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These gorgeously illustrated picture books bring Filipino stories to the world. Printed + media-rich digital books.
These gorgeously illustrated picture books bring Filipino stories to the world. Printed + media-rich digital books.
304 backers pledged $18,634 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$18,634

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When you think of the books you loved as a child, did any have Filipino heroes? Were they set in a Spanish-Creole-speaking city at the tip of the Sulu Archipelago? Did they take you to an underwater city filled with sassy, multi-tasking sea creatures? Did they introduce you to the quirky monsters of Philippine folklore, or teach you how to apologize to fairies?

Sari-Sari Storybooks is an indie publisher of Filipino picture books, for ages 5-8. "Aren't there already beautiful Filipino picture books in the world?" you might ask. Yes, there are many, but Sari-Sari Storybooks fill a unique space because:

  • They're written to under-represented Philippine language groups. These books promote language renewal by targeting young speakers of languages like Ivatan, Cebuano, Chavacano, Waray, Ayta, and Meranaw.

  • They'll publish as both media-rich digital books and printed books, giving readers an interactive experience of Philippine cultures.

  • The series will be published in the U.S., as well as the Philippines, connecting Filipino-American children to their heritage. Diverse books also benefit all children by opening their minds to different cultures, and strengthen the social fabric.

"Melo the Umang-Boy" (an Ivatan Tale from northern Luzon)
Melo is a painfully shy little boy living with his grandmother and uncle. One day he visits a magical, busy city on the bottom of the ocean, filled with talking sea creatures. Disaster strikes the city, and he must overcome his shyness to help the sea creatures rebuild. Story by Alyssa Sarmiento-Co and Christina Newhard. Illustrations by Jaypee Portez.

 

 

"Kalipay and the Tiniest Tiktik" (a Cebuano Tale from the Visayas)
Kalipay makes an unusual new friend in Gamay, who has a long tongue, bat-wings, and is a devoted vegetarian. This is a story about the power of friendship, play, and what it means to be different. Story by Christina Newhard. Illustrations by Happy Garaje.

 

 

"Amina and the City of Flowers" (a Chavacano Tale from southern Mindanao)
Amina, a young Yakan weaver, is homesick for Basilan, but she finds inspiration for her loom in the diversity and color of her new home, Zamboanga City. Story by Christina Newhard. Illustrations by Robbie Bautista.

 

 

Language diversity worldwide is currently in crisis. Nearly HALF (46%) of the world's 7,000 languages are now endangered (source: Endangered Languages Catalogue). Valuable scientific and historical information embedded in these languages could be lost.

Southeast Asia is a global hotspot for language diversity. Within the Philippines, there is momentum toward language revitalization, with a history of multilingual language activism. In addition, the Department of Education's mother tongue-based education for young children is now in its 4th year. This project aims to complement this momentum, with books that support reading and discussion in these languages.

 

The first book in the series, "Melo the Umang-Boy," is completed and doesn't need funding to print the U.S. or Philippine editions.

This Kickstarter is raising $14,000 for the second and third books, to pay for the printing costs of "Kalipay and the Tiniest Tiktik," and "Amina and the City of Flowers." $14,000 will cover the printing of both the U.S. and Philippine editions.

 

In the U.S., Sari-Sari Storybooks is partnering with the Filipino School of New York-New Jersey, Arkipelago Books in San Francisco, Philippine Expressions Bookshop in Los Angeles and Ivatan USA (among others) to connect these stories directly with Fil-Am readers. 

In the Philippines, our distribution partners include Library Renewal Partnership (a non-profit dedicated to building libraries throughout the Philippines), the Soar High Knowledge Foundation of Lanao, and the Batanes Department of Education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges of publishing these children's books can come from a few directions, from keeping the creative production on schedule, to printing glitches or delays, to finding the right distributor for the long-term availability of Sari-Sari Storybooks.

I've spent my career working as a graphic designer in New York, with 20 years in the industry. I have extensive experience in design, print production and art direction. Problem-solving as issues arise is part of my job as a designer. We are working with Tien Wah Press in Singapore and LSA Printing Press in the Philippines, which are experienced and reputable book printers. Our illustrators are also experienced professionals.

I have been developing this project for 4 years, and I am firmly committed to seeing it completed.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    1 E-Book

    Your choice of 1 digital book (epub format for iPad, Nook, or Google Play. NOTE: Not available for Kindle). Choose "Melo," "Kalipay," or "Amina."

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    1 Printed Book

    1 Printed Book. Choose from "Melo," "Kalipay," or "Amina."

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    3 Printed Books

    Your choice of 3 printed books. Choose from "Melo," "Kalipay," or "Amina."

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    3 Book Package

    Your choice of 3 printed books, 3 e-books, and downloadable phone art of our characters. A vegetarian manananggal for your iPhone!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Fiesta! Book Party Package*

    Host your own Filipino children's book party with 10 printed books + 10 sticker sets + 10 "I Love Filipino Stories" temporary tattoos.

    *Lechon not included.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Seputangan: the Yakan Head Scarf

    As the heroine of our Chavacano tale, "Amina and the City of Flowers" learns, the bright colors and bold geometry of Yakan weaving are a special way of recording one's environment. This style of weaving is one of the most complicated in the Philippines, and each piece is unique. These seputangan were commissioned from the women of the Yakan weaving village by Abek Home + Culture.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Angel Donor

    Your generous support at this level will enable us to give 250 books to Philippine libraries and schools. We'll be partnering with the non-profit Library Renewal Partnership and the Batanes Department of Education (among others), to make Sari-Sari Storybooks accessible to children in the Philippines. Your name will be printed in the Philippine edition of one story, and you'll receive 10 copies of that book.

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    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    Torogan: Meranaw 3D Architecture Puzzle

    We're collaborating with SwitoTwins, a Davao-based design + social entrepreneurship, to bring you this very special reward.

    The 3D Torogan is a toy house scaled and modeled from the torogan, the ancestral house of Meranaw royalty. Central to Meranaw community life, the torogan was where the sultan held meetings with datus (chieftains), royal weddings, and games, among other key community activities. Now, there are only a few torogan left standing. The 3D Torogan is an educational tool for both the young and old to learn and explore the intelligent design of pre-colonial and Mindanao architecture, and the richness of Meranaw culture.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Portrait by Happy Garaje

    Custom portrait by Happy Garaje, the illustrators of "Kalipay and the Tiniest Tiktik."

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    Portrait by Robbie Bautista

    Custom portrait by illustrator and traveler, Robbie Bautista, the illustrator of "Amina and the City of Flowers."

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Funding period

- (28 days)