Archive for the ‘PaperTigers Themes’ Category

PaperTigers Theme: Journeys

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Illustrations by Nilesh Mistry (top) and Lak-Khee Tay-Audouard (bottom)

“…travel is important, not only because we can meet new people and see what amazing cultures there are around the world, but also because by doing so we can come to appreciate how similar we all are.”

~ Nilesh Mistry


Do you agree with the maxim that there are only seven stories in the world? It’s a bit of a conundrum, isn’t it, but our new theme, Journeys, has got me thinking about it, because, really, every story involves some kind of journey.

So we have flung the theme wide open to embrace both physical and spiritual journeys. The authors and illustrators we profile in this issue have all created books that narrate some kind of journey; do join us as we ask them about their own voyages of discovery in creating their books…

Demi, picture-book creator extraordinaire. Find out about her biographies of famous historical figures and spiritual leaders, and join herin her studio, where she works close by her Buddhist altar…

Nilesh Mistry, illustrator of many children’s books including Stories from the Silk Road. Read also about his artistic encounter with elephants…


Award-winning author Na’ima B. Robert takes us on a journey of exploration into her latest gripping YA novel Black Sheep

paw_sm3Author Gabrielle Wang talks about her journey as a writer…

Lak-Khee Tay-Audouard, illustrator of Adventures of the Treasure Fleet and the newly released Chinese Fables: The Dragon Slayer and Other Timeless Tales of Wisdom. Find out about some of the more unusual media she incorporates into her work…

paw_sm3Jimmy Liao shares some moments from his vibrant “journeys of the Imagination”…

paw_sm3Nilesh Mistry takes us on a journey through his work that encompasses book illustration, design, and painting elephants…

It’s Not the Destination. It’s the Journey” by author and illustrator James Rumford

paw_sm3The Journey of Translation: Walking with Jimmy Liao’ by Sarah L. Thomson

Escaping Conflict, Seeking Peace: Picture books that relate refugee stories, and their importance” by PaperTigers Editor Marjorie Coughlan

And do join us here on the PaperTigers blog, on Facebook and on Twitter to share news about your own reading journeys across the world of children’s and YA books…

Happy reading!

The Tiger


Image credit: top, © Nilesh Mistry; bottom © Lak-Khee Tay-Audouard

New Jimmy Liao features on the PaperTigers website

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013


PaperTigers Gallery: Jimmy Liao; illustration from his book The Sound of Colors

We are very excited to welcome artist Jimmy Liao to our Gallery on the PaperTigers website.  I love this illustration from his book The Sound of Colors, and I first fell in love with Jimmy’s work when I encountered The Blue Stone a few years ago.  Then, at the Bologna Book Fair in 2010, I was bowled over again by the vibrancy and joyous imagination of his work.  I just wanted to follow the little girl up that blossom-lined avenue!

Bologna Book Fair 2010 - 25/3

…and as for the meadow on the cover of One More Day with You, that you can also see here, along with other examples of Jimmy’s books…

Bologna Book Fair 2010 - 25/3

So I am thrilled that Jimmy has taken a pause on his phenomenal creative journey to join us at PaperTigers.  His books have taken his native Taiwan and also China and Japan by storm, and have been translated into many languages;  alas, they are not as well represented as they should be in English.  Please can we have more!

In our Gallery, Jimmy shares with us images from the three books that are available in English (When the Moon Forgot, The Blue Stone: A Journey Through Life, and The Sound of Colors: A Journey of the Imagination), as well as others — all depicting a physical journey within the realms of imagination: so head on over to the Gallery to find out more about Jimmy and his own personal journey as an artist, and to view some gorgeous examples of his vibrant artwork. (I should perhaps also point out that in the last few years Jimmy has also collaborated with well-known children’s authors to create some wonderfully imaginative children’s books – it would just be wonderful to have more of his own author-illustrator work available too.)

And is it possible that we have more for you? YES indeed!  For alongside Jimmy’s Gallery, we also have a very special Personal View “The Journey of Translation: Walking with Jimmy Liao“, written by author Sarah L. Thomson, who adapted the three titles mentioned above for publication by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as picture books in English for children.  In the article she talks about the poetry within the books – and her article is itself a poetic tribute both to Jimmy’s work and to the art of translating – do read it!

