CHILDREN'S lit is beginning to get the attention it deserves in this part of the world. Last year, a children's literature module was introduced as part of University Malaya's English literature course.
And two days ago, on March 19th, a colloquim on children's literature was held at the university.
Perhaps most exciting for those passionate about children's literature is the Asian Festival of Children's Content. This event, which will take place from May 6-9 at The Arts House in Singapore, is co-organized by The Arts House and the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS). It incorporates the Asian Children Writers & Illustrators Conference (ACWIC) (organised by the NBDCS for the past 10 years), the Asian Children's Publisher's Symposium, the Asian Parents Forum and the Asian Primary and Pre-School Teachers Congress.
Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin
1 Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways than an Eskimo to describe ice and snow in his book Arctic Dreams, you can do all the weather reporting you want.
'Pleased I'm in the mix' ... David Almond
Next week could be a big one for David Almond. The Carnegie medal-winning British author is in the running for two of the most important international prizes in children's literature: the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen medal and the Astrid Lindgren memorial award, the richest children's book prize in the world.
Posted via web from daphnelee's posterous
Through the eyes of a migrantElissa Blake
January 6, 2010
Magical paper birds, boats made of old suitcases and giants squashing terrified citizens - these are just three of many strange and wonderful images in Red Leap Theatre's production of The Arrival, which opens as part of the Sydney Festival next week.
Adapted from the graphic novel by the Perth artist and author Shaun Tan, The Arrival is the story of a man who leaves behind his wife and child in search of a better life. He arrives in a strange land where everything is odd yet weirdly familiar.
The Dram Projects' library will be moving into Rumah Nur Salam's KL Youth Hub on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. This will signal the start of, I hope, a long and fruitful partnership between TDP and RNS.
Anyway, on one of my visits to the hub, I walked a few doors down to a food court housed in a row of shoplots. As I was having a cup of coffee, I noticed a couple of bookcases arranged against one wall of the food court. Yes, bookcases!
I wonder whose idea it was to put these books there and if anyone reads them. I will try to find out on my next visit.
Old news because I'm slow: Datuk Dr Mohd Anuar Rethwan (Anwar Ridhwan) has been named Malaysia's 10th National Laureate.
From the New Straits Times: "Among others, the award (national laureate) carries a national recognition scroll, cash of RM60,000 and first-class ward facility at government hospitals."
No mention of the duties of the laureate. It's an award after all, to recognise a writer's achievements thus far, unlike the British poet laureateship or children's laureate post that come with responsibilities like composing poems for important state occasions and promoting the reading and writing of children's literature, respectively.
The picture book exhibition, What a Wonderful World: A Multicultural Journey Through Text and Pictures, began on 1st October at Kinokuniya Bookstore in KLCC Suria, and will run until 31st October.
Books displayed include Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, written by Mary Williams and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.
Here are some words from Christie about his work on the book and also his thoughts about multicultural literature:
"For the past decade I believe that we live in a new world order and with all of our technology and instantaneous information, our privacy is gone and it's very difficult to know what the future of the world will be five years from now. I felt this way when illustrating Brothers in Hope and still do now. As the Illustrator of this book I want to take you to this real life child's world. I feel that the landscape is as important as his interaction with these thousands of children. Africa is alive, and a continent so large that you could fit China, the USA, Western Europe,India, Argentina and the British Isles combined in to it. So when starting the project I had to really take myself to a place that I had never been. I had to put my self into society that I never lived and in a situation that I never fully experienced.If the reader reads in between the lines they will see that the beginning of this story is universal. Simply put , he lives in a place with a certain type of structure and his development as a person is derived from this structure. Cattle herding, land and family is what Garang knew and in an instant he was thrust in to the dark of a Sudanese night far away from all that was recognizable. The point for me is that things can change in an instant and I believe it's important to know the stories of as many cultures as possible because there are lessons in those past journeys.
For this particular children's book, I wanted an embracing style, flat and graphic overall but with a lot of movement and energetic earthy tones when it came to the landscape. I wanted a folk art like naive representation of the figures almost doll like but with depth and emotions in the facial rendering. This is because the story is a honest one, tales of children being hunted, surviving against the elements, war, famine and deserves to be represented truthfully. However, with all of this the book is about Hope and in most cases there was a light at the end of the tunnel for these children. Such a journey is a lesson for all cultures and ethnicities.
This is why such a spotlight on Brothers in Hope is not only an honor for me but also I suspect for the thousands of children that survived this ordeal. It is my hope that as viewers in Kinokuniya Bookstore are introduced to this book they take it as an opportunity to reflect on how quickly a life can change. Personally I've always have been drawn to the more challenging end of the children's book spectrum. The part that entails social issues or stories about history and culture, although these subjects are often difficult to speak about, children's book are a tool to play a role in a child's creativity and development while growing in to adulthood." ~ R. Gregory Christie
Paper Tigers is a website that features multicultural children's books from the world over, with "particular focus on the Pacific Rim and South Asia.
I hope that, in time, there will be Malaysian children's literature worthy of inclusion on this excellent site.
Two items of interest for fans of Where the wild Things Are:
1. Spike Jonze's blog, We Love You So, about the upcoming film and its influences.
2. Terrible Yellow Eyes, a blog about an exhibition of art works inspired by the picture book.Wild.