Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Review: All About the Philippines

Here comes a new book about the Philippines! All About the Philippines: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for Kids is written by Gidget Roceles Jimenez and illustrated by Corazon Dandan Albano. It is part of Tuttle Publishing's All About Series where countries like Korea, Japan, Indonesia and China are included too.

The book is visually appealing. Ms. Albano's illustrations, done in watercolor, is clean and cool to the eyes.  It is sturdy and smelled like gum and vanilla. The layout of every spread is uncluttered. There is balance in the use of space for the text and the illustrations to complement each other. The book's size is ideal for little hands to hold, to cradle and to lay down on one's lap. What truly amazed me was Ms. Albano's renditions of the Pinoy tourists in Banawe and the Pahiyas Festival on the flaps of the book. There is so much color and events going on in one spread denoting festivity and community. It is a book that I immediately warmed up to.

Ms. Jimenez is crafty in using the stories and experiences of Mary, Jaime and Ari, to represent the three biggest island groups in the Philippines and beading together the diverse qualities and characteristics of our archipelago. There is history, geography, language, songs, art and cultural norms and traditions that bespeak of the varied ways in which Filipinos live and love.

I am proud to recommend this book to every school library, local and off shore, to keep in their collection as valuable reference and source book for Filipino children and young people of the world who wish to know the Philippines. There is Google to turn to, but with a well produced book such as this, the internet can wait. Congratulations to Ms. Jimenez and Ms. Albano on this wonderful collaboration! And to Tuttle Publishing for staying true to its mission of bringing the East and West closer to each other.

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