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A few weeks back, my friend and read-aloud expert Suzanne Jung did an awesome storytelling video of Little Mole’s Awesome Star and I did a mini-introduction to introduce myself and her. This was for a preschool chain that approached me to contribute a storytelling session for this stay-home period.

National Heritage Board chanced upon it and asked if Suzanne and I could do a another storytelling video for them? They loved our combination of my author introduction and Suzanne’s amazing storytelling.

Suzanne&me

So Little Godwit finds his wings and voice in the Speak Good English Movement’s Stories: Let’s Connect series!

Suzanne, thanks for lending your awesome voice to both the Little Godwit and Little Mole books!

It’s been such a big delight to see you read my Little series!

Related Links:

Watch Read-Aloud Expert Suzanne Jung’s storytelling of Little Mole’s Awesome Star 

Prince Bear & Pauper Bear TV interview on Channelnews Asia 

This week, Caleb returned to school after a two-month break.

School closure has been part of Singapore’s Circuit Breaker measures (ie. a semi-lockdown to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19).

I thought Caleb would be bored stiff staying at home for two months. Surprisingly, he wasn’t.

He enjoyed not having to wake up early for school. He simply rolled out of bed, had a leisurely breakfast and school started with a push of a button on the laptop as he logged in for Home-Based Learning.

Once Caleb completed his school work, he had plenty of quiet afternoons for play, reading and kicking a football around.  He must have enjoyed this routine because he asked, “Mum, so do I need to go to school for the rest of the year?”

 

As we bid farewell to our old life (pre-Covid19) and adjust to our new life post-Circuit-Breaker, we have been heartened by a new life birthed at home during our stay-home period.

A baby Bulbul was born in a nest cleverly woven by mummy bird amidst one of our potted plants.

I’ve been able to observe close-up as baby bird cries for mummy bird when she’s away collecting food, and also during feeding and baby naps.

 

(“Mummmy!! I want Mummmmyy!!! That was tiring…need a nap…zzz”)

 

This morning, baby bird shivered alone as the storm blew in and heavy raindrops pelted the nest.

I wanted to use an umbrella to cover it but it was too big and obtrusive.

Then, I tried sheltering it with Caleb’s old raincoat but it was too heavy to be supported by the scant foliage.

Finally, I took a leaf from mummy bird’s construction work. Well…two leaves, to be exact.

I cut them off the next potted plant and inserted their stalks in with the vines that mummy bird had woven to hold the leaves around her nest.

 

(Baby bird settles down after the add-on shelter to the nest during today’s heavy downpour.)

 

Baby bird seemed so vulnerable and afraid of the storm which it could not understand.

It was a reminder that God provides in the midst of a storm…whether directly or through other forms of help.

With the shelter in place, baby bird calmed down and settled down to sleep.

Mummy bird returned. She did not object to the new add-on shelter because it kept with her architectural style and was environmentally-friendly.

MummyBirdBodyShelter

Mummy Bird sheltering Baby Bird from yesterday’s lighter rain. Caleb said she tucked her head in so that she and baby bird could see each other face-to- face to talk, like how he and I talk to each other.

 

And my little lesson from this?

We need to find the best way to co-exist with nature even after the COVID-19 storm passes. And that requires us to respect and take a leaf from Nature’s cues, be it bird or bats.

Related Links:

Pandemic Pause #9- Is God opening our eyes to what a virus is revealing?

God Knows Leh #38: One Metre Apart & the World on Pause Mode

 

 

 

 

I’m thrilled to have my friend and read-aloud expert Suzanne do a most awesome storytelling of my latest picture book Little Mole’s Awesome Star.

I do a tiny introduction, and then get to enjoy seeing Suzanne set a whole new professional standard for home-made storytelling videos!

Suzanne, heart-loads of thanks from your story-time fan girl!

 

 

Little Mole’s Awesome Star is available in the bookstores and online at Times’ GoGuru online store.

Related Links:

Awesome Star! Little Mole surfaces in Straits Times’ 8 Reads for March

Reader’s Favourite! Little Godwit finds his way to 5 shiny stars!

Is Coronavirus-19 here to rule?

Making humans its footstool?

First, snatching breath, restricting respiration

Occupying lungs in a drowning sensation

Destroying our body

Our systems

Our organs

Our immunity

Can we escape impunity?

 

Is Coronavirus-19 here to stay?

Will it ever fully go away?

First, masquerading as the common cold

Dismissed, seen lightly by young and old

Till it crowned itself and unveiled vast power

Dislodged us from our mighty ivory tower

Shaking our world

Our structures

Our systems

Our foundations

Can we bring restoration?

 

Is Man’s failings here to rule?

Will we seek wisdom or stay the fool?

First, stripping Earth of her produce

Over-consumption, plundering, abuse

Unleashing Nature’s imbalance

Her virus

Her bacteria

Her plague

Can we realise what’s at stake?

 

Is Man’s humbling here to stay?

