WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water’s Website and Facebook Page Are Now Live!

Posted by: Corinne | December 18th, 2013


PaperTigers Outreach has moved forward with a new name, WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water,  and a new website www.waterbridgeoutreach.org. Our vision remains the same: to give children in developing communities hope for the future through nourishing their minds and bodies with books and water.

WaterBridge Outreach

Waterbridge Outreach: Books +Water is a small nonprofit organization using a grassroots approach to raise funds for new projects on an individual basis.  We donate books in English and local languages and fund clean waterand sanitation projects in communities and villages in the developing world. We seek to promote multicultural literacy, education, and development that will make a long term impact, one book and one water project at a time, while building effective partnerships with local communities. Visit the website and our Facebook page to learn more about our recent book + water projects in India, Malaysia, Haiti, the Philippines and more! In addition learn more about our Writers for WaterBridge program in which award winning authors are working with us on our mission. 


WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water is a California 501 (c) (3) organization that relies on public and private support. Please help WaterBridge Outreach build a sustainable future in providing multicultural books to schools and libraries, while engaging with local communities to obtain and maintain access to clean water in areas of need around the world. Make a U.S. tax deductible contribution now, which will directly support our books and water projects. Your support will make all the difference in reducing the effects of disease, while nourishing both mind and body. Click here to learn more and if you have any questions or comments, give us a shout at info(at)waterbridgeoutreach(dot).org


Farewell from PaperTigers

Posted by: Marjorie | September 23rd, 2013

PaperTigers logoWe are sad to announce that, due to financial constraints, the PaperTigers website and blog will no longer be updated. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all those who have joined us on our journey to promote multicultural children’s and YA books since PaperTigers started in 2002: to you, our readers, who share our passion for getting good literature from all over the world into the hands of young readers; to all the writers and illustrators we have featured, and indeed without whom there would have been no PaperTigers; to all the publishers who have always responded so generously to our queries and requests; to all those of you we have had the privilege to work alongside who are working to promote literacy – through organisations, in the classroom, in the library or at home – or indeed anywhere and everywhere, including the vibrant, virtual world of the kidlitosphere.

But it is not all bad news, by any means. The PaperTigers site will continue to be available for the foreseeable future, as a library to be consulted; and, importantly, PaperTigers Outreach will continue, moving forward into a new chapter of its existence, with a new name, WaterBridge Outreach, Books + Water. Its new website www.waterbridgeoutreach.org will be going live soon, and we hope you will continue to be generous in your support of its work, as it increases the depth of its involvement in ensuring both books and clean water are available in local communities around the world.

And whilst PaperTigers may have come to an end, we hope that it is a case of au revoir rather than good-bye regarding its editorial team, for Corinne and I are setting up our own site, Mirrors Windows Doors (www.mirrorswindowsdoors.org), which will go live in October. Our new email addresses are:



We look forward, dear friends, to welcoming you there.

Children’s literature in Iran?

Posted by: Corinne | August 26th, 2013

iranLooking for information on the state of children’s books in Iran? Head on over to author Mitali Perkins’ blog Mitali’s Fire Escape and read her just posted interview with Ali Seidabadi. Ali lives in Tehran and “is the editor of the only Iranian journal that deals specifically with children’s literature: Research Quarterly for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. He has written more than 30 books for children and young adults, some of which have won non-governmental recognized awards in Iran and have been translated into other languages”. Click here to be taken to the article.

Week-end Book Review: I Like to Play by Marla Stewart Konrad

Posted by: Corinne | August 24th, 2013



Marla Stewart Konrad,
I Like to Play
Tundra Books, 2010.

Ages 3-6

“I like to play, don’t you?” is the opening and closing sentence in this beautiful collaboration between Tundra Books and World Vision Canada, a development and advocacy organization dedicated to helping children, families and communities across the globe overcome poverty and injustice. With text by Marla Stewart Konrad, I like to Play is the latest book in the World Vision series of photo essays, whose aim is to communicate visually the ways in which children the world over are different and the same. The other titles in the series are Getting ThereMom and Me and Grand.

The book cover of I Like to Play shows a young child playing doctor, using a toy stethoscope. Inside, simple sentences about different forms of play are accompanied by striking images of smiley children dancing, skipping, jumping, flying kites, building with blocks, playing ball; children learning and growing and making the most of their environment and circumstances; children having fun and making sense of their world through play.

The photo credits listed at the beginning indicate the countries where the photos were taken and give an idea of the book’s scope: Armenia, Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, Malawi, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Peru, Sri Lanka and Sudan.

After reading and looking at all the photos, children will figure out for themselves that rich or poor, solo or in group, with store-bought or homemade toys, or with no toys at all, playing is something children do, no matter where, no matter what.

