Tag Archives: school

An Interview with Children’s Book Writer David Seow

When I first came across the Sam, Sebbie & Di-Di-Di series of children’s books written by author David Seow, I was instantly drawn to them because they are about the adventures of a little girl and her two younger brothers and the beautifully-illustrated book covers reminded me so much of Anya, Adam and David. The books are published by Epigram Books and illustrated by Soefara Jafney and I will be reviewing all the books in the series.

I really wanted to begin my series of book reviews with an interview with the author and he was kind enough to answer some questions I had for him. David Seow is a well-known children’s book writer and a staple on the Singapore literary scene. He is an award-nominated children’s book author of over 20 children’s books, including the Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di series, Alexander’s Adventure Machine, and The Littlest Emperor. His latest books are There’s Soup on My Fly!Blow A KissIf I Were a Blue Kangaroo, and Emma’s Elephant.

Sam, Sebbie & Di-Di-Di

Sam, Sebbie & Di-Di-Di

Q: What inspired you to write your first book?

A: My niece and nephews Sam, Sebbie and Jeremy (Di-Di-Di) inspired me to start writing the books. I used to babysit them every weekend and I had to read to them at bedtime. Each of them wanted me to read a stack of picture books to them and so to make things simple, I started coming up with stories about them which they seemed to like.

Q: How much of the book is realistic? 

A: The stories were first published in 1998 when the children were toddlers. My youngest nephew, Xandy was born after I started writing. The books that are currently available are re-illusrated and edited versions of the books.There were things that I wasn’t happy about with the original series and I was happy that Epigram Books approached me about revamping the series. I think Epigram Books has done an amazing job with the series. They’ve paired me up with an amazing editor and a fantastic illustrator. I love working with them but they may not feel the same way. I can be hard work! LOL.

Q: What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us? 

A: I have just finished a big commissioned project and I’m working on the sequel to my book A Day with the Duchess which is about Sam, Sebbie, Di-Di-Di and Xandy visiting the royals in London.

Q: Who is your favourite children’s author and what is it that you like about his/ her work? 

A: I don’t have one particular favourite author. I like Naomi Kojima, Susanna Goho-Quek, Norm Jorgensen, Chris Cheng, Sarah Mousey, Sheri Tan, AJ Low,  Emily Lim, James Foley and Mo Willems. Each of them have very strong voices in their stories which resonate with children and adults alike. They have a sense of fun and that’s what every children’s book should have. That’s the most important part of a children’s book.

Q: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

A: Thanks for reading my books. I hope you like them. Please buy more!! :)

Disclaimer: We received the books from Epigram Books for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Advertisements

Anya’s Concert

A few weeks ago, we watched Anya’s kindergarten concert at the University Cultural Centre (UCC). It was all a bit surreal because we used to have so many performances at UCC when we were still in NUS more than 10 years ago and now I’m watching my kid perform on stage!

Anya was really excited about the performance and had been singing the songs in the car and practising the dance moves at home for the longest time. She was also very pleased with her costume and kept telling us how nice it was.

Anya was very particular about her make-up, emphasising that she was supposed to have silver eyeshadow, pink blusher and red lipstick. I’m very clueless about make-up since I hardly wear any but Aunty Debs came to the rescue and gave us tons of make-up for Anya’s performance.

doing her make-up before the show

doing her make-up before the show

Adam wondering what the fuss is all about

Adam wondering what the fuss is all about

all ready to perform

all ready to perform

being matchy-matchy in my Lark & Peony cheongsam

being matchy-matchy in my Lark & Peony cheongsam

a quick family photo (without the baby)

a quick family photo (without the baby)

the kids being herded backstage

the kids being herded backstage

We were seated pretty far back because the better seats were reserved for the families of the K2 graduating children so I’m very thankful that David of Life’s Tiny Miracles (who was seated much further in front with his very good camera and superb photography skills) took some beautiful close-up shots of Anya’s performance for me!

Anya’s dance was one of the first items and it was clear to to see that the kids and the teachers had put in so much effort into the dance. The same goes for every other item that followed. It takes a lot of dedication to put together a performance involving so many different groups of young children!

The Power of One

The Power of One

Anya in action

Anya in action (photo credit: David)

so happy to be performing

so happy to be performing (photo credit: David)

Lasso the Moon

Lasso the Moon

the finale

the finale

It wasn’t even her graduation and I was already bursting with pride and close to tears! I think I’m going to be a slobbering mess when I see her in her little graduation gown. How did my baby grow into a little lady so quickly??

with the baby after the performance

with the baby after the performance

well done, Anya!

well done, Anya!

Adam at The Animal Resort

I accompanied Adam on his school excursion to The Animal Resort and it was really interesting to see a different side of Singapore. There are many small animals and birds found at The Animal Resort and there’s a horse as well. The kids were given a briefing on the different types of animals there and how to feed them before being set loose on the hapless creatures.

