White Ravens: Philippines

7 books      

Philippines (English) - 1994 - 77
Yuson, Alfred A. (text)
Parrocha, Beth A. (illus.)
Sunico, Ramón C. (transl.)
The Boy Who Ate Stars
Metro Manila: Cacho Publishing, 1991. 20 p.
(CPHI Trampoline Series)
(Text in English and Filipino)
ISBN 971-19-0060-2
Modern Fairy Tale/Philippines - Greed - Stars - Trees - Peace
How a little boy who had a craving to eat all the stars he could learned to appreciate having stars in the heavens is told cleverly along with a parallel tale about deforestation by outsiders to the community, which the villagers recognize only too late as wrong and harmful. When no stars and no trees are left, a stranger visits the village, giving the people a tree to begin re-establishing their forest and the boy wisdom to reverse his error. This is a bilingual edition, attractively produced on glossy paper in broadside format, with colorful, inventive watercolor illustrations. The book is part of a noteworthy series of innovative children's books coming from the Philippine's burgeoning children's book scene. (4-8)

Philippines (English) - 1996 - 40
Kuhonta, Ma. Michelle (text)
Llana, Dindo A. (illus.)
Metro Manila: Cacho Publishing, 1995. [16] p.
(We Love the Earth Books/Mini Series)
ISBN 971-19-0168-4
How Anna learns to swim at the seashore is told her in rhyming verse, illustrated in full-page richlydetailed spreads with elements of modern art and child-oriented humor. (3+) ☼

Philippines (English) - 1996 - 41
Ventura, Sylvia Mendez
José Rizal
Metro Manila: Tahanan Pacific, 1992. 32 p.
(The Great Lives Series)
ISBN 971-630-000-X
Rizal, José/Biography - Philippines/War of Independence - Doctor/Biography
One of the Philippines's national heroes, José Rizal Mercado (1861-1896), a brilliant, promising young European-educated doctor came from a simple merchant family. Already as a young toddler it was clear that he was a gifted learner and when he was eleven years old his family arranged for him to go to a school run by Jesuit priests in Manila. These were turbulent times in the Philippines. The only years of relative peace in his life were those spent studying medicine in Europe, where he became a specialist in eye operations and fluent in many languages. Filled with love for his family and his land, he returned home in 1891 to practice medicine, teach children and help with the modernization of his village. When accused of inciting revolution because of his prominent position among his people, he was unable to flee in time to avoid execution, only a few years before the Filipino nation won independence from Spain. This is a moving story of a very exceptional individual, written in hagiographic terms but filled with historical detail. (8+) ☆ ☼

Philippines (English) - 1999 - 39
Arcellana, Francisco (text)
Alègrè, Hermès (illus.)
The mats
Makati City: Tahanan Books for Young Readers, 1997. [32] p.
ISBN 971-630-079-4 (paperback)
Childhood memories - Gift - Death - Memory
This is an adaptation of a classic story first published in 1938 by the Philippine's National Artist for Literature when he was only 22 years old. It is a moving story told in the first person about an incident in a girl's family. The gift of specially-made mats which are brought back from a business trip helps reveal to the narrator her father's love for all his children, and his sorrow for those already dead. The painterly, stylized illustrations by a young artist, Hermès Alègrè (*1968), are done in bright, rich colors which capture the love and warmth of close family life. (6+) ☆

Philippines (English) - 1999 - 40
Blanco, Marivi Soliven (text)
Santos, Reinard P. (illus.)
Philippine fright. 13 scary stories
Manila: Tahanan Books for Young Readers, 1996. 103 p.
ISBN 971-630-041-7
Philippines/Folktales - Supernatural - Trickster
These thirteen spine-tingling stories draw upon legends and frightful supernatural creatures in Philippine folklore but are clearly set in modern times in the Philippine islands. The humorously told tales are spiced with Philippine words whose meanings are apparent in the context of the story. The graphic artist's background in cartooning is apparent in these bluish or violet two-tone grotesque drawings. (8+)

Philippines (English) - 1999 - 41
Flores, Karen (text)
Justiniani, Mark (illus.)
The chair king
Manila: Tahanan, 1997. [32] p.
ISBN 971-630-078-6
Giant - Chair - Wish - Search - Trickery
A lazy, dreamy giant becomes obsessed with finding a chair to fit him. After rampaging the cities and countryside he stumbles upon a remote village, Purok Palukit, which is famous for its hand-made production of especially long-lasting chairs. In spite of his rampaging fit a little girl recognizes there is nothing to fear in the mad, selfish giant. While he sleeps, the villagers unite their talents to create a chair big enough for him - and use his vanity to trick him. The story is well-matched in the fullsized, luminous caricaturist illustrations. (4+)

Special Mention - Philippines (English) - 1999 - 42
Reyes, Severino (text)
Lumbera, Bienvenido (comp.)
Cordero-Fernando, Gilda (transl.)
Gamos, Albert (illus.)
The best of Lola Basyang. Timeless tales for the Filipino family
Manila: Tahanan, 1997. 244 p.
ISBN 971-630-034-4
Philippines/Modern folktales
More than 400 tales were written under the pseudonym of Lola Basyang (a well-known storytelling old matriarch in Manila) by the businessman, folklorist, dramatist and editor Severino Reyes (1861- 1942) and published in the vernacular Tagalog in a weekly magazine, »Liwayway«. Twelve of the best stories appear here for the first time in an English translation, which tries to preserve the richness and the spirit of the original, along with an introduction which explains the special qualities of these narratives and the author's intention to capture the nighttime storytelling ambience. The reader will recognize familiar folktale themes (such as Cinderella and Bearskin) woven into these elaborate, well-structured tales. Albert Gamos received an honorable mention at the 1985 BIB and was a runner-up at the 1992 Noma Concours for Picture Book Illustrations. His richly detailed twotone pictures in decorative frames resemble the elaborate illustrative style of the late 19th century. (8+)