And do share with us your own experiences of Jimmy’s books…theme_2013_journeys


Week-end Book review: The Matatu by Eric Walters and Eva Cambell

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

The Matatu by Eric Walters and Eva CampbellEric Walters, illustrated by Eva Campbell,
The Matatu
Orca Book Publishers, 2012.

Ages 5-8

No wonder children love trains, planes, buses and the like – they take people places; and when you’re not one of the passengers, you can let your imagination fly about where they’re going and what awaits at journey’s end. These are the kinds of exhilarating ideas that The Matatu inspires in its young readers. Little Kioko has dreamed about jumping aboard the colorful matatu, the brightly painted local buses that pause on route through his Kenyan village in a cloud of dust, carrying passengers inside and luggage and livestock piled precariously high on the roof — and now, for his fifth birthday, oh joy! His grandfather is taking him for a ride all the way to the end of the line and back again. He can hardly wait! …

Read the full review

Book of the Month: Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland (Frances Lincoln, 2012)Continuing our “Journeys” theme over on the PaperTigers website, our Book of the Month for May is the wonderful graphic novel for young readers and older, Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland (Frances Lincoln, 2012).

The cover image of a little girl clutching her teddy bear as she looks warily behind her while walking through a war-torn landscape sets the scene for what is to come, as Azzi and her family flee their unspecified Middle Eastern country and arrive as refugees in the Western city that will gradually become their home…the graphic format and the depth of this story aimed at young readers is also a quality read for older children through to adults…

You can read our full review here, and I also talk about it in my Personal View “Escaping Conflict, Seeking Peace: Picture books that relate refugee stories, and their importance“.

Azzi In Between is also one of the four books shortlisted for the recently inaugurated Little Rebels Children’s Book Award, given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers and administered by Letterbox Library. The difficult task of deciding the winning book falls to guest judges Wendy Cooling and Elizabeth Laird, and the announcement will be made next week on 11 May at the new ARB London Radical Bookfair.  You can find out more about this exciting  award here, and follow news on the award’s blog.theme_2013_journeys

New PaperTigers Interview: Gabrielle Wang

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Author Gabrielle WangHead on over to the PaperTigers site, where we continue our Journeys theme with an interview with Australian author and illustrator Gabrielle Wang.

Gabrielle talks about her journey as a writer, before and since the publication of her acclaimed first novel, The Garden of Empress Cassia, and introuduces us to her latest book, The Wish Bird, which is due out in August. I’m particularly excited about this book as it will feature “about ten full-page pen and ink illustrations throughout the book, more than I have ever done before.” Gabrielle started out as an artist before becoming a writer, so we defintiely have a treat in store.

Here are a couple of snippets from the interview:

I spent my teen years trying to hide my Chineseness as I think a lot of children of immigrant families did. At the same time, I always had the feeling that I didn’t quite belong in Australia, that perhaps I belonged in China. But after living in Taiwan and China for six years, I realised I did not fit in there either. Eventually, I think, we all need to realise that we are citizens of the world.

For me travelling is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Going to a new place is like being a child again. Now, I travel for research, which gives me added pleasure. But it is important to leave your own culture at home otherwise misunderstandings can ensue.

For example…! Head on over to the PaperTigers website to find out more and to read the whole interview.theme_2013_journeys

Part 2 ~ Project Splash! Asia to be unveiled next month at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore!

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

AFCC logoToday’s blog post on Project Splash! Asia is  Part 2 in a series. The article was originally posted on the AFCC website and has been reprinted here with permission of the festival organizer, The National Book Development Council of Singapore.

Message by Evelyn Wong, Partnership Director, AFCC
(Part 2 of 2. Read Part 1 here)

A collection of about 50 selected water themed books with Asian content will be exhibited at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, AFCC2013, and the new titles will be donated to the National Library Board after the Festival. A review of the collection and bibliography of over 100 books will be published and launched together with the collection at the Festival. There will also be a special session during the Festival to share what we have learned from these stories. The bibliography, prepared in collaboration with the National Library, will be a resource for parents, teachers and libraries that will not only spark the imagination, creativity and pure joy of reading, but also inspire children to value the importance of water in our lives, to think about the challenges faced by children and families around the world, and to want to learn what we can do to make a difference.

