Ahoy-hoy readers, have you eaten today?
I feel like I just ate a bunch and could still go for some pudding. Anyway, here’s my latest installment of Filipino kids books reviews. Watch my video because my mother interrupts!
This book is a wealth of information. There’s a main storyline but also a bunch of words with Tagalog-English translations and even a game and song. My main issue is that there’s an whiff of bougieness about it. It’s like it’s in the view of a Fil-Am that doesn’t maintain any relationship with the Philippines. Everybody is hella light-skinned. I suppose it’s ok for a child because of the info otherwise, but please make sure it’s not their sole link to the culture.
Is It a Mermaid?
This is a very cute book that’s almost basically a picture book. It’s about a dugong that thinks it’s a mermaid. I thought that might be a metaphor for something, but I would not interpret it that way. There’s a little boy that tries to keep telling the dugong that she is a sea cow, not a mermaid. She cries, and he feels bad, but she pretty immediately forgives him. I would prefer to show kids to mind their own business or a portrayal where someone who was possibly bullied not have to immediately forgive their bully, but like I said, maybe just don’t think about this one, lol.
On the back, it also says that it takes place in the Philippines, but there is no indication of that in the story.
Cora Cooks Pancit
Now this is how one writes a book not about a culture necessarily but incorporating it into a regular story. I think this is a perfect example of what people talk about when they say, “Oh, I wish I had this when I was a kid!” There’s none of this hand-wringing or sad desperation for acceptance from white supremacy which can be understandable. I can totally empathize with experiencing racism and wanting respect and wanting the world to see that injustice. But we deserve an alternative. We deserve stories that don’t center around it and use just being able to thrive and enjoy ourselves.
Cora’s older siblings are out for the day, so her mother asks her what she’d like to do. She’d like to make the noodle dish, pancit. Preciously, her concerns are whether she’ll be able to do older jobs like cut vegetables and if the family will like her cooking. It even comes with the recipe!
|Title||Filipino Friends||Is It a Mermaid?||Cora Cooks Pancit|
|Author||Liana Romulo||Candy Gourlay||Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore|
|Illustrator||Corazon Dandan-Albano||Francesca Chessa||Kristi Valiant|
|Language||English w/ Tagalog keywords||English||English|
|Level||2nd-3rd grade||2nd-3rd grade||2nd-3rd|
I’m always looking for recommendations.
Thanks for reading!