Posts Tagged ‘The Tale of Rusty Horse’

The Slovakian editions of my two picture books Prince Bear & Pauper Bear and The Tale of Rusty Horse have just been printed!

I am eagerly looking forward to collecting my advance copies from my publisher who will be in Singapore as a speaker at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2017 next week.


Petra's daughter

My publisher’s daughter holding the advance copies of my books


I met Petra Nagyová Džerengová at AFCC a few years back when she attended a panel session that I spoke on. She had come as an invited guest. When she told me that she was the Deputy Mayor of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, I asked if she thought my books would be suitable in Slovakia. She said yes.

I did not know then that Petra (on top of being Deputy Mayor, bestselling author and proud mum of 4 kids) is also Managing Director of leading Slovakian publisher Verbarium.

Thanks to Petra, my books now have a voice in Slovakia! This is the 4th language that my Toy Titles have been published in.

(My books are now also available online at Verbarium’s website.)



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I’m excited to share that I have signed a translation rights agreement with leading Slovakian children’s book publisher Verbarium who will publish two of my children’s picture books in Slovakia. This series comes under my self-published Mustard Seed Books imprint.

The two titles, Prince Bear & Pauper Bear and The Tale of Rusty Horse are part of my bestselling 4-picture book Toy Series which has sold over 45,000 copies to date. Slovakia will mark the first entry for my books into a European country and the 5th country to publish my Toy Series, following Singapore, Korea, China and Malaysia.

Children's Picture Book on friendship, forgiveness & second chances

Children’s Picture Book on friendship, forgiveness & second chances

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

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

Vebarium is the only publishing house in Slovakia that offers high quality children’s literature of awarded contemporary and classical authors. It aims to strengthen the diversity of high quality literary works for the young in Slovakia and to reach new audiences by introducing quality children’s literature from Asia.

Vebarium is helmed by Managing Director Petra Nagyová Džerengová, the ex-Deputy Mayor of Bratislava and still the member of city parliament and city cultural and social affaires committees. Petra is also a bestselling author for adults and children’s books in Slovakia.

Petra says, “I was an invited guest to the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2014 in Singapore and met Emily Lim when I attended a panel that she spoke on. I found her books very appealing for our Slovakian market. We look forward to successfully launching her books in Slovakia next year and introducing our children to quality children’s literature from Singapore.”

Book Council Executive Director Mr Ramachandran accompanying Petra Nagyova Dzerengova, Deputy Mayor of Bratislava, Slovakia on her visit to Minister of State, Prime Minister's Office & Ministry of Culture, Community of Youth, Mr Sam Tan during AFCC 2014

Book Council Executive Director Mr Ramachandran accompanying Petra Nagyova Dzerengova, Deputy Mayor of Bratislava, Slovakia on her visit to Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office & Ministry of Culture, Community of Youth, Mr Sam Tan during AFCC 2014


I received Petra’s offer terms a week before my breast cancer diagnosis and worked through the contract within a few weeks. I’m thankful for my lovely literary agent Andrea who helped me get the contract work in place quickly in the midst of me signing consent forms for my mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries!

As I lift my eyes up to what’s ahead after my chemotherapy is over, I am thankful for this rainbow that brightens my horizon. I believe there are more good things to come.


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The Tale of Rusty Horse galloped into his little spotlight to be analyzed as part of the Singapore Story at the 2015 Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

Leading academic John McKenzie, who was awarded the Betty Gilderdale Award for Services to New Zealand Children’s Literature, took a deeper look into a few top Singapore children’s books, which included Linn Shekinah’s The Watchtower Warrior and Sharon Ismail’s What Sallamah Didn’t Know.

Using a form of reading comprehension scaffolding which he developed for teachers, he wanted to show that the picture book isn’t merely simple text for pre-schoolers. And this is what he did for my little Rusty Horse!

AFCC2015 - Rusty1

AFCC2015 Rusty2

AFCC2015 Rusty3  Source: Asia – Land of Perennial Stories (An AFCC 2015 Publication)


As I shared in two school talks in the past 2 weeks, The Tale of Rusty Horse was actually the most difficult story I have written out of my 25 over picture books. It happened at a time when I standing at my crossroad, trying to decide whether to seek crowd approval by going back to the luxury hotel industry where I had worked for over 10 years in a glamorous-looking job or taking the road less travelled – being an author of children’s books in Singapore (a very rare breed). That was when I realised that I had turned into Rusty Horse.

Rusty slide

John McKenzie, thanks for your deep and illuminating read and review of my little picture book!




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Tibby Cover (final)Prince Bear, Pauper Bear, Rusty Horse, Just Teddy, Bunny and Tibby the Tiger-Bunny have found their way into Closetful of Books, a new online bookstore started by Denise Tan, who previously worked for specialty children’s bookstore Bookaburra Books.

All my books (including my 4-book Toy Series Value Set) are autographed at Closetful of Books and are available for shipping within Singapore and overseas as well.

Hop over there to check out my books’ latest hangout!


