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.

book: tall story

"tall story" by candy gourlaylast july, chachic posted about this book called TALL STORY. i wasn’t that intrigued with the book cover, truth be told. but reading chachic’s post changed my mind about the book.

i don’t know if this should be considered as a children’s book or if it’s young adult, but i do know that it is very well written.

TALL STORY tells the story of siblings bernardo and andi. one of them grew up in the philippines, the other one was raised in the united kingdom, and both of them are about to have their worlds collide.

we meet andi first, and she’s a very no-nonsense teenager who was forced to grow up on her own because her parents are always at work, trying to give them a better future. she’s small, which is not unusual for those with filipino blood, but she doesn’t let this stop her from pursuing her passion in basketball.

on the other hand, bernardo is a giant. not literally a giant, but at eight-feet, he literally towers over everyone — even foreigners who are usually taller than filipinos. growing up in the philippines without his immediate family, bernardo because the son of the town. sort of. everyone knows him ever since he was small, and he is even hailed a hero for something he has done! and he’s a big basketball fan too — he just isn’t as good a player as his sister is.

both siblings have baggage, and that’s what the story unravels as it goes along: baggage that would tie two separate worlds into one.

TALL STORY is a story of acceptance, a light family drama; it is also a story of superstitions, of myths and folklore that many filipino take as fact. and, ultimately, it is a story of two cultures meeting, and doing its best to get along with each other.

i don’t think my post about this book does it justice. so to conclude, i’ll just say this: if you find a copy of this book, buy it. read it. treasure it.