Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Farewell from PaperTigers

Monday, 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 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 (, which will go live in October. Our new email addresses are:



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

Malaysia Focus Guest Post – Malaysia Night at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Peter Duke moderating Yusof Gajah's session at AFCC 2013Drawing to a close our series of guest posts by author Peter Duke about the Malaysia-focused/perspective presentations at this year’s AFCC.

Peter has written a number of children’s books that have been published under the name Peter Worthington by the exciting Malaysian publisher Oyez!Books. Originally from the UK, Peter has lived and worked in different countries in Asia, including Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. He first served in the British army and was global partner of a major management consultancy firm until his retirement.



Malaysia Evening at 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC)

Malaysia Evening at 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) - students from Sekolah Seni Johor

Malaysia Evening at 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) - students from Sekolah Seni Johor perform "The Proud Butterfly and the Strange Tree" adapted from the book by Jainal Amambing

Malaysia Evening at 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) - students from Sekolah Seni Johor, the cast of

Malaysia Evening at 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) - post performance by Sekolah Seni Johor students of "The Proud Butterfly and the Strange Tree"

Malaysia Evening at 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) -HRH Raja Zarith Sofia of Johore is presented with a copy of "My Mother's Kitchen" by its creator Emila Yusof

During AFCC, Malaysian Book Organisation Kota Buku hosted an evening of Malaysian music, fun and food for more than 120 guests. As the guests assembled and moved to their seats the youth orchestra and singers from the Malaysian School of Art Sekolah Seni Johor entertained us with some excellent music and songs, both traditional and modern.

The guest of honour for the night was HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah, the Sultana of Johor. She and all the guests were made to feel very welcome by Tan Sri Dato’ Asiah Abu Samah, the chairman of Kota Buku. In her welcoming speech, Tan Sri also thanked AFCC for inviting Malaysia as the country of focus at AFCC 2103 and stated that she and all the members of the Malaysian delegation extended their heartfelt thanks to Ms Claire Chiang and Mr Ramachandran and their staff for making this possible. In addition, she said she hoped that this was the start of many years of close cooperation between Kota Buku and AFCC and the first step in a journey of bringing like-minded organisations from Asian countries together in close cooperation.

After Tan Sri’s speech, Emila Yusof of the Malaysian delegation, and this year’s Guest illustrator at AFCC, presented The Sultana with one of her iconic pictures and two of her latest books. Ain Maisarah, Malaysian author of the ‘Wannababe…’ series presented the Sultana with a set of her books. Then it was time for music food and fun. The tables groaned under masses of excellent Malaysian-style food including giant prawns, Nonya style curried chicken, beef rendang, fried rice, steamed vegetables and noodles followed by a typical Malaysian desert and fruits; a seemingly endless stream of food to suit all tastes.

Guest Post ~ African youth literature: what visibility on the international market? by Mariette Robbes

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Mariette Robbes of the International Alliance of Independent PublishersMariette Robbes is a volunteer with the International Alliance of Independent Publishers, following an internship with the organisation in 2011.  She holds a Masters in the”World of the Book” (Aix-en-Provence University), for which she specialized in children’s book publishing in India; and she has just completed three months with the International Youth Library in Munich, pursuing her research into the history of youth publishing in India.  Mariette is also working concurrently on several textile and graphic creation projects.

At this year’s Bologna Book Fair, the International Alliance of Independent Publishers ran a workshop with African children’s book publishers (from Mali, Guinea, Togo, Senegal, Rwanda, Madagascar and Benin) and a Brazilian publisher specialized in the Afro-Brazilian culture.  We are delighted to welcome Mariette to PaperTigers with an article about the workshop and some of the issues discussed, and in which she highlights some of the challenges facing these small, independent publishers.


~ African Youth Literature: What Visibility in the International Market? ~

A reflection on multiculturalism, African children’s literature
and the international market place.

Children’s books publishing, in expansion in many regions in the world, is particularly strategic in countries where publishing is emergent – it is indeed through youth literature that tomorrow’s readership is formed. While catering for their local readership, publishers in Africa also wish to be known internationally and to have business with publishers from others countries. Their participation at some public book fairs in the North, for instance the Montreuil Children’s Book Fair (the biggest French children’s book fair) shows the existence of a readership on the Northern markets. However, publishers from African countries still participate very little in the global exchange of rights that animates the publishing world – and which is the core of international events like the Bologna or Frankfurt Book Fairs.

This question of visibility and intercultural exchange is quite complex and not specific to African children’s literature, as Gita Wolf – from the Indian publishing house Tara Books – underlines in her book Picturing Words & Reading Pictures (Tara Books, Chennai, 1997):

 “Whether rights are bought for books from India or Africa also depends largely on current political climates. What should children in Europe or North America be reading? Are multicultural books exotic, or are they necessary? As in other industries like fashion, countries like India can be ‘in’ one season and ‘out’ the next.”

