Posts Tagged ‘Emily Lim’

When Kai Kai and Jia Jia first arrived in Singapore in 2012, Wildlife Reserves Singapore approached me to write the giant pandas’ story. As it was their wish that the giant pandas would produce a baby, could I bring baby panda into the story?

Fiction preceded reality.

Three Kai Kai & Jia Jia books were birthed between 2012 – 2015:

In the first book, A New Home for Kai Kai & Jia Jia, the giant pandas get to know Singapore and their friendly neighbours living at River Safari.

In the second book, The River Adventure of Kai Kai & Jia Jia, Kai Kai & Jia Jia go on a river cruise adventure to welcome their new neighbours – the giant river otters. Jia Jia doesn’t feel well through the cruise but later discovers that she isn’t ill, but pregnant.

In the third book, The New Face at River Safari, the giant pandas and their friends prepare for the arrival of baby panda.

What lovely news to see it happen for real, with Kai Kai and Jia Jia now new parents of baby panda!

Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s picture books are sold at Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s e-bookstore and physical stores at the Singapore Zoo and River Safari.

More of Kai Kai & Jia Jia’s story of how their baby came to be – at Mothership:


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Over the weekend, my collaborator/illustrator Nic and I gave a book talk on Zoom in connection with the launch of Marky Polo in Tokyo, as part of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC).

Although I’ve given many talks over the years as an author (and still with fear and trembling), I was especially having butterflies in my stomach over this.

I’m Zoom-averse, but with Covid19 and Stay-Home Heightened Alert measures in Singapore, AFCC had pivoted fully digital this year. Could my voice carry? Would I be able to build rapport with attendees on this distant medium? How many people were even going to sign up for this on a Sunday afternoon? (We had a turnout of 47 attendees!)

I had the same newbie jitters as with my very first book Prince Bear & Pauper Bear. And I did the same thing I did 14 years back when I first started out. I sent out SOS invites to friends to attend this book launch event to support me.

And I am so grateful for the many friendly faces who zoomed in to support me on a Sunday afternoon:

  • Writing circle friends – Dave Seow, Low Ying Ping, Lianne Ong, Sophia Huang, Melanie Lee, Chua Hong Koon & Ruth Wan (my publisher and books mama-san)
  • My illustrator/collaborator for Benji, Yumi, Orgami! – Kazumi Wilds – zoomed in from Japan
  • Caleb’s Kindy mate’s mum & educator – Shirley Foo  
  • Friend and books advocate – Delia and her daughter Faith
  • My writing workshop attendee turned dear friend – Elizabeth Lim (who prayed for me)
  • Kindy mum turned one of my closest friends – Arlene (who helped with photography)
  • Bosom buddies from school – Elain (who prayed for me), Tania (who also helped with photography) and Karen (who took a break from moving house to zoom in)
  • University lecturer Emily H and her daughter who zoomed in from Paris, where she’s doing her Uni studies.
  • And not forgetting dream moderator and one of my dearest friends Hwee Goh, who ran the programme like how she anchored her Channel News Asia programmes in the past.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few names and faces as I was trying to focus on talking!

Since Hwee is so good at squeezing back-stories out of me, she asked me to share this backstory of attendees Emily H and her daughter Ashley who zoomed in from Paris, where she’s doing a double degree in Political Science.

Ashley first wrote to me in second half of 2020, asking me if I could be guest speaker to her lecturer mum’s graduating class of pre-school educators via Zoom. I was intrigued by a daughter speaking for her mum. But given my love for Zoom, I said “No, thank you.”

Ashley persisted and I finally agreed, after I was so heartened by her backstory. Ashley was 8 years old when she came across my first book Prince Bear & Pauper Bear with her mum.

“I remember the book bringing me to tears when I first read it, and my mom and I have held fond memories over reading it together, which is why it has meant a lot to me even now (12 years later). She’s actually re-reading your book to me as I’m typing out this message…I understand where you’re coming from and hear your concerns regarding the lack of a mic. However, my mom asked me to try asking you whether you would be comfortable with making a brief appearance and speaking for a short while (whatever duration you’re comfortable with)? She really feels that you would be able to add value to the class, especially since your stories are extremely multifaceted and nuanced (case in point: During the recent reading I told you about, my mum asked my dad and me what we thought the moral of the story for Prince Bear & Pauper Bear was. I responded the moral was that there is enough room for love for two, and that we shouldn’t see love as something that is inherently selfish or competitive. My dad, on the other hand, shared that he felt the biggest takeaway was that one does not need to be born rich to be happy. My mum’s views on the same question were that we should always be kind to others, even if they may have wronged us in the past. This really just shows how much depth your stories have!). 

