It’s always a joy to discover new local authors, so we were really pleased to receive a selection of six local titles from Owl Readers Club’s Support Local collection. These books are extra special because they’re part of the “Make a Difference Books”, which aim to show children how they can make a difference in others’ lives through various small acts.
The kids were, as usual, very excited to start reading these books, and clearly enjoyed them, as they asked me to read the books again, immediately after I finished reading them!
I feel that all the books are very relatable, as they highlight common issues and scenarios that children can identify with. ‘The Boy Who Talks in Bits and Bobs’ is about a boy who lacks confidence because of his stutter. Thanks to his encouraging teacher, he shows his classmates how he doesn’t stutter when he plays his ukulele and sings. They stopped teasing him, and wait for him to sing instead.
Although it isn’t ideal that Owen needed to have a special talent for his classmates to like him, I do think it was good that his teacher found a way to help him. Also, the author included some practical tips on how to help people who stutter, which can be useful in guiding children to be more sensitive.
‘Inky Poofs Again‘ is a great book to read to children who get anxious easily. The young squid releases ink whenever he feels nervous, which makes him even more uncomfortable and shy. His anxiety is heightened when he starts school, but he soon realises that his fears about his classmates are unfounded, and is finally able to relax.
This is probably the twins’ favourite story, as they were able to complete some of the lines while I was reading it (because there’s a lot of repetition). They also giggled every time Inky “poofed”, and it was a good book to read before they started school.
‘Let’s Be Friends’ and ‘Spiky and Dotty’ are similar, in that they discuss the importance of friends accepting each other’s differences. In ‘Let’s Be Friends’, Tapir looks for a friend to play with, but finds fault with the various forest creatures that he comes across. When he gets a taste of his own medicine, he realises how unkind he had been, and goes about making amends.
‘Spiky and Dotty’ are childhood best friends, but when they grow up, their living habits clash, and they drift apart. However, they realise that they should make time for each other, and that their friendship can be preserved if they both make an effort to meet up regularly. Sounds like a story meant for adults, but I think it’s also suitable for preschoolers transitioning to different primary schools.
‘Smile’ and ‘The Rainbow Child’ both highlight the importance of being true to yourself, and not hiding who you really are. The protagonists in both stories are worried about their physical appearances, but learn that it is what’s inside that really matters.
In ‘Smile’, Lin has a beautiful smile, and more importantly, she greets everyone she meets with a smile. However, when she loses a tooth, she stops smiling, because she thinks it looks ugly. The old lady whom she meets daily convinces her otherwise, and Lin goes back to her usual self again.
Ruby of ‘The Rainbow Child’ stands out because she is the only one born colourful in her town of black and white, so her parents cover her up with paint. An incident causes her true colours to be revealed, and although she is miserable initially, she decides that it is more important to be happy with who she really is, and her positive attitude changes her town.
Apart from ‘The Boy Who Talks in Bits and Bobs’, the other five titles were written and illustrated by students from Singapore Polytechnic. It’s so heartening to know that there is so much talent in Singapore, and that they’ve chosen to teach young readers about important values through their stories. Do get a copy of these books to read with your kids, and of course, to support local talent!
We are giving away 2 x SGD25 worth of store credit for Owl Readers Club’s Support Local collection to TWO readers of Growing with the Tans! To participate, please visit our Instagram page and/or our Facebook page. Terms and conditions apply.
Terms and Conditions: This giveaway will end on Friday, 19th July 2019, at 2359h, and is open to readers with a Singapore mailing address only. The winners will be contacted via the particulars provided when entering this giveaway, and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be selected. All incomplete entries will be disqualified, and all entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsor, please note that all fake Facebook and Instagram accounts (accounts set up purely to take part in contests, with no or very few real posts), will be disqualified.