Looking for a bedtime story with a familiar setting? We round up the best books for kids that tell stories about Singapore!
Looking for some stories for your little bookworm that take them on a literary adventure through Singapore? Head down to your local bookstore or library and add some local reads into the mix. These tales are sure to have the little ones squealing with delight when they recognise their home city and all the things we love about it. And you’re bound to discover something new about The Lion City too! Want even more book recommendations for kids? Don’t miss our favourite books for babies and toddlers, and our pick of classic kids’ fiction.
Best children’s books about Singapore
1. Playtime With Ye Ye by Pauline Loh
This sweet and simple story about Boy Boy’s relationship with his grandpa, Ye Ye, takes place entirely in their living room, where the two play dress-ups one afternoon. Through the power of Ye Ye’s storytelling and Boy Boy’s imagination, the readers get glimpses of this grandfather’s great milestones – and Singapore’s history. Written in rhyme, this is a lovely book to read out loud. It introduces children to Singapore’s momentous moments but is also about keeping family memories alive. A nostalgic read for parents who’ve grown up in Singapore, but just as poignant for families who have come from abroad. This is a lovely reminder of the depth of experience of our grandparents – and just how much we can learn from them.
2. My Singapore Alphabet Book by Sarah & Luke Garner
Sold by children’s brand Retykle, this charming picture book aimed at children up to three introduces them to the sights of Singapore. There’s something to enjoy for each letter of the alphabet! A lovely way to educate and reinforce experiences with young children, we’ve got a copy ourselves as the perfect keepsake.
3. Sarah’s Great Adventure by Madeline Beale
Sarah’s Great Adventure is part of series of four charming books and is just the thing for multi-ethnic kids and/or kids living in a multicultural society like Singapore. In the series, three-year-old Sarah travels the world to visit her extended family and has many a fun and relatable adventure along the way. Don’t forget to also stock up on the other equally gorgeous books in the series: Sarah’s Yummiest Food, Sarah’s BFF, and Sarah’s Happy Holidays! We love how these books let little ones know that being different isn’t so different after all.
4. Sing A Song Of Hawker Food by Lianne Ong & Janice Khoo
Imagine seeing Humpty Dumpty and friends having a feast at your neighbourhood hawker centre – wouldn’t that be quite a sight? Sing A Song Of Hawker Food is a collection of rhymes about Singaporean hawker food that both you and bub can easily sing along to as they’re written to the tune of classical nursery rhymes. Expect to read about Jack and Jill going up the hill to have ketupat and satay; Three Blind Mice having chicken rice in a hawker centre, Itsy the spider trying to get a sip of Milo Dinosaur, and more! The book also comes with interactive bonus features – sing-along videos and interview with the authors – that you can activate by scanning the Humpty Dumpty icon on each page with the SnapLearn app.
5. Lost in Singapore by Matthew Cooper
One of our fave children’s books about Singapore! Brit-born writer Matthew Cooper’s Lost in Singapore takes kids on an adventure all around our sunny island. When his pet parrot, Sid, flies away, Ben Wong chases after him on train, plane, and bike in a quest to track down his friend. Jam-packed with local flavour and all things travel, this book’s sure to satisfy your wanderlust. Plus it’ll show the kids there’s loads more to Singapore than what meets the eye! Check out our chat with Matt himself to see what life is like as a writer and a stay-at-home dad.
6. Find and Seek Singapore by Sally Roydhouse
The concept of this beautiful book was sparked by Australian Roydhouse’s desire to create a keepsake of her own family’s time in Singapore. Little adventurers will love being taken around The Lion City with the book’s protagonist: a little boy with a huge spirit of wonder, who has just arrived in Singapore. Rediscover fave local hang-outs along the way, and get caught up in the colourful, educational verse that will make this book a hit for the whole family.
7. Pura the Cat by Tan Soon Meng
If the kiddos are mad for cats then this is a great choice for animal-loving littlies. Follow Pura the super cute cat who lives on Boat Quay with her besties Bhavana, Mei, and Dexter. Life is pretty purr-fect for Pura until one day… She’s spotted by someone who realises she’s a rare Singapura breed, and that catching her can make him a quick dollar or two! This heartwarming tale’s a must for feline fans as well as for any child who loves stories about friendship and heroism!
8. The Adventures of Mittens & Midnight by John Hogger
First-time author, John Hogger, has lived in Singapore with his family for close to thirty years, so you can be sure he knows a thing or two about the city-state. This tale is all about the adventures of two cats, Mittens and Midnight, as they explore the people and places that we all know and love in Singapore. As well as being a great story to capture the hearts of young kids, it’s also got incredible illustrations by Raymond Li, which make the story come to life. A must-have for the book bucket list!