Aww…sniff sob…this is what an author needs to be uplifted from time to time.

I didn’t spam all my friends to attend, like my besties Gail and Jing Siew – simply because they have shown up for my book events for more than 10 years now, from helping with book readings, book sales and more. They even undertook my book readings when I had to bail out for chemotherapy and then again when I busted my eardrum when my mum was terminally ill.

And there have been many more old and new friends who have supported me through the years – Janette, Joanne, Vanissa, Wee Leng, Wendy, Suzanne, Pauline, Maggie…and many more.

All I can say is that it takes a village to raise a local children’s book author… because it’s a steep climb when you are surrounded by corporate ladders and mountains of assessment books to overcome.

I am thankful for my village.  

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I’m thrilled that Wild Rice Academy is using my book Tibby the Tiger-Bunny for their drama programme for kids!

As part of this programme, trained facilitators will read the book with the class, while exploring the plot, character and issues with the children.

Through sheer coincidence, my very, very dear friend’s kid signed up for the programme and will play the part of Tibby! I could not get a performance out of him (though I heard he had already rehearsed his lines 16 times). But his eyes opened wide and he gave me a big hug when his mum told him that I’m the author.

I’m one hoppingly-pleased bunny who’s ready to roar with delight!

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Little Godwit found his wings to zip and zoom this past Sunday at the Singapore Writer’s Festival 2020.

I had the pleasure of zooming with Little Godwit as he found his wings and voice through Act 3’s online interactive performance of my book.

As the literary and performance arts world atunes to a new beat, I’m glad that Little Godwit found wind beneath his wings to soar along!

Related Posts:


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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!

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Delighted to read the review of The Kueh Tutu’s recent dance performance of Just Teddy at The Artground in today’s Straits Times.


Just Teddy’s Fold, Crinkle & Roll interactive dance show at The Artsground on 22 February 2020 (Photo credit: The Kueh Tutus Facebook page)

“The Kueh Tutus, led by choreographer Melissa Quek, is among a handful of arts groups in Singapore focusing solely on young audiences.

Since 2017, the group has regularly performed various works at The Artground, an arts space for children located at Goodman Arts Centre.

Just Teddy, for children aged two to four, is based on a book of the same title by children’s author Emily Lim.

It tells the tale of a teddy bear who feels alone in a shop with other stuffed animals. He is later discovered by a girl who loves him just as he is.

Two performers took on the roles of Teddy and the other characters, using movement to bring to life the various animal characters.

The audience was encouraged to join in at the end and it was nice to see most of the children needed little coaxing to get moving.

Fold, Crinkle, Roll, for those aged three to eight, is a whimsical piece encouraging play and discovery, perhaps especially needed in Singapore, where childhood can be dominated by rules, stress and anxiety rather than free play.

Music and sound were used effectively to capture the attention of the audience and signal changes in mood, as were the performers’ movements as they played with and manipulated objects made of paper.

The whimsical mood was supported by the performers’ light running movements and playful facial expressions as they interacted with each other…”

The full article in Straits Times is here.

Related Links:

Tucking into more Kueh Tutus & Teddy Fun Fare at the Libraries

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made, Bear-hugged & Upliftingly Said (Part 2)

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Amidst this COVID-19 climate, I’m mutedly delighted that Little Mole’s Awesome Star has received a 5-star rating from Reader’s Favourite.

Little Mole's Awesome Star F Cover

Readers’ Favourite review:

“Little Mole was eagerly waiting for his special star. He wanted to know if his special star would show him awesome stuff …

Mole pagespread1

Little Mole’s Awesome Star by Emily Lim-Leh is an adorable story that introduces children to the star-nosed mole species in a fun and interesting way.

The concept of finding one’s own place in this world and independence has been woven beautifully into the plot, making it easy for young readers to understand it.

