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Asian Festival of Children’s Content
23–26 May 2024

Children's books can be a gentle introduction to the toughest conversations. War, famine, abuse, discrimination, and other proscribed topics—the reality of which is that these events are happening in our midst.

This session explores writing techniques and storytelling methods that can be used to address difficult topics in the creation of books for the youngest of readers.

writing inclusivity difficult topics storytelling picture book publishing narratives cultural representation southeast asia regional languages cultural identity translation identity

Aldy Aguirre

Aldy Aguirre (Philippines)

Aldy C. Aguirre, an artist and illustrator in Quezon City, Philippines, has contributed to children’s books for various publishers and independent writers. His work has been honoured by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) and the National Book Development Board, as well as internationally by ILUSTRARTE in Castelo Branco, among others. Aldy’s illustrations for Papuntang Community Pantry were finalists in the 2022 Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators competition.

Beth Parrocha

Beth Parrocha (Philippines)

Beth Parrocha is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, majoring in Visual Communication. A graphic designer and children’s book illustrator, her works have been awarded and recognised locally by the Manila Critic’s Circle National Book Awards, Gintong Aklat Awards and by the National Children’s Book Awards (2018); internationally by the Noma Concour, Yahoo Asia, grand prize and second place for the (2016) AFCC Samsung KidsTime Awards, and the grand prize at the first AFCC Asian Children’s Book Award, Singapore (2017).

She has illustrated more than 50 children’s books. Beth is the featured illustrator of this year's Key Visual. Know more about the key visual here.

Glenda C. Oris

Glenda C. Oris (Philippines)

Glenda Oris, Assistant Professor at Ateneo de Manila University's School of Humanities, is a prolific writer of children's books. Addressing diverse themes like art appreciation, disability, and biodiversity, she advocates for creativity, preservation of local languages, and sexual abuse prevention. Her research delves into sensitive topics in children's literature, diaspora, and children's agency in society.

Mary Ann Ordinario

Mary Ann Ordinario (Philippines)

Mary Ann has written 45 books for children. Her stories have won various awards in the Philippines and overseas: her first book, The Crying Trees, won grand prize at the Samsung KidsTime Authors Award in Singapore; Malong, the Magic Cloth, was awarded Best ASEAN Fiction Children’s Book Illustration in the first International Children’s Content Rights Fair (ICCRF) in Thailand; The Pencil Who Would Not Write recently won first prize in the Los Angeles International Indie Children’s Book Cover Award (2021); and Bulul, was awarded Best Reads at the National Children’s Book Awards (2020/2021).

Many of her books have been translated into Nihongo, Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin, Thai, Russian, Korean, Nepali, Azerbaijani, and Bahasa Indonesia. She is the founder of ABC Educational Development Centre and currently a member of the governing board of the National Book Development Board (NBDB)-Philippines.

Charisse Aquino-Tugade

Moderator Charisse Aquino-Tugade (Philippines)

Charisse Aquino-Tugade is the Executive Director of the National Book Development Board (NBDB). She is a cultural worker, primary mover for CulturAid, founder of The Manila Collectible Co., and founding Director of Museo ng Muntinlupa. As the NBDB Executive Director, she is working on the National Book Database to standardize publishing industry metadata and bibliographic information of Filipino-authored publications. She also envisioned and spearheaded The Book Nook, which are storytelling and reading communities that provide Pinoy books for kids and kids-at-heart from Ifugao to Tawi-Tawi. Charisse has a B.A. in Anthropology and Marketing from San Francisco State University and is pursuing her graduate studies in Museum Studies at Harvard.

Programme dates and times are subject to change.