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It’s been a while since I gave thanks so it’s definitely time to do so!

1. Down Time, Write Time

After a hectic 2013, I am thankful for a deliberately slow start to the year. With Caleb starting nursery school this year, preparation for his 3rd birthday party in January followed by Chinese New Year celebrations, I decided I was going slow on everything else for the first month, then two.

The downtime has been wonderful. It’s helped me unclutter my mind and my study room, catch up with many, many friends through intentional scheduling of weekday lunches and weekend get-togethers, and get rested.

It’s so nice to just have unhurried lunches and read books whilst Caleb is in school.

2. Words Go Round with Book Talks

IMG_0071This week, I had the pleasure of giving talks to over 200 children at Chatsworth International School and German European School Singapore. There was a third school booking which came outside of the programmed time slots. UnfortunatelyI could not manage my Caleb logistics so hopefully, the school and I can reschedule for another time.

I am thankful for Ben who managed to take two half-days off to pick Caleb from school so I could go for the talks unflustered (when my Mum who was to babysit Caleb came down with flu this week).

I also had a pleasant surprise when Paul Tan, Festival Director for the Singapore Writer’s Festival/Words Go Round showed up for my talk. He was randomly attending a few sessions and decided to come for mine. I am thankful for all the additional support of friendly faces!

IMG_0030For my 1-hour Where did Pauper Bear, Rusty Horse and Tiger-Bunny come from? talk, I talked about where story ideas can come from. I shared the stories that sparked the ideas for my books as well as those of the great picture book authors Mo Williams, Joyce Dunbar and Julia Donaldson. I was delighted to see all the buzz during the ideas brainstorming session that followed. As publisher for my own Toy Series titles, I also took the children through the entire publishing process from manuscript to printed book.

The best moment for me was when I was sharing about the inspiration behind The Tale of Rusty Horse. When I asked if anyone knew the story, a boy proceeded to tell the story in vivid detail and accuracy which won all-around applause from the room. When I told him how thrilled I was at his familiarity with the story, he said, “It’s because I love it.” Isn’t that what an author loves to hear?”

IMG_0078The best question of the day (and there were many) was whether I earned a lot of money as an author. I felt I needed to justify that with an honest answer. So I said, “I wish I could say yes, but I’m afraid I cannot!”

3. Write Circles

Last year, I hooked up with a few critique partners through author Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 challenge but the critique group which two of us were trying to form never quite took off.

But, over the last couple of weeks, I met a few like-minded writers who had just joined this year’s 12×12 Challenge.

So, I’m also really happy that my new online critique group took off last week. We share similar philosophies on critiquing manuscripts- “brutally honest, incredibly detailed and happily receptive”. We’ve just started our first round of manuscript exchanges last week and the level of feedback we are giving and receiving from each other has been what I have been looking for my picture book writer’s critique group.

So, thanksgiving all round for all things big and small in the past two months!

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Of Thankful Bunny

As an author, I’ve made many visits to schools and encountered several priceless moments with children. Unfortunately, I’ve never gotten round to capturing much of those on camera or in words. I guess it’s a bit difficult when I was doing everything from books delivery logistics to marketing and storytelling.

So I especially thrilled to stumble on a blogpost by a storyteller who gave a wonderful pictorial post of her reading of Bunny Finds The Right Stuff  coupled with a related arts activity at The Little Arts Academy. I was especially moved by her excellent idea of the Thankful Bunny craftwork. Thank you Sandra Wu for your wonderful post!


Of seeing stars

When I was writing my personal story Finding My Voice, I had a writer’s group whose collective voice gave me diverse views and feedback to the writing of a very challenging book. At the end of that year, we came together to give thanks and share one funny and one serious takeaway on what we liked most about those sessions. My sharing was on stars – and I can’t remember if it was meant to be funny or serious, except that it got some serious laughter.  I told everyone that I liked it each time I saw someone had given me stars next to sentences in my manuscript. When I was in primary school, I had always checked my exercise books with eager anticipation of receiving stars from the teacher. I guess there is still a child in me.

So, I am especially thrilled that I recently received 5 stars for reviews of my books Prince Bear & Pauper Bear and The Tale of Rusty Horse by Readers Favourite, the fastest growing review site on the net:

Prince Bear & Pauper Bear http://readersfavorite.com/review/6443

The Tale of Rusty Horse http://readersfavorite.com/review/6444

Of I Love Books

I love books – picture books and children’s books in particular. They transport me to a different world. And now that I am reading to Caleb, I have even more reasons to read them over adult books!

Well, I Love Books, Mediacorp’s ebookstore, is having a 20% off promotion from now till 12th July. All my four books Prince Bear & Pauper Bear, The Tale of Rusty Horse, Just Teddy and Bunny Finds The Right Stuff are included in this special promotion. See I Love Books for these deals!

Of Eggs Benedict

I just had to add this to the title simply because I do love Eggs Benedict. Separately, I love eggs (runny, hard-boiled with dark soya sauce, poached, scrambled, you name it) and Benedict (my husband). So, reason enough!

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