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Celebrating children’s literature

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A PROJECT by a new small press and curatorial platform Comma and independent bookstore Kwago, “A Curated Shelf” creates a space to understand the many ways we read, write and publish.

To be launched at the Komura; Book Fair on May 18, 3-4 p.m., the second curated shelf will feature guest curator Ani Almario. Her selection of 15 publications are children’s books that she would require her own children to read.

In the second curated shelf, Ms. Almario addresses questions on literature and the printed word but ultimately reflects on her personal relationship with books and the chosen stories. She features the works of Maurice Sendak, Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess, Rene Villanueva and Ibarra Crisostomo, and May Tobias Papa and Pepper Roxas in her selection.

“These books are about my concerns, my politics and thoughts as of late. They reflect what I think are the stories that have to be told to children TODAY. I am happy that not all choices ended up grim and determined, as I also believe in children’s literature’s power to preserve happiness and wonder,” Ms. Almario wrote in her curatorial notes.

Ms Almario is the school director and co-founder of The Raya School, a progressive institute for young children emphasizing national pride and passion for learning.

She is the vice-president of Adarna House, the publisher at the forefront in producing local children’s books and educational materials. She is also Secretary-General of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People and president of the Book Development Association of the Philippines.




In her notes, she shares a glimpse behind the history of her education and line of work: “One of my most vivid and treasured memories as a child has me, around 10 or 11, with my legs propped up on the arms of our butaka on our terrace, reading Little Women while eating pastillas that my tita made. Growing up, there was no better way to spend afternoons after school, than to curl up with a book.”

Along with “A Curated Shelf,” Komura; is presenting pockets of storytelling, focusing this year on highlighting women creators, and women in tech and film.

Komura; will be held at Warehouse Eight on May 18, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Regular tickets cost P200; P120 for students. Children 10 years old and below can come for free. Children will get zines and coloring books when they sign up to “A Curated Shelf.” At the program, Adarna books are available for sale.

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