Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spreading the love of reading and writing

I thought I'd post my thoughts on school talks. When Lesley-Anne and I first started getting booked for these talks, our response was something like "yay!" but "yikes!" At first, our goal was modest - to be interesting enough so that the kids won't be bored. But quickly, we realised that school talks pose an invaluable platform for us to share something more meaningful with the kids.

Some authors use these school talk opportunities to purely promote their books but we try not to do that. Sure, we want the kids to know about Danger Dan but we also feel strongly that we have a responsibility to do more as local authors. So in our 25-minute school talk, we also encourage the students to develop the love of writing and overcome challenges to pursue their passion. It's presented in a light-hearted way and mostly by Lesley-Anne, sharing her own personal experiences.

Last week, we conducted a couple of school talks - one at Temasek Primary:

And one at ACS (Junior):

What I've noticed is this: the students love Lesley-Anne's sharing. I think it's because she comes across as very real and sincere, and since she's a teenager, she better understands what the primary school kids are going through and feeling. So her experiences resonate with the kids (plus she has a killer powerpoint presentation!) The response so far has been fantastic - the kids are enthusiastic and laugh at all the jokes.

After the talks, we sometimes station ourselves at a book sale booth to sign copies of Danger Dan. Interacting with the kids truly is the best part. Occasionally, we meet kids who have already read Danger Dan and come up to ask for our autographs on their books. One girl brought a rather tattered copy of Danger Dan book 1 for me to sign and said it was her brother's book - he loved it so much he'd read it over and over. Comments like these really make our day.

Some other updates: We also did a Danger Dan book launch at Kinokuniya Jurong on 22 March.

We loved having James Tan, our illustrator, present to demonstrate his artistic prowess. Here he is showing the evolution of Danger Dan:

James even sketched members of the audience on scraps of paper and some of them were lucky enough to get this unexpected keepsake.

And for those who bought the books that day, his autograph was a drawing of Danger Dan! How cool is that?

Media update: We received some cool publicity in Kids Dailies - a Hong Kong newspaper for kids. The interview was done when we were there for the Hong Kong International Young Readers Festival earlier last month.

And finally, here's an interesting tidbit that I've not shared with readers till now:

Back in January, our whole family was at Peirce Reservoir, having just finished a photo shoot when Kenneth spotted Singapore's own football legend, Quah Kim Song, walking towards us. This is amazingly fortuitous because: 

1) our first Danger Dan book was JUST out and we had mentioned Quah Kim Song in it 

2) we actually had the book with us as we'd brought it along for the photo shoot!

So I introduced myself and showed Quah Kim Song the passages about him. He signed our book (right next to the football icon no less!) and posed for a photo with us.

It was a promising start for Danger Dan and now looking back, I can't believe so much has happened in just over two months! Truly exciting times.


Anonymous said...

I've been a silent reader and I noticed that in everything you do, you always try to make a difference. That's very commendable and now Lesley-Ann is following in your footsteps! You are an inspiration to many people and I'm sure the two of you will inspire many students. Keep up the good work!

RX Teo

monlim said...

RX: Thanks for the kind words! Not sure we can inspire the kids but we try to encourage them :)

Jolie GalGal said...


I find your blog very inspiring on the bringing up of kids in a wholesome manner. As I have a 7 year old girl who is also introvert, I read that you mentioned ballet will be able to help them overcome the fear of speaking publicly.

As I also stay in the east, will really appreciate if u can drop me an email on which cc your girl attended her ballet class.

Thanks v much.

monlim said...

Shannen: I'm not sure where you read that I said ballet can help you overcome the fear of public speaking. If that's true, I'll be the first one to sign up, haha!

Ballet can help kids open up more as its an outward form of expression but I can't speak for more than that.

btw, you didn't include your email address. Anyway, I prefer to be contacted via the Of Kids and Education Facebook page so if you like, you can send me a private message there. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Reading through your blog posts, I can really see your love for reading and writing!


monlim said...

Thanks, Ruth!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...