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Friday Flips #109: Epigram Books for All Ages

Just before we went on our Taiwan holiday last year, we received a lovely selection of books from Epigram. We love books, and I was particularly pleased that there were books for me too, rather than just books for the kids. We all enjoyed reading the books, and I’ve posted short reviews of ‘Best New Singaporean Short Stories Volume Four’, ‘The Antibiotic Tales’, and ‘Make Animals Great Again’ on our book-sharing Instagram account (@readingwiththetans).

‘Yaya the Double-Decker Bus’ is a simple story about an arrogant double-decker bus that didn’t know its limits. We liked the colourful illustrations, and I think this board book is really suitable for toddlers and preschoolers. It makes a good gift too for overseas visitors, as the name of the bus, Yaya, is a colloquial term for arrogant people, and the illustrations include our local double-decker bus, as well as the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry.

Do Farts Make Old People Go Faster?‘ was a huge hit with all three kids, as they found it extremely hilarious (apparently everything related to farts and butts is funny). They made me read this over and over again, and burst into uncontrollable giggles each time there was farting involved (which was quite a lot). They also took turns to listen to each other’s stomachs for the gurgling of gases, and declared that Mummy’s stomach makes the most sounds.

N really liked ‘Make Animals Great Again and Other Creature Campaigns’, because insects featured quite prominently in this book, and he LOVES insects. (He actually helped me to “style” the photo I took of this book, by positioning his favourite insects (and arachnid) carefully around it, and told me, “Make sure you take a nice photo!”.)

I found the illustrations both cute and informative, highlighting the key aspects of the story. There were many not-so-subtle references to familiar characters and scenarios (hello, kiasu mama!) which amused me, and I thought this was a clever piece of satirical writing.

The Antibiotic Tales‘ is probably more suitable for slightly older children. I expected N to be interested in it, since he likes reading the Science Comics series, but he wasn’t very keen. I enjoyed reading it though, and found it very informative! It uses layman terms to explain how antibiotics work, the various ways in which they can be used, and shows the potential consequences of misusing them. It is a comic within a comic, and the additional notes at the end provide detailed information for those who are keen to learn more about antibiotics.

Finally, ‘The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Four‘ is an interesting collection of short stories highlighting various issues, some of which showcased refreshing takes on otherwise stereotypical opinions. I particularly liked ‘Fusings’, in which the addiction to gadgets led to them becoming part of the human body, ‘Regrettable Things’ which discussed the moral dilemma faced by a reporter, and ‘SIN’ which analyses the Singaporean society, our reaction to foreigners, and the possible repercussions of our actions.

This year, my target is to read 80 books (I finished 78 last year), and I’m also trying to read more local books. Epigram has a great collection of local books, and I love how these five books are so distinctly and uniquely Singaporean. Looking forward to introducing more local titles to my kids, and reading more local books myself too!

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