Tuesday, December 3, 2019

GREAT KIDLIT SHOWCASE 2019 _____ Meet Peh Shing Huei, he had no idea how to write kidlit but Edmund Wee from Epigram convinced him to try

Time for holiday reading! To celebrate 8 years of Super Cool Books, I’ll be featuring a mega list of fellow kidlit writers and illustrators both from Singapore and beyond. New interviews every week. Do introduce their books to some young readers in your life! Latest updates here.


Peh Shing Huei
Singapore

Types of kidlit books
Picture books

Total kidlit books published
2

Selected titles
Dream Island: The Mad, Mad World of Philip Yeo (Epigram)
Panjang: The Tall Boy Who Became Prime Minister (World Scientific)

Describe your style 
My main aim is to put a smile on the faces of young readers, so I try to inject a bit of humour and uplift them with messages which they can identify with.

How did you get started?
Edmund Wee from Epigram approached me to write kidlit after my biography on Philip Yeo: Neither Civil Nor Servant. I said I had no idea how to write one. I've always written on serious subjects for adults. He said it's okay, he will guide me. I said sure, always up for a challenge! 

Where do you get story ideas?
My starting point is always: what do I want to read. Then I bounce the ideas off my publisher and the illustrator. In the case of Panjang, World Scientific and Drewscape were critical to the development of the story.

Pick one book of yours that kids should read
Panjang: The Tall Boy Who Became Prime Minister is a story of a boy who was self-conscious and awkward growing up, but learnt to be comfortable in his own body and confident in his abilities. In an era of much body shaming and hyper focus on image, it is important for children to know they don't have to be someone else to stand tall.

Tip for parents, how to help kids enjoy reading
Inject your kids' own experiences into the story you are reading. Bring in their friends, cousins, classmates so that the story is more relatable to them.

Tip for aspiring kidlit writers
Read what you have written out loud. You might realise some words aren't quite suitable. :)

Your big wish for kidlit publishing next year (2020)?
More kids picking up books by local authors!

Website: www.nutgraf.com.sg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pehshinghuei/



GREAT KIDLIT SHOWCASE 2019
The updated list here

















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ALSO:

+ Why should we make new books for young readers? My blog post from last year.







Friday, November 22, 2019

GREAT KIDLIT SHOWCASE 2019 _____ Meet Melanie Lee, she wrote an epic adoption story for her son

Time for holiday reading! To celebrate 8 years of Super Cool Books, I’ll be featuring a mega list of fellow kidlit writers and illustrators both from Singapore and beyond. New interviews every week. Do introduce their books to some young readers in your life! Latest updates here.


Melanie Lee
Singapore

Types of kidlit books
Picture books, Middle grade

Total kidlit books published
7

Selected titles
The Adventures of Squirky the Alien series (MPH Group Publishing)
Out and About in Singapore (Marshall Cavendish International)

Describe your style
Adventurous!

How did you get started?
I wanted to write an epic adoption story for my son. My friend, illustrator David Liew, offered to illustrate this story. MPH was keen to publish this and so this is how the six-part, award-winning Squirky picture book series came to be!

Where do you get story ideas?
I perpetually have 10-20 story ideas swirling around my overthinking head at any given time because LIFE is one crazy source of inspiration, isn't it?. However, I only really develop upon a story idea when I feel some sort of personal conviction that this should become a book.

Pick one book of yours that kids should read
My latest book, "Out and About in Singapore" is an illustrated travel guide and a really fun way for kids (ages 7-12) to get to know Singapore and features gorgeous colour pencil illustrations by famous artist William Sim.

Tip for parents, how to help kids enjoy reading
Bring up book characters, settings, plot lines etc. in casual conversation so all these become a part of everyday life for the family.

Tip for aspiring kidlit writers
Always test your writing/stories out with your target audience (i.e. kids), especially those you may not know personally. They often provide amazing insights!

Your big wish for kidlit publishing next year (2020)?
A continuation of diverse representation in local kidlit. I'm releasing my first middle grade graphic novel "Amazing Ash and Superhero Ah Ma" with Difference Engine next year so I hope that it would add to the "renaissance" of children's books coming out of Singapore.

