Academic Nook Arts Corner Meet the Storyteller Oddballs and Misfits Reading Themes

Featured Guests for Oddballs and Misfits Theme: An Oscar/Academy Award Winner, a Linguist, and an Artist


We are super excited to share our featured guests for March and April. Given our current bimonthly theme on Oddballs and Misfits, I thought that there could only be one possible featured storyteller, the Master of Surreal artwork in children’s lit, the quintessentially-peculiar and exceedingly-talented book artist himself:

Featured Book Artist: Shaun Tan


This portrait of Shaun Tan is taken from Cheryl Rain Field's Blog. Click on the image to be taken to the websource.
This portrait of Shaun Tan is taken from Cheryl Rain Field’s Blog. Painting by Nick Stathopoulos. Click on the image to be taken to the websource.

I have been wooing Shaun to visit Singapore as a Keynote Speaker for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content for quite awhile now. However, his extremely busy schedule makes it difficult for him to do a short side-trip here. And so my heart is bursting with so much happiness when he said yes to being featured this March/April in GatheringBooks. *Sprinkles fairy dust in the air in sheer joy* Whee!

Shaun Tan won an Oscar Award for his animated short film (culled from his picture book) The Lost Thing in 2011 and was the recipient of the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Melbourne artist Shaun Tan won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film award for The Lost Thing. Pic: AP Photo/Matt Sayles Source: AP. Click on the image to be taken to the websource.
Melbourne artist Shaun Tan won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film award for The Lost Thing. Pic: AP Photo/Matt Sayles Source: AP. Click on the image to be taken to the websource.

I got his bio from his website.

Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery. Books such as The RabbitsThe Red TreeTales from Outer Suburbia and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, and worked as a concept artist for the filmsHorton Hears a Who and Pixar’s WALL-E, and directed the Academy Award winning short film The Lost Thingwith Passion Pictures Australia. In 2011 he received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, honouring his contribution to international children’s literature (source here). Click here to be taken to his official website.

We have featured several of Shaun Tan’s multi-award-winning-books here in GatheringBooks: The ArrivalTales from Outer Suburbiaand The Rabbits with John Marsden.

Academic Nook


Photo taken while we were in Helsinki, Finland.

I am sooo glad to welcome back my dear linguist friend, Professor Tuting Hernandez in GatheringBooks as our featured Academic. A year ago, we also invited him to contribute a piece for our Fractured Fairy Tales bimonthly theme which he entitled: “Done Kissing Frogs.” I just know that Oddballs and Misfits would resonate with Tuting as he is the Queen of the Peculiar, the Diva among all of them Oddballs. He redefines the entire concept of surreal and strangeness and makes it nothing but mainstream. He is that brilliant, and more.

Tuting Hernandez teaches at the Department of Linguistics, University of the Philippines in Diliman. His research interests include the documentation of endangered languages and cultures in the Philippines and Philippine diachronic linguistics. He currently lives with his three canine companions, Nigel, Matilda and Balto. You can reach him through tutingh (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Featured Artist: Danny Castillones Sillada



I ‘met’ Danny through mutual Facebook friends. While we have not met personally, I have always been awed and intrigued by the artwork and the essays that he shares on Facebook. His works also border on the strange and the surreal, and I am so glad that he said yes to being our featured Artist for March/April. Welcome to GatheringBooks, Danny! Here is his brief bio:

DANNY CASTILLONES SILLADA is a Filipino multidisciplinary artist, thinker and writer. He is an accomplished surrealist painter, sculptor and installation artist, philosopher, multilingual poet, essayist, musician, performance artist, photographer, and indie filmmaker—replete with body of works in each field of aesthetics. He is also a critic and feature writer contributing for Manila Bulletin, one of the leading daily papers in the country.

He obtained his degrees on Philosophy and English Literature (AB Classical) at the Queen of Apostles College Seminary, theological studies on Sacred Theology (STB) and postgraduate study on Pastoral Theology at the UST Ecclesiastical Faculty (Theology), and MBA at the Ateneo de Manila University (AGSB).

His works (art, music, film, and poetry) have been exhibited, shown, and performed in the Philippines, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, and USA (New York and New Jersey). To date, he has already launched 14 one-man art exhibits both local and abroad, three music albums, and limited editions of chapbook of poems.

In 2012, he was the only Filipino included in a book “Modern Vintage Illustration,” which is composed of some of the best illustrators across the globe, written by a British author Martin Dawber under Anova Books, UK. In the same year, his short poetry film “The Door of an Abandoned Old House” was also included at the Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin, Germany.

This year, Sillada is one of the six Filipinos to represent in ‘World Poetry Peace Festival’ at Ike’s Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada on April 4-30th, 2013. Click on the following links to be taken to his official website, his music (The Mangayaw), Facebook page, and his blog.

How about you, dear friends, what is going on in your blog this March/April?

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).

2 comments on “Featured Guests for Oddballs and Misfits Theme: An Oscar/Academy Award Winner, a Linguist, and an Artist

  1. Pingback: Monday Reading: A Philosopher Bogeyman and a Fiercely-Gentle Bull – Meet Fungus and Ferdinand |

  2. Pingback: Arts Corner: Installation, Nail-Art, and Hydrokinetic Sculpture |

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