- About the Author & Illustrator
"I used to follow my mother to the beach where the mud was thick and smelled of the sea…"
November 2022 – Xiao Wei's grandma is an awesome hawker, well known for her Hokkien oyster cakes. But Xiao Wei always wanted to know why this snack was so special to her. One day, when Xiao Wei visits Ah Ma at her stall, all is revealed. Ah Ma's tale transports Xiao Wei and readers back to Hui'an, China long ago where, as a child, she harvests oysters by the sea and eventually, sails to Nanyang for a better life.
Oyster Girl is a charming celebration of family ties. It is also author Joyce Chng's tribute to her late grandma who was indeed an awesome hawker and whose traditional oyster cake recipe is included in the book. Ah Ma's story captures a slice of Singapore's pioneering past and the hardworking Hokkiens who settled in Singapore a long time ago. It is also a peek into Singapore's diverse hawker heritage, which is listed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
This latest release by Pepper Dog Press is a 32-page picture book filled with lusciously rendered full-colour illustrations by talented Singapore artist Teressa Ong. Like Pepper Dog Press's other picture books The Little Singapore Book and Tiger Tales: Almost True Animal Stories from Old Singapore, this too is filled with rich illustrated details that encourage young readers to explore Singapore's heritage and have conversations with the grown-ups reading with them. Oyster Girl is suitable for anyone from four years old.
Singaporean author Joyce Chng loves oyster cakes and wishes that she could speak better Hokkien. Mainly a science fiction author, her picture book Dragon Dancer was longlisted in the 2016 North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards. Fire Heart, a Young Adult story of swords and sword-making, was recently published by Scholastic Asia in 2022.
Teressa Ong tries to bring cheer to the world with her charming pictures. She has illustrated other children's books including Tokoyo: The Tomb of the Sea Serpent and The Abominable Norman. She is also Hokkien, and her favourite Hokkien dish is kong bak bau (steamed pork belly buns). Find her Instagram feed at @chopsticksroad.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 32
Year Published: 2022
Size: 255mm x 220mm