Category Archives: Literature & Literacy

Catch up on the latest news about our books, authors, illustrators, partners, storytellers, and clients!

Save the Children + Adarna House: First, Read

“In other words, if early experiences with books and reading are fun, exciting, and enjoyable for a child, that child is likely to continue to feel that way about reading throughout life.”
—Emergent Literacy: Investing Early for Exponential Outcomes
(Save the Children US, Department of Education and Child Development)

Shared early literacy experiences build meaningful emotional bonds between parent and child, and also boost brain and language development. For many years, Save the Children Philippines, local arm of the world’s leading independent children’s organization, and Adarna House, pioneering creator of Filipino content, have worked together towards the shared goal of creating better lives for children through reading.

Foremost in this partnership is the Manguna sa Unang Pagbasa project, a writing contest for short stories and book concepts held in 2014 and 2016. The project resulted in three outstanding board books for children 0-4 years old.

Launched first was the winner of the first Manguna sa Unang Pagbasa contest, Dumaan si Butiki. Written by Gigi Constantino and illustrated by Ray Sunga, the board book challenges readers to find butiki on every page while teaching them about directions. Dumaan si Butiki was given a National Children’s Book Award in 2016 with this citation:

Sino ang mag-aakala na eksayting ang paglalakbay ng isang butiki? Sobrang nakakaaliw ang pagsulpot-sulpot kung saan-saang bahagi ng bahay ng butiki sa kuwento. Ang simpleng teksto ay nagamit pa upang ituro ang konsepto ng kabaliktaran, sa paraang kaaya-aya. Kung kaya, hindi ka magsasawa sa pagsubaybay sa lahat ng dinaanan ni Butiki. —Kristine Canon

From the same contest came the manuscript for Maghapon Namin ni Nanay, written by Genaro Gojo Cruz and illustrated by Nicole Lim. One of Adarna House’s bestselling board books, this is a tribute to the stay-at-home mother, whose presence fills her children’s day with happiness as they go through the day’s activities together.

The winner of the second Manguna sa Unang Pagbasa contest was Kayang-kaya! by Alyssa Judith Reyes. The story, illustrated by Liza Flores, encourages children to do things on their own and in process, develop self-confidence. This is also Adarna House’s first manipulative book, featuring a lacing toy on its back cover.

Because of partners like Save the Children Philippines, Adarna House now has a robust shelf of board books that help parents jumpstart their children’s reading journey. By working together, Save the Children Philippines and Adarna House hope to keep inspiring families to learn and above all, to read together.

Until June 22, these board books (and all other items) will be on sale at 20% OFF at the Adarna House Quezon City bookshop (Sct Torillo cor Sct Fernandez Sts) and online (


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buhangin o maliit na batóng makináng



Adarna House, the first and one of the largest publishers of children’s books in the Philippines, is now accepting applications to the 2019 Barláya Writers’ Workshop for Intermediate and Young Adult Literature.

BARLÁYA is a comprehensive workshop for crafting and developing books of intermediate and young adult writers in the Philippines.

The workshop is open to any Filipino citizen aged 18 years or older, and willing to attend monthly learning and writing sessions in Metro Manila. Accepted fellows are expected to attend ALL the sessions which will last from April to September 2019.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. Application form (to be downloaded here)
  2. Two (2) chapters of the novel-in-progress
  3. Outline or overview of the chapters
  4. Bio-data.

Submissions must be in hard copy, 1.5 space, Times New Roman 12 with 1-inch margins on short bond paper.

Submissions may be in either English or Filipino.

All submissions must be addressed and delivered to

Ani Almario / Barlaya Workshop
Adarna House
109 Scout Fernandez St
cor Scout Torillo St,
Brgy Sacred Heart
Quezon City 1103

Deadline of submission is on March 22, 2019.

For further queries, you may call e-mail jonnel[at]


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6th International and 48th National RAP Conference

The Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP), in partnership with Department of English and Department of Literature of the University of Santo Tomas, invites all teachers and reading advocates to the 6th International and 48th National RAP Conference with the theme Literacy Towards Civility.

All plenary sessions and research presentations will focus on Preservation of Heritage, Literacy Advocacy, Tolerance in the Midst of Diversity, Respectful Reading Education, Literacy for Social Change, Informed Decision Making, Critical Reading of Mass Media, and Ethics in Social Media.

The conference is happening on August 2-4, 2018 at the TARC Auditorium of University of Santo Tomas, Manila.

