ni Michael Jude Tumamac
Newly inducted as Chair of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), Tarie Sabido gladly answered some of our questions as part of our celebration of the 30th National Children’s Book Day. Aside from being the PBBY Board Representative for book reviewers, Tarie is an English teacher, blogger of Asian books for children and young adults (Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind and Into the Wardrobe), judge for the 2009 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (CYBILS) and the 2010 National Children’s Book Awards, and a professional fan of K-pop.
Kalatas: How did you celebrate the National Children’s Book Month?
Sabido: I’ve been focusing on sharing different National Children’s Book Month celebrations through the PBBY Facebook page. I’ve also been trying to attend as many events as possible. My favorites so far are the National Children’s Book Day ceremony at the CCP and the PBBY event in Cebu City. We conducted a free seminar-workshop on library activities and book reviewing!
But you know, for me and my friends, it’s not National Children’s Book Day, or National Children’s Book Week, or even National Children’s Book Month. It’s National Children’s Book LIFE.
Kalatas: What are your favorite books for children and young adults?
Sabido: My favorite children’s books are the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Those books really speak to me emotionally and spiritually, and I’m in love with Narnia and its inhabitants. How much in love? I want to name my first daughter after Lucy Pevensie!
Kalatas: What do you like best in reviewing books for children and young adults?
Sabido: The best thing I have gotten from reviewing children’s books is friendship with sweet, creative, and passionate book bloggers from the Philippines and around the world. And as friends, we’ve cooked up things like the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, International Book Giving Day, and the book bloggers’ track at the recent Asian Festival of Children’s Content.
Kalatas: What do you think are the books that still need to be published?
Sabido: We definitely need novels for ages 9-12, and novels for teens. Those are gaps in the industry that need to be addressed, otherwise Filipino kids will always turn to foreign novels when they become pre-teens and teens.
Novelists for young readers, where are you?!
Kalatas: What are the future projects of PBBY?
Sabido: The PBBY is already preparing for the next Salanga Prize, National Children’s Book Awards, and National Children’s Book Day!
Michael Jude Tumamac is a member of Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING) and Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA). Visit his blog xizuqsnook.blog.com or Facebook page Xi Zuq’s Nook for book reviews on children’s literature.