Looking for an interesting Zoom background that hides your messy furniture? As we celebrate Singapore's 55th birthday, let's show our support for our very own homegrown illustrators!
Look out for the eight SingLit-inspired virtual backgrounds from the books below, with a range of fantastic scenes that will let you escape into our SingLit world. Coming to you soon this August!
Ellie Belly #7: Pawful Peril
by: Eliza Teoh
Illustrated by: Wolfe and Rachel Liam
Ellie finds out from Snowy about dogs stuck on a puppy farm with no food! She needs to find the farm, buy lots of doggie food and get it to the dogs. But she’s supposed to be in bed... sick! Are the dogs doomed? How is she going to explain to Mama? Can she get out of this doggie disaster?
Publisher: Bubbly Books (2014)
Get the book here: Print
About the Author: Formerly a journalist and sub-editor at The Straits Times, Eliza Teoh is the author of the national-bestselling Ellie Belly series. Her books are infused with fun animal facts and language tips, which appeal to reluctant readers. Eliza has been a mentor to many young authors, conducting writing workshops in schools and facilitating workshops for the GEP Creative Writing Programme.
About the Illustrator: David “Wolfe” Liew is an illustrator, cartoonist, sculptor, and model-maker. Besides illustrating books and magazines, he’s the main artist for the children’s series Ellie Belly written by Eliza Teoh. Once in a while, he exchanges the pencils for a pen, and works with words instead.
Lost in the Gardens
by: J.H. Low
Illustrated by: J.H. Low
Mei had waited very long for this day, the day to visit Gardens by the Bay! But she soon wanders off and loses her way. Lost and afraid, she meets Wise Wee the bear. Together, they search for Mom and go on an adventure around the Gardens like no other. Discover the amazing sights of Gardens by the Bay in this beautifully illustrated book with an engaging rhyming story that will capture the imagination of readers of all ages.
About the Author/Illustrator: J.H. Low has always been a passionate artist, illustrator and creator of stories. His illustrations are spontaneous and masterful, and often imbued with a light touch of humour. He received Honourable Mention for the prestigious McMillan Prize 2009 for his book, There is No Steak Buried Here, which was translated into Chinese and became his first published book. Lost in the Gardens is J.H.’s first English language publication.
Friends: A Counting Book
by: Ekkers (Goh Eck Kheng)
Illustrated by: Moof (Mike Foo)
As children are ready to learn to count, they are also at the age when they begin to be aware of the differences in the people around them. Boys or girls, dark or light skinned, tall children, lean ones, those who use wheelchairs, the ones who are smaller than themselves, the shy ones, the chubby ones too….
This unique counting book does these two things. It teaches kids numbers and counting from one to twelve through a delightful rhyme. It also gives parents and caregivers the opportunity to talk to them about respecting and connecting with the many people they meet in their daily lives who are different from themselves.
Publisher: Landmark Books (2019)
Get the book here: Print
About the Author: Goh Eck Kheng is an editor, book designer and publisher of Landmark Books. He is a keen photographer and potter, and also a long-time collector of children's books. He is the author of two children’s books, Jun and the Octopus and Friends, A Counting Book.
About the Illustrator: Mike Foo aka Moof, a Singaporean illustrator and graphic designer based in Singapore. He is also the co-founder and owner of Woods in the Books, the picture bookshop since 2009. Moof is fascinated by the beauty of lines and stroke, when he is not wearing the creative and art director hat of Woods in the Books, he immerses himself into the world of lines creation.
The Crane and The Crab
by: SR Nathan
Illustrated by: Anngee Neo
A long, long time ago in a kampong, there was a pond with plenty of fish.
But the pond soon begins to dry up, and a watchful and greedy crane has an idea: He fools the fish into thinking that he will bring them to a large, sparkling lake. In the meantime, a crab who has been watching the crane has plans of his own…
Illustrated with engaging artwork, former Singapore President SR Nathan’s retelling of this wonderful folktale has a timeless message that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.
About the Author: SR Nathan served as President of Singapore from 1999 to 2011. Mr Nathan previously held key positions in government, and has been High Commissioner to Malaysia as well as Ambassador to the United States. He is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Institute of South East Asian Affairs.
About the Illustrator: Anngee Neo is a freelance illustrator whose work has been seen in magazines, promotional materials, advertisements, posters, game apps, as well as in her first children’s book, I Pura the Cat, published by Marshall Cavendish in October 2012. The book was one of the winners of the National Arts Council's Beyond Words initiative.
三轮车跑得快 (Go Trishaw Go)
by: 虎威 (Francis Wong Hooe Wai)
Illustrated by: 虎威 (Francis Wong Hooe Wai)
本书设定的背景是三轮车在路上漫行的 1960 年代。故事叙述男童小威想要画却想不出要画什么的时候，他的 “宠物”谦谦熊竟然逃跑了，因此小威连忙去追。他在三轮车夫忠伯的帮助下，一路寻找谦谦熊的踪影，展开了一段温馨的旅程，也找到了画画的题材。
All of us have nursery rhymes dear to us, which play a big part in our unique childhood memories. A nursery rhyme dear to the author of this book is the familiar "Go Trishaw Go". The rhyme is not only the key to unlocking Hu Wei's childhood memories, but also the inspiration for this picture book.
The book is set in the 1960s, when trishaws were common on the road. It tells the story of Xiaowei, who wants to paint but can't think of what to paint. Suddenly, his "pet" Qianqian Bear runs away, so Xiaowei hurries to chase him. With the help of Uncle Zhong, a trishaw driver, he searches for Qianqian Bear and finds the subject of his painting.
