At HoneyKids HQ, we’re all about spreading the love of reading to kids. As #mumswhoread, we know how a good book can transform a regular bedtime story into a fantastic adventure in a land far, far away. And while there’s plenty of lovely local reads, it’s a real find when we discover expat-targeted books. So when we came across Fleur Vella-Chang’s Afternoon Tea at Raffles Hotel Singapore and Mabel Moves To Singapore, we were delighted! Finally, we had in our hands two fabulous books for early readers that celebrate the magic and adventure of life in Singapore – something we could all relate to!
Afternoon Tea at Raffles Hotel Singapore
Have you always wondered what the animals from the Singapore Zoo do on their day off? When the visitors are away and the gates are locked, the animals head straight to their favourite watering hole —The Raffles Hotel! Vella-Chang’s colourful illustrations show each animal making their way through Singapore and arriving in style in their respective wild and wacky modes of transportation.
Why we love it
A board book durable enough for the strongest gums and vibrant colours—yes please! We also loved how Vella-Chang incorporated all our Singapore favourites into the book—the Botanic Gardens, Raffles Hotel, the Merlion, brightly coloured shophouses and more. Toddlers will also appreciate Vella-Chang’s clever rhymes (“Maxi grabbed a taxi,” “Gus took a bus,” and more).
Mabel Moves To Singapore
Mabel and her family have been uprooted from Antarctica to the tropics of Singapore, an exotic place very different from her home. Any other penguin would have been devastated but this plucky one quickly realises that when you’re someplace new, everyday is an adventure! Being someplace new is also a chance to make new friends and do new things like going swimming every day of the year!
Why we love it
As expatriates, we are all familiar with the heartbreak that comes along with having to leave our homes and friends behind. Vella-Chang’s cheery take on this experience convinces readers that being expatriated is also a time for change and most importantly––adventure. “It’s through Mabel’s openness to trying new things and meeting new people that she appreciates the gift of the journey,” says Vella-Chang. This book is perfect for expat kids who have just moved to Singapore and are still feeling unsure about their new home. Perhaps Mabel’s sense of adventure and positivity could help ease them in!
Both Afternoon Tea at Raffles Hotel Singapore and Mabel Moves To Singapore are wonderfully written, and the cheerful illustrations add to their charm. We say: more please! But while we’re waiting for Vella-Chang’s next book, we’ll keep our little ones busy with her Afternoon Tea at Raffles Hotel Singapore activity book which is packed with heaps of fun mazes, puzzles and illustrations for tiny hands to colour (psst… there’s over a hundred stickers inside too!).
You can pick up your copies of Afternoon Tea at Raffles Hotel Singapore, Mabel Moves To Singapore, Afternoon Tea at Raffles Hotel Singapore A Fun Activity Book at Closetful of Books or Kinokuniya Bookstores.