Royalties for the sale of the book go to support World Vision’s work with children.

Aline Pereira
June 2010

paw_sm_MC To read more book reviews from the PaperTigers team, click here.

Exciting news from award winning author Mitali Perkins! Open Mic: Ten Authors Riff About Growing Up Between Cultures releases in September 2013.

Posted by: Corinne | August 21st, 2013

Mitali Perkins was born in Kolkata, India and emigrated to the United States with her family when she was seven years old. She writes fiction for younger teens and chats about books and life between cultures on the Fire Escape. You can read PaperTigers’ two interviews with Mitali here and here. She is the author of six award winning books, including Bamboo PeopleRickshaw Girl  and Secret Keeper. Her newest book , an anthology of fiction, poetry, and memoir edited by Mitali will release from Candlewick in September 2013. This is definitely a book to put on your “must read” list and Mitali is giving you a chance to win an advanced reader copy by leaving a comment on her blog. Here are the details:

OPEN MIC in 25 Days! Reviews, ARC Giveaway, and More …

Our anthology releases September 10th from Candlewick, and the reviews are beginning to come in.

From The Horn Book, where it was the reviewof the week:

“…Naomi Shihab Nye offers an eloquent poem about her Arab American dad, whose open friendliness made him ‘Facebook before it existed.’ David Yoo, Debbie Rigaud, Varian Johnson, and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich also contribute stories to this noteworthy anthology, which robustly proves Perkins’ assertion that ‘funny is powerful.’”

From ALA Booklist:

“…David Yoo’s excellent ‘Becoming Henry Lee’ is the one that will probably elicit the most laughs. But all invite sometimes rueful smiles or chuckles of recognition. And all demonstrate that in the specific we find the universal, and that borders are meant to be breached.”

From Publisher’s Weekly:

“…will leave readers thinking about the ways that humor can be a survival tool in a world that tends to put people in boxes.”

The book is a Junior Library Guild selection. Yippee!

Also, The Horn Book asked me five questions about the anthology, and the esteemed organization Children’s Book Council showed their support.

Here’s the audio version from Brilliance. Watch for a series of blog posts featuring the contributors to the anthology, pictured below:

Top Row: Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Greg Neri, Debbie Rigaud, Gene Yang, Naomi Shihab Nye
Bottom Row: Me, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Varian Johnson, Francisco X. Store, David Yoo

Exciting times, friends. In case you’re curious, here are my three “ground rules” when it comes to the intersection of race and comedy, explored further in the introduction to the anthology:

1. Poke fun at the powerful, not the weak. 

2. Build affection for the “other” instead of alienating us from somebody different. 

3. Be self-deprecatory.

We would love it if you “liked” our Facebook page.


Week-end Book Review: Grandpa’s Indian Summer by Jamila Gavin, illustrated by Peter Bailey

Posted by: Corinne | August 18th, 2013

BookCoverJamila Gavin, illustrated by Peter Bailey,
Grandpa Chatterji
Grandpa’s Indian Summer
Grandpa Chatterji’s Third Eye
Egmont, 2006.

Ages 7-11

Neetu and Sanjay, sister and brother, have two grandfathers – one nearby in England, Grandpa Leicester, who is very particular about how his grandchildren should behave; and Grandpa Chatterji whom they have never met until he comes from India to visit them. He couldn’t be more different to Grandpa Leicester, and much to the children’s surprise, even he is drawn under Grandpa Chatterji’s spell, despite himself. Grandpa Chatterji, in fact, possesses many qualities which make him an admirable role model for the children. His gentleness and simplicity belie his inner strength and he always has a twinkle in his eye. Life is never dull around Grandpa Chatterji, though some might call his behavior eccentric at times, which leads to some funny and unexpected adventures. He eschews anything which makes life unnecessarily complicated and is never in a hurry: but at the same time pursues a goal with charming if stubborn determination – whether it be a field of poppies on a chilly April day in England; floral garlands to welcome his family to India; or bringing back Sanjay’s lost kite using the power of his third eye.

Grandpa Chatterji (shortlisted for the Smarties Prize) and Grandpa’s Indian Summer were first published in the early ’90s. Now they have been reprinted with new illustrations by Peter Bailey, which are an added attraction – they compliment the text beautifully and will often raise a chuckle. And the real bonus for today’s generation of young readers is Grandpa Chatterji’s Third Eye: a whole new book in which Grandpa Chatterji comes back to England to bring more gentle magic and fun into his grandchildren’s lives. Gavin conveys so well the sometimes infuriating but always enchanting mixture of calm, single-mindedness and energy Grandpa Chatterji brings to everything he does. He is not concerned with the stereotypes of age and so is quite prepared to accompany Sanjay on the giant Rocket Ride at the funfair, although once is probably enough. He can’t resist joining in the children’s cricket game, with unforeseen results. He introduces the children to meditation and the notion of the third, inner eye – and each time they see him, they pick up where they have left off: within minutes of Neetu and Sanjay arriving home from school to greet a jet-lagged Grandpa Chatterjee, they are all three standing on their heads on his special rug.

