News & Reviews

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Asian Festival of Children’s Content

May 26-28, 2011, Singapore

Once upon a cyberspace, children explored the world through libraries, bedtime tales and story books. Books are still around, but they are looking different. As technology puts media access into children’s pockets and bedrooms, how do content makers stay connected with connected kids?

Organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and The Arts House, The Asian Festival of Children’s Content would be held from May 26-28, 2011. As part of this three day long festival are Critique Sessions and an art exhibition, the Children’s Book Illustrators’ Gallery (BIG), which aims to showcase the works from writers and illustrators around the region.

The Secret Keeper

Author: Mithali Perkins
Publisher: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
(Pp 210, ISBN 978-93-5029-047-7, Rs 199)

A diary is our best friend – our secret keeper! Aimed at young adults, the book shows how a girl confides in her diary. Asha, a Delhite, visits her ancestral home in Kolkata with her mother and elder sister. It was supposed to be a short-term temporary visit until her father found a new job overseas. But, Asha’s life is changed…she has to deal with lots- conservative extended family, new relationships with cousins, fending off her sister from unsuitable suitors, besides teaching lesson to neighbourhood boys who think girls are not good enough. With her hands full all the time, she finds solace at a rooftop hideaway, where she confides in her diary – her secret keeper. And here she finds a boy, who makes her heart beat faster…and adds love to her life.
The book is a reflection of what girls from metros face when they visit their cousins in other smaller towns. Written in an interesting and lucid manner, the book is entertaining and insightful.
– Vasu V

Free children’s book library

Story Time For Me has released a library of free interactive multimedia storybooks for homes, schools, daycares and libraries. The programme will encourage children to read entertaining, animated stories with socially relevant themes such as ‘Not to bully’, ‘Sharing’, ‘Being responsible for the environment’, ‘Helping your neighbor’, etc.

“The development of this free library fosters a continued love of reading through our multimedia storybooks,” said Andrew Gitt, co-founder of Story Time For Me. “We are thrilled with the response we are already getting from educators and schools across the United States, and are currently expanding our outreach

efforts. Select branches of Goddard Schools, Bright Horizons, Primrose, YMCA, JCCA, Childcare Network and a dozen other National chains are using our books as supplemental learning resources for their children.”

A new book for children on social sharing

Windsurf Publishing LLC has released a new book about social sharing for young children by Maureen Mihailescu, that describes and teaches the ways children share, interact, cooperate, and play with one another.

Mihailescu acknowledges that many children today have communication and behavioral challenges that interfere with their ability to cooperate and interact with other children. She posits that children can also be very shy socially and have anxieties during new social situations. That is why she created Social Sharing Is All Around Us. Her belief is that this book can be beneficial to those children who find it difficult to join in with others, understand other children’s feelings, and interact in age appropriate ways. She feels that children can also be reluctant to socialize with children. And she stated that sometimes children who start school for the first time could be nervous. Her feeling is that having a book about other children and activities that children share in can help the socially anxious or those who are social novices.

Social Sharing Is All Around Us is now available on Amazon worldwide, Barnes and Noble online, and other international booksellers.

Skunk Girl

Author: Sheba Karim
Publisher: Penguin Young Adult
(Pp 232, ISBN 978-0-143-33165-0, Rs 250)
Aimed at young adult, the book deals with teen aches of a Pakistani NRI girl, who feels herself odd at her high school. Nina is the only South Asian student at Deer Hook High. Her sister is very intelligent and is studying at Harvard. Her parents and teachers expect the same from her, but Nina is different. She likes to study but she is not a bookworm, she wants to enjoy like her friends. She wants to have a boyfriend, she wants to go out for parties and she wants to have a normal life like her friends. But her family is orthodox, she is not even allowed to wax…she is hairy and she hates that.

The book is a true depiction of a girl from a Muslim conservative family. It gives an insight into teenage problems – peer pressure, change in hormones and family pressure for studies. It forms an interesting read, not just for the young adults but for adults as well!
– Varsha Verma

Self-improvement guide for teenagers

In her latest book, Pull Up Your Pants for Personal and Social Change (Infinity Publishing), Sabrina Hayes, an author, trainer, and mother of three, shares her inspiration, traditional childhood rearing philosophy and avid purpose to mentor and develop young people. Hayes is passionate and unequivocally determined to take young people “back to the basics”—observing and honoring sensible, respectful, and obedient behavior.

This book is an insightful, self-improvement guide offering practical solutions, valuable leadership and phenomenal transformation. The book reveals the consensus of teenagers and young adults surveyed, that: “saggin´ pants or any other bizarre display of expression is our constitutional right and, is merely a form of personal identity, self expression, total independence… exempt from societal endorsement.” To counter such attitudes, this book teaches the fundamental principles of individuality, leadership and character, encouraging young men to embrace the “men of honor” concept and, young women to understand the true meaning of self worth and self value in society as a “virtuous woman”.

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