Week-end Book Review: Bye, Bye, Motabhai! by Kala Sambasivan and Ambika Sambasivan

Posted by: Marjorie | August 4th, 2013

Bye, Bye, Motabhai! by Kala Sambasivan and Ambika Sambasivan (Yali Books, 2013)
Kala Sambasavin, illustrated by Ambika Sambasivan,
Bye, Bye, Motabhai!
Yali Books, 2013.

Ages: 6-10

The “large, lumpy, yellow-brown camel” Pavan is a camel with a dream – he longs to escape from his owner Motabhai, a sabzi-wala (vegetable-seller) in the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India, and head for the glamour of the life of the racing camels in faraway Dubai.

One day Motabhai is fully occupied dealing with the repercussions of Pavan’s mischief and Pavan seizes his opportunity to escape – with four children on his back. They are supposed to be on their way to school but there is no doubt that they embark on the adventure as gleefully as Pavan himself. The ensuing chase not only draws in a donkey, Bijilee, who wants to make friends, but also various irate officials, as well as the animals’ owners. With a little ingenious help from the children, Pavan and Bijilee manage to escape detection, paving the way for the next story in what is set to be a four-book series. By the time young readers get to the end of this naughty camel’s hilarious adventure, they too will be joining in the chorus that forms part of the book’s title: “Bye, Bye, Motabhai! / Off I go to Dubai.”…

Read the full review…

Week-end Book Review: Watermelon Wishes by Lisa Moser

Posted by: Corinne | August 3rd, 2013

Lisa Moser, illustrated by Stacy Schutt,
Watermelon Wishes
Clarion Books 2006

Ages 4-8

The stuff of happy childhood memories often includes seemingly endless summer days and in this story, the boy Charlie is living through just such a summer with his Grandpap. However living the idyll does not mean being idle and, although there is plenty of time to play together, it is always within the context of their labours—for central to the book is the progression from seed sown to watermelon harvested.

While picnicing, they seek out new shoots; they go fishing to celebrate the flowers appearing on the vine; and they go to the swimming hole when they count ten small watermelons.  All the while, Grandpap is trying to guess what Charlie’s wish will be when he finds the one, perfect wishing melon.  First time round, young readers/ listeners will be guessing too; subsequently, they will revel in their superior knowledge! Their attention will also be caught by the colorful and deceptively simple illustrations, which reflect the brightness of happy summer days—and remind us of the active waiting with their watermelon-themed borders.  Schuett is also great at conveying facial expressions and the smiles are infectious.

Exploring as it does that special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren, this is a book that will stand up to being read again and again.

Marjorie Coughlan
March 2007

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

August 2013 Events

Posted by: Corinne | August 1st, 2013

Click on event name for more information

American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference~ ongoing until July 2, Chicago, IL, USA

ALSC Events at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference~ ongoing until July 2, Chicago, IL, USA

YALSA Events at ALA’s 2013 Annual Conference~ ongoing until July 2, Chicago, IL, USA

Write Up a Storm: Foyle Young Poets Competition~ submissions accepted until July 31

Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature~ submissions accepted until Aug 31, United Arab Emirates

The Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA)~ submissions accepted until Oct 21, Singapore

Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award 2013~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, 2012, United Kingdom

42nd Annual SCBWI Summer Conference~ Aug 2 – 5, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Tulika Books Launches The Bee Master, written by Lata Mani, illustrated by Priyankar Gupta~ Aug 3, Koramangala, Bengaluru, India

8th National Conference of African American Librarians~ Aug 7 – 11, Covington, KY, USA

The Bhutan Festival of Literature, Arts and Culture~ Aug 9 – 11, Thimphu, Bhutan

The Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators~ Aug 10 – 18, Auckland, New Zealand

Edinburgh International Book Festival (Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme)~ Aug 10 – 26, Edinburgh, Scotland

Writing & Book Camp for Kids 11+~ Aug 12 – 16, Vancouver, BC, Canada 

Tulika Books Hosts Author Pika Nani Reading From Her Book Little Indians: Stories From Across the Country~ Aug 15, Koramangala, Bengaluru, India

