Archive for the ‘Children’s books’ Category

Had the pleasure of launching our Marky Polo in Beijing at the Singapore Writers Festival two Saturdays back.

These in-person events are so few and far between these days that it was the only time that illustrator Nicholas Liem and I have met since the kick-off meeting on this book at the start of this year. I’m glad we did so we could finally take some photos together!

There were plenty of safe management measures in place. We could not talk or socialise with the audience. Seats came with sticker labels, reminding people to sit apart.

Our welcome pack include ART swab kits – truly a sign of the times.

There was no Festival bookstore in Arts House, to reduce mingling. Instead, the charming National Library Board bus was parked outside Arts House and was the “pop-up bookstore”

What really warmed my heart happened after our event.

A family of four came up to me to ask for autographs. The mum said she was glad to see me as they were told that they could not speak to us at the event. She shared that her kids have loved my books from young. Then she pulled out 3 of my books for autographs. One of the books was my first edition of The Tale of Rusty Horse ie. my first print-run of the book from 13 years ago!

It would be an understatement to say that it absolutely warmed the cockles of my heart to see that this family had kept my book with them for 13 years and then taken the trouble to bring it to Arts House (in this Covid climate) to get me to autographed it!

Thank you to this lovely family for their encouragement and also such an uplifting reminder why I continue to plough on and write!

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Thank you Straits Times and Elisa Chia for supporting us with a full page feature story in today’s Straits Times Life! on this free e-book which we created as a gift to our community!

Read the full and free-to-read story here:


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Very privileged to be part of this collaboration to produce ‘I Can Recover at Home! – A COVID Home Recovery Guide for Families & Kids’ – together with illustrator Josef Lee and Dr Darryl Lim. We have produced this e-book for young children to provide a reassuring peek into the journey of recovering from COVID at home. It is also meant as a handy guide for parents and caregivers caring for their COVID-positive kids. We’ve packed it with helpful information, useful tips and website links.

This e-book is produced as part of a voluntary community initiative. It is also meant to be a supporting resource for the team of doctors providing free telemedicine care for children with COVID, in support of our Ministry of Health’s Home Recovery Programme.

You can download the FREE e-book from this blog’s homepage (look for download button in top right column).

Please help to share this e-book resource with friends and families with children under 12 years old. Together, we can move towards living with COVID as an endemic!

You can download the free e-book on this blog’s homepage from 14 November 2021!

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Thrilled that Marky Polo gets a spot in Straits Times’s Fun with Kids column for his travels to Beijing in both the print and e-edition of Straits Times Life today!

The e-version of Straits Times Life includes a pagespread from our book!


The print edition has a different layout format.

Whichever way, I’m delighted all round!

Get your copy of Marky Polo in Beijing in the bookstores or with World Scientific Education’s online store!

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! Marky Polo in Beijing arrived at my doorstep hot of the press today!

In the second book in our Marky Polo’s Travels series, Marky’s cousin Martial Polo invites him to Beijing, after hearing of his first trip overseas to Tokyo. Martial Polo is a Wushu enthusiast who dreams of being a renowned martial arts expert like Great-grandmother Muay Thai Polo. Martial turns Marky’s holiday into an exhausting strength-building, endurance-training workout. Can Marky endure Martial’s bossy nature and find a way to enjoy sightseeing in Beijing at a slower pace?

Marky Polo in Beijing is packed with amazing illustrations of Beijing, a humorous and entertaining story and lots of fun facts. We hope kids can travel vicariously through the pages of this augmented reality integrated children’s book and enjoy this educative read. Inside pages to follow in the next post!

Thrilled to have worked on this with amazingly talented illustrator Nicholas Liem and World Scientific Education. And of course our taskmaster cum Publisher Ruth Wan who brought Nic and I together for this fantastic collaboration.

You can visit World Scientific publishing website to pre-order the book before it hits the bookstores: https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/12485

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I finally met (or bumped) into my littlest and cutest reader ever! Declan is my dear, dear friend Jamie’s nephew and loves books. Jamie was there with him to buy an encyclopedia on ocean animals which he wanted. And that was just after she had read him my book Marky Polo in Tokyo at home.

“Which of Auntie Emily’s books do you like best?” Jamie asked her little nephew.

“Everything!” Declan declared.

Wah! First Prize answer. I asked for permission to take photos with him. 😊😄🤩

A coincidental meeting in matching dye tie clothing

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I’m delighted to have stumbled on a performance that children from an international school here in Singapore put up based on my book The Tale of Rusty Horse. It looks like a parent posted the video to Youtube.