Website: http://melanielee.sg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melanderings/



GREAT KIDLIT SHOWCASE 2019
The updated list here

















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ALSO:

+ Celebrating 8 years of Super Cool Books











GREAT KIDLIT SHOWCASE 2019 _____ Meet Sim Ee Waun, she's inspired by stories about her mother's childhood days

Time for holiday reading! To celebrate 8 years of Super Cool Books, I’ll be featuring a mega list of fellow kidlit writers and illustrators both from Singapore and beyond. New interviews every week. Do introduce their books to some young readers in your life! Latest updates here.

Author, left

Sim Ee Waun
Singapore

Types of kidlit books
Picture books, Chapterbooks, Middle grade

Total kidlit books published
Three (but growing)

Selected titles
The Little Singapore Book (Pepper Dog Press), The House on Palmer Road (Pepper Dog Press) and The House on Silat Road (Pepper Dog Press)

Describe your style
Lighthearted, playfully nostalgic stories that are mostly set against historical Singapore. Not pedantic at all but makes history fun. I guarantee. 

How did you get started?
I've always been a local history buff and a journalist, so it was a natural transition for me to step into writing for kids about a subject I truly enjoy.

Where do you get story ideas?
From listening to stories about my mother's childhood days, day dreaming and a geeky fascination for the past.

Pick one book of yours that kids should read
The House on Palmer Road, because the short stories transport children back to old Singapore where life was idyllic, fun was outdoors and there were no computer games! Grandparents have enjoyed this book too because it brings them back to their childhood. 

Tip for parents, how to help kids enjoy reading
Surround them with lots of great children's books at home.

Tip for aspiring kidlit writers
There's something extra special about using an old fashioned notebook to scribble your thoughts.

Your big wish for kidlit publishing next year (2020)?
More appreciation of Singapore kidlit among parents and teachers at local schools.

Website: www.pepperdogpress.com (still under construction)
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pepperdogpress/



GREAT KIDLIT SHOWCASE 2019
The updated list here

















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ALSO:

+ How and where you can get published in Singapore (from 2017)











Thursday, November 21, 2019

GREAT KIDLIT SHOWCASE 2019 _____ Meet Nur'afifah Binte Mohd Hussain, her book helps kids learn the learning the Arabic alphabet through music and movement

Time for holiday reading! To celebrate 8 years of Super Cool Books, I’ll be featuring a mega list of fellow kidlit writers and illustrators both from Singapore and beyond. New interviews every week. Do introduce their books to some young readers in your life! Latest updates here.


Nur'afifah Binte Mohd Hussain
Singapore

Types of kidlit books
Picture books

Total kidlit books published
1

Selected titles
The Huruf Parade (Yaa Bunayya SG)

Describe your style
The story is written in a rhyming, light and friendly style to encourage children to move along in learning the Arabic alphabet.

How did you get started?
My children are my driving force that got me into writing kid lit. Writing kid lit is like writing a love story from me to my children. That was and still is my main driving force in writing kid lit.

Where do you get story ideas?
I go through a brainstorming process where I will just throw in any topics that come to mind. After the brainstorming process, I will look through it and pick out the top 5 topics that are most relevant for me at the point of time. I decide on the current relevance by researching on the market, interaction with educators and parents, or based on current issues.

Pick one book of yours that kids should read
The Huruf Parade. In this story, children will be introduced to the Arabic alphabet in story and rhyming form. Children can move according to the movements made by the different letters. The element of music and movement in this book makes learning Arabic very fun and engaging for young children.

Tip for parents, how to help kids enjoy reading
Plan the reading process by having a pre-reading activity to spark interest, reading activity and extending the experience by having a post-reading activity. This will help children make connections with the story and spark their interest.
Tip for aspiring kidlit writers
All story ideas are good ideas, so just write it!

Your big wish for kidlit publishing next year (2020)?
I would love to see more diverse books to raise awareness about topics such as special needs, abuse, bullying and sustainable living.

Website: -
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ifahussain/



GREAT KIDLIT SHOWCASE 2019
The updated list here

















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ALSO:

+ Follow Super Cool Books on Instagram, for exclusive behind the scenes photos