List: Vanishing Material

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Title of Picture Book: Vanishing Materials

Author: Jesvin Yeo

Illustrator: Jesvin Yeo, Quek Teng Wan

Publisher and Country (may be self-published): National Library Board and Basheer Graphic Books, Singapore

Publisher’s Blurb: Vanishing Materials is a children’s story based on the intrinsic meaning of the word ‘adaptable’. Drawn from the long history of traditional woodclay, a material originally used in the crafting of Chinese religious objects, its use had changed with the times. Woodclay has been gradually modelled into commercialised figurines souvenirs of early Singapore island settlers like the Satay Man and Samsui Woman. Also, one can see the assimilation of Western pop culture iconographies such as the Halloween pumpkin, Gingerbread man and candy houses into woodclay figurines.

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5 Keywords (other than themes): history, culture, craft, Singapore, innovation

Brief Review (in under 50 words): This book is in an accordion-format with one side in English and the other in Chinese. It presents the story of a boy getting acquainted with a material, woodclay, which is used differently.

Where to buy or borrow (if available): NLB Singapore

ISBN Number (if available): 978-981-09-4897-9

Submitted by (could be your preferred name, including pen name): Moses

List: Star Anise, Superstar!

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Title of Picture Book: Star Anise, Superstar

Author: Linn Shekinah

Illustrator: OSH

Publisher and Country (may be self-published): The Almond Tree, Singapore

Publisher’s Blurb: Star Anise dreams of being a star. But nobody in Spice Town seems to notice her, so she sets off in search of stardom. Join Star Anise as she goes on a flavourful adventure and finds out what it really means to be a star. This tasty tale is about caring for others.

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5 Keywords (other than themes): Spices, Food, Sharing, Cooking, Culture

Brief Review (in under 50 words): A fun way to introduce Asian spices such as star anise, cinnamon, shallot, clover, ginger and chilli. The story is somewhat predictable and the senses associated with spices could have been better engaged. The illustration could also have been more attractive. The Malay text, translated by the Singapore Malay Teachers’ Union, felt┬álike “subtitles”.

Where to buy or borrow (if available): NLB Singapore

ISBN Number (if available): 978-981-07-8018-0