Those topics were the main subject of exchanges in a two-day workshop that saw eight independent publishers from different African countries and Brazil share their experiences and think of innovative solutions that would help them to be more visible at international book fairs, in order to promote their publishing houses worldwide.

Publishers present were:

Paulin Assem – Ago editions (Togo)
Agnès and Peter Gyr Ukunda – Bakame (Rwanda)
Antoinette Correa – BLD (Senegal)
Sékou Fofana – Editions Donniya (Mali)
Aliou Sow – Ganndal (Republic of Guinea)
Marie Michèle Razafintsalama – Jeunes Malgaches (Madagascar)
Cristina and Mariana Warth – Pallas editora (Brazil)
Cendra Gbado Batossi and Pierre Gbado – Ruisseaux d’Afrique (Benin)

All these publishers come from very different countries and backgrounds, and publish a wide array of books; from poetry to comics, to picture books and young adult literature. Their readerships are different, as well as the government policies supporting the development of book industries in their own countries. In this sense, all the publishers had different stories to share when it comes to marketing their books in the global market.


Aliou Sow (Ganndal, Republic of Guinea) and Paulin Assem (Ago Editions, Togo)


Marie Michele Razafintsalama (Jeunes Malgaches, Madagascar) and Sekou Fofana (Donniya, Mali)


Cristina and Mariana Warth (Pallas Editora, Brazil) and Antoinette Correa (BLD, Senegal)


During the two days of the workshop, intense discussion took place between publishers, sharing their own experiences of the international marketplace: for example, Marie Michèle Razafintsalama from the publishing house Jeunes Malgaches (Madagascar) related her experience of buying the rights of The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry to translate it into a bilingual Malagasy and French edition Ilay Andriandahy Kely; while Cristina and Mariana Warth from Pallas Editora (Brazil) explained their preparation process for the Fair, beginning months in advance.

Though it is well noted that the invitation program of Bologna Book Fair is a great opportunity because it allows publishers to attend, it is not sufficient in itself for creating a convincingly visible presence at the Fair.  On this point, a presentation by Hannele Legras, Literary Agent from Hannele and Associates agency, was very helpful. She gave an introduction to foreign rights management, practices of the profession, a panorama of international markets, and a lot of tips and advice that publishers were eager to try.

The workshop was also the place for publishers to express their views on the difference between their local readerships’ tastes, expectations and purchasing power, and what can be seen in the Western marketplace. Do publishers need to adapt their books in order to market them internationally? What are the market standards in other emerging markets i.e China, Brazil, Mexico, etc? How might they differ from the Western standards, thus creating not one standard for publishing, but many different business models?

In the coming months and as a follow-up to the workshop, the Alliance will produce a small guide which will summarise all the ideas shared by publishers and the different speakers at the workshop.

The workshop also allowed publishers, who do not often have the opportunity to meet up, to exchange projects, books and ideas among themselves. Watch out for new projects and collaborations coming soon!

N.B. This workshop took place in the context of the International Assembly of Independent Publishers (more information here), and thanks to a partnership with the Bologna Book Fair to engage in reflection about the visibility of African independent publishers in international book fairs and rights events.


The African Publishers' stand at the 2013 Bologna Book Fair

Isol wins 2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

ALMA logoCongratulations to Argentinian illustrator Isol, who was announced today as this year’s winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Here’s part of the jury’s citation:

Isol creates picturebooks from the eye level of the child. Her pictures vibrate with energy and explosive emotions. With a restrained palette and ever-innovative pictorial solutions, she shifts ingrained perspectives and pushes the boundaries of the picturebook medium. Taking children’s clear view of the world as her starting point, she addresses their questions with forceful artistic expression and offers open answers. With liberating humour and levity, she also deals with the darker aspects of existence.


Isol has created many stunning picture books.  Thanks to Canadian publisher Groundwood Books, some of her books are available in English, including the gorgeous It’s Useful to Have a Duck – or, if you unfold it the other way up, its retelling from the Duck’s perspective – It’s Useful to Have a Boy; Petit the Monster; Beautiful Griselda, about a princess who is so beautiful, her suitors literally lose their heads over her…; and, most recently, Nocturne: Dream Recipes, spiral bound and printed in luminous ink to encourage reading under the bed-clothes as a precursor to happy dreams.

Isol is also well-known for her partnership with poet Jorge Luján, though only one of these is available in English – the adorable Doggy Slippers. I first encountered and was captivated by Isol’s work during a poetry presentation at the Bologna Book Fair in 2008, in which Jorge showed a poster poem illustrated by her – the same drawing/poem that is now animated on the front page of his website – and I still love it!  Then during the Bologna Book Fair in 2010, we were honored to be invited to the opening of an exhibition for Doggy Slippers, featuring Isol’s original artwork and poems by children from workshops Jorge had been doing in local schools.  You can see our photos here (including a “real” pair of slippers… wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could actually buy some like that!).

So, again, many congratulations to Isol, a truly worthy recipient of this year’s ALMA.



2013 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature Winners Announced!

