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.

Laguna BelAir School’s Teachers Feedback on the PaperTigers’ Book Sets (Part 3 of our focus)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Yesterday on the blog we highlighted student feedback from Laguna BelAir School that we received on the 2010 and 2011 book sets. Today it’s time to read some of the wonderful comments we received from the teachers.  As I mentioned yesterday obtaining feedback from our participants is a crucial part of our WaterBridge Outreach project and we are most appreciative of the students and staff at Laguna BelAir School who took the time to share their thoughts and comments on the book sets.

Question: How specifically have the PaperTigers book/s (any of them) helped you to open your pupil’s minds and hearts to other places and other cultures

The PaperTigers books are stories of different countries. Because of this, the stories helped me in opening my pupils’ minds and hearts to other places and other cultures. For instance, the book Rain School relates the culture of children who don’t have a formal school to enter to, yet they still loved schooling despite of their unfortunate situation. The books tackled variety of stories introducing other places specifically remote places and containing adventures of young children. The lessons they hopefully learned might have opened their minds to the fact that more children are still wanting or excited to be educated and that my pupils are more fortunate than them. ~ Ms. Sheila Lumbay, English 1 and 2

Since most of my pupils don’t experience too many hardships in their lives, it is difficult for us teachers to open their minds in the reality of the world. But with the help of the PaperTigers books, they became aware of the different cultures. I have read a pupil’s answer regarding the difference of his life to the lives of the characters in the story. He said that he is fortunate because he doesn’t need to build his own school compared to the children in the book Rain School. With the help of the books, they become thankful with what they get, as well. ~ Ms. Karla Caling, English 3 and 4

Question: What was your favorite PaperTiger book/s among your pupils and why?

The favorite books among my Grade 5 students are One Hen and A Child’s Garden. But most of the students like A Child’s Garden because it is a story of hope despite local conflicts in the country. ~ Mr. James Alvin Mirador, English 5

Biblioburro was the favorite book of my pupils because most of them were able to read and to reflect in the story. The book has inspired them to read and borrow more from the library. In fact, one of their comments says that they also want to be like Luis who was a generous man and really loved reading books and shared those books to the children from far-flung places. ~ Ms. Sheila Lumbay, English 1 and 2

Question: How specifically have the PaperTigers book/s (any of them) helped you teach English and encourage reading among your pupils?

I learned a lot about other cultures and started to get fascinated in books. They said that if you want to learn more vocabulary words, try reading children’s books. It’s true! It widens not only my vocabulary, but also my students’. I could easily motivate them because I incorporated the stories in my lessons. The students and I were hooked with the books. ~ Ms. Emirose Gonzales, English 6 and English Coordinator

Do click here to read the entire teachers’ feedback document.

Kidlit4Japan: PaperTigers Auction – #121: A Signed Spirit of PaperTigers 2010 Book Set

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Now live over on the Kidlit4Japan site:

Auction #121: A Spirit of PaperTigers 2010 Book Set of Seven Picture books, some signed. From

Description: You are bidding for a set of seven high-quality picture books (all hardcover) which were selected as the Spirit of PaperTigers book set for 2010 to be sent to different schools and libraries around the world.

The Book Set comprises the following titles with some, as indicated, containing book plates signed by the author/illustrator:

First Come the Zebra – SIGNED
Written and illustrated by Lynne Barasch
Lee & Low, 2009. Ages 4-8

Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing – SIGNED BY THE AUTHORS
Written by Guo Yue and Clare Farrow, illustrated by Helen Cann
Barefoot Books, 2008. Ages 9-12

My Little Round House – SIGNED
Written and illustrated by Bolormaa Baasansuren
Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2009. Ages 4-8

One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference – SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR
Written by Katie Smith Milway, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Kids Can Press, 2008. Ages 7+

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai – SIGNED
Written and illustrated by Claire A. Nivola
Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. Ages 5-8

The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos – SIGNED BY THE ILLUSTRATOR
Written by Lucia Gonzalez, illustrated by Lulu Delacre
Children’s Book Press, 2008. Ages 4-8

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – SIGNED
Written and illustrated by Grace Lin
Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009. Ages 9-12

Estimated Value: $150

Bio: is a colorful website devoted to multicultural books from around the world for children and young adults, with a particular focus on the Pacific Rim and South Asia. We seek to promote the celebration and tolerance of diversity, and to nurture literacy and a love of reading. As well as highlighting the world of multicultural children’s and ya literature on our website and blog, we work to reinforce our goal of promoting cross-cultural understanding via our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach, under the banner Books and Water: Nourishing the Mind and Body.