CBCA Book of the Year Winners Announcement~ Aug 16, Australia

Children’s Book Week: Read Across the Universe~ Aug 17 – 23, Australia

Kids’ Book Review Reading Hour Photo Challenge~ Aug 17 – 24, Australia

Meet Author Grace Lin and Join in a Discussion of Her Book Starry River of the Sky~ Aug 18, Easthampton, MA, USA

Melbourne Writers Festival (Children and Youth Programme)~ Aug 22 – Sep 1, Mebourne, Australia

National Reading Hour 5 – 6pm~ Aug 24, Australia

Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival Featuring Joy Kogawa~ Aug 24, Vancouver, BC, Canada

How To Teach Using Comics~ Aug 24, Singapore

Jump Start 2013: Focusing on the children’s books from India and abroad~ Aug 29 – 30, New Delhi, India Read the rest of this entry »

Grace Lin’s “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” has been adapted for the theatre!

Posted by: Corinne | July 31st, 2013

Exciting news from Grace Lin regarding her Newbery Honor Book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon at Wheelock Family Theater

Tickets on sale now!

As I mentioned last month, Wheelock Family Theater will be presenting Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin in the spring! It will be the New England premiere! The schedule has been set and you can now buy tickets. If you are a teacher, consider bringing your students for a field trip! They even have special 10am school matinees!


April 11 – May 11, 2014

Wheelock Family Theatre
200 The Riverway, Boston, MA, USA

Friday nights at 7:30; Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3:00
School vacation week matinees (Tue 4/22 – Fri 4/25) at 1:00
10am school matinees Wed 4/16, Thu 5/1, Tue 5/6, and Thu 5/8

Performances will be interpreted in American Sign Language on Thu 5/8 at 10am, Fri 5/9 at 7:30, & Sun 5/11 at 3:00.

Performances will be audio-described for folks with visual impairments on Thu 5/8 at 10am, Fri 5/9 at 7:30, & Sun 5/11 at 3:00.

A “Relaxed” performance for people with sensory sensitivities will be on Saturday May 3 at 10am

Tickets are $35 – $20 based on seating. Groups of 15 or more can take $5 off the regular ticket prices. Tickets can be purchased online at www.WheelockFamilyTheatre.org or over the telephone: 617-879-2300 (Tue – Fri; 10am to 6pm)

For additional information or for specific seating needs, please contact Charles Baldwin at 617-879-2300 or cbaldwin(at)wheelock(dot)edu.

NB: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was one of the books we selected to be included in our 2010 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set.  Read our review of the book here and our interview with Grace here. We also have two galleries of Grace’s ilustration work here and here.

Since 2010 PaperTigers has sent carefully chosen books to particular schools and libraries in various parts of the world. The books chosen seek to provide “multicultural” or “trans-cultural” stories that promote awareness of, knowledge about, and positive acceptance of “the other” in ways children can learn and enjoy. We are convinced of the crucial role of literacy and reading in an education that fosters understanding and empathy. To learn more about our Outreach program click here and to read our announcement of the 2012 book set click here.

PaperTigers Theme: Journeys

Posted by: Marjorie | 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

Week-end Book Review: Dill the Little Elephant by Ming & Volker, illustrated by Yusof Gajah

Posted by: Marjorie | July 27th, 2013

Dill the Little Elephant, retold by Ming & Volker, illustrated by Yusof Gajah (Oyez!  Books for Children, 2013)Retold by Ming and Volker, illustrated by Yusof Gajah
Dill the Little Elephant
Oyez! Books for Children, 2013.

Ages 4-8

“One day in the forest, a baby elephant was born” – an elephant called Dill who will capture young readers’ hearts from the start, as a newborn looking out at them through one intelligent eye. Dill’s adventures begin only a few days later, when he becomes separated from his herd. His search to be reunited with his family is a catalogue of misadventure, but at every stage of the journey (bar one, when Dill is teased by a crocodile) he encounters animals who offer help and friendship, even a home – though circumstances always intervene and the journey continues…

Read the full review…

Gabrielle Wang launches her book The Wishbird this weekend and you’re invited to attend!

Posted by: Corinne | July 24th, 2013

thewishbirdOur current issue of PaperTigers is entitled Journeys and includes an interview with Australian Gabrielle Wang in which she talks about her journey from an artist to a children’s book writer. Gabrielle’s newest book for middle grade readers  The Wishbird  is being launched this weekend and all are invited to attend! Signed limited edition Giclee prints (very high quality prints)  of selected internal illustrations will be available for sale on the day.

