Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ang Bisikleta ni Momon (Momon And His Old Bike)

Author: Rebecca T. Anonuevo

Illustrator: Jo Ann A. Bereber

Publisher: Adarna Book Services, Ince (Quezon City, Philippines)

Main Characters: Momon, old bike

This is a story about a little kid named Momon who envies his neighborhood friends because of their brand new bikes. Since his bike is rusty and old, nobody wants to play with him. One day he remembers the fun and exciting years with his old bike. He realizes that his old bike is still usable and it has sentimental value for him.

This bilingual book illustrates how a person treasures an old object because of its sentimental value. It advises the readers not to yearn for new things. What really matters is its use and how it became part of one's life.

Its is a nice story.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Sundalong Patpat (Thin Soldier)

Author: Virgilio Almario

Illlustrator: Ferdinand R. Doctolero

Publisher: Adarna Book Services, Inc

Main Character: soldier

This Filipino children's book is about a wooden soldier who shows his bravery by bringing the rain back to his town. No matter how difficult it is, he never gave up and tried his best to finish the task.

This book aims to inspire children especially those who are thin and small. Being courageous and responsible are highlighted in this story. It shows that intrinsic qualities of a person are better than physical appearance.

It has out of the ordinary illustrations and it is available in two languages (Filipino and English). Young readers will surely enjoy the adventures of this thin wooden soldier.


Isang Mayang Uhaw (A Thirsty Sparrow)

Author: Victoria Anonuevo

Illustrator: Jimmy Torres

Publisher: Adarna Books Services, Inc. (Quezon City, Philippines)

Main Character: sparrow

This Filipino fable is about a tiny sparrow who uses his intelligence to drink from a nearly empty glass of water.

Aside from implying that being small is not a hindrance to attain a goal, this children's book also shows the importance of science in real life situation. It advises the readers that having knowledge about science would enable a person to discover things and solve problems.

It has a simple plot and it is available in two languages (English and Filipino).


Saturday, August 15, 2009


Director: Michael Apted

Writers: William Nicholson and Mark Handley

Main Cast:
Jodie Foster as Nell Kellty
Liam Neeson as Dr. Jerome "Jerry" Lovell
Natasha Richardson as Dr. Paula Olsen

The film "Nell" tells the story of a woman who was raised in the cabin that was isolated from the society. She was reared by her mother who was incapacitated with stroke. Because of this condition, her mother obtained "speech distortion" in which she adapted.

Nell was called as the "wild woman" and her way of living was thoroughly observed and studied by specialists such as Dr. Jerry and Dr. Paula. They studied every gesture she made and every syllable she said until they were able to decipher what she was trying to convey. The movie also presented the debate on whether Nell should be left to live in the wild, or be integrated in the city life. In the end, she was returned to her home.

The film shows the relevance of language in our lives and the factors that affect its development. It is innate among us human beings to express our thoughts and emotion. There is a strong need for us to communicate and we have several ways of doing it. We have the spoken and written language. We also communicate through gestures and facial expression. When we were babies, our cries would mean that we need something or we feel pain. We smile when we are satisfied. As we grow, we begin to point to things and speak syllables. Then later we can say a word until such time that we can speak sentences.

Aside from the innate need for communication and expression, we also learn from our speech community. Nell could express what she wanted or what she needed. However, she did not have any human interaction, aside from what she had with her paralyzed mother. If Nell had live with a person, who spoke in a regular and clear manner, then she could have learned from that person.

In this film, doctors and specialists conducted a thorough study on her case. They tried to win her trust to come out to the outside world. However, Nell communicated her fear and anxiety by shouting, running or hugging herself. It took them some time to finally take her outside her house during daytime. As the movie was progressing to the climax, Jerry and Paula were able to decipher the words that Nell spoke. They were able to teach her the correct pronunciation through modeling and imitation. Behaviorist's Theory on reward and punishment was shown specifically on the part where Nell was taught how to say, "I want."

The film implies that we are not totally "blank slates" when we were born. There are already innate capabilities within us. However, these innate behavior and capabilities are not enough. We need to interact with other people in order for us to learn, to live and to survive.

Favorite Quote:
"Even caring has an ulterior motive." - Dr. Paley

Watch it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Snow, Glass, Apples

Author: Neil Gaiman

Main Characters:
Snow White


"Snow, Glass, Apples" is the retelling of the famous fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from the point of view of the wicked stepmother of Snow White. In this story, the stepmother was illustrated as a wise queen who wants nothing but to rule a kingdom undisturbed by turmoil and iniquity. On the other hand, Snow White was described as a sinful blood sucker who killed her own father. To put an end to the young princess' immorality and vileness, the responsible queen killed her but then a prince came and brought her to life.

Two words that will describe this story: bloody and beautiful.

It is bloody because it tackles sex, incest, cannibalism, and witchcraft. These subjects were described by the author in graphic details so this is definitely not for young readers.

It is beautiful because Neil Gaiman wonderfully twisted the original story by giving the queen a chance to explain or present her side by narrating the story. From the queen's narration, we discovered that Snow White is a vampire who had sexual intercourse with her own father who was later on killed by Snow White by sucking his blood. The prince, on the other hand, is a necrophiliac that is why he fell in love with a corpse. The queen is not that bad because she has a good intention for killing Snow White.

Favorite Quote:
"They will have my body, but my soul and my story are my own, and will die with me." - queen

Bloody beautiful. Not for children!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Story of Love

Author: Ray Bradbury

Main Characters:
Ann Taylor - Teacher
Bob Spaulding - Student

This short story is about love between a teacher and her student and how they tried to resolve their conflict about their age gap.

It depicts how society and social norms can influence people in making decisions. Ann Taylor thought of what people might say or react if they would find out that she has a romantic involvement with her student who is ten years younger than her. Age does matter in a relationship. Morever, Ann is a teacher and she is not allowed to have an affair with him since he is a student. It would be against the Code of Ethics of Teachers. She chose her career over love.

The ending of the story is unforeseen. After two years when Bob left, Ann died and the author did not explain the details of the cause of Ann's death. He just left that hanging for the readers to ponder. On the other hand, after sixteen years, Bob got married. One might think that Bob's feelings for the teacher was only an infatuation but after sixteen years, he married a girl who is exactly the same as her.

Favorite Quote:
"I'll never forget you. I'll find a way of never forgetting you." - Bob Spaulding