“NURTURING the mind while still young. Child development and values formation made enjoyable and interesting to kids with coloring, reading, drawing, writing, reasoning, storytelling and craft activities.
Lampara-Easy to Learn Books—fully illustrated children’s story and work-activity books with an array of enjoyable learning exercises.
EASY TO LEARN BOOKS came into being in 1997 when co-publishers Segundo “Jun” Matias, Jr. and Richard Reynante, who founded Precious Pages Corporation (PPC), decided to diversify from publishing popular literature (Tagalog romance pocketbooks).
Having established PPC in 1992 and after gaining success in the publication of romance pocketbooks in the next five years, Jun and Richard naturally looked into another area of the print media—that is, children’s books. Richard used to headwrite several children’s shows for ABS-CBN Channel 2.
The first book, Connect the Dots and Color, was submitted for evaluation by a walk-in artist, one of the few who heeded Jun’s call for the need for concepts for activity books that catered to preschool children.
The favorable response to the book in terms of sales and feedback prompted Jun and Richard to further explore the field, doing researches and making studies that would make feasible the total commitment to publishing children’s books. This was at the time when local publishing firms were publishing children’s books on a limited basis; most children’s books were being imported by local distributors and outlets—naturally, these books catered only to the needs of the elite.
Inspired to contribute what they can to the industry, Jun and Richard set up, within PPC, a core editorial staff to man the growing production of its book imprint Easy to Learn Books. Once this was solidified, Lampara Publishing House, Inc. (LPHI) was founded, becoming the sister company of PPC.
Under LPHI, the book imprint Lampara Books was established, aimed to bring not only to children but also to parents, teachers and caregivers stories from the current harvest of children’s literature in the country. Stories by award winning writers—written in two languages, Filipino and English, to reach a greater number of readers here in the Philippines and in other parts of the world—illustrated in full colors, have been featured in the book imprint.
In 2000, Jun and Richard attended the Singapore International Book Festival, the first of a series of international book festivals and fairs they started attending annually. Ensuing trips to such festivals/fairs to the US; Frankfurt, Germany; Tokyo, Japan; Taipeh, Taiwan; and Bologna, Italy helped galvanize the company’s commitment to publishing children’s books.
The eventual participation of Lampara Books and Easy to Learn Books in these foreign book festivals paved the way for the acquisition of rights by foreign book distributors to a number of titles published by the company. Wins Holland, a book manufacturer-distributor in Belgium, acquired the rights to the titles of a number of Easy to Learn books that were translated into Dutch and Portuguese for the European and Brazilian markets. Likewise, the rights to a number of titles from the Lampara Books imprint were acquired by a Singaporean book distributor and translated into Mandarin, Tamil, Malay and Bahasa Indonesia for the Southeast Asian market.
In the home front, in their bid to make children’s books more accessible for the local market, Lampara Books-Easy to Learn Books also started the importation of children’s books as well as the acquisition of rights to books from other countries for distribution. In 2003, the company began acquiring the rights to conceptualize, write, produce and distribute books on popular characters, including Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues, Winnie the Pooh, Barney, Disney Princess, Barbie, Marvel Superheroes, The Lion King and Toy Story.
Way into its tenth year in the business, Lampara Publishing House, Inc. is slowly but surely forging its way into the global market. Proof of this is the birth, in 2005, of Easy to Learn Sydney—ETL Sydney—a business branch of the company in Australia, the first in a planned establishment of business branches of the company in strategic locations.
Today, what used to be a mere “children’s department” at the PPC office has become a full-fledged publishing company of not only children’s books but children’s learning aids and paraphernalia as well. The company’s editorial unit, through its core staff, now manages a stable of freelance contributors from the academe—child psychologists, preschool teachers, experienced child caregivers, MassCom students and graduates as well as professional and beginning writers.
LPHI is a member of Books Exporter of the Philippines, Book Development Association of the Philippines, Inc., National Book Development Board, & The Manila International Book Fair.
MISSION AND VISION
To manufacture and provide the basic tools and materials, both interactive and activity-based, needed in the introduction of early academic learning to children.