PaperTigers’ website:

Boston Book Festival Panel: Understanding Social Justice Through Fiction ~ Oct 16, Boston, MA, USA

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Mitali Perkins, author of Bamboo People, Christina Gonzalez, author of The Red Umbrella, Richard Michelson, author of Busing Brewster and Lionel Vital (inspiration for Youme Landowne’s Selavi: A Haitian Story of Hope) tell the stories and struggles of children around the world. This free Boston Book Festival event is moderated by Katie Smith Milway, author of One Hen.

Following a brief introduction, each author will present individually for 10 minutes. The presentations will be followed by a discussion and question and answer period with the audience, moderated by the session host. The event will culminate with a booksigning.

The event takes place tomorrow, Saturday, October 16 from 11:30am – 12:30pm at Church of the Covenant, 67 Newbury Street, Boston, MA , USA.

Just released: The Good Garden, by Katie Smith Milway

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The Good Garden, book coverFirst came the very special One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, which taught kids about microfinance. Now, Katie Smith Milway brings us another powerful book: The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough (Kids Can Press). The Good Garden tackles the topic of food security and is the inspiring story of a Honduran young girl and her family’s journey to growing enough food to meet their needs (you can watch a book trailer here). The book is accompanied by a Good Garden Enrichment Program, an online resource developed by One Hen, Inc.

A portion of all book sales go to fund One Hen, Inc.’s programs in disadvantaged communities.

Spirit of PaperTigers: We Have Feedback!

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

SPT SealHooray! Our first feedback on the Spirit of PaperTigers 2010 Book Set has just gone live over on our website – from the Grade 6 class at Woodlands School in Montevideo, Uruguay. They have been reading One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference together and wrote the following class review:

One Hen Made a Big Difference, 28 May 2010

Do you think a little loan and a little brown hen can change the future of a whole country? This tale is based on a true story about a small boy (called Kojo) who lived in a poor village in Ghana. It all started when his mother gave Kojo the rest of the loan she had asked for. He had an amazing idea. Kojo’s plan was to help his mother by buying a hen which would give them food and money. After finding the perfect hen his life started to change.

Read this book to find out how Kojo was able to change his life. This is a fantastic and interesting story which shows how a small boy with a great and clever idea could improve the life of many people.

We recommend this beautiful book because we read it aloud in class and learned a very important lesson about solidarity, effort, hard work and commitment.

Start the chain and pay it forward, nothing is impossible.

Thank you for sharing your thoughtful evaluation of the book with us, Mrs Storace and Grade 6. Everyone else, you can read the rest of their feedback here.

One Hen Inc. celebrates its first anniversary

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Since its publication by Kids Can Press in 2008, One Hen: How One Small Loan Made A Big Difference, selected for the Spirit of PaperTigers 2010 Book Set, has evolved from an inspirational story into an equally inspirational non-profit organization, One Hen, Inc.

On the evening of May 7th, One Hen Inc. will mark its first anniversary with a celebration and fundraiser “It Takes a Village”. The celebration will take place  at the Wellesley Country Club in Wellesley, MA, USA from 6:30 – 10pm. Highlights will include an African market, vibrant music, dance and inspiring stories from youth who have gained an entrepreneurial vision for their future through One Hen programs.  Author of One Hen and co-founder of One Hen, Inc.,  Katie Smith Milway will be speaking, and attendees will be shown a multimedia presentation of One Hen’s unique summer school enrichment program that helps inner city kids learn to build small businesses and share their success with their communities.