Monday, January 28th, 2013

The Asian Pacific American Libraries Association has announced their 2013 literature award winners. Thanks to Shen’s Books for publishing the press release. Highlights include:

Picture Book Winner: Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth, written by Joan Schoettler and illustrated by Jessica Lanan, published by Shen’s Books.

Picture Book Honor: A Path of Stars written by Anne Sibley O’Brien, published by Charlesbridge.

Children’s Literature Winner: Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan, written by Hildi Kang, published by Tanglewood Publishing.

Children’s Literature Honor: Shark King by Kikuo Johnson, published by Toon Books.

Young Adult Literature Winner: Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary written by Keshni Kashyap, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Young Adult Literature Honor: Ichiro written by Ryan Inzana, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Holiday Greetings

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

We at PaperTigers wish all our readers Happy Holidays and all the very best for 2013.

We are currently taking a short break and look forward to being back in the New Year.

Celebrating PaperTigers’ 10th Anniversary

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012


Today we are launching the celebrations of our 10th Anniversary with this stunning poster created by artist John Parra.  Thank you, John!

John features in our Gallery as part of our celebrations over on the main PaperTigers website – and you will also find another Gallery featuring our talented web-designer Eun-Ha Paek, as well as new articles – one by me:

Looking Forward to the Next Ten Years of PaperTigers, and Beyond;

and another:

Celebrating PaperTigers 10th Anniversary: What a Smilestone!
by PaperTigers former Managing Editor Aline Pereira

There’ll be plenty more to look forward to over the coming month, including some Top 10s from a number of our friends around the Kidlitosphere so come on in and join the party!


Poetry Friday: International Peace Day

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Today is Peace Day.  It’s also a day of  Global Ceasefire.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the fighting stopped for this one day.  It’s certainly something to aim for, and beyond.

This week with my Cub Scout Pack in Kirkbymoorside, UK, we thought about Peace and what a global ceasefire might mean.  We made peace cranes, thanks to Stone Bridge Press’ wonderful A Thousand Cranes: Origami Projects for Peace and Happiness (2011), adapted from a book by Florence Temko (1921-2009); and then we held a short vigil by candle-light (one of our Challenges in our Diamond Jubilee Challenge was silence: hard but ultimately rewarding).

We shared Lao Tzu’s wise poem from 2,500 years ago:

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

It is one of the prayers in the beautifully presented Let There be Peace: Prayers from Around the World, selected by Jeremy Brooks, illustrated by Jude Daly (Frances Lincoln, 2009).

People around the world will be pausing for a moment’s silence today at midday local time.  Let’s hope the guns stop firing too.

This week’s Poetry Friday host Renée LaTulippe has a bowl of Poetry Candy over at No Water River, so head on over…

Poetry Friday: Dashdondog Jamba and the Mongolian Mobile Library

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

It was a real thrill for me to meet not only Dashdondog Jamba at the IBBY Congress last month, having interviewed him last year, but also Anne Pellowski, who worked with him on the Libraries Unlimited edition of Mongolian Folktales.  Here’s a photo of us all:

Dashdondog was a member of a superb storytellers’ panel with Michael Harvey telling a tall tale in a mixture of Welsh and English and Sonia Nimr recounting hers first in English then in Arabic.  It was fascinating in both cases how much audience participation was possible, regardless of the language they were speaking, simply (and of course, not simple at all really) becasue they were such fine storytellers.

Dashdondog’s story-telling in Mongolian was accompanied by a slideshow that provided the necessary context and I loved his verse rendition of the work of the Mongolian Mobile Library that he founded in 1990 – the onomatopeia could be universally understood. You can watch part of it here. As well as his gift for storytelling, this part of Dashdondog’s presentation provided an indication of how committed the Mobile Children’s Library is in ensuring library books reach as many children as possible, regardless of the challenges of terrain, distance and weather conditions they encounter.

Do read Dashdondog’s article about the library here – and you can read some of his vibrant poems translated into English on his blog.

New PaperTigers Gallery: artist Katie Yamasaki

Monday, August 13th, 2012

The first of three new Gallery Features on the PaperTigers site, we are delighted to welcome Katie Yamasaki, whose vibrant artwork has not only graced picture-books, but flows across vast buildings.  In our Q&A, Katie talks about her picture-book Honda: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars written by Mark Weston (Lee & Low Books, 2008) as well as her forthcoming author-illustrated Fish for Jimmy (Holiday House), based on “a true family story” in a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War.

Katie also describes how she hadn’t considered becoming an artist because “I didn’t have a sense of how art could be used to make a difference in the world.”  It is fortunate that she came to realise otherwise, and her involvement in community mural projects all over the world has certainly made a difference in many people’s lives.

You can see some examples of Katie’s murals in our Gallery – and do also explore her website for more in-depth exploration of her work: including her wonderful Pintando Postales project between children in Santiago de Cuba and New York City.  And I can’t resist including this video here – enjoy and be inspired!