Imagine a world without music.

Imagine if all the singers and musicians disappeared, never to be seen again. Music is outlawed. Even birds are killed because they sing. And because birds live in forests then the forests all around are burnt to stumps. 

Music is an integral part of human existence. Every culture in the world makes music. Without it, the soul dies.

This is at the heart of The Wishbird



759 Nicholson St, Carlton North VIC

PLEASE RSVP: gabrielle(at)gabriellewang.com

Published by Penquin Books Australia, The Wishbird is receiving rave reviews and I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy. Do pay a visit to Gabrielle’s blog and listen to her read the first two chapters of The Wishbird here. You can also listen to her radio interview on Radio National, Books and Arts Daily HERE . To celebrate the book’s release Gabrielle is giving away 6 signed copies on Goodreads. Check out her Facebook page for the entry link. Congratulations Gabrielle!!


2014 Asian Festival of Children’s Literature Call for Papers!

Posted by: Corinne | July 21st, 2013

You’ve heard us rave about the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content and now here’s your chance to get involved next year. Hot off the press news from the festival organizers:

AFCC Call for Papers!

AFCC is calling for papers! We are looking for new insights on trends, observations, and AFCC logodevelopments in the field of children’s content with proposed sessions that will be useful to AFCC attendees and encourage discussion. AFCC is a conference for creative professionals, publishing industry professionals, and media industry professionals, not an academic conference, and all proposals should be targeted accordingly.

In order to qualify as a presenter, you should be published or have relevant experience in your field. Proposals should include a session outline and a one-paragraph biography of the presenter.
Deadline: 19 August 2013
strong>Geographical coverage: Worldwide
Topic: related to Asian content for children
Reading Fee: none
Contact: kenneth(at)bookcouncil(dot)sg or stephanie(at)bookcouncil(dot)sg

For further information, please check out this link.

Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014

The Award is presented biennially for an unpublished manuscript targeted at children aged 6 to 18 years, written by authors of Asian descent, living in Asia, who are 18 years of age and above. The Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014 offers a prize of S$10,000 and will be presented during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in May 2014.The closing date for the submission is 21 October 2013.
Visit the website for more details!

Week-end Book Review: What Happened This Summer by Paul Yee

Posted by: Corinne | July 20th, 2013

Paul Yee,
What Happened This Summer
Tradewind Books, 2006.

Ages 12-18

Reviewed July 2007 by PaperTigers Editor Marjorie Coughlan, For more reviews by the PaperTigers team, click here.

Paul Yee, recipient of numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for his novel Ghost Train, focuses on the modern-day lives and concerns of Chinese-Canadians in this, his latest novel for young adults.  So what did happen this summer? A general response would be that each teen-age protagonist came of age, grew up – and we, the reader, are privy to that process, because each experience is related in the first person and so we read what is going on in their heads as well as the unfolding events.

Yee keeps the reader on their toes: there is no warning that the narrator is going to change from chapter to chapter and since we are not introduced formally, we even have to work out whether the “I” is male or female.  I was half-expecting the narrators to return in cycles – instead, we catch odd glimpses of them as they happen to pass through someone else’s story. Indeed, each story could stand alone as a short story, a vignette of the challenges and concerns faced by each character: parental expectations and pressure, school, homosexuality, racial stereotypes, sex, death – in other words the full gamut of the issues considered relevant by the majority of teenagers today.  Yee’s focus on the Chinese-Canadian experience adds an extra facet to these subjects.

So, again, what happened this summer?  While each person’s story could stand alone, Yee is actually setting up the strings of his narrative to be pulled together in the final chapter.   This watershed time in all their lives reaches its peak at that point and it is as powerful as it is unexpected.  However, life does go on and, as is so often the case, it will only be with hindsight that each narrator will come to realise the significance of that period in their lives: something beyond the book’s telling that is up to readers to interpret for themselves.

A thought-provoking book that will appeal to young adults who are themselves on the brink of making life-affecting decisions about their own futures.

paw_sm_MC Do read our 2003 interview with Paul Yee here and our most recent interview with him in 2011 here.

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

Posted by: Marjorie | 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.