The 35th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), which ran last week from September 17 to 21, is always one of the most anticipated events of the year. Publishers, booksellers, and book lovers congregate for five days for the love of books and reading. It is a venue where readers of all ages get their fill for different kinds of books and educational materials at affordable or highly-discounted prices.
The MIBF is also when most authors, illustrators, and publishers launch new books. The local publishing industry looks forward to this annual event and prepares special treats such as storytelling sessions, book signings, and quiz bee competitions.
This year, the 6-book series “Si Jepoy Dyip”was one of the most eagerly-awaited children’s books to be launched at the MIBF. Created by award-winning author and illustrator Jomike Tejido and published by Lampara Books, each of the “Si Jepoy Dyip” books comes with 3D paper crafts that children and parents can build together to complete a diorama of the town of Pag-Asa and the characters that live there.
Want to own a set of "Si Jepoy Dyip" books? Read on to the bottom of the page!
In the first installment, the reader is introduced to Jepoy, a jeepney whose recklessness causes a small accident. Chief Wang, a police car, forbids him from going out on the streets again, but Jepoy is redeemed when he rescues some children from being trapped in school when the streets become flooded.
Jomike admits that “Si Jepoy Dyip” is his favorite work so far, as the series has allowed him “the luxury of extending a single character’s development” into several picture books. Children will truly get to know and love the characters of Pag-Asa, which depicts a typical Filipino neighborhood with its jeepneys, tricycles, and street vendors.
While the picture books have simple storylines and short sentences that will appeal to really young kids, Jomike says that the dexterity level needed to build the characters and townscape is that of a 9-year-old’s. Nonetheless, if you’re the parent of a toddler, making the paper crafts with your child will make for a bonding time well spent.
Anticipating that parents might balk at cutting, gluing, and creating paper vehicles and town buildings, Jomike created a YouTube channel housing his step-by-step instructional videos for building each toy. After the town and all the characters have been built, kids will enjoy reenacting scenes from the stories. They can even make their own storylines, which is easy to do because they can also change each of the character’s emotions through an ingenious feature in each of the toys. Watch the video below to see what a completed "Si Dyepoy Dyip" town would look like:
An accompanying learning guide for the first book in the series can also be downloaded for free from The Learning Basket to allow Filipino children to develop an appreciation of their culture and language through suggested parent and child activities and topics for conversations based on Philippine children’s storybooks.
Parents can use the guide to make “Si Jepoy Dyip” a jumping point for talking with your young child about exploring street and traffic signs, road safety, counting, neighborhoods, and many more. As a special treat, Jomike has created free Jepoy Dyip coloring pages as part of The Learning Basket’s guide.
Similar to Jomike’s Foldabots toys, “Si Jepoy Dyip” is set to be wildly popular across all ages. This labor of love embodies the author’s “personality, experiences, and love of craft all rolled into one story-and-toy masterplan.”
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