Indian food and spices fill the senses: Grandpa Chatterji turns his daughter’s kitchen upside down more than once to produce the most delicious pakora (recipe supplied); Grandma Chatterji’s cakes are not only too temptingly good but provide a lesson in life when Sanjay is stranded on a tin box surrounded by ants, which have homed in surprisingly quickly on the crumbs he’s dropped; Grandpa Chatterji follows his third eye (and his umbrella!?!) in a satisfying tale in which, much to everyone’s astonishment, he discovers what could be the last remaining jar of Mrs Fernandez’ Green Chilli Pickle in the whole of England. Again, we don’t have to worry about that as the recipe is thoughtfully provided at the end of the book. However, the children are well ensconced in their Anglo-Indian culture and would opt for pizza and chips over ‘vegetable curry, runny spinach with eggs, and horrible stuff like that’ any day!

Gavin writes with great affection for her characters (even scary Grandpa Leicester is not so bad) and even characters who only appear in a brief cameo role are deftly brought to life. Neetu is definitely the older sister, reminding Sanjay of how he should behave, but she is not a goody-goody (she is not beyond disappearing under a table at a party with a plate full of Indian sweets); Sanjay, meanwhile, is the one we see growing through the three books. He is not entirely convinced at first about being in India and far away from home in Indian Summerand I love the way he plays with words in Third Eye: his excitement about Grandpa Chatterji coming to stay could not be better expressed than by his nonsensical chanting of ‘Grandpa Chatterji/ Matterji /Batterji/ Hatterji / Fatterji’. Grandpa Chatterji’s crooning to the inevitable crying baby on the flight home is not the Bengali lullaby it was on the way to England but a continuation on the theme of Sanjay’s rhymes. Flying away with Grandpa Chatterji not only brings the book full-circle but eases the wrench of having to say good-bye to characters who have worked their way under your skin at the end of a good read.

Marjorie Coughlan
July 2006

paw_sm3To read more book reviews from the PaperTigers team, click here

Celebrating René Colato Laínez’s 10th book release “Señor Pancho Has a Rancho”!

Posted by: Corinne | August 16th, 2013

Rene Colato LainezRené Colato Laínez is the Salvadoran American award-winning author of many multicultural children’s books and has been a featured guest blogger here on the PaperTigers blog. Earlier this month René’s 10th book, Señor Pancho Has a Rancho, was released!  As René says in his blog post introducing the book:

When I came to the United States, I discovered that not only people had problems learning a second language. Many farm animals had the same challenge too! El pollito said pío pío and the chick said peep peep. I am sure that you know that Old MacDonald had a farm. Now, he has a new neighbor, el señor Pancho, and in his rancho he has many animales.”


Señor Pancho Has a Rancho
By René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Elwood Smith (Holiday House, Inc.)senorpancho

“Old MacDonald Had a Farm” goes multicultural in this rollicking Spanish-English rendition.

The barnyard animals on Old MacDonald’s and Señor Pancho’s farms have a hard time communicating. MacDonald’s rooster says cock-a-doodle-doo! While Señor Pancho’s gallo says quiquirquí. The English-speaking chick says peep, peep, but el pollito says pio, pio. Then the cow says moo—and la vaca says mu! Maybe they’re not so different after all! So all the animals come together for a barnyard fiesta, because dancing is a universal language.

… [Readers]  will enjoy learning the names of the animals in both English and Spanish and comparing the onomatopoeia in each language. Chock-full of bicultural fun on the farm. -Kirkus Reviews

This is an excellent choice for read-alouds, but it also includes a glossary and pronunciation guide, making it useful in one-on-one contexts for young readers looking to develop Spanish vocabulary. -School Library Journal

To celebrate the book release René has been deemed  Luna Press and Bookstore’s author of the month in September and will be appearing in the store on September 14th to read from and sign his books.  Lots of fun activities are planned and you can visit Luna’s Facebook page or René’s blog for more details. The store is located at 3790 Mission Street in San Francisco.

