INDIEPUBCON 2021 promises to provide a platform to many types of writers, inclusive of many genres and forms of literature. One of these is children’s literature, which is a collection of written works and associated illustrations intended to entertain or educate children. This includes acknowledged world literature classics, picture books and easy-to-read stories written exclusively for children, as well as fairy tales, lullabies, fables, folk songs, and other primarily orally transmitted materials. Children’s literature arose as an unique and independent type of literature for the first time in the second half of the 18th century, and has enjoyed a continuous and steady growth in popularity until today.
Giving children access to a wide range of reading is critical to their success. Children’s literature is important because it allows students to respond to literature. In addition, it teaches students about their own cultural heritage as well as that of others. Children’s literature also fosters emotional intelligence, creativity, personality and social skills. Moreover, it passes down important cultural themes from one generation to the next.
It is important to understand that the concept of “children’s literature” is a foreign term. The Philippines has long since passed on folklore, lullabies, and different types of literary forms intended for children, but the first titles that we can consider as children’s literature were imported from Europe. A more successful attempt at “filipinizing” the content of beginning reading textbooks was Pepe and Pilar (1930s). Camilo Osias had previously collected stories from all over the world in The Philippine Readers Series (1922-1934), with pictures by Fernando Amorsolo. The Osias Readers, like Pepe and Pilar, were well-liked in schools across the country. They were textbooks, after all, with the primary goal of instruction rather than entertainment, and they had limited life outside of the classroom.
While the growth in children’s literature has been steady, there is still a dearth of works written in languages aside from English and Filipino. A movement to make Filipino children’s literature more inclusive means that children from all regions, not just those from the capital, need to have access to books written specifically for them, with the language and nuances they can understand and relate to.
In this panel discussion, John Romeo Venturero of Aklat Alamid, Noel Galon of Kasingkasing Press, and Sophia Perez of Southern Voice Printing Press will share their goals, experiences, and plans in producing books for children and communities that are often overlooked by mainstream publishers. Jose Monfred Sy, a children’s writer, and Frances Palatino, a children’s rights advocate, will moderate the panel.
“Lipad Saranggola: Abutin ang mga Pangarap para sa Batang Mambabasa” will be a recorded discussion and can be viewed via TIPC-PH’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel on Monday, November 22, at 7:00 p.m. The event will be followed by a Q&A portion, and is expected to be a lively and insightful meeting-of-the-minds between indie professionals and aspirants.
Anyone interested to join the forum can read about the registration process here.