As you know, I’m Filipino and I’m always looking for ways to increase my daughter’s knowledge of the Philippines. I had reached out to Sari-Sari Storybooks because I believe in promoting bilingual storybooks for children. Sari-Sari Storybooks aim to share the many Filipino dialects with the world. Melo the Umang-Boy is in the Ivatan language of Batanes. I myself do not speak Ivatan so it’s nice that it is also translated into English. I love how their books are in different dialects because not everyone just speaks Tagalog. My parents speak Ilocano as well. So for those who also speak Ivatan, they can relate to this story a lot more. It becomes more personal.
Melo the Umang-Boy is about a shy little boy who has the opportunity to overcome his shyness by helping others after a natural disaster strikes his town. This story was written by Alyssa Sarmiento-Co and Christina Newhard. It was illustrated by Jaypee Portez. This book has a beautiful story and amazing artwork. I love how there is a glossary in the front so that kids can learn what different words in Ivatan mean. Umang in English means hermit crab. So this is totally fitting for the title. The story is also appropriate because fishing is a major livelihood in Batanes.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a great story. It’s a book about overcoming fears. It’s a book about coming out of your comfort zone. I remember being so shy when I was younger and I can totally relate to this story. As a child it’s hard sometimes to put yourself out there. Melo the Umang-Boy is a cute story that I think you’ll love too.