Will our presumption ever go away?

First, our expulsion from Eden’s garden

Repeated follies, despite Divine pardon

Crowned ourselves with maddening power

Scaling dizzying heights of Babel’s tower

Glorifying our Self

Our status

Our medals

Our wealth

Can we rebuild spiritual health?

 

Is the law of nature here to rule?

Will we learn our lessons in full?

First, recall how Man’s called to steward

All creatures of the land, sea and skyward

Store holy fear in our heart

Not letting God’s Word depart

Respecting God’s sovereignty

God’s Place

God’s Purpose

God’s Creation

Can we recognise our salvation?

Mankind’s origin, purpose, station

Dust to dust, our Maker’s volition

 

Is Coronavrus-19 in control?

Forcing us to track and patrol?

Can a vaccine really save us for good?

Can it be that we haven’t understood?

Man has no real control over this plague

No full understanding, till we acknowledge

Recognising our Almighty

Our Creator of the Universe

Our Maker of Heaven and Earth

Our Sovereign Saviour

The Most High is in control

In the end, God will decide

O Soul, be still and abide

 

Ps 46:10 

 “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.

 

Related Links:

Pandemic Pause #8- The Pandemic and Crowns of Covid-19 and Love

Thank God Friday #24 – For A Time like This, Write for a Better World

 

This coming week will see my last meeting on the Museum Education Advisory Panel for National Gallery Singapore. I will be ending my two year term on the panel in a virtual meeting, given the current pandemic situation.

It’s been a pleasure to get a sneak peek into the Gallery’s plans for engaging its audience and in particular, how the team has been reaching out to students and families.

I’ve missed my lazy afternoons at the Gallery with Caleb at the Keppel Centre for Art Education, given that it has been closed through this Circuit Breaker period.

Meanwhile, here’s a portal into the Gallery with a host of crafts and activities which children can do from home: Gallery Kids!

For parents who would like to spark their kids’ story-making, you can check out some ideas in the Gallery’s Artful Parenting May issue.

ArtfulParentingPg1

ArtfulparentingPg2

Stay home, stay creative!

Related Links:

National Gallery Singapore – Kids & Families Activities

Rusty Horse trots into Storytime with Senior Minister of State  

Delighted that The Tale of Rusty Horse can play a part in NLB’s Public Libraries Singapore Storytime, a series of online storytelling sessions for children as they stay home during this pandemic period, with public libraries currently closed.

Senior Minister of State Sim Ann read my book in a Storytime session which premiered yesterday evening on Facebook.

SimAnn RustyHorse

You can watch the storytelling session at this link

And here’s an animated version of the story from before.

 

Look out for more storytelling sessions by Public Libraries Singapore’s librarians at their Facebook page!

Related Links:

God Knows Leh #38: One Metre Apart & the World on Pause Mode

Public Libraries Singapore 

What has a tiny virus revealed

About our world’s great power

Superpowers lose their shine

Leadership in sorrowful decline

No wisdom from Babel’s Tower

Finger pointing, more confusion

Bicker, dither, without solution

Outpunched

Outranked

Outstrengthed

Invaded virally

 

What has a tiny virus shown

About our world’s dependency

Tourism run down to the ground

Businesses shuttered all around

Factories closed, cranes stand still

Markets crash, shattered economy

Countries bubble-wrapped for safety

Locked down

Clamped down

Broken down

Dictated virally

 

What has a tiny virus exposed

About our world’s fault-lines

The Haves, sheltered, who still moan

The Have-nots, the isolated and alone

Livelihoods now intertwine

Mere droplets show up failings stark

Floods the memories of Noah’s Ark

Invisible in sight

Inevitable in plight

Inequitable in light

Convicted virally

 

What has a tiny virus taught

About our world’s ways

Man, in state of being and reflection

Clearer sighted than in constant motion

Locked down, counting our days

Search God’s Word for revelation

To live with meaningful direction

To refill

To renew

To restart

Redefined virally

 

What has God’s Word spoken

About our world’s pursuits

How the mighty Tower of Babel fell

And only Noah’s family lived to tell

Only when Man has reached wit’s end

Can we finally see God’s sovereign hand

Omnipresent

Omniscient

Omnipotent

God Mightily

 

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:25

 

 

 

 

Covid-19 pandemic, a crown of infection

Spreading through droplets and touch

Asymptomatic, its viral inception

Till it clogs the lungs, creates heart trouble

Clotting the blood, restricting one’s breath

For the chronically ill, a spectre of death

 

Covid-19 pandemic, a crown of division

Separating family and friends

Halting gatherings, seeding inhibition

The speed of its travel, furious and fast

Countries locked down, borders shut

Communities paused, keeping apart

 

Sin’s pandemic, a crown of deception

Spreading through lies and envy

And need for world domination

Darkens the heart, makes it callous

Seeding hardness, prejudice and hate

Self-centeredness, our unforgiving state

 

