BICBF 2016

I went to Bologna International Children’s Book Fair for the third time this year. Every time, I went crazy looking at picture books and illustrations. I bet you would to if you were there.

bicbf01Malaysia Pavilion organised by Perbadanan Kota Buku.

bicbf02Some of the titles by Oyez!Books.

bicbf03I was invited by Hunan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House to attend the launching of Tang Sulan’s picture book series, of which one of the books is illustrated by me; ‘The Other Side of the Bridge’. It was launched by the winner of Hans Christian Anderson Awards 2016, Mr. Cao Wenxuan from China. Miss Lim Lay Koon, International Rights Director dari Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency (YGL) and Oyez!Books was also present to witness the auspicious event.




Winner of the Fiction of Ragazzi Award (Fiction): MON TOUT PETIT, text by Germano Zullo, illustrations by Albertine. Winner of Non-fiction: LIBROS PARA MAÑANA (Series),text by Equipo Plantel illustrations by Marta Pina, Mikel Casal, Joan Negrescolor & Luci Gutiérrez. Winner of New Horizons: TONGUE TWISTERS (Lisanak Hisanak), text by Fatima Sharafeddine and illustrations by Hanane Kai. Winner of Opera Prima: PACHO RADA, LA LÉGENDE!, text and illustrations by Johanna Benz.


This year, BICBF celebrated 50 years of Illustrations Exhibition. The exhibition “Artists and Masterpieces of Illustration, 50 Illustrators’ Exhibitions 1967-2016” told the story of half a century that has seen a community of artists, publishers and readers meet each year to share their great passion: books and reading. The narration of
five decades, in the company of illustrators that have made their debut at the Fair or participated in the exhibition before going on to achieve international fame.

“Artists and Masterpieces of Illustration. 50 Illustrators’ Exhibitions 1967-2016”: an exhibition and a publication that intends to record the evolution and the latest trends in illustrated books for children through the work of artists from all over the world. In Italy with Altan, creator of Pimpa, and Roberto Innocenti with the unmissable Rose Blanche; together with great masters of illustration, Bruno Munari, Iela Mari and Lele Luzzati, to artists such as Chiara Carrer, Fabian Negrin and Alessandro Sanna, and the very young; from Britain, Quentin Blake, illustrator of Roald Dahl, Tony Ross, who is adored by the very young for his Stories of a Princess Series, including “I want my Potty!”; from France, Jean Claverie, author of Little Lou, Little Lou, and Yan Nascimbene, the refined illustrator of Italo Calvino; from Prague, the grand dame of illustration, Kv?ta Pacovská; from the United States, Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and David Macaulay; from Australia, Shaun Tan, with The Arrival, a pertinent story of migration; to the South Korean Suzy Lee with The Wave, a precious bookwithout words, a cult work for readers of all ages, just to name a few.

Here are more photos:

bicbf07Illustrations by Korean illustrators.

bicbf08Illustrations by Taiwan illustrators.

bicbf09Books from Germany,Country of Honour this year.



Best regards,
Emila, Corniglia,
Cinque Terre, Italy.




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BACA’s Meet The Author Series 2016: Emila Yusof

Last Saturday, I was given the honour to be the first author to appear in BACA’s Meet The Author Series 2016 at BACA – The Reading Room & Cafe, Temerloh, Pahang.

Apart from signing books, I conducted a drawing workshop, where children learned how to draw Dina, a girl protagonist in my books: My Mother’s Garden, My Mother’s Kitchen and My’ Father’s Farm.

18 children turned up and we had fun drawing Dina together. Here are some of the artworks done by the beautiful and bright children:


Here’s one special drawing (based on the cover of my book: My Father’s Farm) by Aina who travelled from KL to attend the workshop:


More pictures from the workshop:




Kids at work.


Fatin Irdina.


Zheng Ji.



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Bookaroo Literature Festival, Sarawak 2015

When I was invited by Jo Williams from the Bookaroo Trust India team to join its literature festival in Sarawak as a speaker, I was skeptical. I have never speak in public and never want to speak in public because I have doubt about myself; I feel that I am not good/expert enough to talk. So I told Jo, I had to pass the offer as I am not much into speaking.

But Jo, she did not gave up on me. She told me that I just have to do things in my capacity of an illustrator. I just need to draw with the kids, tell them what to draw on the doodle wall and that’s it. I quickly agreed and off I went to Sarawak to join the fest that was held on 28th – 29th March, 2015 at Pustaka Negeri Sarawak.

My first session went off in the morning with hundreds of kids turning up to join the doodle session. I started off with some doodles on the six feet wide wall of paper and they came and fill it within an hour! Some even took the effort to colour the doodles. It was such joy to see it happening before my eyes.

Kids colouring doodles

But on the next day, the rain was pouring so heavily and kids did not make it to my 2nd session. But that was okay as I had the volunteers to help me fill the doodle wall. It was fun to see enthusiasm on the face of’ bigger kids’ when they were told they can draw too.

