Book Hunting Expeditions Picture Books

On Library Membership and Unread Piles of Books

Today marks a very significant day! I am now officially a member of the National Library Board here in Singapore. Hooray, hooray! And yes, I am proudly showing off my Library Card!

Since I pay an annual fee, I get to borrow eight books (alternatively I can borrow 4 cds/dvds and 4 books) instead of the usual six books for the regular non-paying Singapore resident. I truly do not mind paying the annual fee because they have an entire FLOOR just devoted to children’s books, and yet another floor for just the YA fiction. How can you not love that!

I figured that I might as well be a member seeing that my daughter goes to the community library anyway for her piano lessons in Yamaha which happens to be within the same building (The Frontier Community Club). While she does her musical scales, I can occupy my time poring over lovely books, as my husband shoots a few baskets in the nearby basketball court as well. Works wonderfully for all three of us.

Here are the books that I borrowed (yup, I borrowed eight books in all). Might as well, right?

I figured that this would be the perfect chance to borrow Lane Smith books that I don’t have for my Illustrator Feature in GatheringBooks. Seeing that we are all going-gaga over his new book, why not do a review of his other books/illustrations. So here are the Lane Smith titles that I borrowed (hopefully I finish the feature by next week).

These two books mark Lane Smith as both author/illustrator:

These three books, on the other hand, showcase his wonderful artistic collaboration with another one of my favorites, Jon Scieszka:

I am a little intrigued by this Time Warp Series, I bought two myself while I was in the States but have not had the chance to read it yet.

Here are the other books that my daughter, Ela Bella, picked out:

She is undoubtedly, very much into the Diary series (Wimpy Kid, Amos Lee, she adores them).

Apparently, Stink is the younger brother of Judy Moody, another one of her favorites. Looks promising!

This one I chose myself simply because I am, without a doubt, a Joni Mitchell fan. And simply discovering that she has collaborated with an artist to create this picture book to feature her song Chelsea Morning was enough to raise goosebumps. I just had to borrow this book, and needless to say I shall feature this in Gathering Books. I was even thinking that we could do a Music/Picture Book special. This is because I noted that Bob Dylan has a picture book, even Will Smith, and other jazz notables like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday! I am uncertain whether they were active collaborators of the artists like Joni Mitchell in this book, or they just used the lyrical quality of their music and match it with lovely portraits to create picture books for children. We shall see in our next feature. Haha. =)

Happy reading everyone!

*Book pictures were taken by me, books borrowed from the community library.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Singapore. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she serves as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads or meeting up with her book club friends, she is smashing that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life.

5 comments on “On Library Membership and Unread Piles of Books

  1. gatheringbooks

    If we had a decent community library over here I’ll probably been there everyday. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but yeah that’s sort of the idea. One of the things I hope to do in the future is build a library. My family’s book collection can fill quite a space.
    Right now though, I envy you.

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    • myragarcesbacsal

      Awww, that’s what we lack there in the Philippines. Such well-stocked community libraries. I also noted that there are quite a number of visitors in the library here in SG as well, probably made up of the same demographics as myself (i.e. parents who are waiting for their children to finish whatever ECAs they are enrolled in – in the center) – ranging from art classes, tae-kwon-do, dancing, you name it, they have it there. Hahaha.

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  2. An entire floor for children’s and another entire floor for YA???!!!! Lucky you! Perhaps you’ll have to sign your daughter up for extra piano lessons so you can spend more time there!
    Our local library is small but the children’s section is wonderful and the YA section is steadily growing. One of the great things is that it is located next to the (freezing cold!) hockey rink so when my son is off playing hockey, I’m enjoying an hour of bliss reading by the fireplace in the library!

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    • gatheringbooks

      Why do I feel so left out in the world of books and libraries. I think I took my MA to have an extended use of the school library. In the future I shall build a community library and call it gathering books.

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    • myragarcesbacsal

      Hello Corinne, I guess I’d have to put a caveat on that, it’s an entire level primarily because it’s not just devoted to English books – there are also books written in Mandarin/ Malay/ etc. They are likewise sectioned there particularly if the books written are within that genre. Regardless, it still is a huge collection. In our own NIE library, there are only three to four rows devoted to YA fiction and picture books, so when I saw the community library collection, my eyes literally popped out! And I just had to be a member.

      But blissful reading by the fireplace sounds heavenly. We do not have fireplaces in this part of the world since we have eternal sunshine/summer whole year round. I love Vancouver in August though. Cool (not freezing), only a tad overcast (rays of butterscotch sun peeking thru here and there), and the lovely wind. Hope to visit again soon.

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