Tahanan Books recently released the award-winning book titled Cely’s Crocodile: The Art and Story. It is about the childhood of well-known and award-winning artist Araceli Dans during World War II.
The author, Gabriela Lee, is the granddaughter of the artist, while the illustrator, Adrian Panadero, created the ingenious book Intramuros: The Walled City (Cut and Build Your Own Model Fort).
We had a wonderful conversation with Gabby and Adrian, as well as Tahanan Books’ editor Frances Ng, in which we learned more about the creation of the book.
We promise you, this is not your average picture book. When we first saw the pdf file of the book (as we were asked to create guide questions for it :D), we knew it was special.
The language and the illustrations show the meticulous attention paid to it. It ranks among the best Filipino picture books that we have.
You can definitely use this if you’re doing unit studies (or Five in a Row), and use the guide questions that we wrote and that can be found on page 37 of the book. It is such as layered book that you can easily talk about Philippine and world history, science, art, Philippine handicrafts, and character.
If you’re following Charlotte Mason, this is a beautiful book that will be added to our free booklist of Filipino living books for grades 4 and up. Remember, the author is the subject’s granddaughter, and you can’t go more personal, closer, and “living” than that!
Take a look at the image below! Should you wish to use Araceli Dans’ work for picture study, please note that her works are under copyright, and may only be printed for personal use.
The book is written in English, but a wonderful Filipino translation can also be found at the back of the book.
Learn more about the book
I would love to transcribe the conversation that we had, but since it will take longer than to just watch the video, we hope that you can listen to the conversation and learn more about the book and Araceli Dans.
Listen to Gabriela’s story about her grandmother, to Adrian’s process in illustrating the book, and to Fran’s excitement over how this beautiful book came about.