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Friday Flips #91: The Plano Adventures (Trouble in Murktown) Plus Giveaway!

N has been reading independently for a while now, but he generally prefers looking at the illustrations more than actually reading the words if the text looks too lengthy, so I’ve been trying to find simple chapter books for him. Hwee’s first book in ‘The Plano Adventures’ came at the perfect time, as it isn’t too wordy, and has really attractive illustrations (thanks to David Liew, who illustrated the wonderful Squirky series).

N is always excited to receive new books, so he couldn’t wait to start reading it at bedtime. However, it was quite late then, so I told him that we could only read one chapter, and had to continue the story the next day. He was really engrossed in the story, and was quite upset that we couldn’t finish the story that same night. Guess I shouldn’t have shown him the book when there wasn’t enough time to finish reading it in one sitting!

Needless to say, he thoroughly enjoyed the story when we read it the next day, and when we got to the end, he asked, “What? That’s all? So short?” He was temporarily appeased when I told him that it’s the first in a series, but then he wanted to know when the next book will be out, so I guess he won’t be satisfied till he finishes the entire series.

N routinely re-reads books that he enjoys, and has picked ‘Trouble in Murktown’ thrice over this past month, which is a good sign for sure. His favourite character is Professor Plano, because he thinks the Prof is slightly silly to have used the travelator in a thunderstorm, and he is highly amused by the various sound effects in the story. Of all the possible reasons to like the book/character, I wouldn’t have thought of those two for sure!

The Plano Adventures series is co-written by Dr Mo Dirani, a leading global authority on myopia, and former political journalist turned bestselling author, Hwee Goh. This children’s fantasy series seeks to empower the future generation to develop a healthy relationship with their devices, by bringing the readers on an adventure with Professor Plano and his twin sidekicks, as they fight against Lord Myopic’s evil plans. The stories in this five-book series actually tackle three major public health issues: myopia, device dependency and lack of outdoor activities. We live in a digital age where technology is the norm, so it is important that we help our children learn how to master technology wisely, rather than become slaves to it.

I particularly liked how the stories are based on actual scientific research, yet are written in simple enough language for children aged 5 to 9 to understand. The book teaches young readers how to care for their eyes through the heroes’ usage of Professor Plano’s Clear Vision Recipe, making it more exciting and fun, and of course, it’s easier to remember the three “ingredients” when you have to use them to thwart an evil character.

Trouble in Murktown

N is definitely looking forward to the next book, ‘The Ray Keepers’, and we can’t wait to see what adventures Professor Plano and the twins, Zed and Zee, encounter next.

Happy reading!


Plano Adventures: Trouble in Murktown (Kinokuniya) Plano Adventures: Trouble in Murktown (Popular) Plano Adventures: Trouble in Murktown is also available at Kinokuniya, Times Bookstores, as well as Popular bookstores.


We have one copy of ‘Plano Adventures: Trouble in Murktown’ to be given away to one reader of Growing with the Tans! To participate, please complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and conditions apply.

Terms and Conditions: This giveaway will end on Friday, 21st September 2018, at 2359h, and is open to readers with a Singapore mailing address only. The winner 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 accounts (accounts set up purely to take part in contests, with no or very few real friends), will be disqualified. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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