Is there anything more beautiful than the sight of a child peacefully reading a book? Yes, there is! A child reading a book by a local author. Boom! Through reading we imagine ourselves in other people’s lives, and so by reading stories by local authors or in local settings our children can have a wonderful culturally immersive experience.
The Singapore Literacy Community’s first-ever BuySingLit event is a high-profile island-wide campaign this month that urges everybody to support the local publishing industry by buying local books. And from 21 to 26 February, BuySingLit will have over 40 special activities, in all four official languages, including book fairs, storytelling sessions, pop-up stores, book-related walking tours and workshops.
The BuySingLit website outlines a full program for both young and old, but here are my family-friendly picks:
This day of fun is hosted by Woods in the Books, one of our favourite kids’ bookstores, located in the historic Tiong Bahru neighbourhood. Kids will enjoy activities, contests and a special exhibition. It’s worth noting that the venue is not all that large, so plan for alternative activities if you can’t get in!
When 24 – 26 Feb, 10am – 7pm
Where Woods in the Books, No. 3 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru
Cost: FREE with $20 purchase of Singlit books
Register at the Woods in the Books Facebook page
Kids’ SingLit Town
A big mall event. There will be over 200 local children’s books on sale here. Board books, storybooks, activity books, everything. Plus readings and craft activities.
When 21 – 26 Feb, 10am – 10pm
Where Vivocity (just a board walk away from Sentosa Island), West Boulevard, 1 Harbourfront Walk
A pop-up retail area in the family-packed, family-focused Forum Shopping mall – home of ToysRUs and Playhao toy stores as well as the charming children’s book store, Books Ahoy. Look out for the workshop for young writers on Saturday, as well as storytelling sessions in the afternoons on Saturday and Sunday. Guest appearances by authors on Sunday.
When 24 – 26 Feb, 10am-7pm
Where Forum the Shopping Mall, Atrium, B1 583 Orchard Rd
Events are FREE but registration is required through the Books Ahoy Facebook page
The Whispering Wallpaper
Something quite unique: an illustrated wall covered with many of Singapore’s favourite kidlit characters, each one attached to a little listening cup so you can hear a special recording for that character. Special mention: check out the Sherlock Hong Song, which I wrote and performed for my Sherlock Hong Adventures series!
When 24 – 26 Feb, all day
Where The Whispering Wallpaper, Plaza Singapura (home to kid’s craft friendly Spotlight and Art Friend), 68 Orchard Rd
Take a Look, Read a Book
Enjoy a fishy afternoon immersed in Fishy Tales by local children’s author Caline Tan. The author will be there for a storytelling session, book signing and to play marine-themed games.
When 26 Feb, 12pm – 7pm
Where National Library Building, Plaza, 100 Victoria Street
Learning Journeys – Timmy & Tammy Family Nature Walk at Singapore Botanic Gardens
An outdoor activity for the whole family. A science expert tour guide will point out and answer questions about the lovely plants, trees, insects and birds here. There are limited tickets for this, which you can buy here.
When 26 Feb and 25 Mar, 4pm – 6pm
Where Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Rd
Ticket prices 1 adult-child pair $10, Additional adult $5. Click here to purchase.
Get the 13-18 year olds in your life to review a SingLit book for the #BuySingLit Flash Book Review contest for a chance to win some fabulous goodies! Check out the details at buysinglit.sg/contest. Get your submissions in my the 28 February 2017.
Are you a writer?
Think you have what it takes to be the next JK Rowling? Check out our guide to getting published, and take heart while you wait from this list of books that were once considered ‘unpublishable’ but are now staple classics!
If you’re looking for inspiration, I’m running a workshop for writers called How to Write Like A Robot or Zombie on the 26th of February as part of SingLit, 10-12pm at Bishan Library. Details can be found on my website.