NOTE: This post is the combination of the same exploration that I had in two rounds together.
Khmer Children Literature was the exploration that I was in for the round one and round two. The ambition of the exploration is to motivate Cambodian children to love reading. We are also hoping to thrive in Cambodia’s literature. Many people perceive literature in divergent perspectives; for me, I perceive literature as my happiness and treasure because I will always enjoy it when doing things regarding this topic.
Round one, the process of writing and illustrating
To ensure the audiences, there are six books that we have been progressing on and each group is responsible for each book. The six books depict the theme of our school’s core values: Integrity, Determination, Ingenuity, Stewardship, Appreciation, and Optimism. My book’s theme is optimism.
After knowing the theme already, we started to brainstorm the structure of our story. Brainstorming is a very productive strategy to start writing the story, for me I don’t jump straight to write, I always prepare for the upcoming by brainstorm. After brainstorming, we started to write our kid stories. Initially, we did not expect the children’s age of our book to be 10 or 11. Although, after the writing session, we have found out that the target audience’s age is from 10 to 15. I did not expect this and I was a little shocked. Despite the audience’s age, we were still working with passion and determination together. For the illustrations, we only did a little in round one because we were focusing so much on our writing in both English and Khmer.
Sharation round one of the year,
On the Sharation day of our school that we have every once in seven weeks. It is the day when many guests enter our campus to get to know what we have studied in the seven weeks’explorations.
This was the first sharation of the 2019 year; my exploration, we didn’t have the books published yet so we showed the writing and some illustrations pictures. Moreover, we also had characters game for them to entertain themselves. We heard many compliments and encouragement. I wanted to give them a big thanks for visiting our school’s sharation. It was a very phenomenal day with many voices spreading out over our school’s atmosphere.
Round 2, the process of publishing
Round one finished and round two began; where we were focusing on publishing the book. We also worked with a senior, Rithy, he has taken the exploration as his impact project relating to Khmer Literature. Therefore, we tried to finish our book by this round so we can publish it.
Within the full round, my optimism group just did all the art by painting with gouache. Likewise, we edited some of the Khmer writing in preparation for the Bamboojaya’s trip.
The trips was so awesome and productive. Bamboojaya is a children school that provided child-led project-based education. We went there to read our Khmer stories to those kids. The teacher there told us that she could not really find some Khmer children’s books that suit her kids’learning level because some contain difficult vocabularies which turn out hard for the children to read. Therefore, we hope to strive for succession in the future with these completed six books.
Kampot Reader and Writer Festival
We had so much fun during the trip to Kampot for the Kampot Reader and Writer Festival. Despite the event is a huge difference from what we have expected, we still managed to read our books to the kindergarten students and met some new writers also. It was a successful trip because I feel the reading activity to those young students genuinely made us all feel happy for the moment and we have enjoyed our new experience in Kampot.
At last but not least, I hope we can distribute the six children’s books around Cambodia because remember “READING” is always essential for your life. After reading this, go and read your book.
——————————-Khmer Children Books———————————-