From Asia with Love Illustrator Sketchpad Meet the Storyteller poet's sanctum Reading Themes

Featured Guests for our “From Asia with Love” Bimonthly Theme, May-June 2013

We are very excited to announce our featured guests this May-June 2013 for our bimonthly theme From Asia With Love – A Feast of Asian Literature.


Featured Book Artist: Naomi Kojima


Naomi Kojima photo1

Born in Japan, Naomi Kojima has divided her life between the United States and Japan. Her first two picture books, Mr. and Mrs. Thief  and  The Flying Grandmother were published in the United States, and were later published in Japan as translation. The Flying Grandmother was selected for the 50 best designed books of the year contest by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. She is the author and illustrator of many picture books, including Singing Shijimi Clams, and is the translator of Dear Genius, The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom. Her picture books have been published in Japan, United States, France, Sweden, and Indonesia.
I met Naomi through the Asian Festival of Children’s Content sometime in 2010. It brings me such great pleasure to see her every year since then and I am glad to feature her picture books here in GatheringBooks. She will also be giving a Keynote for this year’s Festival entitled Reaching for the World: The Art of Asian Illustrators in Children’s Books.


Illustrator’s Sketchpad: Susanna Goho-Quek


Susanna trained and worked as a fashion designer until her marriage in 1971, then was a housewife until becoming an interior designer and artist in 1991. Susanna has written and illustrated an original children’s story book “God Is Hu?” A version of this book was produced using textures and Braille, for the visually handicapped. Most recently she has completed illustrations for the original fairy tale “A Single Tear” written by KK Seet. In her spare time she teaches children’s art at the National Geographic store in Kuala Lumpur. Her latest project is training refugee teenagers to become art instructors to preschool-age children. 

Aunty Susanna was also our Guest Artist for my book club for young readers here in Singapore (Gathering Readers). Truly a passionate, vibrant, and dynamic spirit. She will be the Curator of the Book Illustrators Gallery for Asian Festival of Children’s Content this year.


Poet’s Sanctum: Kristian Jeff Cortez Agustin


Born in 1984, the Year of the Rat, and a ‘Cancerian’, he delves into art and poetry as an effective means of self-expression and learning. In 2012, Agustin accomplished his Master’s degree in Visual Culture at the University of Westminster, London in 2012, after completing his dissertation on ‘social media interventions in governance and subject formation’. In 2006, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, where he co-founded the Sirkulo ng mga Kabataang Artista (‘Circle of Young Artists’) in 2002 and served as its Artistic Director to date.

His recent collaborations include: calligraphy work in ‘Fishes of Light’ / ‘Peces de Luz’ (March 2013) by lauded Filipina writer Professor Marjorie Evasco and award-winning Cuban poet and dramatist Alex Fleites; his libretto ‘Ageless Passion’ (2011), a musicale for retired Philippine Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban with original music by Filipino Maestro Ryan Cayabyab; and his calligraphy, logo design and concept art for Earth.Ø (2012), a transmedia project in London conceptualized by Yen Ooi.

His debut collection of poetry + photography (in collaboration with other literary artists from London, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Manila) and portfolio of works are available online via www.universeandwords.comHe gained membership in The Poetry Society in 2012, a charitable institution in the UK promoting British and International poetry.

I have not met Jeff personally yet, but he came highly recommended by a very good friend of mine. I am looking forward to sharing a few of his poems for Poetry Friday this May/June.

Very exciting times in GatheringBooks, indeed. How about you, dear friends, what’s going on in your blog/website this May/June?

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 our “From Asia with Love” Bimonthly Theme, May-June 2013

  1. Terrific to meet illustrators new to me, Myra. I’m looking forward to this new theme. My May/June is exciting, just posted yesterday about some new adventures coming up. Hope you are settling in!


  2. Pingback: [Monday Reading] The ‘delicacy’ in Mitsumasa Anno’s Picture Books |

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