lyric. XD) He created the the animals, the vegetation, the waters, the land. You name it, He’s made it.

It was all good. Indeed, it was all done.

And then, He created man.

Out of His own image, the man was born. On that day, the man breathed His first.

And He was alive…in paradise. Into that paradise He placed the man — to be master of all that He has created.

Man was created last, Yet, he was put first, put above all the others.

Prepared for, anticipated for.

(Ah, that kind of love!)

And yet, though this lucky dude had everything, having everything,

God said, was not good… enough. S

o out of the man’s rib He created the woman.

Then, it was all good. (Ah! That kind of love!)

Whenever I read the beginning I am always caught in awe by this kind of love.

His standard of love. 

Often, I get lost in the various versions of love I see around me. Everyday, that clear vision of true love gets befuddled by all these ideologies slamming in my face day after day.

I lower my standards. I put my guard down, and say: “Hey, maybe I can work things out. Maybe I can just use God’s help when things get a li’l off. But now, God, just let me handle things. I am sure I can put up with their standards. I can create my own paradise.”

There’s force, but no work. For from nothing, well, I stay at nothing.

(Note: Work= Force *distance. Zero distance= Zero work)  #geek 😀

Luckily God is always there to pull me out, to pull me through.

When I was unguarded, He guarded me in full armour.

I lowered my standards, and He raised all of ‘em up for me.

Swifter than light, He held  my foot right before it stepped into oblivion.

It has been like that between God and I for most of my life. 😥

And I am awfully grateful for His patience.

Patience.

Ah, all this time God has been giving me that which I lacked…

Patience.

I wanted to get to the sixth day…I wanted a taste of love, of all those romantic feelings, without having to get through the others…thinking that that day would suffice alone. That, more than being ripe for love, I wanted to rush love so it will be right for my needs…at the present. I sought love to fill my emptiness…not even considering that the person that will fill me(my need for care and love) will someday turn empty…because I have taken so much from him.

I never considered this. I thought. Oh, I thought love was supposed to give me what I need.

I never considered before that I too will give…and what I will give, will not come from me.

It will come from Him. The overflow of the love He gives.

We know love, because we know Him.

Though I had the end in mind, but God had something better. He had my best interest in mind.

He says: “Allow me to build with you your paradise. Allow me to turn that darkness into light. Let me build you an earth and a heaven…let me find you a dwelling place in which you can settle. I shall put a light up in the sky to guide you, day and night. I shall let waters rush forth your rivers to keep you alive. Child, trees will spring out of land to provide you with fresh fruits—for every season! You shall be master over the wild things on Earth. You shall be a man—different, higher than an animal. Allow me My child.”

Me: “Sure sure sure! Ohmy! Let’s get started NOW!!!! Lezzdoit!” #egzoited

Then He replies, calmly He tells me: “Well, in that case, let’s get back to the beginning. Let’s start with nothing, and I shall build on your everything. Come…

Leave all your baggages for we are starting with nothing, leave everything and take only patience with you…for it  took me 6 days child…I believe it’s gonna take longer with you, but don’t fret yet! I have set the time, the place, and it will all be good. Trust me.”

I had reservations, I wanted control.

Yet, I realized all these will  be in vain for I was heading down the wrong road. I had the wrong destination in mind, where else will this go?

Ah, for sure, not to that  kind of love.

And my heart yearns for exactly that. 

So I have resolved. I now start with His beginning  and trust in His never ending… love.

I let go of every baggage, every stronghold and take but two things: Patience and Faith.

The rest, He shall provide, like manna along the way, in His good, pleasing and perfect time.

Then, it will all be good.

P.S.  Even if  my heart has not yet fully grasped what a perfect love is, I wished for it.

He kept me from getting what I wished for so I would get more than I imagined. ❤ That is love.