See the DepEd Memo here. For inquiries and registration, please email or contact:

Dr. Rosalyn G. Mirasol
Conference Director / 09150490370

Reading Association of the Philippines is an affiliate of International Literacy Association (formerly International Reading Association) in Delaware and was the first Southeast Asian organization listed.

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Summer reads for your kids!


Summer is here! Kids have a bunch of time to read and we’ve got you covered! They will surely enjoy the long vacation as Adarna House introduces its latest bundle of storybooks perfect for summer reading!

The Adarna House Storybook Boxes are specially curated to teach basic concepts and self-care using bilingual books. Each story box contains 5 storybooks.

Artboard 1

The Basic Concept box set teaches counting, animals, proper and common nouns, daily routine, concept of left and right, and perseverance.

Mario’s Special Day
A story of a boy who encounters various animals in his house, this book teaches children about counting and animals.

But That Won’t Wake me Up!
But That Won’t Wake me Up! is a book on the many ways one can wake up early in time for school.

Ang Kamatis ni Peles
Early readers learn about days of the week as they accompany Peles, a lazy grasshopper, who decides to plant tomatoes and to wait each day for his seeds to grow into red plump tomatoes!

Ako si Kaliwa, Ako si Kanan
Do the right slipper and the left slipper really get along? Find out in this amusing children’s story, created to be read alternately.

How Long Till September?
A girl enjoys the different activities each month brings, but deep in her heart, she wonders about one thing: how long till September? This book teaches counting and teaches the months of a year.

Artboard 2
While the first set teaches the basic concepts to kids, this box set teaches Self-care. These storybooks teach the importance of proper hygiene, eating healthy foods, virtue, and gaining self-confidence.

Ang Mabait na Kalabaw
The good carabao is a good role model. He always does good things. He gets along with his fellow carabaos. He has a love for truth, kindness, and beauty. It is fun to count the things on each page, from 1 to 13.

I Don’t Like to Eat
What happens to a little boy who only eats junk? I Don’t Like to Eat is a story about the consequences of eating unhealthy food.

Ang Mahiyaing Manok
Ang Mahiyaing Manok helps children overcome shyness, being different,
and fear of inadequacy. 

Just Add Dirt
Just Add Dirt teaches proper hygiene alongside teaching children different kinds of vegetables.

Alamat ng Ampalaya
The book Alamat ng Ampalaya invites children to give the bitter vegetable a chance while sharing important lessons such as being fair and grateful for what one has.

Grab these boxes this summer and have your kids reading!

The Adarna House Storybook Boxes are available exclusively at Fully Booked branches for PHP450 each.

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Top tips for a book-friendly home


Longer life, better memory, deeper empathy, more academic success—the list of benefits of being a book reader runs long. Which is why it is perfectly understandable for every parent to wish that their children would read more. So here are some tips for you to jumpstart the long-term project of making your home a haven for books!

Keep books accessible and visible. Let your children be exposed to books, so make these handy. Place books, for instance, near their toys, in their bedroom, in the living room, and other parts of that house where they usually stay. This way, they can easily grab a book whenever they want.

It is also important for emerging readers to be familiar with how books look. So, avoid putting books atop tall shelves, inside the cabinets, and other areas that are out of their sight. Also, display books with the covers visible to children. Unlike older readers, beginning readers usually pick a book based on the attractiveness of the cover.

Create a special place and time for reading. Designate a reading corner in your house. Carve out, for instance, a part of the toy room, living room, or their bedroom to become the reading corner. In this corner, creatively display books in shelves, hang some of them, or feature some prints of covers on the wall. It doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive, just remember that the atmosphere of the reading corner should be inviting and interesting to children.

Assign also an hour of the day or a day in the week dedicated to reading books. For younger children, bedtime is usually a sweet spot for reading time. Also, celebrate book events in your home, such as the National Children’s Book Day in July and the National Book Month in November.

Though children are free to read wherever and whenever they want, designating a place and time for reading gives them the impression that reading is a special activity.

Provide children with a varied selection of books. Many children easily get bored with the same material over and over again, so it is best to diversify the types of books available at your home. Some of the book types you may include are comics and graphic novels, chapter books and novels, board books, and picture and storybooks. Other reading materials, such as magazines and posters, should also be welcomed.

Some children are also reluctant to read because we introduce books to them as something serious and in competition with their toys and gadgets. But books can actually be toys and in gadgets too. Interactive books, such as flip-the-flaps and pop-ups, as well as audiobooks and ebooks, are some of the few examples.