The animals there generally looked well cared for and they were clearly used to being surrounded by noisy little children. Adam was initially afraid to get too close to the animals to feed them and would fling the food at the animals instead of feeding it to them, but he eventually warmed up to the idea. It’s a pretty fun way for kids to spend a few hours but insect repellent is a must!

being briefed

being briefed

looking for geese

looking for geese

feeding geese

feeding geese

checking out the peacocks

checking out the peacocks

white peacock

white peacock

beautiful colours

beautiful colours

crowned crane walking around

crowned crane walking around

small animals

small animals

guinea pig and skinny pig (I kid you not)

guinea pig and skinny pig (I kid you not)

feeding bunnies

feeding bunnies

Adam's funny fish-feeding pose

Adam’s funny fish-feeding pose

hello!

hello!

cassowary

cassowary

a closer look

a closer look

the biggest animal there

the biggest animal there

bye bye, horse!

bye bye, horse!

The Animal Resort
T81 Seletar West Farmway 5
Singapore 798061
Tel: 6338 7665
Fax: 6484 1813
Email: ricted@singnet.com.sg

Hua Mulan

Signed Anya up for the Chinese theatre holiday camp by Apple Pie Language again and this time they performed Hua Mulan. She acted as Hua Mulan’s sister (I didn’t know Hua Mulan had a sister) and had a speaking role. I thought she did a really good job memorising her lines, the poem and her dance steps. While I could see that she enjoyed the kungfu actions and dancing, she wasn’t as enthusiastic about the programme this time so I think I may not sign her up for the one in December. She liked being able to put on make-up though!

display outside to distract parents while waiting

display outside to distract parents while waiting

reciting the poem

reciting the poem

saying bye to her family

saying bye to her family

preparing for war

preparing for war

fighting the enemy

fighting the enemy

posing for photos afterwards

posing for photos afterwards

with mummy

with mummy

she made an armour but didn't get to wear it for her role

she made an armour but didn’t get to wear it for her role

Anya’s Artwork

Anya artspiration

Signed Anya up for a 3-day holiday art enrichment class and she came back with this. A little bit messy here and there but generally looks pretty good! Can you tell that her favourite colours are pink and purple? She was quite worried about her painting the first two days and didn’t think it was good enough even though I told her not to worry and just to give it her best shot. I think she did really well and the painting is now prominently displayed in our home.

Adam’s School Excursion – Doughworkz by Pastamania

Accompanied Adam on his very first school excursion and it was a pizza-making session at Pastamania. There was a PowerPoint presentation about the history of pizza and pasta but the 3-year-olds didn’t really appreciate it and just wanted to get their hands on the pizza ingredients.

The kids needed help with stretching and prepping the dough for the pizza base but were able to spread the tomato paste and put the toppings on. Adam ate quite a bit of the toppings before the pizza was sent to the oven for baking! He’s not usually the pizza-eating sort but he must have been really proud of the pizza he made because he ate about half of it.

Some of the kids starting falling asleep near the end of the programme and a few more collapsed in the bus on the way back to school. Adam nearly dozed off in the cab on our way home but I kept him awake because I couldn’t carry him and the baby at the same time. He had a solid 3-hour nap when we got home!

Adam volunteered to ring the bell

Adam volunteered to ring the bell

dressed for the part

dressed for the part

squishing the dough

squishing the dough

spreading the tomato paste

spreading the tomato paste

adding the toppings

adding the toppings

ate lots of toppings off the unbaked pizza!

ate lots of toppings off the unbaked pizza!

pleased with his creation

pleased with his creation

pizza's done

pizza’s done

time to eat

time to eat

ACJC Fun-O-Rama XXII

I have tons of Taiwan photos to sort out before I can start blogging about our first-ever trip with all three kids. But for now, here’s a short post about ACJC Fun-O-Rama XXII. Last Saturday, I dragged the husband and kids down for this biannual event that I’ve been attending for the past 20 years (since I was in Secondary school!) and we met up with Von and Juan & family there. Was remarking to Adrian that every time we go for Fun-O-Rama, we have one additional kid!

It was a hot day so we sat down at the void deck to get food for the kids before playing some games. After that, we went to say hi to my Geography teacher, then retreated to the air-conditioned comfort of the SCONE cafe for drinks and some live music. We went to check out the stall of overpriced souvenirs in the hall and I bought myself the ACJC Alumni t-shirt for the ridiculous price of $50. We let the kids play a few more games before we finally called it a day and headed home for a nap!

first stop: void deck!

first stop: void deck!

the Tans

the Tans

Von with her Ramly

Von with her Ramly

our kids got arrested!

our kids got arrested!

on the police bike

on the police bike

time for games

time for games

sliding mugs

sliding mugs

with Mrs Meow

with Mrs Meow

family photo in SCONE cafe

family photo in SCONE cafe

time to buy overpriced stuff

time to buy overpriced stuff

great designs!

great designs!

smiley

smiley

more games

more games

see you in 2016!

see you in 2016!