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 www.catchtherain.org 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.

WaterBridge Outreach, Water in Multicultural Children’s Books and Project Splash Asia!

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

As 2012 draws to a close and I reflect on our website themes over the past year, one of my favorites was The Theme of Water in Multicultural Children’s Books . We decided to do this focus in part because of the crucial role that water plays in our WaterBridge Outreach project (WBO) which provides donations of new multicultural children’s books to schools and libraries, while engaging with local communities to obtain access to clean water in areas of need throughout the world. In his recent PaperTigers 10th Anniversary article,  Executive Director Dr. Peter Coughlan wrote about the history of PaperTigers and how WBO came to be:

The most recent development in the PaperTigers story is – alongside the main site and the blog, which continue through from the second and third phases – WaterBridge Outreach, as summed up in the phrase Books+Water: Nourishing the Mind and Body. This springs from the desire firstly, to put books into the hands of children, especially in areas of need around the world – multicultural books that children can enjoy and that help open young minds and hearts to the world beyond their immediate experience. Secondly, I have been lecturing for some time at a college of the University of London in the area of applied ethics and, specifically, about the challenges facing our world at the nexus of water, food and energy in the context of climate change/global warming. Literacy and reading yes, but the lack of clean water and basic sanitation is a significant impediment to education, especially the education of girls, in too many parts of the world. Thinking about this led to the decision to expand our programs in 2009/2010 under the banner of PaperTigers: Books+Water, thus including not only the PaperTigers site and blog but also the practical WaterBridge Outreach programs – books and water here being specific expressions of the insight that education and the meeting of basic human needs must move forward together.

Since WBO’s inception we have been involved in various water projects in :

Matènwa Community Learning Center ~ Lagonav, Haiti

Tamilnadu ViIlage Outreach (TVO) Tuition Schools ~ Tamilnadu, India 

and Kiphire, Nagaland, India

As we move into 2013 we hope to further develop our projects in the above-mentioned areas as well as look at the possible development of similar projects in Guatemala and South Sudan, and work with Navajo and Hopi colleagues in education about water and water needs in Native American areas of Arizona. Dr. Coughlan will be going to Nagaland and Tamil Nadu in December this year to develop our projects, and our Outreach Coordinator Theresa Gee will be going to Arizona. Writers Gail Tsukiyama and Mary Roach will be joining Dr. Coughlan in India – the beginnings of an initiative that Gail hopes to develop as Writers for WaterBridge Outreach.

Exciting news for the coming year is that 2013 has been declared the United Nations International Year of the Water! The year will highlight the history of successful water cooperation initiatives, as well as identify issues on water education, water diplomacy, transboundary water management, financing cooperation, national/international legal frameworks, and more!  Community and school programs in many countries will include reading, performing and creating water-themed stories. Water-themed children’s stories will also be highlighted at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content 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 favourite water-themed children’s stories from or about the Asian region. If you have a title to suggest we would love to hear from you! Email me at corinne(at)papertigers(dot)org

2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content Project Splash Asia!

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

With our current PaperTigers issue focusing on the theme of Water in Multicultural Children’s Books and with water playing a crucial role in our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach (read yesterday’s post to learn more), I was thrilled to learn that water-themed children’s stories will also be highlighted at next year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore!

Project Splash Asia! AFCC 2013

Next year will be the United Nations International Year of Water.

Community and school programmes in many countries will include reading, performing and creating water-themed stories.

Share your favourite stories that have water as a theme, such as Wave by Suzy Lee (California US: Chronicle Books, 2008), Amansinaya-Goddess of the Sea, by Eugene Evasco and Jomike Tejido (illustrator) (Philippines: LG&M, 2007), The Wakame Gatherers by Holly Thompson and Kazumi Wilds (illustrator) (California US: Shen’s Books, 2007), and Water Tales From Around the World (India: Tulika Publishers, 2010).

Project Splash Asia! aims to publish a bibliography and collection of favourite water-themed children’s stories from or about the region for AFCC 2013.

The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) hopes the compilation of a bibliography of children’s stories around a universal theme will be a regular project for AFCC to showcase the diversity of talents and children’s literature in the region.

For suggestions and enquiries, please email afcc@bookcouncil.sg.