Book: Ang Tatlong Sumpa

"Ang Tatlong Sumpa"

Hey, it’s my first time to review a children’s book! I mean, it’s sort of a children’s book. It’s in comic book form–but it has more words in it than a regular children’s book…

Why do I keep writing “children’s book?”

Anyway.

Ang Tatlong Sumpa (which translates to, The Three Curses) is the story of a mouse deer and his quest to stop a greedy monarch from destroying the forest. To do so, he must use all his wits and get help from his forest friends. It’s a simple story really.

What I think make the story works for me is partly nostalgia. Author (and Artist) Borg Sinaban infuses his writing style with the tropes of old Filipino legends and epics. For one thing, there’s the altruistic main character who will do his best to save the forest just to protect his friends’ home. Another staple in legends is the old woman (or man, sometimes) that the hero will help on his way to wherever he was going in the first place. And, of course, the belief in the diwata–deities or goddesses (not elves) who help guide human life in Filipino culture.

In a time where children’s books are forced to be more modern, to connect with their target market, it’s refreshing to see a comic book that is not afraid to go back to basics: to a forest setting, to a simple villain– To a character who most kids today don’t even know.

I kind of regret not buying more than two copies now. It would’ve made a great Christmas gift to my nephews and nieces.

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