The Asian Festival of Children’s Content is 1 week away! And I’m looking forward to it on several levels.

As an author, it’s my big book-candystore outing where I get to meet a diverse group of children’s content creators and buy an array of books from the Festival Bookstore and collect autographs on the spot.

As a stay-home mum to my preschooler, it’s my annual 1-week childcare leave ie. I get to leave my child with various family members for 7 full days where I can indulge in adult conversation!

This is my final shout-out for AFCC where you can still sign up for a Full-Day or Full-Festival Pass!

China Artist Qing Feng's Art

China Artist Qing Feng’s Art

Final Kid Portion Highlights:

1) AFCC ‘s country of focus this year: CHINA

After 30 years of development, China has achieved its unprecedented golden era in children’s publishing trade. In 2014, the China market has shown a 10% growth; this anticipates it will continue to rise in the next ten years. In all various picture book markets, China possesses the largest growth among countries.

A delegation of Chinese authors, illustrators and publishers will be at AFCC on 4th and 5th June as well as hold an exhibition at the Central Library Exhibition Area.

AFCC 2015’s Guest Illustrator is Cai Gao, once named China’s most outstanding children’s artist.


More on the China programme of events at AFCC’s Country of Focus Page.

2) Media Summit

As content creation in today’s marketplace is going 360 degrees strategy-wise, AFCC will also have a 1-day Media Summit, with speakers whose profile includes producers, television/film executives, commissioning editors, screenwriters, authors, publishers, app developers, animators, filmmakers and content creators.

Storytelling from an App

“Storytelling from an App” will see our panellists discuss more about augmented reality, book markets for story apps, “real” and “fictional” worlds, and the future of story apps!

ERIC_HUANG_200_250_90_s_c1Eric Huang, Development Director at Made in Me, an award-winning company in London,  was previously the Managing Editor at Penguin in Melbourne, a Publisher at Funtastic, and Head of Licensing at Parragon Books in the UK.

Shirin_Yim_Bridges_-_WIC_200_250_90_s_c1Shirin Yim Bridges, Head Goose  of Goosebottom Books, Gosling Press, is an Ezra Jack Keats award-winner  for her first book, Ruby’s Wish, The Umbrella Queen made TIME magazine’s Top 10 list for 2008, and she is also publisher of Booklist Top 10 Nonfiction Series Dastardly Dames.

Saad-Chinoy_200_250_90_s_c1Saad Chinoy, Chief Geek, Tusitala (RLS) Pte Ltd.) is charged with Technology for Tusitala, where he’s been developing a digital publishing platform that leverages mobile devices to create unique user experiences.



 Connecting with Children through Transmedia Storytelling

“Connecting with Children through Transmedia Storytelling” will see UK producer Alison Norrington (Founder of Storycentral) highlighting examples from animation, broadcast and blockbuster movies, and telling us more about children’s consuming stories and transmedia storyworlds that resonate with them.

Unleash Your Potential with Online Platforms

Finally, I will be on a closing panel for the AFCC “Unleash Your Potential with Online Platforms” with three other panellists (creators and participants) behind NaNoWriMo, 52-Week Illustration Challenge, 24-Hour Comics Day, and the 12×12 Picture Book Challenge – discussing how online challenges push illustrators and authors to discover their maximum potential.


So, here’s my final goodie bag offering:

4 Toy titles

Share this final post on Facebook or your Blog and stand a chance to win an autographed complete 4-book set of my Toy Titles FREE! For postage reasons, this is open to participants living in Singapore only.

Closing Date is Fri 29th May so share away now!

Also check out AFCC’s programme offerings here.

Earlier AFCC Kid Portion posts:

Kid Portion 1

Kid Portion 2

Today, I had the pleasure of speaking in a line up of very distinguished speakers who shared with the MGS Sec 4 graduating class on a full range of career options.

The morning saw speakers from the medical, legal, banking and finance as well as broadcast and communications professions, in a line-up worthy of those paid high-powered corporate conferences.

– Dr Vivienne Ng, Chief Psychologist of Ministry of Social & Family Development

– Dr Ivor Lim, Plastic Surgeon & Adjunct Professor in Surgery, NUS

– Deborah Barker, Managing Partner of KhattarWong LLP law firm

– Keith Magnus, CEO of Evercore Asia, an investment banking advisory firm

– Gerald Koh, 98.7FM DJ

– Lynda Moo, Regional Marketing & Communications, Club 21

– Calvin Tan, Educational Consultant, The Blue Bulb

I was in the afternoon session titled “Unconventional Careers” together with Gerald Png, founder of Soul Food, a social enterprise.

As closing speaker, I confess I was a bit on edge, especially with the added nostalgia of being an old girl who was back to speak at my Alma mater for the first time since graduating in 1987.

As I sat down to prepare for the talk over the past week, I asked myself:

What can I say to this graduating class of MGS girls who are very much a reflection of my schoolgirl self from so long ago?

I wanted to say something that could encourage them and be honouring to God.

I also reflected upon the career choices that some of my cohort and I made and decided to start off with sharing that.

