New Singaporean Books To Check Out In 2019: Children’s Books, Fiction, and Uniquely Local Works

With National Day just around the corner, there’s no better time to appreciate all things quintessentially Singaporean. Besides the local food and sunny weather, we figured it’s best to show some love and support for our local talents, specifically writers and illustrators.

This week, we check out new Singaporean book releases, ranging any time from early August till December 2019. Whether it’s fiction, reference books, or picture books, here’s a list of worthy reads to add to your hardcover collection.

The Elephant and the Tree

Jin Pyn

Rhyme, line illustrations, and a heartwarming story. The Elephant and The Tree, Jin Pyn’s debut picture book, is the first children’s book in Singapore to be translated into Japanese and have its language rights sold. That’s not all: it’s now lauded as a classic and have since been made into an award-winning animation and play. A simple story about being a “voice for the voiceless”, it explores themes of friendship and man’s relationship with the environment. In our era of drastic climate change, it’s certainly a timely piece that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Get it from here.

Harris bin Potter and the Stoned Philosopher

Suffian Hakim

Whimsical, creative, and unpretentious, Harry Potter fans are in for a treat with Suffian’s hilarious parody. Follow our local bespectacled boy Harris bin Potter as he discovers his magical lineage, and subsequently his quest to saving Singapore’s magical folk from being turned into kosongs. Cited as one of the most popular works of fiction in Singapore literature, this book is made to relate and keep you chuckling. Pick up this Singaporean edition of a well-loved classic for a magical world that doesn’t require boarding the Hogwarts Express.

Get it from here.

The Antibiotic Tales

Sonny Liew & Hsu Li Yang

Can antibiotics be used to treat the common flu? How much and how often should we be taking antibiotics? If you find yourself pondering over these questions, check out this easy-to-read book for all myths and misconceptions about antibiotics. By award-winning graphic novelist Sonny Liew (author and illustrator of The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye) and Hsu Li Yang from National University of Singapore Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, this comic tackles the complexities of medication. From effects of overusage to antibiotics in the farming industry, it’s all your questions answered clearly, once and for all.

Get it here.

Kelly and the Krumps

Ken Kwek & Lolita Chiong

Screenwriter, film director, and author of the bestselling Timothy and the Phubbers Ken Kwek returns with his second children’s novel, this time on teens beset with academic pressure and technology overload. It’s an adventure with Kelly Mao as she joins the Krumps dance crew while juggling school, tuition, and saving her twin brother from Evil Genius Fang Boy. Witty yet relatable, it’s a novel that gives a glimpse of what’s it like to be born in Singapore’s 21st century.

Get it here.

Homeless: The Untold Story of a Mother’s Struggle in ‘Crazy Rich’ Singapore

Liyana Dhamirah

Imagine being heavily pregnant at 22, and with no place to call home. Sounds tragically far-fetched, but that was Liyana’s situation ten years back. Fast-forward to today, Liyana’s a successful entrepreneur who’s publishing her first book. It’s a personal recount of being shunned from family, government agencies, and finally finding a community of homeless people to call family. A great read to know what’s it like to have nowhere to go, and the struggles of those who fall through the cracks of our system.

Get it here.

The Way of Kueh Savouring & Saving Singapore’s Heritage Desserts

Christopher Tan

It’s not simply a cookbook on how to make your favourite kuehs. In his newest release, award-winning writer, cooking instructor, and photographer Christopher Tan shares the deets on all things kueh-related. Besides recipes, there’s glossaries on key ingredients, the ancestries of various kuehs, and interviews with artisans of the trade. In all, it’s a book on preserving and reliving our traditions that’s been facing neglect over the past years.

Get it here.

Do I Matter? A Journey to Building Your Self-Esteem

Wong Lai Chun

Produced in collaboration with the Samaritans of Singapore, Do I Matter? tackles the issue of self-esteem: a basic ingredient for developing acceptance, self-love, and resilience in the face of adversity. Wong draws from her life coach experiences, realising the need for a form of crisis intervention and suicide prevention with increasingly stressful lifestyles. Oh, the book cover mimics a mirror for readers to see themselves – a perfect reflection of its topic.

Get it here.

Charmaine has a soft spot for oversized cardigans, bubble tea and cute dogs. When not sleeping, she is either lost on a spontaneous adventure, or snuggled up reading novels/watching old movies. Loves swimming and secretly attempting synchro stunts.