9. Sasha in Singapore Series by Shamini Flint
These stories about a little girl called Sasha Singapore make the perfect literary keepsake of your little one’s childhood in Singapore. Sasha heads to all the fun places we love to visit with the fam, from the Botanic Gardens to Sentosa (and everywhere in between!). Not only are these books fun to read, but they also serve as great guide books for kids on the Little Red Dot!
10. Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di Series by David Seow
Penned by well-known local children’s book writer David Seow, this series follows the Singaporean siblings on their adventures together around the Lion City. With 11 tales in the series, we particularly love A Day With The Duchess, which features a very special royal star in its tale – plus an adorable hamster. You’ll go on a fun journey around Singapore without having to leave home!
11. Mr Midnight Series by James Lee
For the slightly older kiddos in the family, the Mr Midnight series by James Lee has been running here in Singapore since 1998. He’s written over 90 books and counting! Each book contains two ghoulish stories to satisfy even the most voracious bookworms. These mild-horror books, with titles such as My Mad Maid, There’s a Witch in my Watch, and My Class Vampire, are a total hit with the over-sevens, and are all set in and around Singapore. Ghosts in Bishan, vampires in Tampines, and zombies in Serangoon are sure to have your primary school kids engrossed and demanding to devour them all!
12. Singapore Children’s Favourite Stories by Diana Taylor
Diana Taylor has pulled together 11 fantastic myths and tales of all things Singapore from how the island got its name to that time a tiger was found under a billiard table at Raffles Hotel. A great intro for all kids to our island’s multicultural past, colonial roots and surprising history.
13. Mudley Explores Singapore by Arp Raph Broadhead
Join Mudley the bear and his owner Sophia in this very cute children’s book about Singapore. Sophia would love to travel the world but has to go to school. And so, each time Dad has to leave for work at faraway places, Sophia packs Mudley into his suitcase to report back on his adventures. Beautifully illustrated, this book would be an ideal gift or travel souvenir for the young reader.
14. The Little Singapore Book by Joyceline See Tully & Sim Ee Waun
Get set for a fresh take on the story of Singapore and its people, with this gorgeous book for five- to 10-year-olds. Through stunning illustrations, young readers are introduced to Singapore’s history and culture. There are also fun activities and projects to make this journey of discovery even more exciting. Once you’re done with the last page, head to the sister website for even more fun.
15. Timmy and Tammy series by Ruth Wan
We love these children’s books about Singapore staples! Timmy and Tammy is a series of books for preschoolers. Join them as they go out around the island to explore and learn. Eager bookworms can also practise their reading skills and have fun with each issue’s activity at the back.
16. Jayden and Janelle series by Seema Dadlani-Ramchand & Harsha Dadlani-Dhalani
This six-part series, written by sisters Seema and Harsha, follows siblings Jayden and Janelle with some uniquely Singaporean experiences. Each book touches on a specific aspect and trait that defines Singapore. We particularly enjoyed Now May I Have Some Ice-Kachang Please. Who can resist an ice-cold dessert on this sunny island? Plus, the book teaches the little ones not only about Singapore’s food but also the importance of eating together as a family.
17. Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill by Gwen Lee
Gwen Lee took the well-known nursery rhyme and gave it a local twist in her children’s book about Singapore. It features identifiably Singaporean stuff such as the obvious Bukit Timah Hill, kueh tutu, and our monsoon season. Kiddos will have a laugh as they read the book and recognise many nursery rhyme classics amidst local settings.
18. Secrets of Singapore series by Catherine Tan, Lesley-Anne & Monica Lim
Is your kid a curious cat? Do they want to know more about this tiny red dot? Discover plenty of things that you may not have known about Singapore in these informative children’s books. This series goes beyond the school textbooks and cover everything: from history and politics to transport, education, and food. Perfect for both the young and the young at heart.
19. Understanding Singaporeans series by Edmund Wee
Parents, you know by now that kids say the darndest things and ask the most awkward questions. If you ever encounter such queries, especially about Singapore, then let this award-winning collection answer them for you! The series provides answers and useful tips to frequently asked questions the littlies may have relating to Singapore’s multicultural identity. And don’t worry about the content – everything is thoroughly vetted so that any sensitivities are addressed adequately.
We hope you enjoy these children’s books about Singapore as much as we did!