2023 Candlewick Press
Lynnor Bontigao (Author-Illustrator)
ABOUT SARI-SARI SUMMERS
In this love letter to the Philippines (and to grandmothers), a young girl comes up with a brilliantly delicious way to attract customers after a heat wave leaves her lola’s store empty.
Nora loves spending summers with Lola at her sari-sari store, a treasure trove filled with everything you could need, from hair accessories to toys, creamy yema to sour tamarind candy. And this year, Nora is big enough to help her grandmother. But when a heat wave strikes and no one comes to the store, Nora worries that she won’t get to spend the rest of the summer with her lola—until she gets a sweet idea. After all, the mangoes on the tree outside are finally ripe, and with a bit of measuring, mixing, and a good deal of tasting, Nora and Lola have a refreshing way to bring people together—and to the sari-sari store. With soft, heartfelt illustrations, Lynnor Bontigao’s endearing picture book—featuring a recipe for making mango ice candy like Nora’s—is an ode to ingenuity and to intergenerational relationships that’s as sweet and gentle as a kiss on the cheek.
PRAISE Lively text provides an engrossing picture of the Philippines. . . thoughtful portrayals of Filipino customs along with speech bubbles featuring both Tagalog and English lend an authenticity. Bontigao’s debut brims with heart-warming delight as the loving intergenerational relationship between Nora and her lola making ice candy shows how food brings a community together. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Delectable. . . This sweet summer tale has Tagalog words interspersed throughout the dialogue, mostly terms of endearment that reflect the cozy relationships with family and the community. . . . Like a sari-sari store, brimming with joy and heart. —Kirkus Reviews Readers get to share Nora’s eagerness as they are treated to a two-page spread depicting colorful, delectable items stacked neatly on the store shelves. . . . This sweet story of intergenerational love will resonate with many readers. —Booklist This is a love letter to grandparents who live far away and the special bond that develops when grandchildren get to spend time with them. . . . The illustrations, digitally created, capture the busy street where the store is located as well as the love shared between Nora and her lola. . . . Celebrating the special bond between a child and an older relative, along with the setting and language details of the Philippines, makes this a highly recommended title. —School Library Journal Familial bonds burnish Bontigao’s affectionate solo debut in this empowering intergenerational tale featuring a child’s creative problem-solving. . . . Digital art mimics colored pencil and pastel textures, and standout images portray a bustling community, the shop’s myriad contents, and the feel of hot days in this story of how thoughtful entrepreneurship can serve and delight. —Publishers Weekly
THE WORLD'S BEST CLASS PLANT
2023 Putnam/Penguin Random House
Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick (Authors)
An irresistible picture book about a boy and his classmates who long for a class pet, but discover the joys and rewards of nurturing a class plant.
Room 107 has a cockatiel. Room 108 has a chinchilla. Even the Art Room has a bearded dragon. But in Room 109, Arlo’s classroom, there is a plant. A mostly green, hardly growing, never moving plant. Even though it doesn’t squeak, whistle, or whimper, Arlo’s teacher says the plant is “more than enough excitement for us.” But what could possibly be exciting about a plant?
One day, Arlo decides to name the plant Jerry. Something about naming the plant makes it more exciting. As the class learns to take care of Jerry, he starts to grow . . . greener and longer and twistier. And before long it’s clear that something amazing has taken root in Arlo's classroom.
PRAISE Praise for The World’s Best Class Plant: * “Laden with humorous charm, this wise, beautifully written story delivers some plant knowledge, fosters empathy for a living thing, and promotes cooperation . . . This book will genuinely grow on readers.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review * “A ‘mostly green, hardly growing’ spider plant provides classroom 109 with a lesson about keeping an open mind in this amiable botanical picture book . . . An encouraging picture of students blooming intellectually and emotionally through care.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review “This laugh-out-loud, earnestly lovely picture book about a class plant who grows into his full potential is a must-read—preferably aloud—for classrooms and young readers who might be skeptical about plants . . . This is an adorably fun read with great classroom appeal and just the right amount of real plant information to keep kids interested in the humor and fun but still leave them intrigued by plants. The soft realism of Bontigao’s illustrations, naturally full of lots of greenery, brings in the eye and will keep readers moving around the page to discover new joys.” —Booklist “Scanlon and Vernick bring humor and an ear for the dialogue of elementary-school classrooms to this lively text . . . Bontigao brings a diverse group of students to these pages and captures bustling elementary classrooms with details and precision.” —The Horn Book
You Are Revolutionary
2021 Beaming Books
Cindy Wang Brandt(Author)
You have what it takes to change the world!
