Filipino Children’s Books and Resources for Teaching Culture and Language
Last year I posted an article called 5 Filipino Children’s Books You’ll Love which received a lot of positive feedback from families and educators who were looking to add more Filipino children’s books to their library collection. Ever since then, I’ve been hoping to add more posts like it, to showcase all the great books that are available for families interested in Filipino American literature.
In the last few months, I have been fortunate enough to come across several great new books and resources on the market, many of which have only just been released in the past few months.
So here is my latest spotlight on Filipino children’s books which features several books and resources that you’ll adore! Not only are they wonderful for teaching culture and language in the home or in the classroom, you’ll be proud of the Filipino and Filipino American entrepreneurs who are producing them!
Check them out below along with links for how to purchase them. Many are available directly from the publisher’s website while others can also be accessed on Amazon or iBooks.
Disclosure Statement: This post may contain some affiliate links. I received complimentary products for some of these resources. However, as always, all opinions are my own. Read full blog disclosure statement.
Written by Cel Tria
Illustrated by Gel Relova
Published by Philip & Ana Publishing
Francesca Isa, Dalawa, Sorpresa! A Fabulous Celebration is the first book published by Philip & Ana Publishing. It is a cute counting book for kids who are learning or already know how to speak Tagalog.
I loved the colorful pictures of Francesca’s birthday celebration and had fun spotting the traditional Filipino favorites, such as the Filipino style spaghetti (found at every Filipino birthday party I have ever been to) and the hanging prizes game called pabitin that is a beloved favorite by many kids.
Francesca is available both as a print and a digital version and there are benefits to both. The paperback displays the English and Tagalog words side-by-side so young learners can see both languages at the same time. Since my Tagalog is not that great, I appreciated the English translation that goes along with the Tagalog.
In the digital version, the book is split between the English and Tagalog translations, with the option to hear the story read aloud in either English or Tagalog. Nikki Gil, a famous Filipino actress and singer actually did the voice recording for this book so be sure to check it out!
I would actually suggest both paperback and digital versions so you can learn in different ways whether by audio, visual, or with/without the Tagalog translation, depending on your kid’s language level abilities.
Written by Jocelyn Francisco, Ph. D.
Illustrated by Jamie Lee Ortiz
I absolutely love Oh My Kulay! I was lucky enough to meet with the author, Jocelyn Francisco, a few weeks ago to chat about her book. I was inspired by her creative ideas for passing on Filipino culture and language to a younger generation.
Author of two other books, Little Yellow Jeepney and Isa, Dalawa, Tatlo…Ito Ay Obalo! Numbers and shapes in Filipino, Joy continues to brainstorm and dream about future book projects that focus on teaching different aspects of Filipino culture.
I was first attracted to Oh My Kulay! because of the bright colors. Every page features a different color with fruit and veggies to match, along with the Tagalog translations. This is a great book for children learning the names of colors, veggies, and fruit. If you visit the book website, you can also download free coloring pages to go along with the book.
Written by Denise Cruz-Zara
Illustrated by Ethel Martinez, Gunita Designs
Edited by JL Hernandez
Published by 1020 Press
I discovered 1020 Press on Instagram and was excited to learn more about their latest project, a Philippines travel kit and guide for kids called Larga! (Lets Go!)
Made with the young traveler in mind, the box comes filled with a travel journal, a postcard, two Filipino games with instructions on how to play, and a map with a travel destination guide on the back showing the top 12 destinations to visit in the Philippines.
While looking over all these materials, I became nostalgic for visiting the Philippines. I need to go back to visit! I miss it so much!
I think this is a unique and wonderful idea for any families traveling to the Philippines with kids and hoping to teach them more about the culture throughout the trip. I know that if I had this journal when I was younger, I would have filled it with all the details about my adventures.
You can find cultural tidbits and language throughout the journal and guide which makes it easy for self learning without feeling like it’s learning! I would definitely recommend this and can’t wait for when I have kids and be able to do activities like this with them.
This travel kit also happens to be illustrated by Filipino American artist Ethel Martinez of Gunita Designs. I actually featured Ethel on an earlier post Meet the Filipino American Entrepreneur Behind Gunita Designs and I’m so glad to see her work used in this awesome project.
You can purchase Larga! on the 1020 Press website. Recommended for kids 6 and up.
Free Printables Created by Fil-Am Leaners
I’ve been following Fil-Am Learners on Instagram for a while now and love the activities they provide! And the best part is that they are FREE! Simply go to the resources page and add the activities to your cart to download.
Fil-Am Learners was featured last year in our November newsletter because of the great Thanksgiving Day activities they provide. I just love how a lot of activities include creative elements for learning.
Whether you’re wanting to teach your children more Filipino words or expressions, celebrate upcoming holidays with fun family craft activities, or use more Filipino activities in the classroom, this is a valuable resource to know about. It not only allows kids to practice using and speaking Tagalog words, it is an opportunity for them to think creatively on their own, with a hands-on approach to learning.
Visit https://filamlearners.com for more info.
Did you enjoy these books and resources? Do you know of other Filipino American children’s books you want to recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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