The Mandarin picture books for children are based on the four main themes from the popular SINGAPO 人 exhibition at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC).
Photo Credit: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre
A set of 10 new cultural picture books are ready to hit the streets, as part of a special collaboration between the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
These books were created by year two Ngee Ann Polytechnic Chinese Studies (NPCHS) students under the guidance of their lecturers, as well as advice on proofreading, layout, and design editing by the SCCC Outreach and Education Team.
Suitable For Children From Ages 4 to 12
These picture books encompass topics such as, Chinese festivals and rituals, local food, stories about early migrants from China and cultural values cherished by the Chinese community.
Promotes The Learning of Chinese Singaporean Culture
Marrying creative storytelling with insights into our Chinese Singaporean culture, these booklets are a great educational resource for kids to get excited about and to increase their interest in learning about our local Chinese culture and traditions in a fun, innovative, engaging and captivating way.
10 Books With Lesson Plan & Suggested Activities
Each of the 10 books is also accompanied by a lesson plan and suggested activities that allow parents to guide their children on the various aspects of our local culture and delve deeper into the topic with them.
Here's the list of the 10 books:
- Where Did They Come From by Cheryl Ong Shi Ni
Wei Wei commented on the sloppy attire of foreign workers when she was on a train with her father one day. Her father then took this opportunity to share with her grandfather’s experience as a Nanyang Chinese immigrant.
Wei Wei learnt of the hardships her grandfather went through when he left his hometown, and realised how the foreign workers were in the same predicament as her grandfather in the past. She developed a deep respect for the hard work and perseverance of her grandfather and had a newfound understanding and appreciation of foreign workers. She would even greet them kindly to show her respect for them.
This story tells of a little girl learning about her grandfather's hardships when he left his hometown to settle down in an unfamiliar country, Singapore.
- Let’s Lohei by Lee May Yee
According to Singaporean Chinese New Year customs, relatives and friends would gather to toss yusheng on the seventh day of the first lunar month. The young boy did not understand the tradition and mistook the shredded vegetables for noodles, almost finishing all the raw fish before the elders could toss the yusheng.
Fortunately, the elders in the family patiently explained the tradition to the young boy and answered his questions. He finally learnt about the lohei tradition.
- The Heaven God Loves Eating Sugar Cane by Mavis Lim Zhi Yan
On the ninth day of the first lunar month, a little boy and his family were spring cleaning and preparing the offerings in celebration of the Heaven God’s birthday.
He was intrigued by one of the offerings, a sugar cane. His father took the chance to tell him about the tales and traditions of the Heaven God’s birthday, including the worship rituals and offerings involved in the celebration. Eventually, the boy understood more about this traditional practice.
- New Year, New Customs by Tobias Tan Xin Hong
- Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival by Cedrick Tan Wei Chong
While the Chinese celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival on Earth, the Jade Rabbit and his family were also celebrating it on the moon! Since they were on the moon itself and cannot admire the moon in the sky, they decided to ‘admire’ the humans who were celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival on Earth instead.
They prepared riddles, carrot tea, carrot mooncakes, and carrot-shaped lanterns for the occasion. During the celebration, Jade Rabbit and his family suddenly recalled the task Chang’e had asked them to do. Read the story to find out more!
- Go Makan by Agnes Pang
- The Magical Bak Kut Teh by Li Si Min
Little Mouse Le Le went to the city in search of a mouth-watering bowl of Bak Kut Teh, in order to nourish Grandpa Mouse’s thinning body.
When Le Le found the Bak Kut Teh, she attempted to take it away secretly, but was caught red-handed by the boss of the shop. After Le Le’s remorseful pleading and explanation, the boss was moved by his filial piety and decided to pass down his secret Bak Kut Teh family recipe to her.
As he was teaching Le Le, the boss also explained the history and development of the dish. Armed with the knowledge of Bak Kut Teh, Le Le hurried back to Mouse City to cook the dish for her grandfather. A few weeks later, Grandpa Mouse slowly recuperated and recovered.
- I Want A Cup Of Dinosaur by Vanassa Ang Zhu Er
On Le Le’s 7th birthday, he wanted to do something special for his parents, so he volunteered to order drinks for his family at the coffee shop. When Le Le was queueing in line to get his drinks, he overheard other customers using special drink names that he has never heard of. Le Le, who was perplexed by these ‘strange’ drink names, ran back to his seat to ask Dad what these names meant.
Dad explained the origins of these special drink names and terms to Le Le. After listening, he found these names very amusing. That day, Le Le became not only a year older, but also a year wiser.
- Grandma’s Hand Is Injured by Clarisa Chng
Xiao Cheng’s Grandma hand was injured and Xiao Cheng did his best to help her during this inconvenient period. He tried blowing on Grandma’s wound every night, helping to wash her dishes and clothes, and buying a new pair of gloves for her.
While her wound did not heal, Grandma was moved by Xiao Cheng’s considerate and heart-warming behaviour.
- Samsui Women by Charmaine Lim
One day, a teacher took her students on a learning journey to the National Museum of Singapore. Suddenly, one of the little girls saw a middle-aged lady wearing a red headscarf and this made her curious.
After an explanation by her teacher, the young girl learnt that the middle-aged lady with a red headscarf was known as a Samsui woman, who played an important part in the history of Singapore, especially in the construction of many famous buildings and monuments in Singapore.
Primary school and preschool educators may download e-copies of these picture books and use them as part of their learning and teaching resource, prior to or after their visit to the SINGAPO 人 exhibition. One set of the physical books is also available for loaning, interested educators may send their request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit the SCCC website.