A milestone publication of PNG children’s stories is launched
09 December 2015
Trickery at the Crocodile Pool and other children's stories from Papua New Guinea, edited by Benjamin Jackson, Crocodile Prize Organisation with assistance of Paga Hill Development Company, ISBN/EAN13: 1517578639 / 9781517578633, 94 pages, available from CreateSpace here for $US5.38 plus postage
THIS collection of 33 children’s stories originally entered in the Crocodile Prize was meant to have another title drawn from the award-winning story.
But the winning story - in a contest so generously sponsored by Paga Hill Development Company (who also bankrolled the publication and distribution of this book) - is absent from this volume.
Without disclosure to the contest organisers, the author had entered into a contract with another entity for the story and its accompanying illustrations, and this precluded further publication in this book.
Very poor form indeed. But such are the vicissitudes of publishing.
Nevertheless this collection, skilfully edited by Ben Jackson and including 33 of the best children’s stories submitted in the contest, fairly rattles along and must certainly inspire young Papua New Guinean readers with tales from their homeland.
Prominent authors, whose names will be familiar to PNG Attitude readers, are included: Leonard Fong Roka, Dominica Are, Arnold Mundua, Marlene Dee Gray Potoura, Jimmy Awagl, Diddie Kinamun Jackson, Busa Jeremiah Wenogo, Samantha Kusari, Iriani Wanma and Agnes Rita Maineke all make an appearance along with many others.
These writers, including many previous prize winners, bring a sense of real quality to this initial project that spun out of the main Crocodile Prize contest.
As Paga Hill chief executive Gudmundur Fridriksson writes in the foreword, “Each story is written from the heart and the book brings to life a unique collection of work to educate children and to ignite an interest in reading and writing from an early age.
“The storytellers in this book are in many ways educators, sharing experiences, cultural values, lessons and wisdom. Every story offers a child an opportunity to learn.”
Mr Fridriksson goes on to say that the Paga Hill Development Company Award for Writing for Children is designed to both encourage writers in PNG to cater for a young audience and to inspire children exposed to their own literature to take a greater interest in reading and writing.
“Reading can change our sense of what is possible,” he says. “It can open up a whole new world of imagination and realisation.”
Editor Ben Jackson – who has done such a fine job with this book - has close connections with Papua New Guinea through his company Jackson PR Associates and his editorship of the Bougainville 24 blog, itself an innovator in showcasing the talents of Bougainvillean writers who would otherwise struggle to be published.
Yesterday, I ordered the first 110 copies for distribution under the Paga Hill sponsorship. Because of difficulties in postal services between the United States and PNG, distribution will be done from Australia, mostly occurring in January-February.
Daniel Kumbon of Wabag got in early with his order. If you would like to distribute copies to local schools and libraries in your area, drop me an email here with your postal address and a note telling me about your distribution plans.
We’ll be making available a maximum of 10 copies per person to achieve the widest possible distribution throughout PNG.
Awesome! I am happy to have my entry in this milestone publication.
Thank You Paga Hill Development Company for this. Also to Ben Jackson and those behind the scenes for making this publication possible.
It will surely go along way in enhancing the interests of our younger generation to read and write.
Posted by: Dominica Are | 15 December 2015 at 12:34 PM
Congratulations to all involved! I hope this book of children's stories will be the first of many for PNG.
May I suggest the publishers upload the book to The Book Depository for sale online. They undertake to sell any book in print (print only), and distribute worldwide free of freight charges.
Then we can all promote the book wherever we are, because children's reading needs and interests are global - they are the future of all of us.
Posted by: Trish Nicholson | 10 December 2015 at 06:36 AM
On the one hand it's a shame that the 2015 winning entry cannot be included in the book but on the other hand it is gratifying that the author has been able to secure an outlet for the work.
This is, after all, why the authors retain the copyright on their work published on PNG Attitude and in the anthology.
That shouldn't detract from the value of the present book, there were lots of high quality entries, probably enough to fill another book.
One suggestion I would like to make is that at some stage next year after the hardcopies have been sent out is that the book be made available as a PDF download on PNG Attitude. At 94 pages it wouldn't be prohibitive for teachers to print it out for use in the classrooms, thus ensuring a wide distribution for it.
I'd also like to extend my congratulations to the Paga Hill Development Company. After all the bad publicity engendered over the clearance of the settlements on Paga Hill they've come back with a heap of very positive outcomes.
I'd have been happier if the outlet for the work had not been secured prior to its entry into the contest and if this had been disclosed to the judges - KJ
Posted by: Phil Fitzpatrick | 09 December 2015 at 08:59 PM