I’m part of a new small storytelling group in Manila. For my piece, I want something unique, something not so familiar among kids. We probably know a lot of western children stories and a lot of Grimm’s fairy tales. For this reason, I prefer to use a Filipino story. The problem with Filipino children stories or must I say Philippine literature in general. They are not available on the internet. You’ll probably find a few but very limited. You have to go to libraries and book stores to find one. Luckily, I found this book in National Book Store. It is a collection of Philippine folk tales about fruits. It has eight stories. Some of which are popular ones such as Why the Pina Has a Hundred Eyes, How the Lasones Became Edible, Why the Mango is Shaped Like a Hear, The Story of First Coconut Tree.
It astounds me that I only get to know some of these tales as an adult such as The Story of the First Durian, Why the Guava Wears a Crown, The Story of the First Banana Plant, The Legend of the First Makopa Tree. With this kind of books, there is no excuse to repeat the same stories to children. We have a lot of stories. We just lack exposure. We, who are stoytellers, teachers, and adults can promote the richness of Philippine children literature. And stories feel closer to us if the subjects are very familiar to us such the fruits we regularly eat such as banana, pineapple, and coconut.
This book suits all ages but smaller kids may not pay much attention. The illustrations are colorless and the characters do no look cute-like creatures in Cartoon Network. It is written in a simple language. It is easy to understand, easy to memorize but it is not playful. Hence, if you are reading this out loud in front of kids, you should be more creative in your delivery.
If you are running out of children stories, go back to folk tales 🙂