We visited the Pasir Ris Library during the school holidays, which opened in November 2015 after extensive renovations. It’s a wonderful space for book lovers, especially for children. Look at the section specially dedicated to children’s books!
The shelves are customised in height, with board books on even lower boxes (in turquoise on the left) and picture books on beautifully curved display shelves that any lower primary kid can reach.
As at many other library branches, there was a section with books by Singaporean authors in all four national languages.
We found these four Chinese books there! I haunt that section regularly, since I find that it’s much easier to find suitable Chinese books there, in terms of the level of difficulty of the text, and how easily my kids can relate to the content.
Pleasantly surprised to find these four books there, which I had not seen previously.
《我爱我家》is a compilation of four short stories, with a simple moral behind each one. I particularly appreciated the fact that there was a ‘note to parents’ for every story, on the intent of that story. Clearly recognising that Singaporean parents are likely to be more proficient in English, there is also a glossary of the harder Chinese terms.
The next two books belong to the same series. Produced by the 新加坡华文教研中心, the series was the result of a competition, where winning stories submitted by students and other Singaporeans were eventually published.
Both books incorporate interactive elements to make reading interesting. The book above has a maze, and little Q&A on some pages. The book below has pop-up or fold-out pages, and even a little clear bookmark that interacts with words on the page.
Finally, the Chinese version of the book ‘Inside the Red Box’. I had heard of the English version, but had not come across the Chinese one.
The author is doubly talented, having both written and illustrated the book.
I take issue with the phrase ‘听大人说，他做的都是好事’ (top right)… but the rest of the book is alright, so.
Although there was no explicit reference to LKY in name, before long K guessed that it was about him, given the semblance from the illustrations.
I think the book was very cleverly written, and the partly fictional storyline was charming and very engaging to a child.
Without being overly diadectic, the book inspires kids to work hard towards fulfilling their dreams. I thought the explanation of the box’s contents was particularly poignant.