Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife Reserves Singapore’

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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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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My latest picture book on local wildlife in Singapore is out in a BIG way!

Singapore has become increasingly wildlife-friendly in recent years.

So, how do we live side by side harmoniously with more furry residents lodging closer to our neighborhoods?

Help your little ones understand this monkey business in Macaques in my Neighbourhood, the 4th picture book in the local wildlife series published by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

This follows on from my earlier three titles in this series:

Why did the Pangolin Cross the Road?

Little Otter, Litter Trouble

Python in the Playground

All these picture books (supported by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism) are available at Wildlife Reserves’ online store. Get your copies for your kids and use these books to talk to them about how we can live with all these wildlife in our neighbourhoods!

Related Post:

Slithery Snake! Python in the Playground is no Snakes & Ladders story

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Python in the Playground is out!

Python Book photo

With PK Cheng, illustrator (left) and Florence Chang, Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Assistant Director of Education (right)

With all the not-good press that snakes have been getting lately, this creature is spotlighted in Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s local wildlife series for good reason.

  • What do you do when you spot a snake in the neighbourhood?
  • What do you not do?

These and other facts have been parsed within story in this picture book which has gone out to all the local kindergartens in Singapore. Hopefully, with more education, we (which includes me) can learn to co-exist with the wildlife in Singapore.

This is my 3rd picture book on local wildlife for Wildlife Reserves Singapore, following books 1 & 2 – Why did the Pangolin Cross the Road? and Little Otter, Litter Trouble. This series is illustrated by the talented PK Cheng, who is also illustrator of the Abbie Rose & the Magic Suitcase picture books.

All three books plus the Kai Kai & Jia Jia giant panda picture books are for sale at Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s in-stores as well as their e-store. (Limited copies of the big book format of Python in the Playground are also available at the e-store.)


Related Links:

Singapore’s favoured New Resident Little Otter meets Litter Trouble

Preschoolers meet Pangolin when book, project & outreach come together

Kai Kai & Jia Jia, Baby Panda Dreams & New Additions at River Safari

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I’m otterly delighted to share that Little Otter, Litter Trouble has just been published by Wildlife Reserves Singapore. This book is inspired by the true story of Toby, a smooth-coated otter pup that was left behind by his family after he ran into an accident.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on the book with Florence Chang, Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s Assistant Director of Education, and learnt a few important tips on how we should respond to otters in the wild. All that has gone into the story so read it there!

Left: WRS’s Florence Chang, Illustrator Cheng Puay Koon & me. Right: Toby!


Little Otter, Little Trouble is the 2nd book on local wildlife conservation, following Why Did the Pangolin Cross the Road?, both supported by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism. These books, along with the 3-book Kia Kia & Jia Jia series which I wrote, are for sale on the Wildlife Reserves Singapore online shop here.

Pangolin Otter

Related Link:

Why did the Pangolin cross the Road?


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Over the past few weeks, I received delightful feedback on Why Did The Pangolin Cross the Road?, a picture book which I wrote for Wildlife Reserves Singapore. In the book, two children rescue an injured pangolin, which sparks off a class project, leading the class to eventually visit the Night Safari.

Pangolin front cover

A preschool principal wrote to me sharing that her students loved the book so much that they were inspired to do a school project on the pangolin. And could they make a bulk purchase of the books?

I directed that to Wildlife Reserves and was told that they had been receiving a number of enquiries about their outreach programme from preschools who had read the book. Apparently the book had touched both teachers and the children and had also resulted in a couple of school visits to Night Safari.

Wildlife Reserves is currently running the Pangolin outreach programme based on the same title – Night Safari Glides To School: Why Did The Pangolin Cross The Road? in Mandarin. The English edition of the programme should be out soon.

Why Did the Pangolin Cross the Road? and the Kai Kai & Jia Jia picture books I wrote for WRS are also available for sale at the WRS e-store.

And just recently, yet another pangolin was rescued by WRS. More on that here.

Photo Credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore




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Two pandas brought a smile to my face this week when a package landed in my postbox!

KKJJ Book 3 cover

It was the 3rd book in the Kai Kai & Jia Jia picture book series which I wrote for Wildlife Reserves Singapore. In book 3, Kai Kai and Jia Jia eagerly await the arrival of their baby panda.

Caleb, my baby panda, was equally thrilled to see the package so I let him rip it open.

Then, I read the book to him and discovered how literal 4-year-olds can be. Either that, or it’s just my ‘play-champion’ son’s over-active imagination.

Macaques page

“Next time we go River Safari, I want to jump off the diving board,” Caleb told me.

I rolled my eyes. “Right, you and the macaques,” I said.

“Yes,” he said. “And I want to row the raft.” (In reference to the page before where I had the Otters doing that.)

“But you know, the animals had to make all these things themselves,” I said. In my story, all the River Safari animals had banded together to do the carpentry work, to build their favourite items. All under the tutelage of Beaver, the master-builder.

“Yah,” Caleb said. “We must collect wood and then bang bang bang and saw-see-saw.”

Saw see saw

What can I say? I guess my book came alive for him.


Related link:

Stop Bears! Kai Kai and Jia Jia came knocking at my door

A New Home for Kai Kai and Jia Jia

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Yesterday, a little panda-mail-nium came knocking on my door that made me ‘beary’ pleased.

I ripped open the package to find Book 2 of the Kai Kai & Jia Jia River Safari picture book series which I have written for Wildlife Reserves Singapore. This series is in commemoration of the opening of the new River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park, and also part of Wildlife Reserves’ efforts to bring wildlife learning into the classroom.

Book cover photo

In The River Adventure of Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the giant pandas take a boat ride to visit new friends moving into the neighbourhood. There is a surprise at the end of the book when they find out about the newest addition to the River Safari.

The book is retailing at the River Safari and the Panda Exhibit shop. Look out for it at the WRS online shop  along with the first book A New Home for Kai Kai and Jia Jia!

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Recently, Singapore has been going through a Panda-monium with the arrival of giant pandas Kia Kia and Jia Jia. These Panda-ssadors have been presented to Singapore by China in a gesture of strong friendship and will stay here for 10 years before returning back to China.

So, it was a “walk on the wild side” when Wildlife Reserves Singapore asked me to write the giant pandas’ story.

As an author, I asked myself the beary important questions:

– What would it be like to relocate to a new home in a new country?

– How would each panda respond, based on their individual personalities?

-How would their individual voices sound like?

-How would we, as hosts, welcome them?

Kai Kai has been reported to be laidback and open to new experiences. Jia Jia is slightly more cautious to anything new and in my intepretation, a bit more kancheong (Singlish for “anxious”) – the trait of a Singaporean (myself included).

I attempted to put their story in black and white and… a picture book was born.

Well, the Giant Panda Forest exhibit opened yesterday and my new picture book A New Home For Kai Kai and Jia Jia is now on sale there!

The Giant Panda Forest is one of the key highlights of the upcoming River Safari, Asia’s first and only river-themed park. The panda exhibit has been opened earlier so the public can enjoy a special preview of these Very Important Pandas.

Related links:




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