What better way to introduce your little ones to their culture and heritage than through three amazing books that celebrate Singapore!
This year has been a year of celebrating Singapore, and all that is uniquely Singaporean – our history, our culture, our values, our heritage and landmarks!
One wonderful way that Singapore’s history and heritage have been celebrated in the year of SG50 is through books that tell stories set in our beautiful island-nation.
We bring to you some of our favourites and encourage you pick them up and share them with your children. We promise you that the little ones will be enthralled to see some of their own favourite bits of Singapore so beautifully integrated into these engaging narratives.
Jayden and Janelle Book Series
Written by Singaporean sisters Seema Dadlani and Harsha Dadlani, the six-part series follows siblings – five-year-old Jayden and three-year-old Janelle – all around Singapore. The books are meant for pre-schoolers (3-5 year olds) and aim at telling them stories about Singapore that they are familiar with.
The simple and easy to follow story lines come alive with beautiful and colourful illustrations.
The six titles, each of which touches on a specific aspect and the values that define Singapore, are:
- Happy 50th Birthday Singapore
- Now May I Have Some Ice-Kacang Please
- Hello Aunty! Hello Uncle!
- Bus Ride To The Library
- Let’s Celebrate
- Picnic Under A Supertree
We recommend that you get your kids to join Jayden and Janelle on their fun and uniquely Singaporean experiences.
Our particular favourite is Now May I have Some Ice Kacang Please. In this book, the two siblings have a lovely family dinner at a hawker centre with their parents and grandparents, enjoying local foods. Little Janelle cannot wait to have her treat in the form of ice kacang, but she has to wait till everyone else has finished eating.
In a short and simple way, the writers teach the children not only about Singapore’s foods but also the importance of eating together as a family.
This series is supported by the SG50 Celebration Fund to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the nation.You can get you set of the Jayden and Janelle books here.
The Birthday Party
This is a storybook written specially for young children (4-9 years old). It tells the story of a boy, who receives an invitation to a mysterious birthday party, and starts on a journey that will take him and the friends he meets along the way, past famous local landmarks, which are further explored in a fact-finding finale.
The book is a fun way for parents to bond with their young ones, whilst teaching them about Singapore’s past!
The Birthday Party, is written by children’s author Linda Gan (who is well-known in the field of early childhood education in Singapore) and illustrator Patrick Yee (one of Singapore’s leading illustrators of children’s books). This book is supported by the SG50 Celebration Fund to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the nation.
Looking At Heritage Buildings
If your kid loves buildings and has even a passing interest in local history, then this is the book for him.
Launched by URA’s Conservation Department and authored by John Koh, Looking At Heritage Buildings is a slim picture book on newly conserved buildings in Singapore.
Its narrator, Billie the Hornbill, guides readers through a “tour” of some of these heritage buildings, explaining their histories and special features. A first, from the URA this book is suitable for upper primary students and upwards.
We loved following Billie as he flew over 75 historic buildings in Singapore. Vivid pictures accompany his narrative of the buildings’ histories and unique architectural features. The buildings include warehouses along the Singapore River, a public library, a market and an air force base.
This book is a wonderful way of introducing children to their local history and built heritage.
The 26-page book will be available in hard copy at the Singapore City Gallery and public libraries. The e-book can also be downloaded here.
Have you read these books? Are there other books about Singapore that your kids love? Share with us in the comments section below.