CSEAS collection of Southeast Asia children’s books on display at DeKalb library

DeKalb Public Library

DeKalb Public Library Youth Librarian Theresa Winterbauer, left, helps Center for Southeast Asian Studies Outreach Coordinator Julie Lamb, center, and graduate assistant Nicole Loring set up the Southeast Asia children’s book display at the library.

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies has set up a display of its collection of Southeast Asia-themed children’s books at the DeKalb Public Library, all of which are available for checkout through Jan. 31.

Library visitors are invited to browse through 68 volumes ranging from picture books for young readers to chapter books, some nonfiction, for middle-school readers. Titles include Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella (Cambodia), Brothers Wu and the Good Luck Eel (Philippines), Malaysian Children’s Favorite Stories (Malaysia), Nine-in-One, Grrr, Grrr! (Laos), Peek: A Thai Hide and Seek (Thailand), Rice is Life (Bali), Song of the Buffalo Boy (Vietnam) and The Dancing Pig (Indonesia).

All of the books are written in English or are bilingual. A few are translations of favorite American storybooks, such as The Rainbow Fish, which is available in the languages of Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines. “Exploring these books is a great way for children to learn about this part of the world,” said center outreach coordinator Julia Lamb. “Some of the books include Southeast Asian arts and crafts activities as well as wonderful stories and folk tales.”

The display was designed to call attention to center’s 50th anniversary coming up in March and is one of a number of free activities open to the community on campus, Lamb said.

A celebration of Southeast Asian performing arts will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. The exhibit “Rarely Seen Southeast Asia: Art, Artifact, Ephemera” is on display through May 15 at the NIU Anthropology Museum, open weekly Tuesday through Saturday. Another exhibit, “50 Years of CSEAS and the Donn V. Hart Southeast Asia Collection,” will go on display March 1 for a month at Founders Memorial Library.

Movie buffs can view Southeast Asia films being screened by the center’s Southeast Asia club January through April. Films and dates are Jan. 23: The Overture (Thailand, 2004), 6 p.m., Room 110, Art Building; Feb. 13: Here Comes the Bride (Philippines, 2010), 6 p.m., Room 100, Campus Life; March 6: The Lady (France, 2011), 6 p.m., Room 110, Art Building, and April 17: Yes or No (Thailand, 2011), 6 p.m. Room 100, Campus Life..

For a complete list of events, see the 50th Anniversary Calendar on the CSEAS website. Visitors to the website also may explore the center’s history at NIU on an online interactive timeline.

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies was established in 1963, two years after NIU was chosen in 1961 to be one of the first Peace Corps training centers in the country for volunteers headed for Malaysia. Today, the interdisciplinary center teaches six of the seven major Southeast Asian languages and is one of seven federally funded National Resource Centers for Southeast Asian Studies. Its faculty experts, past and present, are known worldwide in fields as diverse as anthropology, art history, history, language, political science, music, and geography.

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