I pulled out two old photos which a few friends recently posted on Facebook in a thread where we were reminiscing about old school days.

As it turned out, the slide that I was most sentimental about in my presentation was the same one that resonated most deeply with the girls, going by their “Awww….” reactions. I think they could imagine themselves walking a similar path and attending each other’s weddings many years on.

MGS photo then & then

I shared how many of us wanted to be SQ flight stewardesses, wear sarong kebayas and travel the world.

Years on, Lynn studied psychology at NUS and ended up as editor of several fashion magazines.

Swee Lin studied a business related degree at London School of Economics in the U.K. and worked at a few management consulting firms.

Lucy became a President Scholar and is now a school principal.

And me? I studied Accountancy because it was the shortest route to a professional degree with honours. Frankly, our generation had no career guidance back then and so, I simply opted for the practical career. And many in my cohort went on to become lawyers and doctors.

But as I shared with the girls, life sometimes doesn’t go as we plan. It has its ups, downs, twists and turns. Mine came with a rare voice condition Spasmodic Dysphonia at a point where my career was taking flight with a luxury hotel company. It took me off the the conventional career ladder to a beaten track in search of voice and answers.

And by God’s grace, I’m now on a path less travelled and less written about.

Did I ever want to be a author in Singapore? No! It was the last thing I wanted to do. As a practical-minded Singaporean, I didn’t think I could survive doing it.

Yet today, I cannot imagine doing anything else. And I am grateful for the opportunity it brings to speak to classrooms and school halls of children – our future leaders of tommorrow.

The graduating class of 2015 was asked to come in corporate work-ish clothes. So, instead of a sea of white and blue uniforms, I faced a hall full of many corporate suits and other work gear, which reminded me of my early work years.

To round off after my talk, Lynn and I went to the school canteen to eat the red bowl noodles.  I couldn’t believe that it was the same Auntie who sold us red bowl noodles in our class tuckshop since my Primary One days. It was S$0.30 then and S$1.70 now. It tasted as good…no…in fact better than it did once upon a time ago.

Related Posts:

Survival & Success as a Singapore Author

MGS – Parent-Teacher meetings, Old Girl’s Reunion & Children’s Books

As part 2 of AFCC Kid Portions (my countdown to the Asian Festival of Children’s Content), I will be giving away 2 titles from my Toy Series! More of that later in the post.

Meantime, the 3-day Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference track of AFCC looks bookelicious!

I, will for one, be going for a few yummy items on the menu:

Candy-Gourlay_200_250_90_s_c1Why Asia Needs more Writers for Children & Young People

Candy Gourlay will provide give this Keynote speech on how young people seeing themselves in books will empower them, while providing the rest of the world with a window to our diverse cultures.

Based in London, Candy’s debut novel Tall Story was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for 13 awards. It won the 2012 National Children’s Book Award in the Philippines as well as the 2011 Crystal Kite Award for Europe. Her second book SHINE won Candy her second Crystal Kite Award last year, and was nominated for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

ACWIC_Ying_Chang_Compestine_200_250_90_s_c1Children’s Books by the Asian Diaspora and their Relevance to Asian Children

Ying Chang Compestine will also give a Keynote speech, sharing her journey from East to West and discussing challenges an Asian author faces in the Western world.

Based in the U.S., Ying is the versatile and prolific author of 20 books and named one of “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” by the Author’s Show in the U.S.. Her highly acclaimed novel about her life growing up in China during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, has received over 33 national awards.


Transmedia Publishing and Publishing in the Digital World

Alison-Norrington_200_250_90_s_c1Alison Norrington will compare the traditional book and transmedia stories and how transmedia stories has helped children enjoy reading. Sarah Odedina will discuss the changing landscape of publishing in the digital age and exciting innovations that affect readers, writers and publishers.

Alison Norrington is a writer, producer, CEO and founder of storycentral, a London-based entertainment studio that incubates and develops transmedia properties with global partners.

Sarah-Odedina_200_250_90_s_c1Sarah Odedina served as publishing director of the children’s list of Bloomsbury Publishing – including overseeing and managing the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. She is the founder of the successful and award-winning Hot Key Books publishing company.




The Nuts and Bolts of Self-Publishing: The Good, the Bad and the Fabulous

Finally, I will have the pleasure of moderating a panel of three self-published Singapore-based authors Sarah Mounsey, Emma Nicholson and Hidayah Amin who will advise on the nuts and bolts of the business, including designing, printing and marketing.

Hop over to the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2015 to check out the full menu!


Children's Picture Book on friendship, sacrifice and self-acceptance

Children’s Picture Book on friendship, sacrifice and self-acceptance

Children's Picture Book on identity and individuality

Children’s Picture Book on identity and individuality

To stand a chance to win my award-winning titles The Tale of Rusty Horse and Just Teddy, simply share this post on your blog or Facebook page. Leave a comment here with the shared link.

Closing date is 17 May and I will randomly draw 1 winner for the 2-book giveaway.

So share away with your friends about the the Biggest Festival on Children’s Content in Asia!


The Random Draw Winner is Robert Sim!

