Conferences and Events Picture Books

Talk on Children’s Literature for the Ministry of Education HQ Library Exhibit 2010

It is a privilege to have been invited yet again to share what I know about children’s literature for the Ministry of Education Headquarters (MOE HQ) Annual Library Exhibition this 2010. They have a smorgasbord of “library talks” for this week ranging from using augmented reality in learning to making things visible to ICT in education and even a talk on neurofeedback (learning about how the brain works and peak performance). My talk was scheduled for this afternoon and I am glad to see a pretty good turnout – it just goes to show the commitment to literacy and reading among MOE folks.

In contrast to the talk that I gave for the Society for Reading and Literacy several weeks back (you can find my blog post on that here), this talk deals less with my personal journeys as a reader, but more on elements that they should be on the look out for as a reader when they look at/ buy/ borrow/ review picture books. I suppose this entire website is predicated on my advocacy (and I suppose I speak for the entire GatheringBooks team as well) to make more people be aware that children’s literature and YA fiction are not just for babies, kids, young children – but are for the continually awe-struck, intelligent, curious child in each one of us. And that there are indeed very clear-cut elements in picture books that could not help but challenge the mind of the young reader – while making them squeal in delight as they look at the illustrations and read the text-narrative.

I also made sure that I brought with me quite a number of books that would help bring home the points that I was raising during the talk. So yes, my husband and I were lugging a little suitcase of sorts to share some of my own book collection – while several have been borrowed from the community libraries here in Singapore (which are just plain a-ma-zing, I have to blog about that separately). As you can see here in this picture, I am holding Emily Gravett’s Little Mouse’s Book of Fears. I also shared Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, Graeme Base’s Eleventh Hour, Fred Gwynne’s A Chocolate Moose for Dinner, Margaret Wild and Anne Spudvilas’ Woolvs in the Sitee, David Almond’s The Savage, Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s Squids will be Squids, and Tony Diterlizzi’s The Spider and the Fly among others.

It truly is such a blessing to be able to share one’s passion in such a venue and hopefully transmit that wonderful love for reading (through osmosis, if possible) with more people. Here are more photos taken by my ever-supportive hubby who stayed through my entire talk to document the entire proceeding.

And the talk begins…

Quite a good turn out

My hope is that they get to see picture books now with new eyes.

And realize that the magic of picture books knows no age limit. And that children’s literature can be as equally moving as adult narratives. Hopefully, one day, we get to recapture the lost art of story-telling. =)

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

6 comments on “Talk on Children’s Literature for the Ministry of Education HQ Library Exhibit 2010

  1. Dear Dr Garces-Bascal,

    I enjoyed the lunchtime talk. It was worth giving up the lunch hour! 🙂

    Could I ask what is the URL of the site which you shared earlier where it had videos of a person reading the story out loud?

    Thank you!!



    • Mary of GatheringBooks

      Hi musing,

      I’ll let Myra know that you enjoyed the talk. To help you out, for easy access to our main site you can simply click on the “GB” logo at the right side column of this blog. However, for the url, its:

      Hope you enjoy your visit to our site.



    • myragarcesbacsal

      Hi Musing, Glad to hear from you. This is the website that I showed you yesterday during the talk:
      Let me know if you have further questions. =)


  2. Looks like there wasn’t an empty chair in the room. What a fabulous turnout.

    A few years ago I was sitting at a park while my daughter played and was reading a YA novel. A mom sat down next to me and said how impressed she was that a 7 year old would be reading the book in my hands. I told her that it wasn’t my daughter’s book but mine! She couldn’t believe that I would “want” to read a YA book! I told her that I could care less what age group it was intended for, that if it appealed to me and I wanted to read it I would. I asked her if she ever read the books her older kids did and she said never. So sad I thought to myself! Wish she could have been to your lecture!


    • myragarcesbacsal

      I know. Really sad that a lot of people are missing out on quite a lot of moving and soul-enriching narratives simply because they dislike a genre that they have not even tried yet. Right now, given my craaaazy workload, I have little time to really read YA lit as much as I want to – so I read (and review) picture books instead. C’est la vie. We do what we can. =) And yup, I borrowed Naming Maya as was recommended in paper tigers – question is if I’d have the time to read it =( Still reading Maus II to my 8 year old. =)


  3. Pingback: GatheringBooks Asks: Myra |

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