Sin’s pandemic, a crown of rejection

Separating mankind from God

Creates barriers to communication

Till we stop seeing and hearing

Minds darkened to wisdom above

Refuting our design and our Maker’s love

 

Christ’s pandemic, a crown of relation

Spreading goodness and grace

Personal in communication

Till we feel His holy presence

Touch our hearts, renew our minds

Healing our relationship with God Divine

 

Christ’s pandemic, a crown of reconciliation

Spreading love and forgiveness

Marks our Saviour’s sacrifice, devotion

Bridges the way to our Father in Heaven

Prince of Peace, Sovereign over all

Restoring all that we lost from the Fall

 

Covid-19 and Sin’s pandemic

So insidious their spread

Masquerading as harmless

Then, unveiling grave threat

Repeated cleansing sanitizes

Keeps us clear for a time

Lures us to believe we are all good

Till we’re entrapped in its grime

 

Christ’s pandemic of love

Virally and desperately, we need

Salvation for sin and sinner

Redeemed and fully freed

His death saves us for good

His blood washes us truly clean

To stand before God Almighty

Creator of all seen and unseen

 

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  1 John 4:9-10

 

Related Links:

Pandemic Pause #7 – When a virus strikes, what becomes essential?

Thank God Friday #24 – For A Time like This, Write for a Better World

What becomes essential

when a virus strips us bare?

Exposes our self-absorption

All we prize, for what we care

Another want, another purchase

Wardrobes full, now go nowhere

Our fashion pared to one statement

Sans lip gloss these days

Only a mask to cover half our face

Where earrings once dangle

Loops around our ears, replace

 

What becomes essential

when a virus locks us down?

Limits our movements

Across borders, jaunts into town

Our trips scaled back to basics

A run to the grocery store

For bread, rice, pasta sauces prized

Food takeaway, no more

Brisk walks circle around our estate

No picnics in parks and beaches

Reduce contact, don’t tempt fate

 

What becomes essential

when a virus halts routine?

Restricts our mingling

To our four walls within

Our schedules back to basics

Where appointments once packed

Now revolve around the dining table

Many meals and conversations shared

Family fellowship now a staple

And work and play, just about all else

Within the household, till things get well

 

What becomes essential

when a virus opens our eyes?

To the least and last amongst us

Our self-deception and lies

That our world has progressed

Since Man stepped on the moon

And rockets soar to planets

Jupiter, Mars and Neptune

Needs on Earth stay dire, so many unmet

From the homeless to the hungry

And wildlife illegally trapped in nets

 

What becomes essential

when a virus upturns life?

Brings us close-up to sickness

Presses pause on our strive

Mere drops from a sneeze or cough

Forcing us to reconsider

What’s truly essential

what’s not?

And when this virus passes

Will we remember

what we’ve been taught?

 

Love is essential to survive this present threat

To look out for friends and neighbours

And help those whose needs aren’t met

Hope is essential that we can look ahead

To a future where we steward nature

Living respectfully alongside instead

Faith is essential to know God reigns supreme

A personal God who knows us, yet all-powerful

Over all creation, even viruses within

 

In our present and our future

Learning from our past

If we hold fast to the essential

Perhaps we’ll honour life at last

 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

 

 

Related Links:

God Knows Leh #34 – Renewed Sight, Fresh Insight & 2020 Clear Vision

Thank God Friday #24 – For A Time like This, Write for a Better World

Our faces

Hidden behind masks

Blocking conversations

Concealing smiles as we pass

Homemade, surgical grade

A cover we take in our stead

Makes us safe

Separates us

 

Our postures

Safe distance away

Avoiding that touch

Withholding a hug

No huddle, one-metre apart

A gait we take in our walk

Makes us safe

Separates us

 

Our circles

Confined to home

Reducing to households

Keeping relations out

In essentials, we go alone

A restriction we take in our stride

Makes us safe

Separates us

 

Our community

Reduced to screens

Communing for prayer

Working for wages

Through net and devices

A disruption we take in our meet

Makes us safe

Separates us

 

Our life and death

Constricted to ten

Ring-fencing marriage vows

Sanitizing grief and mourners

Temperature checks, contacts trace

A measure we take in our wake

Makes us safe

Separates us

 

Our Prince of Peace

Clothed in human flesh

Carrying our sins

Wearing our pain

The cross and His blood

Makes us saved

Sin separates us

From God

 

Coronavirus-19

Separator of relationships

A false crown that claims

The final word in life to death

A host it seeks, in Man it sneaks

A life to choke

Makes us sick

Separates us

 

Christ in us

Reclaimer of relationships

The true crown that reigns

The Word of Life, conquered Death

A seed it sows, in Man it grows

A life to rebirth

Our Breath of life, our Hope to bear

Brings us

To God

 

“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;” – 1 Peter 3:18

 

 

Related Links:

Pandemic Pause #5 – Invisible and Visible in Easter’s Circuit-Breaker

Pandemic Pause #1: Of Things Essential and non-Essential on Holy Week