Make sure they see you reading! We can encourage children to read all we want, but if they do not see the people around them reading, they will never think that reading is worthwhile. When they see that an adult they love, respect, and look up to takes time out of the day to pick up a book, they realize, by implication, that books are things to be enjoyed. All these tips will work best if you find time to model reading to them and to read with them.

Easy-to-follow tips, right? And if you’re planning to stock up on books for this project, Adarna House can help you with the perfect book for any reading level. Just head on to and browse our catalog by age.

(The online bookshop sale of 20% off across all items is ongoing until Dec.15, while our bookshop sale will last until Dec.21 in North Luzon and Dec.22 in Quezon City.)

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Teaching History and Social Studies with Fiction


Fiction?! Does fiction have a place in the facts-driven world of History and Social Studies classes? There is, through historical fiction!

Historical fiction is a genre of literature with a story set in the past and typically features real-life people and events. With forms including novels, picture books, and comics, historical fiction is a popular genre of books written for kids and teens.

There are already numerous studies that emphasize the benefits of utilizing historical fiction in the History and Social Studies classes. Four of the most important ones are below.

  1. Historical fiction is an entertaining and engaging read for children. While children usually associate textbooks with schoolwork, works of fiction are usually for pleasure and leisure. So, historical fiction can serve as a breather in between their information heavy and serious textbooks. A lot of historical fiction titles also employ humor and sprinkle interesting trivia in the story. The illustrations too in some book forms easily catch children’s attention, so 12:01 and Isang Harding Papel, both set during the Martial Law period, will definitely be a hit for children.
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  2. Historical fiction provides an in-depth description of people’s lives in the past. Because most history textbooks aim on covering as many topics as possible, important individuals, places, and events are usually reduced to a few sentences. With historical fiction, however, children can imagine what places looked like in the past and how people lived, talked, dressed, and so on. More so with historical fiction in picture book forms, since these provide illustrations of the actual objects, places, and people of a certain period. The Batang Historyador picture books, for instance, are filled with illustrations on five periods in Philippine history.
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  3. Historical fiction presents the complexity of historical events. We all know how complex lives are whether in the past or today, but many textbooks just present history as single-sided and one-dimensional. Historical fiction tries to break this misconception by exposing readers to multiple perspectives. Children, for example, get to see the different sides of a historical character’s actions and decisions and how these were different from the other characters. In the novel Woman in a Frame, readers can journey to two time periods through the eyes of Sining Librado and Marcela Simbulan.
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  4. Historical fiction, lastly, allows children to connect with historical persons. Having an in-depth and broad view of a historical event can develop in readers empathy, a key aspect in making informed decisions. The good thing too with historical fiction written for children is that it usually features children as protagonists, so present readers can easily relate to people in the past. In Si Ambongan, for instance, the story of Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival in Mactan is told through the experience of the boy Ambongan.

And to smoothly include historical fiction in class, teachers should note that historical fiction only serves as a supplementary reading material to historical texts, such as biographies and documents. Children should also be taught how to distinguish the fictive from the factual elements in a historical fiction work.

* All the books mentioned above are currently on sale at the Adarna House bookshops (online and Quezon City) and will also be available at Christmas sale prices during A Christmas Treat for Readers.

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Umuulan ng Libro: Philippine Children’s Book Summit

Phil Children's Book Summit poster

In celebration of the 32nd National Children’s Book Day, the National Book Development Board (NBDB) in partnership with the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) will be holding a summit, entitled “Umuulan ng Libro: Philippine Children’s Book Summit,” on July 21, 2015 in Quezon City.

The Philippine Children’s Book Summit will feature international and local speakers who will tackle different vital topics concerning children’s literature in the country. Discussions on the Asian children’s book industry, best practices in copyright, and Filipino comics, among others, will take place. Also attending the event are Malaysian children’s book illustrator Wen Dee Tan and Japanese poet Mariko Nagai.

In addition, the summit will feature a performance by a children’s choir, a book fair, and the awarding of the 2015 PBBY Salanga Writer’s Prize and the 2015 PBBY Alcala Illustrator’s Prize. The summit will also feature different local children’s book publishers.

This summit is open to teachers, students, educators, librarians, publishers, authors and illustrators. The registration fee is PHP600, with students getting a 50% discount. See program below.

For more information about the summit, you may visit the Summit’s Facebook event page (here) or contact the PBBY (02-352-6765 loc. 204 or pbby[at]

program for the Philippine Children's Book Summit. Registration fee is PHP600. Students will receive a 50% discount.

Program for the Philippine Children’s Book Summit.
Registration fee is PHP600. Students will receive a 50% discount.


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