March 2008 Archives

| has a nice review of The Wakame Gatherers by Holly Thompson and illustrated by Kazumi Wilds:

"The loving relationship between grandchild and grandparent takes on an added dimension in this touching story of intergenerational communication and connection...

The Wakame Gatherers is a good example of how common experiences can bring people together across oceans and through time. It reminds us that reaching greater understanding of one another is always worth the journey."

1st Annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival

I got some information this afternoon from Fanshen Cox, one of the organizers of the 1st Annual Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival, and I am more than pleased to pass it on. It sounds like a great idea and a potentially amazing gathering of creative people of mixed race.

According to the event website, the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival will be an annual event celebrating films and literary works exploring racially and culturally mixed heritages. And now is the time to get involved, because they are currently calling for film and literature submissions. So, for you creative types out there, here is the submission info:

We are currently seeking submissions for films and literary works as well as workshop proposals. If you are submitting a film, please send a short synopsis, bio and the film in DVD format. If you are interested in reading your own literary work (plays, poetry, fiction, screenplays, creative nonfiction, spoken word) please e-mail a bio and 10 pages of your published or unpublished writing. If you would like to lead a workshop, please send a bio and an outline of your workshop. Workshops are allotted 1-2 hours.

Please send your films to: Dusky Sally Productions P.O. Box 291775 Los Angeles, CA 90029 If you would like us to return your film please include a self -addressed envelope with postage paid. If you would like acknowledgement of your submission, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard.

Please e-mail your literary work or workshop proposal to: and put 'Mixed Roots Film & Literary Submission' in the subject line. There is no fee for submissions.

The deadline for submissions is: Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 (if you have a film in post production and need more time, please contact us). You will receive an e-mail notification by Friday, April 4th 2008. We look forward to your submissions and to meeting you at the first annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival (TM).
1st Annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival
June 12-15, 2008
Japanese American National Muesum

369 East First Street

Los Angeles, CA

The Day the Dragon Danced on Lookybook

Woohoo! The Day the Dragon Danced by Kay Haugaard and Carolyn Reed Barritt is now available on Lookybook. Click through to see the full-size, bright and beautiful, version of the browsable book, or just check it out below.

Land of Morning Calm on Lookybook

They're churning these out over at Lookybook. Here is Land of Morning Calm by John Stickler and Soma Han.

Mixing Languages

So I've been thinking about the multi-cultural nature of my stories and making decisions about how much of another language, if any, I should include in my narratives and dialogue. Even though English is my primary language, my first words were in Mandarin Chinese.

People who were raised speaking at least two different languages know that there is more than one way to say something. They also know it is possible for a concept or phrase to exist in one language and not another. Such knowledge is extremely useful to writers.

Sometimes in my stories I will include a few uniquely Asian-American circumstances as jokes and play on phrases to those who understand both languages that I'm writing while trying to make it still understandable to the English-only readers. But usually my overall guiding principle in writing is that I should put in non-English language phrases only when absolutely necessary, when there is not an appropriate translation in English.

Sneak Preview: Grandfather's Story Cloth

I am so pleased with our upcoming book (available in May 2008), Grandfather's Story Cloth by Linda Gerdner and illustrated by Stuart Loughridge. I just sent it off to the printer last week, after months and months of work, but it has turned out even better than I had imagined it would be. I can't wait for the world to see this wonderful book about a Hmong boy and his grandfather, who has Alzheimer's disease. Oh, just read the blurb for yourself:

Chersheng's grandfather is beginning to forget things: little things like turning off the water faucet and big things like Chersheng's name. Sometimes he even forgets that he is in America now. Chersheng feels sad and helpless when he learns that Grandfather has Alzheimer's Disease, but then Chersheng's mother presents him with a story cloth stitched by Grandfather himself, embroidered in the Hmong tradition. Through the story cloth, Grandfather's memories of his life in Laos come alive. And inspired by Grandfather's tales about his life before the war forced him to immigrate to America, Chersheng comes up with a plan to capture his family's new life with his own art project. This way, they can all remember that their love is stronger than Alzheimer's Disease, no matter which country they live in. Linda Gerdner's heartwarming story addresses the increasing number of children who live with elderly grandparents with dementia. This volume, presented bilingually in English and Hmong, allows children and their loved ones not only to gain a compassionate understanding of Alzheimer's Disease, but also to share in the simplest act of pleasure and love -- that of reading together.

Maybe if I can figure out how, I'll post a few pages from the interior. Ah, technology. We'll see what I can do.

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Blog Contributors

Renee Ting is the President and Publisher of Shen's Books. She is the author of The Prince's Diary and the blog, Renee's Book of the Day.

Emily Jiang is a writer of children's and YA literature. She also blogs at TLeaf Readings.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.


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