Linda Tan Lingard, director of Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency Sdn Bhd and organiser of the event said, “This is the first picture book week we have organised and we thank Silverfish Books for hosting it.”
“Picture books are a great way to introduce books to children. They are ideal for reading aloud or reading together and are effective for inculcating love of reading among young children. The illustrations and text add to the total reading experience and enjoyment of picture books.”
• Yusof Gajah - Malaysian artist Yusof Gajah with his iconic elephant images who is also an award-winning children’s book illustrator.
• Sarimah Ibrahim, popular TV host
• Datin Rossiti Aishah Rashidi - Author of ‘Manja the Orangutan’, who is an advocate for a green lifestyle and being guardians of our environment.
• Emila Yusof - Blogger and illustrator, Emila Yusof.
• Voice of the Children - VOC is an NGO whose mission is to advocate for and promote law and policy reform to protect the rights of the child.
• Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Malaysia (SCBWI) - The Society aims to provide support and training for Malaysian writers and illustrators.
“It is VoC’s hope that through these books, the readers – children and adults alike – will become aware of the issues regarding the circumstances of many children in Malaysia and that in turn, they will come forward with their support to help make a positive change”, said Ms Sharmila. “We are also very happy to announce that a third book in the series will be launched in June, in conjunction with UNHCR’s World Refugee Day.”
Yusof was proud that two of the illustrators he trained, Jainal Amambing and Awang Fadilah, both from Sabah have since produced a number of picture books which were also being highlighted during this picture book week.
Yusof Gajah is currently working on a series of 10 books on creativity for children and will be identifying appropriate partners for each title. These books are expected to be published early next year.
Voice of the Children (VOC) sees picture books as a good way to bring across the message of child rights. They have published two picture books with more in the pipeline. The books will also come with teachers guide and teaching aids.
They are also helping to promote local writers and illustrators by building a database of writers and illustrators on the www.scbwi-my.org website. With the sponsorship of the Malaysian National Book Council (Majlis Buku Kebangsaan Malaysia), the Society put up an exhibition of illustrations by local illustrators in conjunction with the recent Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair.
SCBWI is actively involved in the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) due to be held in Singapore from 26-28 May 2011. SCBWI members will be given special promotional deals, said Rafilda.
“Whether you are a writer or an illustrator, the AFCC is the place to be to learn from professionals, to network and to make contact with publishers,” said Kenneth Quek, SCBWI Regional Advisor from Singapore who was at the Press Conference to promote the festival which has the theme, Asian Content for the World’s Children. More information as well as registration may be obtained from www.afcc.com.sg
At the close of the week-long promotion, popular TV host, Sarimah Ibrahim, will be reading a book by Yusof Gajah, on 7th May at Silverfish Books. This will be followed by a free art and creativity workshop for children with Yusof while the participating publishers, writers and illustrators will talk about how and why they produce picture books. Admission is open to the public and is free.