28 September 2010

Expanding Genres

I a have rule for the earthlings that we all love and abuse.  I will only buy toys on birthdays, Christmas and extra special occasions but I will buy as many books as they want.  When we're thinking of what to do on the weekend I love it when they says "Let's go to the bookstore!".  It makes me feel like a kick ass mom that imbibes culture and literature in these little people.  They love to read, but most kids seem to love books.  So this bookworm thing might not last, I sure as hell will be working on keeping them into books forever.

At our last trip to the bookstore, I wanted them to think out of the box.  Even just a little bit.  As much as a 5 and 3-year old can.  Instead of the usual Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, dinosaur, superhero and animal books we get, I suggested some Philippine legends.  My earthlings need more Filipino in them and this seemed like a prefect way to do it.  Subtle yet entertaining.

I remember having a big book of Philippine legends when I was little and I loved it.  Most of them were tragic but I didn't care.  On the contrary, I loved those that didn't have happy endings.  I was the weird kid that snickered at the boring fairy tale happily ever afters.  Legends are surreal, magical and kinda trippy.  My favorite one was of the Dama de Noche flower.  Don't ask me what the legend is, I only remember thinking it would be so cool to turn into a gorgeous and fragrant flower, which then made me hate how boring my life was.

Back to the bookstore.  So we were at the children's Filipiniana shelf (Ironically, a rather tiny section of the bookstore that calls itself National Bookstore.) and I spot age appropriate books and quite a selection by Lampara Books.  I pick out The Legend of Pasig and The Legend of the Carabao.  They both get excited when we cross Pasig river and when we see carabaos, so they had to be winners.  Right?  Nope.  Gael just gives me this can-I-get-this-Spiderman-book-instead look.  While Aiden asks if there are penguins in the book.  Ummm, no and no.

I make a deal with them, first we read the books and IF they still don't like them we don't have to get them.  We sealed the deal with a bribe of spaghetti and pizza at CPK.  The Legend of the Carabao was full of mythical creatures like the capre, they were captivated.  That or they wanted to head off to CPK.  Doesn't matter to me, we got the books and they love reading them.  They are so proud that the Carabao is a Philippine animal and they know how the first ever carabaos came to be.  Each time we cross Pasig river, they now love to retell the story of Pas and Makisig.  We definitely need more. 

Let me end this post with a funny little story.  Unless it is only funny if you were there and I was the ONLY one there, in that case I will be ending this post with a very strange story.  I checked out Lampara Books' website and was shocked to discover they have actual bookstores called Precious Pages in a ton of SM malls.  When I clicked on their online shop I almost fell off my chair, they have a whole line of Mills and Boons type books under the category Precious Hearts Romances.  That gave me a good laugh.  I had no idea people still read those books.  I think I'll stick to kiddie books.