When we shared the water-themed project we would be doing for AFCC2013 last year, the Singapore National Cooperative Federation (SNCF) welcomed us to join in a mass reading of “A Very Big Storm” written by Singapore children’s author Emily Lim, in celebration of International Year of the Cooperative Movement . The event, organised in collaboration with NTUC Seed Institute, NLB and 10,000 Fathers Reading, was a sight to behold and music to the ears! Coincidentally, water features in 3 of the 4 stories commissioned by SNCF to creatively and subtly teach children about the core values of the cooperative movement.

We were welcomed to contribute to the PUB Primary School Water Festival which aims to engage children in a fun way to treasure water and do their part to protect and conserve this precious resource, and collaborated with NLB to feature water-themed books. Children loved the story-telling session with “Little Otter Goes Fishing” by Emily Lim. Inspired by the children’s response, PUB’s H2O Competition this year will invite primary students to write their own stories, and we are looking forward to the winning stories and young Singapore writers.

Books drawn from Project Splash! Asia will provide a platform to engage students on the importance of water. We will also be linking to an online sustainability challenge created by Earthcheck and the Singapore Polytechnic that emphasises the practical aspects of sustainable conservation.

Besides the stories by Emily Lim, what will the collection and bibliography include? Will you and your children be interested in these stories? Do you like paper airplanes? Come join us at AFCC2013 for the launch of Project Splash! Asia, and let your imagination soar! Click here for the AFCC website!

Some titles that will be included in the Project Splash! Asia Collection of Children’s Picture Books


A Very Big Storm” and “Little Otter Goes Fishing” by award-winning Singaporean children’s author, Emily Lim

The Water Dragon – A Chinese Legend” retold in English and Chinese by Li Jian , the first book featured in PaperTigers online Illustrators Gallery from its Water theme Multicultural Children’s Books (click here to see the gallery and here to access the archived Water theme issue)

Wave” by internationally acclaimed Korean-American artist, Suzy Lee (click here to see PaperTigers’ gallery of her work)

2013 is the International Year of Water.

Monday, April 15th, 2013

The United Nations has declared 2013 as the International Year of Water. Celebrations are planned around the world Water-thmed multicultural children's books(click here to see photos from World Water Day celebrations held March 22) and community and school programs  in many countries plan to celebrate the Year with reading, performing and creating water-themed stories. Here are some suggestions on children’s books that can be incorporated into International Year of Water celebrations:

water drop

Check out PaperTigers’ Jan/June 2012 issue The Theme of Water in Multicultural Children’s Books. Interviews, author galleries, personal view pieces and annotated reading lists all centered on multicultural picture books with water at their heart.

water drop Water-themed children’s stories will be highlighted at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content next month in Singapore under the banner Project Splash Asia!  PaperTigers is working with The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal to compile a bibliography of Asian themed children’s stories with water content. Stay tuned to the blog and I’ll talk more about this project tomorrow.

water drop Tulika Books has announced that their award-winning anthology, Water Stories From Around The World, is now available as a free downloadable e-book!

Also from Tulika is the news that Vinood Lal Heera Eshwer’s newest book Let’s Catch the Rain has been released. The message in this book may be simple but is powerful; rainwater is free, pure and precious – we must save it. Visit to watch a film on rainwater harvesting and play a game based on the book.

water dropAlma Fullerton and Karen Patkau’s picture book A Good Trade has been receiving rave reviews since it was released in Canada in the Fall of 2012 and has been selected as a title for the  2013 White Ravens catelogue, a list of outstanding international books for children and young adults chosen annually by the International Youth Library in Munich.

In a small Ugandan village, Kato wakes early to start the long, barefoot trek beyond his village and along fields dotted with cattle and guarded by soldiers. His destination is the village well, where he will pump a day’s supply of water into two jerry cans. Like every day, Kato lets the water splash over his hot, tired feet before carrying his heavy load back home, where his chores await him. But this is no ordinary day. The aid-worker’s truck has come to the village square, and in the back is a gift so special, the little boy rushes home to look for something to repay the aid-worker.

Alma Fullerton’s spare, lilting prose tells a deceptively simple story of one day in a little boy’s life. But in a place ravaged by a generation of civil war and drought, a village well brings life, a gift of shoes is a cause for celebration, and a simple flower becomes an eloquent symbol of peace and gratitude.

