- A Word From the Author
- Activities Time
- About the Author
Awakening Childhood Memories and Cherishing Family Bonds in a Wordless Picture Book
Chou Chou is a wordless picture book that carries a wealth of emotions, memories, and legacies, allowing readers to immerse themselves in an ordinary yet heartwarming journey of life. Created by Singaporean picture book author Quek Hong Shin, Chou Chou captivates numerous readers with its simple art style and expressive illustrations, resonating deeply with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. The interpretation of Chou Chou as a wordless picture book allows readers to explore its themes, emotions, and legacies in-depth.
"Chou Chou (meaning 'stinky' in Mandarin) or bantal busuk ('foul pillow' in Malay) is an object that provided comfort and security. It can be a rarely-washed bolster, a small pillow or a favourite soft toy. The object absorbs years of sweat, tears and saliva, giving it a distinct smell that can only be appreciated by the owner.
Chou Chous are often handmade by mothers or grandmothers of newborns in a family. Filled with sun-dried bean sprout husks, they are lightweight and cool to touch in the tropical heat of Singapore. There are stories of how some people keep their Chou Chous well into adulthood and have never truly outgrown their attachment with the comfort objects."
—Quek Hong Shin
After reading the story, here are some questions for discussion:
- Do you sleep with a comfort object? Who made it / got it for you?
- Why do you think Grandma mended the Chou Chou instead of getting a new one for the little girl?
- Is there anything in your life that is irreplaceable?
- What do you think happened in the last two pages of the story?
- Is there a scent that you like that may come across as unusual to others?
Are you interested to know how a traditional 'beansprout husk' chou chou (pillow) is made?
Watch this video to find out!
Quek Hong Shin is a Singaporean freelance author and illustrator. His published works include picture books like The Amazing Sarong, The Marvellous Sugee Cake and Universe of Feelings. He was nominated twice for The Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award, and The Incredible Basket, published by Epigram Books, was the winner of Best Children's Book at the 2019 Singapore Book Awards. Other titles that he has illustrated include The One and Only Inuka and the Ahoy, Navy! picture book series that was commissioned by the Republic of Singapore Navy in celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2017.
Hong Shin is also an advocate for an inclusive society and has been actively working with Superhero Me, a ground-up inclusive arts movement that empowers children from diverse backgrounds.
Cover Type: Hardcover