Jul 16, 2015

Learning about Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew through Timmy & Tammy's Eyes

Book Review

"What is Singapore?"

"Who is Lee Kuan Yew?"

These are 2 of the questions that I think most kids will be asking their parents more often this SG50 year. Ditto for the Timmy and Tammy siblings too, who get all curious about Singapore and a rather important figure in Singapore's history this time around.

If you had read my previous review on Timmy and Tammy books, you will know that Ale simply adores them and have since made the books part of her almost-daily night time reading routine. Not only are the illustrations so well-drawn and endearing, the books are excellent for repeated reading with their simple and repetitive words - essential for a beginner reader like Ale.

So when Ale first caught sight of the new Timmy & Tammy: What is Singapore? book, she grabbed it, plonked down on my lap and requested me to read it to her.

The storyline of book is very simple: Timmy and Tammy want to know what Singapore is, but everyone is giving them a different answer. So, they go around asking adults and eventually come up with their own definition of what Singapore truly is.

The book is targeted at kids aged between 5 and 7 so Ale required help with most of the words. But the great thing I loved about the book is the creative and heart-warming descriptions about Singapore that Timmy and Tammy come up with.

Personally, I feel this is a fantastic book to let kids understand what Singapore is all about... especially if parents are stumped when their kids ask them the exact same question!

Speaking of questions, the wifey and I have been fielding a lot of them regarding the late Lee Kuan Yew from Ash and Ayd. And although there have been a number of books on Mr Lee over the past few years, there has been a lack of quality children’s books on Singapore’s founding fathers with factual information that is kept simple enough for primary school kids to comprehend.

Which is why I think the Timmy and Tammy DISCOVER Series: Lee Kuan Yew is such an important addition to a child's library at home!

The author, Hwee Goh, was a former political journalist and had travelled with Mr Lee, covering the news on his overseas trips. Working with National Archives, the book features wonderful photographs of our founding father, from his childhood to the present day.

I love how the interesting facts on Mr Lee's life are presented in such a bite-sized manner. Ayd, the voracious reader, gladly read the book in one sitting. Even Ash, who has always been the more reluctant reader, found it an engaging read thanks to the colourful layout of the book.

In fact, the boys were the ones who surprised me with this anecdote of Mr Lee - that he refused to pay for laundry services at 5-star hotels simply because he could buy new underwear for the price of the laundry service!

And I found myself reading the entire book after that, something which I strongly recommend every parent should do too. Especially with Singapore turning 50 this year as well as Mr Lee's recent passing, this book is the perfect read for primary school children, giving them a factual narrative of Singapore's first Prime Minister's life as well as engaging them on his legacy and the Singapore he has helped to build.

Timmy & Tammy: What is Singapore? and Timmy and Tammy DISCOVER Series: Lee Kuan Yew should be available in major bookstores by the end of July at $7.90 (Before GST) and $8.90 (Before GST) respectively. Alternatively, you can order the bundle set via online HERE.

Also, if you have kids aged between 5 and 9, let them take part in the Timmy and Tammy Writing Competition to win some fabulous prizes!

All they have to do is to write their own creative story of 50 to 200 words pertaining to the topic: What does Singapore mean to you?

All entries are to be submitted in Word document to marketing@armourpublishing.com with the following: Name, Age, School, Home address, Name of parent and Contact number. And they could stand a chance to win an autographed copy of What is Singapore? along with top prizes such as a Super Writer’s Course and Noel Gifts hamper worth over $200 each! Closing date is 15 August 2015. Winners will be notified by 31 August 2015.

For more details, visit www.armourpublishing.com/writing-competition.

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