New PaperTigers Theme: Journeys. Feature interview with author/illustrator Demi.

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Buddha by DemiOur new issue of PaperTigers was launched last week with the theme of  Journeys.  The authors and illustrators we profile in this issue have all created books that narrate some kind of journey (either physical or spiritual) and we invite you to head on over to the website and enjoy the new features.

In the Interviews section picture book creator extraordinaire Demi Demitakes us on an in-depth tour of her work and discusses how Buddhism influences everything she does. Did you know that Demi is the creator of more than 140 illustrated books? In recent years, as well as continuing to publish her retellings of folktales from around the world, she has focused on creating beautiful picture-book biographies of iconic spiritual leaders. You can enjoy the covers of the some of these biographies in our gallery feature of Demi’s work.

Click here to access PaperTigers’ Journey homepage.

Week-end Book Review: Fog A Dox by Bruce Pascoe

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Reviewed by Charlotte Richardson:

Bruce Pascoe,
Fog A Dox
Magabala Books, 2012.

Ages: 10+

“A story of courage, acceptance and respect,” Magabala Books rightly claims of masterful storyteller Bruce Pascoe’s latest YA novel, Fog A Dox. Set in the Australian bush of southwest Victoria and written in Pascoe’s captivating bush vernacular, the story begins with Albert, an old woodsman (“tree feller”) who brings home three orphaned baby foxes, then coaxes his Dingo mix dog, Brim, to nurse them along with her own pups…

Read the full review

PaperTigers’ Book of the Month: Dingo’s Tree by Gladys Milroy and Jill Milroy

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Our newest PaperTigers’ issue is now live and  focuses on cats and dogs in multicultural children’s literature – a topic that was suggested by my 12-year-old daughter, who is animal fanatic.

Among the many highlights in the issue is our interview with Aboriginal elder and storyteller Gladys Milroy, in which she discusses her children’s book  Dingo’s Tree, co-authored with her daughter Jill Milroy, who is currently Dean of the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia. Dingo’s Tree is published by Magabala Books, Australia’s oldest independent Indigenous publishing house, and is PaperTigers’  Book of the Month. Look for our review of the book soon and in the meantime enjoy this wonderful review that Emma Perry at My Book Corner has graciously allowed us to reprint.

Located in Australia, My Book Corner provides book reviews on an entire assortment of children’s literature and is a great place to visit and find out what is hot in the world of Australian kid and YA lit. We reprint some of My Book Corner’s reviews under the reviews tab of the PaperTigers website.

Gladys Milroy and Jill Milroy,
Dingo’s Tree
Magabala Books, 2012.

Reviewed by Emma Perry at My Book Corner

Divided in to four short chapters entitled Dingo’s Tree, The Raindrop, The Tree That Walked and The Last Tree this is a poignant story about man’s destruction of the landscape and its impact on the landscape, natural resources and the animals who depend on them for survival.

Penned and illustrated by mother and daughter team Gladys Milroy and Jill Milroy this is a picture book which gives voice to the very real threats on Australia’s landscape. Mining. The beauty of its narrative, combined with the Milroys’ warm illustrations ensure that Dingo’s Tree will leave a lasting impression.

This deceptively simple yet powerful parable begins when Dingo is unable to find a tree of his own. He draws one and so begins the magical yet sad centre of this parable. The tree grows and grows too tall even for the moon to view the top, then in the aftermath of a cyclone it disappears. As a single, beautiful raindrop appears on a tiny tree, arguments ensue as to who owns it, however a much more pressing matter soon emerges.

The selflessness of crow who flies for miles each day to supply Little Tree with water, is set in parallel against man …

“mining is cutting too deep for the scars to heal. Once destroyed, mountains can’t grow again and give birth to the rivers that they send to the sea.”

The character of the Dingo continues to emerge as one of wisdom and reason, the rain drop must be reserved, saved for Dingo who will know when the time is right.

The ending is gorgeous and poignant, you can not fail to be moved by the final poetic lines followed by Dingo and Wombat’s final conversation…

An ever timely message about environment and man’s role in preserving and maintaining it.

Dr Anita Heiss’ review of Dingo’s Tree can be enjoyed here.