Tuesday, October 31, 2023

IBBY-Ph Announces 2024 Honour List Selections

The International Board on Books for Young People Philippines (IBBY-Ph), the Philippine national section of the international non-profit IBBY, has announced the Philippine nominees to the 2024 IBBY Honour List.

Every two years, IBBY national sections select the best books from their respective countries and submit them to the IBBY Honour List, one of the most prestigious children’s book awards in the world. Three books are chosen for excellent and outstanding writing, illustrations, and translation. The books that will make the list will be formally presented at the IBBY World Congress and will be exhibited at international book fairs and conferences.

The 2024 Philippine honorees are Si Cielo at Ang Asong Si Stella, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo and Eugene Evasco for writing; Agawan Base, Jericho Moral for illustration; and Bum Tiyaya Bum, Angela Narciso Torres for translation.

Acclaimed children’s picture book writer and creative writing professor Eugene Y. Evasco reimagined Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo’s short story about a little girl’s journey of finding, befriending, and losing a pet. Si Cielo at Ang Asong Si Stella (Cielo and the Dog Named Stella) is illustrated by Tokwa Peñaflorida and is published by Chikiting Books. “Masaya kami na makasama ang Pilipinas sa IBBY Honour List. Pagkakataon ito na makilala ng ibang bansa ang ating talento at mga kuwento,” says Evasco. “Challenge din ito na sumulat na hindi lang mahusay para sa bansa kundi mahusay para sa mundo.” said Eugene Evasco

Jericho Moral, a visual artist from Markina City who works primarily with painting, provided the illustrations for Agawan Base (Steal the Base), an action-packed game of birds versus insects published by CANVAS. “I'm thankful to the CANVAS team and the author Jez Martin de Veyra for entrusting me with the illustrations for the book, and to IBBY Philippines for the recognition," said Moral. "The illustrations were inspired by my fascination with birds and insects. And so, I hope that the book will spark interest in appreciating and preserving the local wildlife.” said Moral.

CANVAS Executive Director Gigo Alampay said that CANVAS is proud and honored to have played a part in Moral’s recognition. “CANVAS is proud and honored to have played a part in this recognition. We have always believed that it is not enough for children to learn to read. For reading to truly be a lifelong skill, children have to learn to love books. Jericho Moral's artworks bring Jez Martin de Veyra's original and whimsical story to vivid life, making it more likely that young readers will love this book,” said Gigo Alampay, CANVAS Executive Director.

Moral is a visual artist from Marikina City whose practice is rooted in worldbuilding and narratives. Working primarily with painting, his works have been exhibited through CANVAS, Art Underground, and other galleries in the Philippines

“If poetry is a universal language, translation is the bridge that connects us all, reminding us of our shared humanity,” said Angela Narciso Torres who provided the vibrant English translation that recaptured the delight and nostalgia of Rene Villanueva’s Bum Tiyaya Bum, a collection of Filipino rhymes and verses for the very young published by Ilaw ng Tahanan. Torres says that she is, “It’s a thrill[ed] to see Bum Tiyaya Bum on the IBBY Honour List (for Translation)” in thanking IBBY-Ph for the inclusion of this work in the honor’s list. "I’d like to thank IBBY-Philippines for the inclusion which will allow readers worldwide to enjoy this book."

“I’m grateful for Rene O. Villanueva’s inspired curation and for Sergio Bumatay’s magical illustrations that enliven these pages. Most of all, I’m indebted to Reni Roxas and Tahanan Books for trusting my vision as a translator, allowing me to explore ways to preserve and breathe new life into this Philippine childhood treasury,” said Torres. "If poetry is a universal language, translation is the bridge that connects us all, reminding us of our shared humanity. Bum Tiyaya Bum is now part of that bridge, and I am deeply grateful,” said Torres.

Torres is the author of the poetry collections What Happens is Neither (Four Way Books, 2020) and Blood Orange (Willow Books, 2013). Her work has appeared in Poetry magazine, Missouri Review, and Quarterly West. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Manila, she serves as a senior and reviews editor for RHINO.

IBBY Philippines President Kristine Mandigma said that submitting these books to the IBBY Honour List was the first official activity of IBBY-Ph after being awarded that national section status. “We created a selection committee composed of writers, editors, artists, illustrators, and parents with young children and asked them to choose the honorees. We are proud of these books and happy that they will be showcased internationally. It is time for the world to discover the stories and the books produced by Filipinos,” said Mandigma.

IBBY Philippines is mandated to fulfill IBBY’s commitment to bring books and children together. It supports literacy initiatives to promote the love for reading and children’s books in schools, communities, and among the general public. Its flagship projects are opening a research library on children’s literature, publishing and funding a professional journal review of children’s books, and organizing seminars, workshops, and conferences on children's literature for authors, illustrators, translators, publishers, teachers, parents, and readers.

To learn more about IBBY Philippines, please email rblim@ibby-philippines.org.

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