The Quarreling Kites, the Palanca-award winning children’s book, was written by Lin Acacio-Flores and illustrated by Hermes Alegre. It is a tale of a father and a son flying two kites, a big one, and a small one. It starts off describing the rivalry and competitiveness between the two kites. Bigger and stronger versus smaller and faster.
We see the push to be better than the other:
“I’m better than you are. I’m bigger and stronger.”
“That doesn’t mean anything. I’m smaller and faster.”
“Hah! You call that flying?”
It goes on to show the gradual transformation from the competitive spirit and rivalry into encouragement and friendship between the kites.
“C’mon, little brother … You can do it!”
Alongside these two characters are the father and son bonding through flying the kites. Kite flying is a beautiful activity to share with someone.
It is an interesting way to show a parallel between two pairs of characters whose stories intertwine throughout the book.
The Quarreling Kites is overall a beautifully illustrated story showing the rural landscapes of the Philippines and a tale showing the development of appreciation and respect for others.
About the Author & Illustrator
Lin Acacio-Flores has written several articles and other books, including A Child’s Treasury of Philippine Christmas Stories, When I Cross the Street … (Kapag Tumatawid Ako Ng Kalsada …), and Modern Heroes for the Filipino Youth. She shares her passion for children’s literature as a member of the association, KUTING.
Hermes Alegre loved spending his days flying kites with his father as a child, so the story of The Quarreling Kites is near and dear to his childhood. He illustrated other children’s literature including Bahay Kubo and The Mats, which earned the 1995 National Book Award for Children’s Literature. In addition to books, Mr. Alegre has featured paintings of Filipino maidens and golden landscapes in many gallery exhibits.
A fun extension activity is to make and fly a kite. There are so many different types of kites to make, from different types of materials to different kite styles.
Below are a couple of links to helpful websites showing how to make various kinds of kites:
- How to Build A Kite: is a very comprehensive website filled with so many different kinds of kites, tutorials, and information. https://www.my-best-kite.com/how-to-build-kites.html
- How to make a kite out of a plastic bag: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Kite-Out-of-a-Plastic-Bag
- Paper Kite for kids: https://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Paper-Kite-for-Kids/
Learn Kite-themed Tagalog words
Reading about kite flying is a great way to introduce Tagalog vocabulary for kites and sky-related words.
We created a one-page printable that introduces five sky & kite-themed words in Tagalog. Your child can draw a picture using the suggested Tagalog/English vocabulary words. Depending on their ability, they can trace the word (if you pre-write it for them), copy the words, cut out and glue the words. Then practice saying the words aloud while pointing to the pictures.