This is the empowering message parenting author and podcaster Cindy Wang Brandt wants every child to hear and embrace. In this inspiring picture book she speaks to every child who sees injustice in the world, revealing that they already have inside themselves everything they need to make big, transformative change in the world--just as they are.
Every kid is a revolutionary! You don't need to wait until you grow up. You don't even need any special skills. Kids who are loud, kids who are quiet, kids who make art, kids who are good at math, kids with lots of energy, kids who are good listeners--all kids have what it takes to make a difference.
Lynnor Bontigao's vibrant illustrations feature a diverse group of children taking up a call to action and using their individual gifts to change the world.
Jack & Agyu
2019 Sawaga River Press
Written by Justine Villanueva
Illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao
Jack & Agyu tells the story of an imaginative and adventurous young boy, Jack, who longs to find himself in the books that he reads. Crushed when he realizes he is different looking from all his favorite book characters, he goes off to right what he feels is a wrong. His path leads him to trouble but, also, to healing and empowerment as he reconnects with the stories of his ancestors from the Philippines.
Vibrantly illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao with characters based on Filipino mythology- the sirena (mermaid), syokoy (mermen), and diwata (fairies), to name a few- Jack & Agyu is sure to draw kids into an adventure that is exciting as much as it is self-affirming!
Jack & Agyu is written in English and includes a translation in Binukid, one of the indigenous languages in Bukidnon, a region in the south of the Philippines. The book also provides translations into Filipino, the national language of the Philippines, and Bisaya-Cebuano, one of the major languages in the Philippines. Additionally, the book features the Baybayin script, a Tagalog based ancient script.
SPRING 2024 WaterBrook & Multnomah/Penguin Random House
Dorina Gilmore-Young (Author)
Lynnor Bontigao (Illustrator)
A picture book celebration of family, Filipino heritage, and dance that showcases the value of patience, perseverance, and blessing others with your gifts and talents.
As Kailani watches her siblings practice a traditional Filipino dance for their grandparents’ anniversary party, she longs to join them. But keeping up with the rhythm and hopping in time with the beats of the tinikling is much harder than Kailani imagined!
With Daddy’s help, Kailani practices the motions of the dance step by step. But will she be able to learn the tinikling in time to surprise her Lolo and Lola?
Illustrator Lynnor Bontigao’s work pairs exquisitely with Dorina Gilmore-Young’s storytelling to celebrate Filipino culture and traditions. Also included is a glossary of Tagalog terms used throughout the book.
AT THE END OF THE DAY
SPRING 2024 Knopf
Lisl H. Detlefsen (Author)
Lynnor Bontigao (Illustrator)
A pitch-perfect story about a busy, exhausted, and loving family dealing with one obstacle after another in the run-up to bedtime, in the spirit of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
At the end of a long day, sometimes it feels as if time will keep stretching endlessly. There are errands to run, homework to do, and toys to be put away. Sometimes it’s windy, and stormy, or downright boring. But . . . sometimes, with a little patience, the end of the day can be warm and cozy, surprising and exciting, and just right—filled with reasons to be grateful for the day you’ve had, and to look forward to tomorrow, too.
SEASHELL KEY SERIES #1
SPRING 2024 Abrams
Lourdes Heuer (Author)
Lynnor Bontigao (Illustrator)
Seashell Key is the first in author Lourdes Heuer and award-winning illustrator Lynnor Bontigao’s young chapter book series—perfect for fans of Princess in Black and Mercy Watson, about a diverse community of kids living in a beautiful seaside town!
Welcome to Seashell Key! Summer is here, and the children of this cozy coastal town are ready to welcome visitors to their little oasis. There’s Mateo, who runs his little kite-making business, Sail and Soar, alongside his dad’s Sky and Sea store; Sasha and Sophia, who comb the seashore next to their mother’s sandwich stand; and Eli, Ezra, and Elana, who live in the cozy-but-cramped lighthouse and entertain passing tourists with tall tales.
Filled with a vibrant cast and lots of summery fun, this is the start of an exciting chapter book series.