Twenty children’s story books next year

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Writers and illustrators trained to create appropriate picture books for young readers

Forty writers and illustrators were invited to a five-day orientation course on “Making Picture Books for Young Readers” in Siem Reap Province last week.

Organized by Room to Read Cambodia (RtR KH), is a branch of an international non-profit organization, headquartered in the United States, whose philosophy is based on “Global change starts with educated children” .

“This ‘Creation of Picture Books for Young Readers’ is an annual program of Room to Read. It aims to increase the human resources of local book creators; produce 20 children’s story titles in 2020; and share knowledge / updates (guidance) with storybook makers in Cambodia, ”said Sister Kakada, Senior Literacy Program Officer.

The young readers targeted by Room to Read are those in primary schools, referring to children in grades 1 to 6.

This year, Room to Read Cambodia received more than 70 story titles from all nominees, according to Mr Kakada, before being reduced to just 19 nominees as chosen writers.

He added: “The participants who joined us at the training last week were delighted to learn more about how to create child-friendly books as they learned a lot about how to create characters and characters. narrative devices that will attract children to read. They called it a special market to meet senior and junior writers and illustrators from different parts of the country. “

Seven representatives of local publishing houses, NGOs, the Association of Khmer Writers and the publishing house of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) also attended the workshop. .

Mr Kakada said that writers and illustrators are also open to employment opportunities, to start careers with local publishing houses as they are dedicated to improving both the quantity and the quality of story books. for children.

Prom Kunthearo, a freelance writer who was selected for training, saw him as an important guide on writing children’s stories in many attractive styles.

“I learned the level of language that should be used to engage with children, especially at the primary readership level,” she said.

“For me, children’s books should have a wide range to suit every child with different interests. Therefore, the book, like science, entertainment, education and adventure, are all good for children to read, ”she added.

A graphics teacher, Hin Koemyean, said it was a good lesson to understand the concept of the writer before starting to draw illustrations of caricatures or cartoon characters for a story. He is now wiser in the choice of colors and the design concept of the story books.

“I want to help promote the culture of reading among children through my artistic talent, by creating attractive designs with a meaningful story,” Mr. Koemyean said, adding that a cute and funny character can inspire children. young readers to discover the whole story. .

Of the 20 children’s books chosen for printing next year, once a story is chosen, Room to Read will contact the writers to discuss the editorial adjustment and screenplay with the local and regional Room team. to Read. The story will then be submitted to MoEYS for approval for use in all public primary schools. Each book title will be published in the local language with approximately 1,000 copies each. In 2020, the books will be distributed to more than 230 public schools in target provinces across the country.

Room to Read’s vision is to focus on literacy and gender equality in education, partnering with local communities, organizations and governments to develop literacy and instill a habit of reading primary school children; and equipping girls with life skills to complete high school and beyond. Room to Read is committed to helping countries like Cambodia build or rebuild their education system from scratch.


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