Hi friends, or as they say in the Philippines, bienvenidos! Or, malipayong pagabot! Or even maligayang pagdating!
Welcome back for my final book review for this year's Multicultural Children's Book Day! Today, I am reviewing a book that is just packed with details called, All About the Philippines: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for Kids. This book is by Gidget Roceles Jimenez, illustrated by Corazon Dandan-Albano and published by Tuttle Publishing.
Photo By Joy Sun Bear, Inc.
Let me tell you, this book lives up to its title. The size of the book will surprise you. There is so much information it is hard to imagine it all fitting in there! But the authors does, and she does so very well.
Before I get to my review of the book, let me tell you a bit about the Philippines. All the facts that I am going to share with you here I learned from the book, since I haven't had a chance to visit there myself yet!
The Philippines is an archipelago, a big group of islands, in Asia, about 2,700 km (not quite 1,700 miles) east from Sumatra. The first people to live there came from Taiwan a very long time ago, but throughout its history there have been Spanish and Arab missionaries, so the archipelago is a very diverse area! You can see that from the very beginning with the three ways that someone from the Philippines might say "hello", like I did in the beginning of this post.
Photo of Map of Philippines Courtesy of Google Maps
The book covers the Philippines timeline very thoroughly, from when people first got there, to being ruled by Spain, then by Japan, then by the US, and eventually becoming free in 1946. The author talks about each major culture on the islands as well as its food and traditions, the nature, and even weather! For example, did you know the Philippines has 200 volcanoes, and 21 of them are even active! Whoa!
The book is told through the eyes of three characters. Mary, Jaime, and Ari are all from different cultures you can find in the Philippines. Together, they make a collage of skin color, languages, and lifestyles that are as beautiful as the islands themselves. Through their stories, the reader gets to learn about the languages of the Philippines, the cultures, lifestyles in different cities, history, crafts, and songs. There is even an entire section dedicated to food, which of course was my favorite!
The book covers the regions of the archipelago in chunks, making the information easy for young readers to take in, even though there is a lot of it. Information, that is. The illustrations are consistently beautiful and detailed. I don't think I've ever seen fruit drawn so well in a book! I think my favorite part was the Myth of the Story of the Sleeping Giant - how fascinating!
Another fun thing I learned about was a traditional sport called Sipa (see-pah). This is played like the western game "hacky sack", but with a small ball or coin that has straw rope attached to it. The game is played for fun by kids, but when professionals play it, they take it very seriously. Just watch these videos below to learn more about it and see it in action!
These kids enjoy playing Sipa and sharing it with the new boy. The game is cooperative and competitive, with everyone working together to keep the game going, but each player tries to get the most points. Don't be the one to drop it, and don't use your hands! Professionals play it a little differently, with a net and certain rules.
My sister, Ayu, and I tried it ourselves. We don't have a ball, so we made one from a seed covered in some dried strips of fern leaves. It is much harder than it looks, but once you get the hang of it, the game is a lot of fun! Below is a picture of us playing.
Photo by Joy Sun Bear, Inc.
This book is a great addition to any young reader's library. With relatable characters, pretty illustration, and a fascinating history, I really enjoyed learning more about the Philippines. I can't wait to go visit someday!
Hope you enjoyed my 3rd book review! This one took a little longer to write because the book was so full of good stuff. Comment below (with the permission of your parent, guardian or teacher) if you get a chance to read this book and share how you enjoyed it.
I hope you enjoyed my Multicultural Children's Book Day Adventure Tour with some amazing multicultural books from Korea, Cambodia and the Philippines! If you haven't read my other book reviews yet, click the other tabs on this page to check them out.
Thanks for reading and goodbye (paalam) friends!
-Joy Sun Bear
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US populationconsists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural
Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
This event has also proven to be an excellent way to compile a list of diverse children’s book titles and reviews for parents, grandparents, educators and librarians to use all year long.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.
Platinum Sponsors include:
Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like:
Author Sponsors include:
We’d like to also give a shoutout to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts
MCBD Links to remember:
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:
Free Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: