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Neni Sta. Romana Cruz's Favorite Books


Ibong Adarna Ibong Adarna. Written by Roberto Alonzo. Illustrated by Jordan Santos. Adarna Silver Edition, 2005. A well-loved folktale woven around three sons and a magical bird with lovely plumage and enchanting song. All grade levels.

Si Pilandok sa Kaharian sa Dagat Si Pilandok sa Kaharian sa Dagat (Pilandok and the Kingdom Under the Sea). Written by Victoria Añonuevo. Illustrated by Kora D. Albano. Adarna Book Services, 1996. Pilandok, Mindanao’s match to Luzon’s Juan Tamad, is a cunning trickster of a mousedeer who always finds himself in ridiculous predicaments. Humor prevails in the Pilandok series! All grade levels.

Chief Flower Girl Chief Flower Girl. Written by Marivi Soliven Blanco. Illustrated by Robert A. Alejandro. Tahanan Books, 1998. English text. An amusing story that children can easily relate to because the most responsible among the children in a wedding entourage takes charge and saves the day. Preschool to Gr. 2

The Boy Who Had Five Lolas The Boy Who Had Five Lolas. Written by Grace D. Chong. Illustrated by May M. Tobias. Bookmark, 2001. English text. In the Filipino family set-up, one can be blessed with having five grandmothers--and five hugs, five kisses, five sets of admonitions, and five gifts, besides.

Alphabet-Alpabeto Alphabet- Alpabeto. Written and illustrated by Tracy David. Adarna House, 2004. A fun bilingual alphabet book in full color that cleverly uses techniques of modern art and is meant to keep you guessing. All ages.

Chenelyn! Chenelyn! Chenelyn! Chenelyn! Written by Rhandee Garlitos. Illustrated by Liza Flores. Adarna Book Services, 1999. Filipino text. Discover Chenelyn’s special magic, she who does wonders in our households. All grade levels.

Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Raquel Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Raquel (Raquel’s Fantastic Hair). Written by Luis P. Gatmaitan. Illustrated by Beth Parrocha Doctolero. Adarna, 1999.This seemingly playful story about Raquel’s enviable ways with her hair styles is a child’s introduction to sickness. Grade 3 up.

The Greediest of Rajahs and the Whitest of Clouds The Greediest of Rajahs and the Whitest of Clouds. Written by Honoel Ibardolaza. Illustrated by Brian Vallesteros. Adarna House, 2004. Indulge in the hyperboles of this original folktale -- the greediest of rajahs who had the fiercest soldiers who had the sharpest of spears who wanted the whitest of clouds which was whiter than the purest carabao milk he has drunk and seemed fluffier than the softest pillows he has slept on. Grades 1 - 4.

Bandila: The Story of the Philippine Flag Bandila: The Story of the Philippine Flag. Written by Merci Melchor. Illustrated by Auri Asuncion Yambao. Tahanan Books, 1998. English text. An otherwise straightforward history lesson is presented in a clear and engaging manner with child-friendly, bite-size information and attractive illustrations. All ages.

Uuwi na ang Nanay Kong Si Darna Uuwi na ang Nanay Kong Si Darna. Written by Russell Molina. Illustrated by Edgar Samar. Adarna House, 2002. Filipino text. Popoy counts the day to his mother’s homecoming from her overseas job and fantasizes the Darna powers his supermom has. Grade 3 up.

The Brothers Wu and the Good-Luck Eel The Brothers Wu and the Good-Luck Eel. Written by Fran Ng. Illustrated by Arnel Mirasol. Tahanan Books, 2000. English text. Based on a true family story, this lavishly illustrated account traces why a family refuses to eat this delicacy in a Chinese meal. Grade 3 up.

Yaya Niya, Nanay Ko Yaya Niya, Nanay Ko. Written by Ma. Corazon Remigio. Illustrated by Auri Asuncion Yambao. UNICEF, 2002. Filipino text. A touching story of a child longing for the day when her mother will constantly be with her and not another child’s nursemaid. Grade 2 up.

Papel de Liha Papel de Liha (Sandpaper). Written by Ompong Remigio. Illustrated by Beth Parrocha-Doctolero. Adarna Silver Edition, 2005. A tribute to mothers, this story in wonderful verse is both touching and humorous. Enjoy the playful rhythm in the parallel texts. For all grade levels.

Alamat ng Ampalaya Alamat ng Ampalaya (Legend of the Bitter Gourd). Written by Augie D. Rivera, Jr.. Illustrated by Kora D. Albano. Adarna Silver Edition, 2005. A cleverly crafted original folktale that explains why the ampalaya is not a favorite vegetable. Grades 3-7

The Monkey and the Turtle The Monkey and the Turtle. Written by Jose Rizal P. Rendering in full color from the original Rizal sketches by Auri Asuncion Yambao and Grace Asuncion. Tahanan Books, 2003. English text. A full color edition of an old, well-loved Filipino folk tale that Rizal popularized in 1889. It is noteworthy that the tale was retold and illustrated by Rizal himself. All ages.

Two Friends, One World Two Friends, One World. Written by Ramon C. Sunico. Illustrated by Joanne de Leon. Cacho Publishing House, 1991. The special friendship between a blind child and a sighted child is beautifully captured in two stories with remarkable imagery, from two points of view. Grade 3 up.

Ang Makapangyarihang Kyutiks ni Mama Ang Makapang- yarihang Kyutiks ni Mama (Mama’s Magical Nail Polish). Written by Rene Villanueva. Illustrated by Ferdinand Guevara. Adarna House, 2002. A child likens her mother’s job to that of a doctor--from the black medical bag to her healing powers. Grades 3 up.

Ang Unang Baboy sa Langit Ang Unang Baboy sa Langit (The First Pig in Heaven). Written by Rene Villanueva. Illustrated by Ibarra C. Crisostomo. Cacho Publishing House, 1991. A humorous story of a pig who defies the stereotyped image of a dirty creature, ends up as all pigs are fated to, with an apple in the mouth, but leaves a legacy for the environment. Grades 3 up.

Ang Itim na Kuting Ang Itim na Kuting (The Black Cat). Written by Natasha Vizcarra. Illustrated by Ferdinand Guevara. Adarna Book Services, 1996. Ignacia is a black cat who lists the many practical and imaginative reasons why she should not be dreaded but loved. Preschool-Grade 3.

Papa’s House, Mama’s House Papa’s House, Mama’s House. Written by Jean Lee C. Patindol. Illustrated by Mark Ramsel N. Salvatus III. Adarna House, 2004. This is an unusual book -- a first on the sensitive issue of marital separation. Visually, it is all in red and captures a child’s simple questions and observations about the two homes she has on different days of the week. Grades 2 up.

NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, the books carry parallel texts in English and in Filipino.

The recommended grade levels are based on readability and appropriateness of theme and topic. But even the most complex and challenging texts are ideal for read alouds. Quality literature goes beyond arbitrary age prescriptions!