Publisher: Lingzi Media
Get the book here: Print
About the Author/Illustrator: Architect, writer and illustrator Francis Wong Hooe Wai is the author of several books of prose and an author-in-residence of various schools. He is also the creator of a trilogy of picture books set in old Chinatown: Grandpa's Little Room, Go Trishaw Go and The Little Bear’s New Clothes.
The Garden of Foolish Indulgences
by: Oh Yong Hwee
Illustrated by: Koh Hong Teng
In 1915, Han Wai Toon left Hainan Island to see his fortune in Singapore. Through hard work, self-study and ingenuity, he became a global expert in diverse fields from ceramics, agriculture to Taoist deities. His rambutan orchard was particularly well-known and frequented by Chinese literati then, oddly because the rambutans were cultivated to taste like the lychees in his hometown. Some 90 years later, Ye Feng'an comes to Singapore with his family to seek better prospects for his son. One day, his encounter with a fruit seller sets Feng'an to delve into the world of little-known Han Wai Toon.
Inspired by the biography of Han Wai Toon, this story explores the struggles of integration and retaining identity in an adopted country.
Publisher: Pause Narratives (2016)
Get the book here: Print
Note: A Chinese version of this book is scheduled to be release in 2021.
About the Author: Oh Yong Hwee is the CEO and Creative Director of Patroids Creative Works, a Singapore-based creative agency. He enjoys the challenge of conceptualising ideas that blend creativity and technology, and has won awards and accolades at the local, regional and international stage. In July 2011, Yong Hwee and comic artist Koh Hong Teng were invited by The Straits Times to imagine how a Singapore superhero would be like. Their co-creation was published in Life!. He earned his BSc in Computing from the University of London while serving as a naval officer in the Singapore Navy.
About the Illustrator: Koh Hong Teng is a comic artist and painter based in Singapore. His graphic novel Gone Case: A Graphic Novel book 1 and 2, written by Dave Chua in 2010-2011, brought him to the spotlight, with even a TV adaptation of the book produced. On the following year in 2012, he co-created the graphic novel Ten Sticks and One Rice, with writer Oh Yong Hwee, which then won the bronze award at The 7th International Manga Award the following year, making them Singapore's first comics creators to win a prized international award from Japan.
Lieutenant Adnan and The Last Regiment
by: Danny Jalil
Illustrated by: Zaki Ragman
Lieutenant Adnan bin Saidi was a man who fought valiantly to defend Singapore during the Japanese invasion in February 1942. He, along with the rest of the Malay Regiment, battled the Japanese soldiers on Bukit Chandu. These great men were Singapore's last defence and fought bravely to the end, despite being captured, and even tortured.
Narrated by the son of Lieutenant Adnan's son, Mokhtar, this comic book tells the story of Lieutenant Adnan's life - not only depicting the infamous Battle of Bukit Chandu, but also the events before the critical battle and its repercussions thereafter. Through this book, readers would gain a deeper insight into Lieutenant Adnan’s admirable character, as they will be given a glimpse of who he was, beyond his role as a soldier: a husband and father.
About the Author:Danny Jalil majored in Multimedia Arts and studied Creative Writing and Screenwriting at LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts, during which time he wrote numerous short stories and film scripts. His short film comedy "Spun" was nominated the merit prize at the National University of Singapore Student's Union (NUSSU) Inter-Tertiary Video Festival, and he has also made a short horror film titled "The Chase". His novel The Machine Boy was a winner of National Arts Council's Beyond Words: Young and Younger Award, and he is in negotiations to publish his next novel.
About the Illustrator: Zaki Ragman is a professional creative artist and teacher who believes in life-long learning. Having spent 20 years in the animation and creative industry, he grew to enjoy sharing, developing and visualising creative concepts with fellow artists and experimenting new ways to create artworks together. Zaki has also worked alongside writer Danny Jalil on several graphic novels, with the former providing the illustrations to titles such as Legendary Tales of Singapore, and more recently Elizabeth Choy: Her Story (2020).
What Gives Us Our Names (Illustrated Edition)
by: Alvin Pang
Illustrated by: Marie Toh
He’d gotten the idea from a book, not unlike the one you last read and loved, whose lurid covers you have already forgotten. For a canvas, he used not his own skin but his very life, spending his days as if he were made up of the most telling bits of other people. To do this, he learned to watch quietly and look deeply, past the busy surfaces until he could discern the colours beneath, the ones that did not change. One by one he would name them as he wove them into his heart in the deep of night. He touched you once, borrowing pieces of your story in passing. They are here still, in case you wish to look.
Publisher: Math Paper Press (2019)
Get the book here: Print
About the Author: Alvin Pang was named 2005 Young Artist of the Year for Literature, and was conferred the Singapore Youth Award (Arts and Culture) in 2007. His poetry collections, Testing The Silence (1997) and City of Rain (2003) were both listed in the Straits Times’ Top Ten Books of the Year. Pang was a founding director ofThe Literary Centre (Singapore) and Wordfeast 2004, Singapore’s first international poetry festival. Author of over a dozen books, his writing has been translated into more than twenty languages.
About the Illustrator: Marie Toh is an illustrator currently based in London. She enjoys visual story telling and illustrated her first book, The Boy in the Whale Suit, which was published by Epigram. She has since illustrated movie posters for local independent cinemas such as The Projector and Anticipate Pictures.