Awesome Books by Fantastic Female Writers
Disney+ isn't the only place you'll be watching heroes in action this March. For example, Singapore's history is filled with female authors whose achievements have made an impact on our nation, even to this day.
Whether it's Catherine Lim (one of the first local female authors to be published internationally) or Adeline Foo (the bestselling author of The Diary of Amos Lee) or Balli Kaur Jaswal (one of the most recognised and accomplished novelists today), these literary heroes have been engaging our imaginations with their stories for years.
Since it's the Year of Celebrating SG Women, we thought we'd look at some of our favourite female authors who've recently published children's books, all of which aren't only entertaining but filled with life lessons that our kids can learn. Maybe, after reading these books, they may be inspired to one day also write stories we all can be proud of.
What's the story about? Okay, this book isn't written by any one female author, but you could say the women in this book have been helping to write the story of Singapore for years. As its title implies, this book features the lives of some awesome women who've made a difference and shaped Singapore. These include President Halimah Yacob, the country's first female president; botanist Agnes Joaquim, who created the Vanda Miss Joaquim, Singapore's national flower; Major Agnes Fong, the first woman to be appointed as a commanding officer; and Kandasamy Jayamani, Singapore’s only female marathon gold medallist – a title she still holds today.
Why your kids should read it: Great for primary school children, they will probably be surprised at how many women have been inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame. It's written in short, easy-to-read bites so they won't get bored; and they'll be drawn to the colourful illustrations by some of Singapore's female artists.
Saturday's Surprisingly Super Duper Lesson by Jolene Tan
What's the book about? Aish is bored out of her wits in her tuition class. It's a Saturday, after all! She would rather be playing outside than stuck indoors learning maths, so she starts doodling. But imagine her surprise when her doodles come alive. When the teacher faints, it's up Aish and her classmates to create one of the best lessons they'll have in their lives.
Why should your kids read it: We all can relate to Aish's predicament, can't we? But as this book shows, a little imagination and creativity go a long way – and lessons don't need to be boring. Kids also learn about taking responsibility for their actions.
My BFF Is an Alien series by Vivian Teo
What's the story about? Abriana befriends Octavia, the new girl in school, only to find out that she's actually from another planet! In Book 1, the girls have to look for a special element that Octavia can bring back to help stop the war ravaging her planet. In Book 2, Sabotage, the girls have a joyful reunion after Octavia returns to Singapore. But their happiness is short-lived after someone uploads a video showing Octavia using her alien powers. Abriana and Octavia have to race against time to take down that video before it's too late.
Why your kids should read it: This series for middle to upper-primary school children has fast-paced action and adventure that won't leave them bored. Also, the themes of friendship, prejudice and acceptance are still relevant today. Book 3, Turbulence, will be hitting our shelves in a couple of months' time, so watch out for that!
Just a Little Mynah by Evelyn Sue Wong
What's the book about? The talkative mynah can speak different languages – English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil – but visitors to the park always take pictures with the more beautiful birds like the peacock and the hornbill. When one of her friends gets into trouble, Little Mynah's language skills help to save the day.
Why should your kids read it: The book is filled with simple phrases in different languages that the young ones can easily pick up. Also, there's an important lesson to be learnt here: you don't have to be glamorous – what's important is being true to yourself and knowing what you can do to help others. Keep a lookout for Book 2, Makan Mischief, which is expected to be released in June.
The Womps: Pinto's Pinky Promise by Samantha Han
What's the book about? Pinto has learned all about the pinky promise and is excited to try it out on his friends. But trouble comes when he pinky promises to help all his friends at the same time – how can he be in three places at once?
Why should your kids read it: Meant for children learning to read by themselves, this book shows them that while it's good to help your friends, one must also remember that one should think about what they're doing and not just do it because it's fun and new. Remember to watch out for the sequel, Chick Bee's Charming Cha-Cha, which will also be out in June.
Secrets of Singapore: National Gallery by Catherine Nadira Tan
What's the book about? Who ever knew Singapore's famous monuments had more secrets than what meets the eye? For instance, did you know that the Old Supreme Court building – now the National Gallery – is slanted by a metre? Or that a time capsule scheduled to be open in the year 3000 is buried under its foundation? Join Professor Brushie and Curious Canvas, in this fifth instalment of the Secrets of Singapore series as they take you on a journey to unlock all the secrets the National Gallery has to offer.
Why should your kids read it: Knowledge is power, as they say, especially if you're privy to lesser-known facts that even most Singaporeans aren't aware of! Sate your child's curiosity with the Secrets of Singapore series and who knows, you could even learn a tidbit or two from your kids once they're done reading.