Every third week of July, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) celebrates National Children's Book Day and announces the winners of its much-coveted National Children’s Book Awards. For this year's winners of the Best Reads for Kids, we're happy to see some familiar covers that have graced our stories in the past. We also love the diverse topics that allows our kids, ages toddler to teen, to get to know their country and language more.
Here are the winning titles of the 2018 National Children's Book Awards:
1. Takbo! (Php150) By Auri Asuncion Yambao Published by Tahanan Books
“Everything about this book is fun — exactly how great children's books are supposed to be.” - PBBY
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Here’s an easy entry to the world of reading for your tot. Lure him into the joy of books with the bright and playful illustrations of Takbo! You can even act out the words together.
3. May Gulong na Bahay (Php75) Words by Genaro Gojo Cruz; Art by Paul Imbong Vibal Chikiting Books
“Here is a book that strikes a good balance between simple, colorfull illustrations and accurate, interesting use of language that, together, is able to appeal to its target audience and sustain their attention from start to finish.” -PBBY
Imagine a house on wheels. The hero in this story has one, but it's probably not what you're picturing. “Wala itong malaking haligi at mataas na bubong. Wala rin itong bintana at pinto na kailangan isara kapag kami ay natutulog,” the story reads. Can you guess what it is?
Available at the Vibal main book store (3/F Cyberpark Tower One, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City)
4. Si Kian (free to read) Words by Weng Cahiles; Art by Aldy Aguirre Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
“...dreamy watercolor illustrations and a story that weaves a life tapestry of a simple joyous Filipino boy with a bright future ahead of him. The dream is cut short and turns into a nightmare with the senseless murder of Kian.” -PBBY
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Best for teens, this book is about Kian Loyd Delos Santos whose story was widely covered by news reports amid the 2017 war on drugs. Kian was killed by three policemen in Caloocan City in 2017.
This book is free to read at The PCIJ Story Project Facebook page (link here).
5. A Long Long Time Ago (Php225) Words by Michelline Suarez, Joonee Garcia, and Divine Reyes; Art by Benjor Catindig Tahanan Books
“Nakakaaliw at magaan ang pagkabuo ng aklat... Kasaysayang nailahad para sa kabataan.” -PBBY
Philippine history is colorful and fascinating, but the way it’s often presented on textbooks and long documentaries can make it seem unappealing to kids. Enter this wonderful book that's sure to be a gem in your shelf!
6. Si Janus Silang at ang Pitumpu’t Pitong Pusong (Php299) Words by Edgar Calabia Samar; Art by Borg Sinaban Adarna House
“...matagumpay na panulat na pangkabataang nobela at disenyong panlibro na nakakapanghimok ng malikhaing pagbabasang malinaw na tumatahak sa kwento ng pakikipagsapalaran at paghahanap sa sarili ng tauhan.” -PBBY
This is the third fantasy book in the Janus Silang series about a teenager on a quest to solve the mystery behind the disappearances of players of a PC game. If you have a teen age 14 and up, this series filled with Philippine folklore will make a great read that's written in Filipino.
“For a wordless comic book to be good, the artist has to maintain the balance between what information is given and what is kept hidden for the reader to interpret on their own. Lost has found that balance.” -PBBY
The story follows an adventurer on a quest to find a mysterious treasure. But there is no text, only illustrations with surprising bursts of color. Intrigued? It is recommended for children ages 7 and up.
“Isinabuhay ang nagdaang panahon sa mundo ng kabataan sa probinsya ng Pangasinan gamit ang malikhaing dibuho, at paglalahad. Nakakaantig ng damdamin ngunit nakakatuwa.” -PBBY
A collection of short comics, this book, with its beautifully drawn pages, is filled with wonder and magic. Your teen (recommended for ages 13 and up) will find flying trains, genies, dancing robots, and much more.