When I told my girls we were invited to the launch of a children’s book about Lea Salonga, they were floored. They are big fans of Lea. Sophia knows all her songs. They’ve met her at the opening night of Mamma Mia at the CCP where they were surrounded by so many local stars but they only recognized Lea and another personality.
Princess Lea is Yvette Fernandez’ fifth book published by Dream Big Books, a subsidiary of Summit Books focusing on children’s stories about modern-day Filipino role models. Among the books in the series are Big John, the riches-to-rags-to-riches tale of John Gokongwei, Jr.; Nanay Coring, the success story of National Book Store owner Socorro Ramos; Ninoy, Cory, and Noynoy, which tells of love for nation of the Aquino family; and Simply Jesse, which recounts the life of former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Writer Yvette Fernandez, Lea and illustrator Nicole Lim. Princess Lea shows highlights of Lea’s life from when she was a six-year-old, landing a part in a local production of The King and I to an internationally renowned performer who has starred as Kim in Miss Saigon, Eponine and Fantine in Les Miserables, and Mei-Li in Flower Drum Song, among others.
The story builds up to the day of Lea’s wedding to Rob – Lea’s favourite “moment” in the book. She also says her favourite role is that of mommy to daughter Nicole, who read the 10 tips to succeeding like Lea Salonga.
Then they all lined up and waited for their turn at the book signing. They weren’t just excited about seeing Lea again, they were also looking forward to talking with Yvette Fernandez (they call her Tita Yvette). Yvette has given them signed copies of all her children’s books. Soph has a knack for writing fiction and poetry, and hopes to be published one day. Both Soph and Lily love drawing and illustrating their works, so they were also in awe of the illustrator Nicole.
Princess Lea is available in National Book Store and other bookstores nationwide for only Php 125. Part of the proceeds from the sales will go to the ICanServe Foundation, to benefit women with breast cancer.