Anitha’s Bookshelf: Hyderabad, India

Posted by: Corinne | August 12th, 2013


Bookshelf #29:
Anitha Ramkumar
Hyderabad, India

Anitha is Head of School Library Services at TreasureHouse.in , a Children’s Library and Experience Center located in Saptaparni, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. She also blogs over at Saffron Tree: a potpourri of book reviews and literary resources for children for a lifelong love of reading. Back in 2009 Anitha blogged about her bookshelves here. Since then she and her family have  moved continents and have bookshelves all over the house with the pièce de résistance being this teak, 100 year old bookshelf she inherited.

For details on how to submit a photo of your child’s bookshelf to our Around the World in 100 Bookshelves, click here.

A Shout Out for Our “Around the World in 100 Bookshelves Project”

Posted by: Corinne | August 9th, 2013

If you scroll down our blog page and look at the widgets on the right-hand side you will see one entitled “Around the World in 100 Bookshelves”. What is this you ask?

We started our Around the World in 100 Bookshelves project in 2009 in the hopes of featuring 100 of our readers’ bookshelves from, well, around the world! It is our hope that our combined photos will offer a glimpse of a big world made smaller through books and reading. So far we have received pics from India, Canada, UK, Philippines, Hong Kong, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, Jamaica and the USA (click on the “Around the World in 100 Bookshelves” widget or here to see all the photos submitted to date).

Whether your child has too many or too few, in shelves or piles, tidy or scattered on the floor, we would love it if you could send us a photo of their books! Email the photo in .jpg format along with your child’s first name, age, city and country, to corinne(at)papertigers(dot)org and we’ll post the photo here on our blog. If you have a kidlit blog please let us know and we will include that link too. Don’t worry about capturing the whole bookshelf/book collection in the photo. A partial image, along with a reading-related anecdote and/or a few lines describing the bookshelf’s content, should be enough to help us connect across languages and cultures. We hope to feature bookshelves from all over, so please help us spread the word!

Australian Author Corinne Fenton’s “Queenie: One Elephant’s Story” is released in the USA!

Posted by: Corinne | August 7th, 2013

Bologna Children's Book Fair 2010: Corinne (PaperTigers) and Corinne Fenton (SCBWI Australia)Back in 2010 I was thrilled to meet another Corinne at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. There aren’t too many of us Corinnes out there, especially with the same spelling,  so it was especially exciting to meet Australian author Corinne Fenton in the SCBWI booth. In the photo that’s PaperTigers’ Corinne on the left and author Corinne on the right.You can read about our meeting in this blog post:  Bologna Book Fair: What’s in a name? – Surprises at the SCBWI Booth.

Over the past few years we have featured three of Corinne’s beautiful books on PaperTigers: Flame Stands Waiting, The Dog on a Tuckerbox and  Queenie: One Elephant’s Story.  As the Junior Bookseller and Publisher said in a review of her work:

Corinne Fenton has established a reputation for writing beautiful picture-book histories of animals whose lives have become legendary….The full-page illustrations are evocative of a bygone era, adding depth to the story and providing the opportunity to discuss memories of childhood, and the dreams we share, with a younger generation.

Corinne has had a busy and exciting summer (or should I say winter) with Queenie: One Elephant’s Story being released in the USA in June and she recently shared with us:

The reviews have been floating in, which has been lovely.The most exciting one for me was a wonderful review in The Wall Street Journal (I never ever thought that would happen.)

I live in a rural suburb which still retains some of it’s original ‘quaintness’ and village atmosphere and was the first place in Victoria where gold was discovered (most people think it was Ballarat).

Warrandyte’s local monthly newspaper is also fairly unique in that I believe it’s the only Australian newspaper that still publishes poetry on a regular basis – sometimes it’s mine but more often poetry by a wonderful local poet.

In August 2006 when an article was published about ‘Queenie: One Elephant’s Story’ in the Warrandyte Diary I never dreamed there would one day be a review on the book,  in The Wall Street Journal.

In fact I wrote a blog post about a month ago titled ‘Queenie: From the Warrandyte Diary to the Wall Street Journal’:

Since Queenie’s hardcover publication and launch at the Melbourne Museum in 2006, the paperback release and launch at the Melbourne Zoo in January last year and the US release last month, articles have appeared in many newspapers, magazines and journals. There have been radio interviews and both launches were televised on the Channel 9 News, but in all of this, I never imagined news of a children’s book about an elephant who lived and died so long ago in Melbourne, would find a place in one of the best known newspapers in the world.

So my message today, is to never give up on anything you believe in. From the moment I heard about Queenie, I knew her story had to be told and I knew I would write it, it was as simple and as painful as that. As I say in my dedication ‘I would like to dedicate this book to her memory, so that she can go on living for many more generations in the hearts of us all.’