Thanks to Zarah Gagatiga, Chair of the Philippines Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), for sending me details on this year’s 27th National Children’s Book Day (NCBD) in the Philippines to be held on 20th July.
This year’s theme is “A Book Reader is a Winner” and PBBY will be commencing their celebrations at the Museo Pambata in Manila for the handing out of their annual awards. This year’s Salanga (Writers’ Prize) goes to Raymond G. Falgui for his poetry collection Green Leaf and Other Poems (the first time the award has been awarded for poetry); and the Alcala (Illustrators’ Prize) has been awarded to Aldy Aguirre for his “dreamy and whimsical illustrations” of Falgui’s poems in the same book.
Filipino author Candy Gourlay will be delivering the day’s keynote address, fresh from the successful publication of her Young Adult novel, Tall Story, in the UK. The day will also be marked by the opening of a Retrospective of Albert Gamos, an award-winning Filipino illustrator who died last year. An esteemed honorary member of Ang Illustrador Ng Kabataan (InK), he was well-known for his classical and intricate style of illustrating for children.
As part of the NCBD celebrations PBBY and the National Book Development Board (NBDB) will announce the Best Reads of 2008 and 2009.
Schools, learning communities, libraries and families are all encouraged to get involved. For ideas on what type of activities could be organized, check out Zarah’s Top Ten Suggestions.
And even if you are not in the Philippines, why not join in the celebrations by reading a Filipino children’s book or YA novel? The summer edition of the National Geographic Kids magazine has picked Candy Gourlay’s Tall Story as one of its Brilliant Summer Books. You can get plenty of ideas from our recent issue of PaperTigers focusing on the Philippines; and more Filipino book suggestions can always be found on Zarah’s and Tarie Sabido’s blogs.
As Zarah says “The NCBD celebration is not exclusive to PBBY. Bring it to your schools and families. After all, we are all here to celebrate reading, books and the Filipino young reader.”