There’s plenty to celebrate! In the past year visitors from over 133 countries have used the website and have accessed the One Hen resources that teach youth that true success comes with personal initiative, financial responsibility and a commitment to community. 7,000 children have been involved in direct One Hen programs and  Executive Director/Co-Founder Amma Sefa-Dedeh says that with this anniversary celebration/fundraiser they hope to raise enough funds to send 1,000 inner city kids to this year’s One Hen summer school enrichment program.

Tickets for the event are $75 and can be purchased by email or by calling 917-319-0485.

April 2010 Events

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

(Click on event name for more information)

National Poetry Month~ Canada and USA

Growing Up Asian in America Art and Essay Contest Winners Announced~ San Francisco, CA, USA

The Mathieu Da Costa Challenge Winners Announced~ Canada

38th National Book Fair & 8th Bangkok International Book Fair~ ongoing until Apr 6, Bangkok, Thailand

Exhibit of Sally Rippin’s Illustrations for Peeking Ducks~ ongoing until Apr 11, Melbourne, Australia

Heart and Soul: Art from Coretta Scott King Award Books, 2006–2009~ ongoing until Apr 18, Chicago, IL, USA

New York Public Library Exhibit: 2010 Caldecott Winner Jerry Pinkney’s African-American Journey to Freedom~ ongoing until Apr 18, New York City, NY, USA

Once Upon a Time . . . Children’s Book Illustrators, Then and Now~ ongoing until May 27, Oakland, CA, USA

International Children’s Book Day~ Apr 2

SCBWI Presents Details, Details: The Snap, Crackle, and Pop of Good Writing with author Jane Kurtz~ Apr 2, Tokyo, Japan

SCBWI Presents Bologna and Beyond~ Apr 3, The Hague, Netherlands

43rd Annual Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival~ Apr 7 – 9, Hattiesburg, MS, USA

The Foundation for Children’s Literature Presents What’s New in Children’s Books~ Apr 8, Boston, MA, USA

26th Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth~ Apr 8 – 9, Kent, OH, USA

Salisbury University’s Children’s and Young Adult Literature Festival: Read Green~ Apr 8 – 12, Salisbury, MD, USA

Border Book Festival~ Apr 8 – 11, Mesilla, NM, USA

Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books~ Apr 8 – Aug 1, Los Angeles, CA, USA

The Green Earth Book Award Presentation Ceremony~ Apr 9, McLean, VA, USA

Cambridge WordFest~ Apr 9 – 11, Cambridge, United Kingdom

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups 2010 Conference~ Apr 9 – 11, Berkshire, United Kingdom

SCBWI Presents Children’s Books and our Phil-Hispanic Heritage~ Apr 10, Philippines

National Library Week: Communities Thrive @ Your Library~ Apr 11  – 17, USA

BC Book Prizes On Tour~ Apr 11 – 23, Province of British Columbia, Canada

Young Poets Week~ Apr 12 – 16, Canada

Chicago Latino Book & Family Festival~ Apr 17 – 18, Cicero, IL, USA

London Book Fair~ Apr 19 – 21, London, United Kingdom

MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Conference~ Apr 21 – 23, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival and Children’s Festival: Reading the World~ Apr 21 – 25, Montreal, QC, Canada

41st Annual Saskatchewan Reading Council Convention: Guiding the Way with Literacy~ Apr 22 – 24, Regina, SA, Canada

Marba International Children’s Literature Festival~ Apr 22 – 25, Valleta, Malta

Camara Chilena del Libro Book Fair~ Apr 22 – 30, Santiago, Chile

Buenos Aires Book Fair~ Apr 22 – May 10, Buenos Aires, Argentina

World Book and Copyright Day~ Apr 23

Connecting Cultures & Celebrating Cuentos: National Latino Children’s Literature Conference~ Apr 23 – 24, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

Building Cultural Bridges: Integrating Languages, Linguistics, Literature and Translation into Education~ Apr 23 – 24, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Spring Festival of Children’s Literature~ Apr 23 – 24, Frostburg, MD, USA

