Natasha led an active previous life in the Philippines as a writer and editor of stories for children. She even edited an awesome, award-winning children’s magazine. But mostly, she wrote stories. Some of them became picture books. Some got together with other stories to form anthologies. Others appeared in magazines. And a few led short lives as story books published by nonprofit organizations. Meet some of the gang here.
Ang Itim na Kuting
In 1992, Natasha wrote a story about a black kitten’s search for a home, the odd and not-so-nice people it meets, and a little girl who just wants a friend. The story won the Alfredo Navarro Salanga Writers’ Prize that year. The paper-cut illustrations by Ferdinand Guevarra won the Alcala Illustrators’ Prize the following year. Ang Itim ng Kuting is published by Adarna Books.
Ang Pintor ni Garu (Garu’s Painter)
This story won first place in the Short Story for Children in Filipino category of the 1991 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. The tale was first anthologized in Gintong Habihan (The Golden Loom) before being published by Lampara Books as a picture book for children.
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Ang Gintong Habihan
Natasha’s story “Ang Pintor ni Garu” (“Garu’s Painter”) is featured in Ang Gintong Habihan (The Golden Loom). The collection represents some of the best and most loved contemporary children’s stories in Filipino. The illustrations are beautiful and the collection captures Filipino humor, gumption, and whimsy. Ang Gintong Habihan is published by Tahanan Books.
The Night Monkeys
Natasha’s story “How My Sister Turned Me Into a Worm” made it into The Night Monkeys, another Tahanan Books anthology of award-winning stories for children. Splendidly illustrated by some of the finest artists in the the field of Philippine children’s literature, the stories in this collection mix equal parts heart, adventure, and magic.