The crowd started to come in after lunch when the rain stopped and thank God that the library was a full house again like the day before.

Anyway, let me tell you a bit about Bookaroo and what they do.

Bookaroo, the first children’s literature festival in India, was founded by children’s book activists; Swati Roy, Venkatesh M. Swamy and Jo Williams, in 2008, with a mission to bring children and books together in a borderless world. After organising several book festivals in Delhi, Srinagar, and Pune, it has now expanded to it’s first international venue: Kuching.

Pustaka Bookaroo or Bookaroo Literature Festival in Kuching kicked off on March 23 where speakers visited 18 schools in and around Kuching where they gave talks, did storytelling and few other fun activities. The highlight of the festival was held in Pustaka Negeri Sarawak where it brought two days (28-29 March) of exciting activities with storytellers, authors, illustrators and performers.

Those attended were Ng Kok Keong, Golda Mowe, Sarah Mounsey, Jade Fang, Stephanie Wong, Tanya Batt, Ary Nilandari, Dewi Tri Kusumah, Sophie Dewayani, Anushka Ravishankar, Ameen Ul Haque, Heidi Munan, Jantan Umbat, Jean Voon, Rosemarie Somaiah, Vashti Liong and Wendy Cooling.

bookarooteamParticipants with Bookaroo team; Swati (front left), Venkatesh (3rd row right, blue shirt) and Jo Williams (2nd top left, clad in orange shawl).

jadeJade Fang during her session: The Cat’s Whiskers. Jade Fang is an illustrator from Malaysia who currently lives in Singapore.

Seen interested in making the art was Wendy Knight (wearing Indian kurti), who was a volunteer at the festival. Wendy has been living in India for the past 3 years.


Ameen Ul Haque, also known as the Storywallahs, sang and played harmonica while telling stories.

stephStephanie Wong in her Monkey Faces workshop. Stephanie is an illustrator from Singapore who illustrated the famous Diary of Amos Lee book written by Adeline Foo.

tanyaTanya Batt in her Spooky Stories session. Tanya is an author and storyteller who hails from New Zealand.

I took the time to sit and listen to her story of a boy Pondika Cherika, who got eaten by a monster. The kids, their parents and I loved her and her story!

Pustaka Bookaroo will come back next year in Sarawak and I will be sure to join in the fun again.

Before I left the library for the airport, Jo said, “you know what, every time I go out, I will think of you because I mounted your illustrated postcards on my front door,” Jo ended the conversation while hugging me and telling me that she will send me the invite to the next Bookaroo edition in India.


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Bookaroo Fest 2015


Pustaka Negeri Sarawak working together with Bookaroo Trust will organize the Pustaka Bookaroo Childrens Literature Festival 2015. The festival will be held this coming 28-29 March 2015 the week after mid term school holidays.

Bookaroo is a charitable trust committed to bringing children and books together to spread the joy of reading. Started in India in 2008, the 7th Bookaroo Childrens Literature Festival was held in Delhi on 29-30 November 2014.

The Pustaka – Bookaroo Childrens Literature Festival 2015 is expected to bring together local and foreign authors, illustrators, story tellers, publishers, editors and book lovers. Among those who will be participating are The Storywallahs – Ameen ul Haque, Anushka, Ary NILANDARI, Dewi TrI KUSUMAH, Emila YUSOF, Golda MOWE, Heidi MUNANJADE, Jade FANG, Jantan UMBAT, Jean VOON, Ng Kok KEONG, Parnab MUKHERJEE, Rosemarie SOMAIAH, Sarah MOUNSEY, Sophie DEWAYANI, Stephanie WONG, Tanya BATTVASHTI and Vashti LIONG.

This festival aims to promote literature and reading among children and also to promote the development of knowledge, theory and practice of reading, writing and discussing aspects of fiction and non-fiction.

Not only that, it also aims to enhance public awareness and consciousness of the necessity of making children understand the importance of reading, literature from various states and countries, authors and make reading a fun venture, not a chore.

Meanwhile, The Bookaroo In The City program which is a visit program to several schools in Kuching City will be held on 23 & 27 March 2015. This would also help to encourage reading habit among students. Local book industries are expected to get positive impact from this festival.

Members of the public are invited to this festival. Admission is free. For further information, please contact Japri Bujang Masli or Razak Rambili at 082-442000 ext 103 / 348 or /

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Pray For Gaza #prayforgaza

Made this painting with the intention to donate 60% of the sale to charity of my choice for Gaza. I think I will go for VPM. Please pray for the safety of people in Gaza and pray hard for the bombings to end.

Title: Pray For Gaza
Medium: Mixed Media on canvas panel
Size: 12″ x 12″

(E-mail me at if you are interested in purchasing the painting.)



Let’s donate! Other than VPM, you can also donate to Unicef Malaysia and Islamic Relief Malaysia.

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