Boosting Local Chinese Literature: Igniting Children’s Imagination and Reading Interest
Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) Launches the 5E Picture Book Series with Engaging Storytelling from Kinderland Academy’s Educators and Children.
On May 13, 2023, the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) unveiled the 5E picture book series, supported by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism. Established by Singapore’s former Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the Fund supports proposals that encourage bilingualism and the learning of our Mother Tongue Languages as living languages.
This marked the fourth collaboration between Kinderland and SCCL on Singapore’s local culture-centric picture book launches. The event was highlighted by the storytelling session of “A Hug for You!,” (《寄一个拥抱给你》) presented by Ms. Zhang Yun and Ms. Dong Wenjing from Kinderland Academy, together with our children.
From left to right: Children from Kinderland Academy and the public participated in the story telling session conducted by Ms. Zhang Yun and Ms. Dong Wenjing
Authored by Dr. Cheng Wan-Ni, SCCL Dean of Early Childhood Care and Education Department, the 5E picture book series comprises six books. Other titles including, “Mosquito Spots”, “The Animal’s Picnic”, “The Journey of Little Stone”, “My Blankie”, and “Ah-Choo!” (《蚊子斑斑》《动物野餐会》《小石头的旅行》《弟弟的小被子》《绿岛国打喷嚏》) are reflections of the social and cultural environment of Singapore pre-schoolers.
Dr. Cheng Wan-Ni presenting the books at the launch of the 5E picture book series
Each book incorporates the five Es—Extendable, Enabling, Engaging, Educational, and Enjoyable. This approach provides an interactive reading experience, stirring creativity among young readers. The books’ open design encourages children to alter and expand the narratives by incorporating their favourite characters or reorganising the story’s sequence.
From left to right: Ervan Tham, playing the role of a postman, “delivered” a hug to“Grandma” (Ms. Ho Peng, Chairman of SCCL) and “Grandpa” (Dr. Foo Suan Fong, Executive Director of SCCL)
In recognition of Kinderland’s reputation and expertise in early childhood education, SCCL extended an invitation to us in 2019 to contribute to this project. Dr. Carol Loy, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Department for Kinderland, served as a consultant for the project. Meanwhile, Ms Wang Weiping, our Chinese Curriculum Specialist, contributed to the picture book teaching guide. Kinderland Academy also participated in the trial reading of the picture books and provided photos of children’s activities for the teaching guide.