The Philippines is diverse not only in its language and culture but also in its wildlife. Learn more about the birds and animals of the Philippines with these 5 English-language books:
An Eagle’s Feather written by Minfong Ho and illustrated by Frances Alvarez
Picture book. An Eagle’s Feather is based on a story of hope written by the Philippine Eagle Foundation to raise awareness and care for the critically endangered, majestic Philippine Eagle, the national bird of the Philippines. This is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Philippine Eagle Foundation.
This book is also has fact pages at the end which is great for classroom learning.
Is it a Mermaid? written by Candy Gourlay and illustrated by Francesca Chessa
Picture book. When Benjie and Bel find a strange creature on a tropical beach they know it’s a dugong. But the dugong insists she is a beautiful mermaid and to prove it, she shows them her mermaid’s tail and sings them a mermaid song. The children aren’t convinced but they play with their new friend all the same. When it’s time for her to go back to sea, there is one surprise left – could she be a mermaid after all?
The dugong’s tail has the v-shape like a mermaid, a manatee has a paddle-shaped tail. A whimsical story that brings awareness to a critically endangered animal.
A Crocodile’s Tale by Jose Aruego & Ariane Dewey
Picture book. Based on a Filipino folk tale, this story involves a young boy being tricked by a crocodile.
This book was originally published in 1972, so copies are hard to find. Jose Aruego was one of the first Filipino Americans illustrators to break into children’s book publishing in the USA.
Tuko and the Birds written by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Francisco X. Mora
Picture book. Life was peaceful on the small Philippine island of Luzon. The men fished, the women cooked, the children played games, and the birds sang. Everyone knew it was time for bed when they heard the birds’ good-night song. Then Tuko arrived. Tuko, the gecko, bellowed his name five times every time he ate―day or night. Everyone was miserable from lack of sleep. That is, until Haribon the eagle devised a plan to trick Tuko into leaving for good.
This book is fun for read-aloud story time with the noises of the gecko.
Pedro and the Monkey written by Robert San Souci and illustrated by Michael Hays
Picture book. In this Filipino trickster tale, Pedro finally catches the monkey that has been stealing his corn. But when the wily thief begs for his release, the kindhearted farmer sets him free. In return, the monkey tells Pedro that he will arrange for the poor young man to marry the daughter of Don Francisco, the rich landowner.
The story is a take on the classic Puss in Boots. The illustrations are really beautiful and could be framed paintings.