This is Lianne Ong’s second book in her museum series (the first saw Stacey exploring our National Museum), and features a quirky, delightful walk through the Peranakan Museum.
32 pages of full colour illustrations and an easy to read font meant that six year old K loved it.
Although I am not Peranakan, I recall being fascinated by the exhibits at the museum when I last visited. Even if our ancestors were pure Chinese immigrants, I would say most of us Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese today are indeed Straits Chinese, with a very distinct culture from the mainland Chinese.
I recall recording a short video clip at one of the interactive stations, and penning a long note to deposit at the ‘thoughts’ box after learning so much about Stella Kon at the Emily of Emerald Hill exhibit then.
When I read this book, I immediately recognised the gorgeous glass bead tablecloth that was the centerpiece exhibit in one room. Just as the girls do in the book, I recall gawking over it at length. Millions of tiny glass beads, woven into an intricate beaded tapestry of flora and fauna – a mesmerizing sight to behold. What a treat it would be for a child to see a piece introduced in this book come to life, so to speak, at the museum!
Some of our favourite picture books are the James’ Mayhew’s Katie series, where she explores art museums and gets into all sorts of imaginary troubles. Bringing museum art appreciation into a book is wonderful, and I’m glad Lianne Ong has embarked on doing so for our very own museums, which are national treasures in themselves.
I loved how Mei said “…let’s have a party and play masak-masak.” The vernacular phrase is something so local and familiar to Singaporean children, and ties in nicely with the Peranakan theme of being at a tok panjang feast. One always feels that bit closer to a story, when it’s written by a compatriot!
The husband felt that it was a bit disconcerting to have a statute wink at you, but I thought most children would not be unduly bothered by that. What I couldn’t help but notice and wonder why the lovely geometric prints on the aunt’s skirt somehow kept changing in proportion, but that’s just me. When I asked K, she said she enjoyed “the story” and “the pictures” – understated, but truly the essence of a book I suppose!
Stacey goes to the Peranakan Museum is available here (currently at a special 15% off price of $13.64).
Two readers of this blog also stand to win a copy of this book!
Just complete all the following steps:
1. “Like” Armour Publishing’s FB page
2. “Like” LilBlueBottle’s FB page
3. “Like” and leave a comment on this post with your email address, tagging 3 friends.
Please note that winners will have to collect the book from Armour Publishing’s showroom at Bukit Merah. This giveaway is open to Singapore residents, and two winners will be picked and informed via email in 2 weeks’ time.
For more perspectives on the book, here’s a friend’s review of the same book!