Monday, May 15, 2017

Mothers' Day feature and special offer for new Secrets of Singapore book

Happy Mothers' Day to all readers who are mums! Whether your kids are little ones or not-so-little-ones, being a mum is a privilege — to be able to raise and nurture another human being.

The Straits Times arts beat had a feature last Tuesday on "Mothers pass their artistic passions on to their children", and Lesley-Anne and I were interviewed as one of the mother-child pairs. Click on the link above to read the article (we're the third story).

Photo: SPH
My favourite quote in the article is Lesley-Anne's description of how we envisioned Gadget Girl in our Danger Dan series:
"I was always annoyed at kids' books with stereotypical girl characters who were ditzy or boy-crazy or always shopping and painting their nails," says Tan. "I couldn't identify with them at all."
Which brings me to a Danger Dan update. Those of you whose kids follow the Danger Dan and Gadget Girl series may have been wondering why we've been so quiet ever since the release of The Gruesome Garden last October. The reason is this we've been working hard on this book: Secrets of Singapore: National Museum.

This book is very close to my heart and is possibly one of my favourites. Like the original Secrets of Singapore, this book similarly tells the story of the history of Singapore, but this time, the narrative is woven around the artefacts at the National Museum. We wrote it with the view that kids would take the book with them on their visit to the museum and use it as a guide to reference the artefacts. The artefacts described in the book are numbered and you can find the gallery where each is located in a list at the back of the book.

As with the original Secrets of Singapore, we use very simple language and we try to explain everything, even the word "artefact":

The point is to make the museum (and history) easily understandable and even interesting, by breaking down the facts and artefacts into digestible, bite-sized chunks. Then we throw in loads of humour and Danger Dan-style puns. The National Museum was very helpful in providing info, especially where we thought we would need to bring in trivia that appealed to kids. Such as this one on the very first NS uniform.

Of course, Elvin Ching's fantastic illustrations also helped bring the artefacts to life. We ♥ his drawings. Here's an early review of the book:
"What a wonderful book to teach children (and adults) about the history of Singapore!  Danger Dan and Gadget Girl deliver so much information in a fun, humorous and interesting way with lively images and information about many of the artefacts in the National Museum. Parents, teachers and students will all want to have their own copy because it brings so much life into the fascinating history of Singapore. A visit to Singapore, and the National Museum, would be incomplete without this book!" - Sarah Mounsey, teacher librarian, Dulwich College, and children's book author
I hope you're as excited as I am about this book! It will be available in bookstores by end May/early June, but you can be one of the first to get your hands on it with this special pre-order offer of $14 by Closetful of Books. (There's free delivery with a minimum order of $25, so get another for a friend!) Order now and you will receive an autographed copy of the book by 29 May 2017.

Do support our efforts to keep writing for kids - appreciate this lots!

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