Singapore has a racially diverse population. As we appreciate our commonalities in unity, we can also celebrate our differences to remember our roots and understand each other better.
This series of 3 books by Frank Fu 傅翀 @phrancphoo is amazing as it encapsulates so much of our local culture within. Frank shares with My Story Treasury that he's very interested in cultural practices and the symbolism behind them, especially of other races.
Let us go beyond wishing our friends "Selamat Hari Raya" and "Happy Deepavali" to understand more about their culture!
I highly recommend getting the full set to learn more about local festivals and traditions! The text may be a little wordy, but the illustrations are just gorgeous and definitely reflective of the world we live in now.
Can you believe that the author and illustrator Frank Fu started out with a single doodle inspired by a rhyme in February 2013? He then moved on to illustrate a whole series of graphics about Chinese New Year, then about other Chinese festivals, followed by the other books in the series which he completed in January 2019! His passion inspires us to start small, dream big and never give up.
Books in this series:
- 《大家来过节 1》 新加坡华族传统节日与习俗 Let's Celebrate! Singaporean Chinese Festivals and Customs
- 《大家来过节 2》新加坡马来族传统节日与习俗 Let's Celebrate! Singaporean Malay Festivals and Customs
- 《大家来过节 3》新加坡印度族传统节日与习俗 Let's Celebrate! Singaporean Indian Festivals and Customs
- Stunning illustrations by Frank Fu - We had fun checking out the dates on which he made each illustration, and this was really cool as we saw how each picture adds to the series.
- Fun facts to help us understand each topic better.
Thoughtful activities behind each chapter - These well-thought out activities by a Chinese teacher of more than 10 years, are truly stellar! Frank told us that these activities are totally original!
The activities are pitched at a various range of ages, and my 5 and 7 year old enjoyed going through them! For example, in the Chinese Festivals book, my 5 year old could easily identify items that are not suited for spring cleaning before Chinese New year. Matching the 吉祥话 auspicious phrases to the respective animals in the Chinese Zodiac was really fun too. There are also 想一想 food for thought, 猜一猜 riddles, 找一找 word search, 填一填 crossword puzzles, 连一连 matching activities, 玩一玩 maze and more!
- Glossary at the end of each book.
- Shoutout for his special contents page that is designed to be like a calendar!
Just a little note, that the books are positioned to discuss the 3 major races in Singapore. I've had to explain to my kids that not all Chinese are Buddhists or Taoists, not only Malays can be Muslims and not all Indians are Hindus. Though the religious practices may not be applicable for some, the cultural elements for each race are!
These reference books are a great addition to our home library and I know they'll be useful throughout the years too. I'm learning a lot of new facts from here too.
Type: Softcover books
Number of Books: 3
Suitable ages: 4-99
Fu Chong’s amazing illustrations and detailed writings about the various festivals in Singapore makes learning about them relatable and fun. I like the fun activities included to reinforce the understanding of the festivals and customs too!
The hand drawn pictures and matter-of-fact explanations are a special way to dig deeper into the rich cultural heritage in Singapore. The "reference-type" books certainly have a lot of text, but it’s richly peppered with detailed illustrations which are easy to relate to. My children could recognise many of the drawings, and identify them as places we’ve been to or seen before like in the Malay book there's Gelang Serai Bazaar, Haji Lane, etc. The Chinese one has China Town, Marina Bay, and the Indian one has the iconic Pagoda St Temple, among others. The books are cleverly put together, with aspects that would really appeal to a child who likes their facts and figures. I like that children can learn about these traditions in Chinese format, and pick up new characters along the way. The crosswords and puzzles are a nice extra touch.