Museo Pambata sent the PBBY a questionnaire on our favorite Filipino books for Pinoy kids. This is to be used for a new area in the musem that is all about writing, illustrating and publishing books for children. I'm posting the first part today.
1.What do you look for from a good Filipino children’s book?
I look for content and deisgn. And then crafting. The book must say something relevant to the Filipino child's experience. But at the same time, it cuts across boundaries and cultures that it achieves a universal appeal. This would mean that, while the story speaks of unique Filipino experiences, content is also a significant human experience that other children from other countries can relate to. If adults are drawn to the story as well, then that's chidlren's literature magic at work!
Deisgn is crucial for visual appeal. It lends aesthetics to a book. It aids in comprehension too!
And then there's crafting. Yes. How the author creates and puts the story together is crucial. Content may be relevant and meaningful, but if crafting is poor then the story may turn out lame.
2.What should the next generation of writers and illustrators realize for the future of children’s literature?
Innovate. Never cease to create. Cover other forms of literature – TV, theatre, comics, online, etc. Always have the child reader in mind. You write and illsutrate for children in the first place, right?
3.What great things have you learned from reading, writing, illustrating and publishing children’s books?
I grew wings!