A Boy named Harry“I want to be the Prime Minister of Singapore, ” says Caleb’s 6-year old cousin who is matured beyond his years. “How many more Prime Ministers before I am old enough?”

When I passed him an autographed copy of A Boy Named Harry – the Childhood of Lee Kuan Yew over dinner, he devoured the book immediately.

“Mr LKY learnt Japanese. I’m now learning Japanese too,” he said. “But he also knew Malay. I have to learn Malay,” he added single-mindedly.



Caleb, my four year old, has very different aspirations.

“I want to drive a truck,” he told me a month back.

“You are too young,” I said.

“How old before I can drive a truck?” Caleb asked.

“Well, I think you can get a driver’s licence when you are 21 years old. But to drive a truck, you need a special licence. Even Papa cannot drive a truck.”

“What special licence?”

“Well, you need to take special lessons. It’s like going to a Truck School.”

“I want to go to Truck School.”


One week later, he woke up with a different idea.

“I want to drive a submarine,” he said.

“I must go to a Submarine School,” he added sagely.

transformers-2015-bumblebee-animated(Source: http://www.tfw2005.com)

Last weekend:

“When I am 1,000 years old, I want to a Transformer.”

Right. Okay.

“But before that, I will hide as an old truck.”


Finally, yesterday:

“When I grow up, I want to be Darth Vader.”



Well, I guess I can safely say that he is definitely not short on imagination. I wonder where he got that from.


I am having a FREE giveaway of Armour Publishing’s new release Keep Calm & Mother On –  21 Mums’ stories of parenting children from 1-21 years old. I am one of the contributors to this book where I share my journey of parenting a preschooler.

To take part in the FREE giveaway, check out the details in my blogpost here.



The Biggest Festival of Children’s Content of its kind will kick off end of May! Now into its 5th year, the AFCC (Asian Festival of Children’s Content) has continued to grow in reach from home base Singapore.

As a local author and someone who has grown with the Festival right from its infancy, thanks to Book Council Executive Director and AFCC Founder Rasu Ramachandran, I’ve decided to do a series of book giveaways as I count down to AFCC which starts in 30 days.

Here are two Kid Portions which I hope to chew on as I attend the AFCC’s Preschool & Primary Teacher’s Congress this 30th and 31st May:


Dilip-Mukerjea_200_250_90_s_c1Visual Mapping for Young Children to Enhance Their Learning Capabilities

As a picture book author, I think visually when I write. Thus, I am very interested to hear Dilip Mukerjea, Owner & M.D of Braindancing International and Buzan Centre (India), speak on how we can maximise our children’s visual intelligence given that 80% of the brain is dedicated to visual processing.

Dilip has been publicly acclaimed as “phenomically creative and one of the world’s top 10 Master Mind Mappers” by Education Guru Tony Buzan.


Quin_200_250_90_s_c1Code-Switching & Language Development: Exploring Bi-literacy in Books

Given my half-past six Mandarin which I switch between my stronger suit, English, I have concerns about how best to develop my preschooler’s love for Mandarin.

I will look forward to hearing Yow Wei Quin, Asst Professor, Singapore University of Technology & Design,  speak on Code-switching, the alternation of two or more languages within a single conversation. This session will include some of the latest findings with regards to code-switching in bilingual children on spoken language, as well as the use of two languages in children’s literature.


So with all this talk of visual learning and literacy, I am giving away 1 FREE autographed copy of my picture book Bunny Finds The Right Stuff.




Bunny Finds The Right Stuff has received the following accolades:

– Silver Medal, IPPY Awards 2010 (the world’s largest book awards)

– Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Shortlist 2011

– Honorable Mention Award, Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards 2012



To take part in this Book Giveaway, all you have to do is share this blogpost on Facebook and leave a comment on my Blog Post with your shared link.

Closing Date is 8 May 2015 and open to those living in Singapore (for postage reasons). Winner will be picked randomly.

So, share away and also check out AFCC 2015 where you can attend with a 1-day pass through full Festival Pass!

The Random Draw Winner is Florence Chia!



Mother’s Day is coming soon so I thought I would have a giveaway of 1 FREE copy of Keep Calm & Mother On!

Keep Calm & Mother On Cover

To enter, just leave a comment on my post with your name & email address. 1 winner will be picked randomly. Closing Date for entry is 10 May and open only to those living in Singapore.

And for those who wish to buy copies of Keep Calm & Mother On for Mother’s Day gifts, you can do so at a promotional price of 15% off retail price at the Armour Publishing e-store using this promotional code: motheringon21

Read more about Keep Calm & Mother On in my earlier posts:

Keep Calm, Stay Sane & Let Go – 21 Singapore Mum Stories

Parenting is Giving me a PhD in Multi-disciplines
Now, let’s calm down and breathe slow :).

The Random Draw Winner is Mei Lim!



Hurry over to A Happy Mum now for your chance to win a free autographed copy of Tibby & Duckie!

Bunny, Duckie and Picture Book Fun

Bunny, Duckie and Picture Book Fun

Whilst you are there, check out award-winning A Happy Mum’s blog which is choc-a-bloc with parenting tips, crafts and activities for you to do with your kids!








Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 557 other followers