The Book


The Story
This book is about Charlie, a friendly five year old boy, who goes on a picnic with his Mama and younger brother.  During the picnic, Charlie tells his Mama about his various “likes”, the things he likes and the things he likes to do throughout his day.  At the end of the book, Charlie lets his Mama in on his secret:  that what he really likes in the whole wide world is her. 

This book was inspired by a conversation I had a year ago with my then five year old son, Charlie, while we were taking a snack break from our afternoon walk.  While munching on an apple, he told me, “Ganahan ko ug bugs; ganahan ko ug Batman, Spiderman, catsup, chicken nuggets…”  To keep the conversation going, I kept asking him what else he liked.  After many “likes’, he put his face really close to mine and whispered, “pero sa tanan tanan tanan, ganahan ko sa imo!”  This unsolicited, innocent, and heart warming proclamation of love became the seed of this book which
primarily aims to capture and celebrate the uncomplicated love that five year old boys (or girls) have for their mothers (or fathers or other caregivers).

The Goals
A major goal that I hope to achieve by writing and publishing this book is to contribute to the scant collection of children’s books that feature kids like Charlie who belong to multicultural and multilingual households.  Much has been said about the lack of diversity and representation in the publishing world, especially in children's books, and publishing this book (and hopefully more, in the future!) is my way of being involved..  Below are links for some of these discussions:

Specifically, this book features a Filipino American kid who lives a life that is steeped in both Filipino and mainstream American cultures.  I hope that Filipino-American kids like Charlie would read this book and see in Charlie's black hair and brown skin a familiar look/face.  I also hope that they would see in Charlie's distinctly Filipino “likes” (e.g eating Sinigang, calling his Lolo and Lola, being a Kuya) a familiar experience.  At the same time, I hope that all kids, whether they’re Filipino or not, would read the book and connect with Charlie’s five year old vivacious energy.  

Additionally, because the book is translated into both Tagalog (the Filipino national language) and Bisaya (a major Filipino dialect), I hope Filipino American parents like me would use it as a tool with which they could pass on to their children not only their language but also the Filipino culture.   

The Author

I am the mother of two young boys, a published fiction writer, dance instructor, and an immigration and bankruptcy attorney.

I was born and raised in the Philippines until I was sixteen when I immigrated to the United States with my family.  Because of this background, I am very conscious of issues that involve multicultural identities and multicultural representation (or the lack of it) in the mainstream American culture.  

I married my husband in 2004 and we had our first child (Charlie) in 2008, our second (Jack) in 2011.  Right around when Charlie turned one in 2009, I started looking for books that featured Filipino American stories that I could read to him.  I’ve realized since then that very few children’s books provide what I look for:  stories that feature Filipino American kids like him or tell of and celebrate their experiences, mundane or otherwise, as part of the American society.   This despite the facts that there are over 3 million Filipino Americans in this country and that Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian group in the country.  It was then that I decided that I would create my own books. 

I have learned many things related to publishing and children's book since that decision.  I have also met many people who have been very supportive and helpful.  With such support, I know this project will be successful.

The Illustrator
Andrew Rodgers is a California based illustrator who was born and raised in the Bay Area.  He graduated from the Academy of Art where his work appeared in the Academy's Fall and Spring Shows.  He loves to draw people and animals, and focuses his style on shape and line.  He also likes to use pattern and color to tell stories through  illustrations in digital media and watercolor. He has always been inspired by the illustrations in the books that he read and video games that he played. His passion is to create worlds of his own and to inspire future generations to go off and do the same thing.

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