Feedback of Mr. Romel Obinario, Academic Team Head and Institutional Values Formation Program Head Laguna BelAir School on PaperTigers: Books+Water Book Sets

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Continuing our focus on WaterBridge Outreach participants Laguna BelAir School, today we feature the inspiring feedback of Mr. Romel Obinario, Academic Team Head and Institutional Values Formation Program Head.

At the heart of every PaperTigers book is a message for all of humanity. The message each book conveys is relevant, timeless, and transcends the boundaries set by current economic, political, or cultural constructs that continue to impinge on the way peoples of the world interact today.

We at Laguna BelAir School have realized the affinity between our core values and those of the PaperTigers (PT) organization, as conveyed in the PT books that the organization has sent us. By sharing the PT books with our students, we are also imparting our core values in a way that is not awkward and forced. Through the books, they may realize that the things we say we value are not simply words to be memorized but are ideals that other people cherish and live out. Through their constant exposure to these wonderful books, and their continuous experiences in the school’s different advocacies, they may truly become what we wish them to be – stewards for a better world.

Thank you, Paper Tigers, for involving us in your outreach program. We share in Wangari Maathai’s (Planting the Trees of Kenya) advocacy of caring for the environment by planting trees and in her belief in women and in communities working together to bring about much-needed reforms. We are inspired by Kojo’s (One Hen) example of thrift and of making a difference one small step at a time. The way we view people with cultures or beliefs other than ours is challenged by the way friendship is forged between Abaani and Haki (First Come the Zebra), thereby promoting peaceful coexistence. And we are truly inspired by the boy (A Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope) who despite all adversity finds hope for a better future in a war-ravaged land.

Week-end Book Review: Tiger and Turtle by James Rumford

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

James Rumford,
Tiger and Turtle
Roaring Brook Press, 2010.

Ages 4+

Tiger and Turtle live in the same forest and stay out of each other’s way.  They may not always agree, but they have learned there is no use arguing or fighting.  After all, “a tiger’s claws could not harm a turtle’s shell any more than a turtle’s feet could outrun a tiger’s.”  Then one day, the tiniest of flowers drifts down from the sky and changes their relationship forever.

Turtle wants to eat the flower, but Tiger has other ideas, and, while they may not be able to hurt each other (at least not very easily) they can sure fight over a flower!  For instance, Tiger can swipe at the flower and send it soaring out of Turtle’s reach.  And Turtle, once she is angry enough, learns that biting Tiger’s leg is actually pretty effective.  The two go back and forth escalating their efforts to control each other and gain the flower.  It seems as though disaster will surely befall them both, but at the last minute, we learn there was never anything to fight about as Tiger and Turtle narrowly escape a gruesome fate—together!  It is no surprise at all that after this, Tiger and Turtle move beyond mere tolerance to become the best of friends.

This gorgeous book, with a strong message about resolving conflict and the futility of fighting is, perhaps fittingly, dedicated to the author’s brother.  It is likely that the sibling relationship is the first place many children learn such lessons, and they will doubtless relate to the silliness and extremes Tiger and Turtle go to, to get their own way.  The art, inspired by Indian and Pakistan designs for shawls, rugs, and jali windows and rendered on handmade Chinese paper, is simply beautiful.  Indeed, gazing at Rumford’s warm colors, transcendent designs and the boldly drawn yet slightly dreamy Tiger and Turtle is likely to make anyone feel peaceful and at ease.  A book that can bring children to laugh, dream, calm down and think about important lessons is certainly a treasure.  Parents and children, perhaps for different reasons, will both want to reread Tiger and Turtle many times.

Abigail Sawyer
November 2011