Mole pagespread2


John Lim brings the concept, the story, and the characters to life with his wonderful illustrations. The Let’s Discuss questions and the Did You Know part about star-nosed moles makes the book perfect to use during interactive sessions in classrooms to make learning entertaining. Children, parents, and tutors need more books like this one to make learning and teaching new concepts fun, interesting, and interactive.”


Little Mole has just surfaced in local bookstores this week. Look for my book at Kinokuniya, Times Bookstores and Popular Bookstores this weekend! Also available from Times’ online store Goguru.

Little Mole Back Cover

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!


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I was very uplifted yesterday when my dear, dear friend Hwee forwarded me a comment from a reader posted on Hwee’s Bookshare Club. Encouragement like this really helps to keep the writing engine going.


JT feedback



My Toy Titles are now available at Kinokuniya Singapore once more!

You can buy autographed copies of Prince Bear & Pauper Bear, The Tale of Rusty Horse, Just Teddy and Bunny Finds The Right Stuff from the current stash there.

Kino restock

Spotted at Kinokuniya Ngee Ann City – Toy Titles on the top shelf and Little Godwit Finds His Wings two shelves down

Related Links:

Prince Bear & Pauper Bear’s unexpected Front Page brings Sunday Cheer

Write Reflections – Closing the chapter on my 10th writing year

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I’m an advocate for reading for pleasure. And that reading children’s picture books shouldn’t just be written off as child’s play. The benefits are so much richer.

“According to a study published by the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, reading just one picture book to a children every day exposes them to 78,000 words a year.

Researchers have calculated that in the five years before kindergarten kids who live in literacy-rich homes hear about 1.4 million more words compared with children whose caregivers don’t read to them. This is important for their future selves because the ability to communicate well is a skill which employers often cite as something they value in prospective employees.”

Read the full article here: 4 Reasons you should be reading books daily according to Science.

Read Fest!, a month long national reading movement by National Library Board, has just kicked off from now till end July. Reading movements like these help remind us to provide the word-wings for our little ones to soar and be better equipped to articulate their way in the world.


Over the weekend, I did a book reading of Little Godwit Finds His Wings at Bishan public library to a group of children and their adults as part of Read Fest!

ReadFest -Bishan

With a few of the kids after the book reading session, which is part of National Library Board’s national reading movement

Related Links:

Little Godwit soars into the Power of Stories in Star Learners project

Little Godwit’s Solo Flight & Finding Wind beneath His Wings




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Writing is a solo journey. It helps to have writing buddies and a flock to commiserate with. But when you are in the process of writing or even at the early stage of staring at a blank page, you need to take that journey alone.

Little Godwit, a late ‘hatcher’ and left-behind young bird, takes the same journey, imprinting himself on different flocks to belong before he finally takes off on his solo flight to the other end of the world.

Encouragement along the way does help fuel and uplift this journey. So, I was happy to receive feedback from old and new friends about Little Godwit.

Tze Min's girl

My friend’s daughter’s smile was priceless when her mummy bought the book for her

A library mum who is a reader-of-my-books-turned-friend read Little Godwit to her daughter’s preschool class. For the accompanying activity to the book, she put up photos of the different birds that Little Godwit meets in my story and had the children match the birds in the book to the real photos. She shared that the kids were excited and enjoyed her storytelling.

Tze Min


A close friend Arlene gave a copy of my book to her daughter’s teacher and she wrote a lovely email in response:

“Today we will use Emily as a mentor and look at the descriptive language in the text and ask ” What careful decisions did Emily make as an author?”  The children will then be invited to inquire into this and consider what their finding mean for them as authors. 

It’s a wonderful thing to find a book that is so rich in interesting vocabulary and beautifully crafted. So THANK YOU – not only have you given me much joy and made me cry (in a good way) but you have opened up a moment of inquiry for the children in your daughter’s class.”

(Email extract from Literacy Coach, International School in Singapore)


Little Godwit Finds His Wings is now in the public libraries. Look out for the little-hatchling-who-could on the public shelves and in the bookstores including Books Ahoy at Forum Shopping Centre!

Little Godwit will also be available for sale at the upcoming Singapore Book Fair at Capitol Theatre foyer and I will also be doing a reading at 4.30 pm this Sunday 2 June 2019.


Related Links:

Simply Mommie reviews Little Godwit

Little Godwit Finds His Way to 5 Shiny Stars


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