Did you have a happy National Children's Book Day? A children's book fair was launched at Parkmall on July 16, 2012, in support of National Children's Book Day (NCBD), which is celebrated every third Tuesday of July. This day is meant to commemorate the first publication of Jose Rizal's children's story, "The Monkey and the Turtle."
For the 29th National Children's Book Day on July 17, 2012, the free poster from the secretariat of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) was designed by Aldy Aguirre (an Alcala Illustrators' Prize awardee in 2010 and 2012), with the NCBD theme Masayang Magbasa sa Sariling Wika.
For its first NCBD celebration, Parkmall tied up with Adarna House, the Philippines' first and largest publisher of children's literature. The publisher has an extensive collection of children's books with illustrious authors, one of whom is Virgilio S. Almario, who may be better known by his pen name Rio Alma. Considered the father of modern Filipino children's literature, he was declared a National Artist for Literature in 2003. His books published by Adarna House include Ang Mabait na Kalabaw, Ang Hukuman ni Sinukuan, Ang Alamat ng Palay, and Isang Mayang Uhaw. To sponsor the reading materials for the event, Adarna House sent Parkmall several of their award-winning stories to read to the visiting schoolchildren.
The festival from July 16 to July 22, 2012, has two major components: (1) a book fair and (2) a storytelling nook. For the book fair, the following exhibitors are participating in the event:
- Adarna House
- Learning Is Fun!
- OMF Literature
- CD Books International Inc.
- Pages for Less
- MegaTexts Phil. Inc.
These exhibitors brought in their selection of children's books, which are for sale at discounted prices. Jollibee is also a sponsor for the book fair events.
On the other hand, free storytelling sessions for kids are held on July 16 to July 20, 2012, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For the first day, the storytellers were our librarians from the Mandaue City Library. From Tuesday (July 17, 2012) onward, they will be a mix of student teachers from Cebu Normal University (CNU) and other Cebu librarians. If you may remember, CNU has the distinction of being Region 7's Center of Teacher Development.
The festival starts with a mall tour and ends at the storytelling nook, where three to four storytelling sessions will be held at the same time. Kids can transfer from one storyteller to the next to hear all the stories. Parkmall challenged the CNU teachers to make their sessions as effective as possible, so they asked for the books to be read ahead of time to prepare for the storytelling sessions. The festival is intended as an interactive activity for both the student teacher readers and the visiting students.
On July 20, 2012, Friday, there will be special performance by CNU's Kudyapi Dance Troupe, which specializes in folkloric or cultural dances. The ensemble will be performing a number from the musical Cats in their cat costumes after the reading of Adarna's The Cat Painter, which is a storybook written by Becky Bravo and illustrated by Mark Ramsel N. Salvatus III. This book won first prize as Best Children's Story in the 2004 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the 2007 National Book Award for Best Children's Book.
Credit for the idea behind The Cat Painter goes to the author's younger sister Steph, who as a young girl, used to say that the spots and patches on their pet cats and dogs were all because "pinaglaruan sila ng anghel." Becky Bravo is a member of Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING). Another award-winning book she wrote is Just Add Dirt, which won in the 2010 National Children's Book Awards. The illustrator of The Cat Painter, Mark Salvatus, won several national art competitions, including Art Petron. He also illustrated the Adarna book Mama's House, Papa's House by Jean Lee C. Patindol, which took home the PBBY-Salanga and PBBY-Alcala grand prizes in 2004. Incidentally, the PBBY-Salanga writers' prize is named after Alfrredo N. Salanga, a writer and editor who was one of the founding members of the awarding organization.
Take your kids to Parkmall in Mandaue's Reclamation Area if you'd like them to experience The Cat Painter and the other stories featured in the children's book festival. You may also connect with Parkmall by Liking its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ilikeparkmall or by calling (032)345-5153 if you'd like to get more details about the place where the children's book fair is happening. You may get in touch with Roy dela Torre, Event Director, at telephone number (032)344-7817 loc. 812.
(Update 07/19/2012) The storytelling and exhibit will transfer to Parkmall's North 2 area for July 20 and 21, 2012. For the last day of the book fair, the exhibit will be back at the Piazza, near James & Kate.