It is a privilege to have been invited yet again to share what I know about children’s literature for the Ministry of Education Headquarters (MOE HQ) Annual Library Exhibition this 2010. They have a smorgasbord of “library talks” for this week ranging from using augmented reality in learning to making things visible to ICT in education and even a talk on neurofeedback (learning about how the brain works and peak performance). My talk was scheduled for this afternoon and I am glad to see a pretty good turnout – it just goes to show the commitment to literacy and reading among MOE folks.
In contrast to the talk that I gave for the Society for Reading and Literacy several weeks back (you can find my blog post on that here), this talk deals less with my personal journeys as a reader, but more on elements that they should be on the look out for as a reader when they look at/ buy/ borrow/ review picture books. I suppose this entire website is predicated on my advocacy (and I suppose I speak for the entire GatheringBooks team as well) to make more people be aware that children’s literature and YA fiction are not just for babies, kids, young children – but are for the continually awe-struck, intelligent, curious child in each one of us. And that there are indeed very clear-cut elements in picture books that could not help but challenge the mind of the young reader – while making them squeal in delight as they look at the illustrations and read the text-narrative.
I also made sure that I brought with me quite a number of books that would help bring home the points that I was raising during the talk. So yes, my husband and I were lugging a little suitcase of sorts to share some of my own book collection – while several have been borrowed from the community libraries here in Singapore (which are just plain a-ma-zing, I have to blog about that separately). As you can see here in this picture, I am holding Emily Gravett’s Little Mouse’s Book of Fears. I also shared Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, Graeme Base’s Eleventh Hour, Fred Gwynne’s A Chocolate Moose for Dinner, Margaret Wild and Anne Spudvilas’ Woolvs in the Sitee, David Almond’s The Savage, Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s Squids will be Squids, and Tony Diterlizzi’s The Spider and the Fly among others.
It truly is such a blessing to be able to share one’s passion in such a venue and hopefully transmit that wonderful love for reading (through osmosis, if possible) with more people. Here are more photos taken by my ever-supportive hubby who stayed through my entire talk to document the entire proceeding.
And realize that the magic of picture books knows no age limit. And that children’s literature can be as equally moving as adult narratives. Hopefully, one day, we get to recapture the lost art of story-telling. =)