Even as a child, I was more drawn to letters and words than I was drawn numbers. I think this is part of how I developed innately. I also think that part of it was nurtured by my parents. Both my parents enjoyed reading novels. My dad loved reading the paper every day, as he sat comfortably in his wingback chair in the living room by the bay window.
As kids, we all fought over the Sunday comics. (or maybe, I fought to read them first?) I remember my dad encouraging us to read the comics, and then later to read different articles of our own choice so we that could summarize what we learned to my dad. At some point in my childhood, I remember my dad subscribing to The New York Times. That was also around the same time that he was trying to instill in all of us, the importance of understanding current events. I was probably about 14 years old…already interested in other things, and I would usually choose a lighter article to read and summarize for my Dad when he would ask.
It’s funny, how things always come full circle. I find myself quoting my dad, my mom, and even my Auntie Anne sometimes, when raising my children. When it comes to reading, I know that part of nurturing and instilling a love of books and reading is providing the example of my kids seeing ME read, and of course starting to read to them at an early age.
I have done this with all of my kids when they were small.
I have even incorporated reading into my kids’ yoga classes. Sometimes, when I look at the kids playing on their electronics, I wish that they were holding a book instead of that hand held controller…
Ok. I wish that a lot.
UNICEF recently launched a new collection of six new books which can spark any child’s imagination while promoting reading in a way that kids can easily relate to in both Filipino and English.
Studies have shown that reading to your kids at an early age can:
- grow a healthy imagination
- think creatively
- develop empathy for others
- learn how to express themselves in a healthy way
- grow up to become better problem solvers
- have a high self esteem
- develop language skills earlier
“Children learn language quickly and easily through hearing and singing songs, having stories told or read to them, repeating rhymes and playing games. Having a supportive environment in these early years will help children get ready for school and life-long learning.” said Lotta Sylwander UNICEF Philippines Representative.
This collection of six books by some of the most notable Filipino writers and artists also includes the storybook Anita, The Duckling Diva written by UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children Anne Curtis.
Anita, The Duckling Diva tells the story of how one little duckling can overcome her shyness with the help of her family and friends.
Michelle Borremeo spearheaded this release of two new titles for children by UNICEF. By revisiting four classic children’s books, adding English and even giving some of the illustrations a more updated look, she hoped to not only fundraise for UNICEF, but promote skills and habits for children that would inspire a love of reading and prepare children for school.
During the launch of the new set of books, Anne Curtis read to a group of children who not only enjoyed the moral of the story from Anita, The Duckling Diva, but also the animated story telling skills of Anne as she read the story to them in Tagalog.
Anne shared that her inspiration for the book came from the children she is able to work with through UNICEF. She said she realized that many kids battle shyness, just like Anita does in the book, and she felt she could empower children through Anita’s experience.
I think these books are wonderful. When we first moved, I looked for books similar to this. I wanted to read books to the kids at night where I could practice my Tagalog and the kids could get acquainted with these stories which were probably familiar to others growing up here in the Philippines.
When I realized that best selling author Augie Rivera, who also wrote the book Alamat ng Ampalaya, and coached Anne through her writing her first book, I was so amused! He has written 15 different books for kids of any age to enjoy…It makes me want to revisit those books that I first bought when we moved here, too!
If you would like to purchase CHILDREN FIRST books, check out the following locations:
Alabang Town Center
SM City Marikina
SM Center Molino
SM City Sta. Rosa
The District Cavite
Baby & Family Expo, Megatrade Hall 2, SM Megamall
SM City Baguio
SM City Lucena
SM Lanang Premier
You can also purchase the books through UNICEF on Ebay.ph:
Peter A. Ressa says
Michelle, Interesting article! I do not think you know that Mom (Hermelina The Great) did charitable events for UNICEF at the UN… I remember attending one of them and just by mentioning Mom’s name I was allowed to park right on the UN grounds on first Avenue. You could imagine my surprise. I met Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary) after he sang “Puff The Magic Dragon” to the children. Wow, was I impressed!