This was the book that almost didn’t see light of day because I was concerned that it would not measure up to my debut picture book Prince Bear & Pauper Bear. My sequel book syndrome…haha.

It was also 2008 – a pivotal point in my life when I was trying to decide if I should pursue writing or say “Been there, done that in my sabbatical” and beg my former bosses for a corporate job back.

In the story, Rusty Horse was torn between crowd opinion and being true to himself. I too was torn between choosing to return to the glamour of a hotel job or pushing books to schools with my lonesome trolley. There were conflicting voices on both ends.

I finally listened to the inner voice and decided to be true to self – pursue writing and not look back. Shortly after, I became the first author in South-East Asia to win a Moonbeam when Rusty Horse giddied-up away with the Gold medal at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards in 2009. It felt like Heaven’s nod to my station in life.

And Rusty Horse has remained a favourite with several friends, which I have been giddy with delight to know that.

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Last week, I received a delightful email from a young reader’s mum. Her 7-year-old wanted to share the story of Little Otter, Litter Trouble with his friends. Could they have permission to do a video recording of Alexander reading this book for his Student Learning Space (SLS) so he could share the story with his classmates?

It was of course a resounding “Yes” from Wildlife Reserves Singapore, my publisher of this book and myself. Such enthusiasm from a young reader is an encouragement to an author and also a validation of Wildlife Reserve Singapore’s efforts in creating awareness of our local wildlife here in Singapore.

Once thought to be extinct in Singapore, there are now at least 90 otters from 10 families thriving here. Litter can however threaten the well-being of our new residents. 80% of litter on land finds its way to rivers and oceans, polluting the environment and threatening aquatic and marine animals such as otters. And we can all help by not littering, so this amazing species can continue to thrive in our island-state.

(Video from Alexander’s mum Cherie Gwee)

I wanted to send a little encouragement back to this little reader, so I mailed him an autographed copy of Hornbills in Our Neighbourhood, my latest book in this wildlife series. I hope Alexander will develop an interest in these amazing birds too!

This series of picture books is available at Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s online store.

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I’ll delighted to see my 5th and last book in Wildlife Reserves’ Singapore’s (WRS) local wildlife series in print!

Writing Hornbills in our Neighbourhood has been the most eye-opening experience for me.

Firstly, we have a resident hornbill in our neighourhood. I’ve seen him every other day, seated on my neighbour’s roof, first alone and later with a mate. This hornbill always brings a smile to my face. It made writing this story come alive for me.

Secondly, I read up a whole book on hornbills and am simply blown away by this amazing bird.

Do you know that Mum Hornbill voluntarily seals herself into a crevice in the tree to birth her babies and voluntarily observes SHM (Stay-Home-Notice) for the next three months whilst nursing her young?

Dad Hornbill gathers food for his mate and their chicks, and can make up to 20 trips a day, bringing food back to their roost. He pushes the food in through the teeny opening left for this purpose.

At a time when we are going through this Covid19 pandemic, where SHMs and quarantines are imposed upon us humans, I’m learning that hornbills pioneered SHM before us and do it voluntarily!

It’s been such a learning experience for me writing this series. With the benefit of working with WRS’ Education department, I gained new knowledge on our local wildlife.

Get all 5 books and read with your child how animals are going wild in our city:

  • Hornbills in Our NeighbourHood
  • Macaques in the Estate
  • Python in the Playground
  • Little Otter, Litter Trouble
  • Why did the Pangolin cross the Road?

All five books in this local wildlife series is available for sale at Wildlife Reserves’ Singapore’s online store. This bilingual series is supported by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism.

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It is such a blessed treat to see my story with Caleb in Straits Times Life today!

I had involved Caleb in brainstorming ideas last year when publisher World Scientific approached me to write a kids’ travel series set in Asia.

In today’s Straits Times Life (26 April 2021)

“…When she was trying to think up a name for the main character, the boy suggested Polo, after “that famous traveller Marco Polo”…”

My other new release Little Mimic’s Superpower was also featured – it is the third book in my Little series.

“Through facts about unusual animals featured in her titles, she wants to encourage readers to uncover one’s own unique traits…She struggled with a rare voice disorder, Spasmodic Dysphonia, for more than 10 years, making her voice “unique”…

For years, I found it hard to give up my job…because I was afraid that without a corporate suit, I wouldn’t have a place in the world…It was only after letting go of my job that I grew in my Christian faith, which led to a new voice writing children’s books…”

I’m so grateful to journalist Elisa Chia for reaching out to me to write this feature story and arranging my precious first mum-and-son photoshoot!

Online version of the article here:


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