• Raise a Reader: 10 Pinoy Books to Jumpstart Your Baby's Learning

    These local treasures cover the basics: letters, colors, emotions and more.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
  • Raise a Reader: 10 Pinoy Books to Jumpstart Your Baby's Learning
  • There’s no need to search far and wide for fantastic baby books. Before heading anywhere else, take a look at what the shelves of our local publishers have to offer. These beautifully illustrated and written ones cover the basics: letters, colors, emotions and more in a familiar, truly Filipino setting. (A side note: teachers will tell you that starting your kids on the Filipino language  first, rather than English, will make it easy for him to accurately translate words from Filipino to English -- and widen his vocabulary.)  

    1. Halu Halo
    (P190.00)
    By Eli F. Camacho

    Introduces your child to: names of common Filipino ingredients, colors
    A picture book devoid of words, Halu Halo was one of the few selected winners at the 4th National Children's Book Awards. Every page takes you and your child through everything that goes into the Pinoy favorite dessert. Here is your chance to ad-lib. 


    2. Kulay! (P99.00)
    By Eli F. Camacho

    Introduces your child to: colors in English and Filipino
    Happy, carefree, colored carabaos will teach your child the names of the colors of the rainbow in both English and Filipino. The small size makes it easy for small hands to hold. 

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    3. Masaya Ako! (P99.00)
    By Yasmin Doctor


    Introduces your child to: different emotions in English and Filipino
    Develop your child’s emotional intelligence at an early age so he can master managing his emotions later and be able to express them. Masaya Ako! makes it easy with illustrated facial expressions with labels in English and Filipino. Don’t forget to make the faces while you read together! 


    4. Kara at Play (P190.00)
    Written by Lara Saguisag and illustrated by Jamie Bauza


    Introduces your child to: a variety of play activities, resilience
    This picture book follows Kara and all the ways she likes to play and all the things she does all day. We counted 21 in all! It is perfect if you're trying to raise your child away from screens. Spoiler: Kara at Play teaches resilience, too, as she gets a few booboos in the story. 

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    5. Dumaan si Butiki
    Written by Mary Gigi Constantino and illustrated by Ray Sunga

    Introduces your child to: opposites in Filipino
    Follow Butiki as he goes up and down, far and near, inside and out all over the house. Dumaan si Butiki introduces the concept of opposites in the most delightful way, earning it a spot at the 4th National Children's Book Awards winners list. It also makes a great bedtime story as Butiki falls asleep on a pile of books in the end. 

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    Kuwentong Klasiko Para sa Batang Maliit series


    This children’s book collection from Tahanan Publishing uses the elements of Filipino literary classics to introduce basic concepts. It doesn’t retell the stories but incorporates the characters, settings, and events of the Filipino stories into the starter pack of children’s books: shapes, colors, and numbers. By the time he’s old enough to read Ibong Adarna, he is already familiar with the characters. 

    6. Ang Alamat ng Ibong Adarna: Aklat ng Bilang (P350.00)
    By Eisen V. Bernardo



    Introduces your child to: numbers in Filipino, Ibong Adarna

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    7. Florante at Laura: Aklat ng Kulay (P350.00)
    By Eisen V. Bernardo



    Introduces your child to: colors in Filipino, Florante at Laura


    8. Noli Me Tangere: Aklat ng Hugis (P350.00)
    By Eisen V. Bernardo


    Introduces your child to: shapes in Filipino, Florante at Laura

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    9. Alpabetong Filipino (P350.00)
    Written by Nicanor G. Tiongson and illustrated by Crispin Dayao, Jr.



    Introduces your child to: the alphabet, Filipino culture
    Here is a truly Filipino take on A is for apple, B is for ball and C is for Cat. In Alpabetong Filipino, A is for agila, B is for bakya, and C is for calesa. The whole alphabet is represented by Filipino items and icons in culture; some parents may even remember a few from their childhood like the taka and nuno-sa-punso. It’s a true treasure on any bookshelf. 


    10. A for Adobo (P350.00)
    By Nelson Agustin



    Introduces your child to: the alphabet, Filipino food (dishes, fruits, ingredients and sweet treats)
    A for Adobo is the Alpabetong Filipino of food. Here, B is for bibingka and C is for calamansi. Exposing your child to a wide array of different food at an early age will help raise him to be an adventurous eater. 

    You can order the books online via Pumplepie Books.

    All photos by Mark Jesalva

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