Nursery rhymes are so easy to remember even when they barely make any sense. What do our kids know about fetching water from the top of a hill? Or about wrapping up wounds with vinegar and brown paper? Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill by author Gwen Lee puts a spin on well-known nursery rhymes by adding some much-needed local flavour and context to the familiar verses. The original verses are also included at the end of the book (in case you can’t remember them).
So instead of Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, we have Peter Peter Durian Eater and that is perfect for the durian season we are having at the moment. The kids were so amused by the idea of Peter eating a ridiculous amount of durians and gargling salt water from the durian shell. In another nursery rhyme, the good old Kueh Tutu takes the place of Hot Cross Buns.
Other local icons like The Night Safari can be found in this book of Singaporean nursery rhymes and they even have the animals cooking curry! Kids will also be able to relate to the localised version of This Old Man much more than the traditional one. What is a knick knack paddy wack anyway? Give me an old man playing zero point, capteh, goli, hopscotch and five stones any day!
Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill is published by Epigram Books and they are currently having up to 50% off selected titles (until 15 August) so this book costs just S$8.94 (usual price S$14.90). An earlier book of Singapore nursery rhymes by the same author There Was a Peranakan Woman Who Lived in a Shoe is going for the same price too. Grab them both while you can!
Disclaimer: We received the book from Epigram Books for review purposes. All opinions are my own.