One of the toughest things about being in a conference is deciding which among the amazing sessions available would you attend. I was torn between attending Holly Thompson‘s keynote address on “Novels Set in Asia – Selling them Overseas” and Naomi Kojima’s “Reaching Out to the World – The Art of Asian Illustrators in Children’s Books.” Both keynote presentations were packed full of people. I eventually ended up attending Naomi’s session as she is also our featured Storyteller in GatheringBooks until end of June.
I thought I already knew a lot of Asian authors – but Naomi introduced so many new names and so many book titles that I am bringing an entire knapsack to our library this weekend just to make sure that I borrow as many books as I can find. Here are a few that she recommended. Truly a smorgasbord of Asian Literature – perfect for our current bimonthly theme!
Trust me when I say that I have learned a great deal from this session.
The Umbrella Thief by Sri Lankan book artist Sybil Wettasinghe
Zhu Cheng Liang’s A New Year’s Reunion.
Naomi also noted that more than the art, the reader has to be keenly aware of the book’s function – the rhythm of the words, the pacing, the page turn. The picture book itself is an art expression, how all the pictures are seamlessly tied together. It is not just the individual art work on each page but how everything comes together and are connected in a coherent fashion.
Ryoji Arai’s It’s Morning So I’ll Open the Window.
Naomi describes the art work to be mischievous, encouraging children to paint and draw their own stories.
One, Two, Tree! by Anushka Ravishankar (who also happens to be the Moderator in Naomi’s session during the AFCC, how cool is that!) as illustrated by Durga Bai. Naomi describes the book and the illustrations to be both whimsical and appealing.
Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen
Iku Dekune’s The Skipping Green as written by Naoko Awa.
Ziva Voda a collection of Czech folktales as written by Karel Jaromir Erben and illustrated by Iku Dekune. Look at that artwork!
Lee Young-Kyoung’s Four Strokes and a Half.
Naomi noted that the book reminds her of the slow hours of childhood through the drawings/illustrations.
Yusof Gajah from Malaysia who also delivered his own keynote speech during the AFCC.
Jainal Amambing’s Long House Days
Baasansuren Bolormaa’s My Little Round House.
100 in Total by Masayuki Sebe
The Tiny King by Taro Miura
A House of 100 stories by Toshio Iwai
Komako Sakai’s Hannah
Chihiro Iwasaki’s Children Playing with Hand Puppets.