Posts Tagged ‘Picture books’

I missed most of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) this year. I was tackling a strong one-month-long flu. Two courses of antibiotics later, I recovered just in time for the Scholastic Picture Book Award Ceremony. I attended a couple of sessions the following day before the air-con sent me into a coughing fit and back home. Thank God I’ve shaken off that flu bug.

I did have 3 wonderful takeaways from AFCC 2019 which had everything to do with Picture Books:

  1. Picture a Book Loot

I stocked up on my book loot at the Festival Bookstore with the most gorgeous picture books.


And an added prize to the stash? An Elephant & Piggie Bookend from Closetful of Books, the official bookstore for AFCC this year. (Okay, I prized it so I pleaded for it like a kid.)


  1. Ida, Always & Autographed

I’ll blog more about this book soon. But what I’ll say here is that this was given to me by my dear friend Hwee who scored me an autographed copy from bestselling illustrator Charles Santoso whom she cornered in the Festival Bookstore.

Elephant BookEnd.jpg


  1. Tasting Scholastic-flavored Rojak

I’m still enjoying the bookelicious aftertaste of a Scholastic-flavored win for My Grandfather’s Rojak, a joint competition submission of manuscript and storyboard from Alycia and me.


In between two pockets of time there, I managed to catch up with a few dear friends. It was a picture-full AFCC for me!


Doing a book swop with my writing buddy Pauline Loh


With my decade-old lunch kaki Hwee Goh, bestselling author of the Plano Series


With friends Elizabeth and Alycia (also my SPBA 2019 collaborator) after the Award Ceremony

Related Links:

My Grandfather’s Rojak – Tasty Treat at Scholastic Picture Book Award

Conversations in Moderation & Judging books from cover to cover





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See who flew into Times’ Bookstore’s Singapore’s Bicentennial Collection of books!

Delighted to see Little Godwit shelved with a high-brow collection of books in the store and also in the store front displays of Times Bookstore at Jelita.

(Left photo) Little Godwit with my publisher Marshall Cavendish’s books on the standee to the right. Other children’s titles by Epigram Books and Bubbly Books to the left.

(Right photo) Little Godwit lands on shelves of heavy high-brow books and tries to fit in. 🙂

Little Godwit Finds His Wings is part of Times bookstore’s Bicentennial books collection – all going at 20% off for the month of August.

Read with the Times and grab your copies of books by Singapore authors before the promotion ends on 31st August!


Related Links:

Help! Vote Little Godwit for POPULAR Readers’ Choice Awards 2019!

Start your Picture Book Reading Voyage with your Kids this Read Fest!




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I was thrilled that the Star Learners preschool chain selected Little Godwit Finds His Wings as their mentor text for their chain-wide Star project. For this project, the centers took reference from Little Godwit’s story to create their own centre’s The Power of Stories projects.


Screen set up for puppet-based storytelling. The birds on the white board were created for craft and storytelling

I had the pleasure of visiting a centre that staged a puppet show based on my book. I also visited 3 other Star Learners centers to share with the children how stories come about and the story behind my stories.

I’m happy that Little Godwit, the left-behind bird who could, flew into many neighbourhoods in Singapore through this starry project.

Related Links:

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

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

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Thank you to Gabloverq and Hweezbooks for posting and sharing this with me! Encouragement like this lightens cloudy days like today.


And a big-feathered Mystery Reader reading Little Godwit Finds His Wings to a classroom of kids is very uplifting too. Thanks to my dear, dear friend Arlene who sent this photo of her Significant Other all geared up for the big read!

Related Links:

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

Celebrating my 10 writing years with Prince Bear & Pauper Bear

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I’m elated to share that I’ve licensed rights for Just Teddy to Our Daily Bread Ministries (“ODB”) through their publishing house Discovery House. Under our sown-up collaboration, Discovery House has just published a new edition of Just Teddy with fresh ‘daily bread’ ingredients. This special edition goes out this week to Our Daily Bread subscribers in Singapore who have signed up to receive it.

ODB Just Teddy cover

I wrote and published Just Teddy under Mustard Seed Books in end 2008. It’s been my hope that my little picture books would grow in reach and purpose, like in the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:32 of the bible. I had my own vision on achieving this – through a a big commercially-driven rights deal. And I came close to that in 2016.

But God’s ways are higher than my ways.

In mid-2016, when I was in hospital for breast cancer surgery, a friend visited and pointed me to Isaiah 55:8-13. I didn’t understand the verses and read through them several times over the next two years.

Gradually, I received important takeaways from these verses for re-ordering priorities and addressing personal issues in my life.

The latest takeaway came when I was in discussions with ODB. As I re-read Isaiah 55 during this time, I saw this in Isaiah 55:10-11:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


I had looked at Isaiah 55:8-13 many times, but only noticed then that ‘seed’ and ‘bread’ are in the same line. Only when I was in discussions with Our Daily Bread Ministries on a collaboration with my Mustard Seed book.

Once I saw God clearly in the picture behind my little picture book, I had fresh perspective on why this was meant to be.

It was a “(mustard) seed for the sower and (daily) bread for the eater” collaboration.

In ODB’s special edition of Just Teddy, my little bear with an identity crisis discovers the identity of his Maker- a skilled and wise Maker. All of his creations bear the words ‘Psalms 139:14’ on their label – it is the mark of their Maker. Once Just Teddy learns who his Maker is, the bear discovers his own identity in his Maker’s hands.

Just Teddy realises that he is no longer just teddy. He is his Maker’s awesome one-of-a-kind creation – “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

ODB JT spread1

ODB JT spread2


And I hope that my teeny mustard seed of a book, baked with fresh daily bread, will accomplish the purpose for which it has been made – namely, that our identity is found in God, our Maker.

Related Links:

God Knows Leh #4 – A Pebble in the Breast and 7 No Matter Whats

2018 – A year of Writing Wilderness, New Frontiers & Fresh Manna

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Today, I’m participating in author Susannah Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!


Title: Sweet Dreams Sarah

Author: Vivian Kirkfield

Illustrator: Chris Ewald

Publisher: Creston Books

Ages: 4-8 years old

Themes: Dreams, Aspirations, Perseverance


“Before the Civil War, Sarah obeyed her owner.

Hurry Up

              Eyes down.

                          Don’t speak.

Slaves were property – like a cow or a plow or cotton growing in the master’s fields.”


Why I like this book:

This is such a weighty topic and so difficult to write. Yet the author has been able to tell slave-turned inventor Sarah E. Goode’s story so simply and beautifully. Sarah’s story of how she turned her dreams into reality is written with a very strong storytelling voice and lyrical tone befitting the ‘dreams’ theme.


The author has also included interesting back matter explaining what a patent is, some facts on Sarah’s line and a list of black women inventors and their inventions.

My 8-year-old was most fascinated by this page and read through the entire list. True to form, he of course liked the 1991 invention that measures the temperature of urine sample without touching it!





  1. Think of 1 thing that you would like to invent to make a difference in the world.
  2. Draw your invention!

Read the author interview on how Vivian wrote Sweet Dreams Sarah.

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A big thanks to dear friends who made their way to the bookstores to buy many copies of Little Godwit Finds His Wings! And dear friend Hwee who just texted me the news that Little Godwit is on the Straits Times Bestsellers List today. Yay!


ST Besteller graphic


Related link:

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

The Story behind hatching Little Godwit – from conception to birth





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