Goolwa Poetry Festival~ Apr 23 – 26, Goolwa, Australia

La Fiera del Bambino / Children’s Book Fair~ Apr 24 – 25, Naples, Italy

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books~ Apr 24 – 25, Los Angeles, CA, USA

International Reading Association’s Annual Convention: Reading in Many Languages~ Apr 25 – 28, Chicago, IL, USA

One Hen: From Children’s Book To Educator Movement For Social Change~ Apr 26, Chicago, IL, USA

PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature~ Apr 26 – May 7, New York, NY, USA

Ezra Jack Keats Awards for Excellence in Children’s Literature Ceremony~ Apr 28, New York, NY, USA

Awâsis 2010 Aboriginal Education Conference~ Apr 28 – 30, Saskatoon, SA, Canada

El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros~ Apr 30, USA

Books at Bedtime: One Hen

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Today’s Books at Bedtime feature is One Hen by Katie Smith Milway, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes.   Much has been written already about this book in PaperTigers and elsewhere.  It was selected for the Spirit of Paper Tigers Project and will likely see its way into many hands hence.  The story is about microfinance and features Kojo, a little Ghanaian boy, who, with a loan, buys himself a hen.   What Kojo does with that one hen changes his life and everyone else’s around it.

By the time I got to this book with my daughter for her bed time read, she’d already been exposed to it at school.  But that did not diminish her enjoyment of the story the second time round.  She loved the colorful illustrations by Eugenie Fernandes and was quick to point out some lovely things I would have never noticed in the pictures like the colorfully clad chicken mothers in the market of one drawing.   The story is set up perfectly for children to understand.  The purchase of one hen leads to the purchase of another and so forth until by the end of the book, Kojo, a grown man, is shown as a producer of one of the largest poultry farms in West Africa.   That’s microfinance in a nutshell, or rather, in a children’s book! And the great thing about this book is that it’s based on the true life story of Ghanaian producer Kwabena Darko.

One Hen is a truly inspirational and informative read.  If you can, I suggest you buy the book as some of the proceeds of the sales will go directly to the One Hen: Microfinance for Kids organization.

Q&A with Kids Can Press, publisher of "One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference""

Monday, March 15th, 2010

kids_can_press_logoStarted in 1973 by a small group of women in Toronto who wanted to produce books for Canadian children, over the years Kids Can Press has broadened its mandate to produce books for children around the world. The company is now owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Their catalog includes a long list of award-winning titles, in over 30 languages, with each book designed to develop children’s literacy levels and a love of reading. They are considered forerunners in publishing books that promote a world view.

Sheila Barry, Kids Can Press’ editor-in-chief, answered our questions about One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, one of the seven books selected for inclusion in our Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set Donation Project, and about other topics related to the company and to multicultural children’s literature.


PT: One Hen by Katie Smith Milway, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes is one of the most talked about books of the last few years (and arguably the one most used in classrooms across the United States and Canada). How did this project come about for Kids Can Press?

SB: Katie wrote a picture book for Kids Can some years ago, so we were the first people she approached when she decided she wanted to write an informational picture book that would allow her to share her knowledge of development issues in Africa, where she once worked in a village very like the one in the book. Since we had already published other informational picture books on global subjects, we were excited to work with Katie on developing her concept—and obviously we’ve been thrilled with the end result.

PT: Did Kids Can expect the book to do as well as it did, or have some of the ripple effects of its publication come as a surprise?

SB: We hope all our books will do well, but sometimes it does seem that a book comes into the world at exactly the right time to take off. With One Hen, we knew we had done something pretty original in making the subject of microloans both accessible and inspiring for children. We hoped buyers would appreciate our accomplishment, and we’ve been gratified to see that our title clearly struck a chord for many, many readers.

PT: What about the choice of Eugenie Fernandes to illustrate One Hen? How did CBP go about finding the best match for the story?

SB: Eugenie Fernandes is very well-known in Canada as both a writer and an illustrator of picture books for very young children. But in addition to her classic picture books (her new book Kitten’s Spring just came out), she has also illustrated an older book for us called Earth Magic, (more…)