Types of kidlit books
Total kidlit books published
The Great Dragon Warrior (Epigram Books), Yaya the Double-decker Bus (Epigram Books)
Describe your style
Great Dragon is lyrical. Yaya is comic.
How did you get started?
Happy accident. I was playing around with a few story ideas, met the publisher at an event, pitched it to him and he was interested enough to ask his editor to contact me.
Where do you get story ideas?
Usually I start with a character or a theme. For the Great Dragon Warrior, it started after I read about komodo dragons. I wondered what would happen if a komodo dragon pretended to be a real dragon. I wanted to write about a great pretender. In a way, Yaya also makes references to perhaps the greatest pretender in the world today.
Pick one book of yours that kids should read
Yaya the Double-Decker Bus is about a cocky double-decker bus that brags. The moral of the message is to know your strengths but also your limits. Confidence is often praised but I feel humility is just as important. The book is easy to read, with wonderful illustrations that will put a smile on kids' faces. They will learn about values through a different perspective. The protagonist is not likeable at the start but learns a lesson. So change is possible no matter how pig-headed you are.
Tip for parents, how to help kids enjoy reading
Read with them, be it the same book or a different book. If kids see you laughing as you read, enjoying books and learning from books, they will naturally embrace books as part of their life.
Tip for aspiring kidlit writers
Go to the playground and eavesdrop on kids.
Your big wish for kidlit publishing next year (2020)?
More books that promote cultural understanding. More crazy books that make kids laugh aloud.
Instagram: Not active. Will re-activate shortly.
GREAT KIDLIT SHOWCASE 2019
The updated list here
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+ Why should we make new books for young readers? My blog post from last year.