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Award-winning author Pauline Loh returns with Lion Boy and Drummer Girl, her first novel for young adults

SINGAPORE — Epigram Books is happy to announce the release of Lion Boy and Drummer Girl, the new YA novel by Scholastic Asian Book Award winner Pauline Loh.

The book is available from Epigram’s online store ( as well as LocalBooks ( It is also available at all major bookstores. 

About the book

The traditional lion dance has been given a new lease of life in Asia and has become the new “it” craze called “Leopop”, with members of lion dance troupes becoming as popular boy band members or K-pop stars of years past.

Among the new sensations is the charmingly handsome Ricky Ang, although, unlike the other Leopop boys, Ricky would rather goof around as the Big Head Doll. He only has eyes for one person: The drummer girl Ying Ying.

She, on the other hand, is the biggest cynic of this Leopop wave, and is determined not to fall for the likes of Ricky the hordes of adoring fans. But little by little, she finds her hard veneer being etched away by his charm. Will she be able to let go and allow Fate to work its magic?

Writing the book

“Lion dance really gets my heart pumping … the tradition, it’s so beautiful,” says Pauline. “I do feel that lion dancers here are very underestimated. They have so much potential but Singapore has not paid much attention to them.

“But the story is really about the people. Ricky is very handsome and charming, but even with his good looks, he’s not a philanderer. Ying Ying comes with baggage because she has been hurt before, so she isn’t so ready let go of her fears to give a new relationship a try.”

She adds: “But there is a relationship between the boys in the lion dance group — it’s a brotherhood. Loyalty is something to be admired and should be maintained.”

Although she is known for writing books children, writing a YA novel is another step in her a “journey of discovery,” says Pauline.

At 15, she wanted to become a writer, but it took her many years before she finally wrote her first book, The Little Red Helicopter, a children’s book that won her the First Time Writers and Illustrators Publishing Initiative prize in 2009.

Since then she has gone on to write more children’s books as well as non-fiction books for adults, such as the Keep Calm and Mother On series.


Praise for Lion Boy and Drummer Girl

“Pauline has made lion dance as enticing and trendy as K-pop. The novel is a page-turner packed with all the right elements: the handsome lion dance boys with their screaming hordes of teenage fans, the budding romance of a lion boy and a drummer girl, and the pulsating action of lion dances and old feuds!”

- Emily Lim (Moonbeam Children’s Book Award winner)


About the Author

Pauline Loh is an award-winning writer with 30 years of writing experience.  She has written about 20 adult non-fiction books, and several children’s picture books.

She is a winner of First Time Writers and Illustrators Publishing Initiative 2009 and first runner-up for Scholastic Asian Book Award 2012.

Her books have been shortlisted for Hedwig Anuar Book Award 2015, Samsung KidsTime Author’s Award 2015 and Singapore Book Awards 2016.

She is also Director of a non-profit organisation called Women Empowered for Work and Mothering (WEWAM); and an ambassador of Singapore Memory Project (SMP). She mentors book authors; conducts Assembly Talks and Author Visits in schools and is a Ministry of Education registered trainer.

She graduated from Singapore Chinese Girls’ School, Raffles Junior College and National University of Singapore, and formerly worked as a journalist with Singapore Press Holdings, as an editor of a magazine and in corporate communications. She is currently a book editor. Pauline is happily married with three children.

Download the press release here.

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