What is it?
This is a story book with activities and historical information.
Who is it by?
By Don Bosco, illustrated by Sharon Lei and published by Marshall Cavendish Editions.
What is it about?
This is a follow-up to Bosco’s earlier book Lion City Adventures which was about locations in Singapore and interesting things that children can do there.
Like Bosco’s other books, this one is also based on the theme of exploring and adventures. Watch out for the familiar tagline from Sherlock Hong Adventures (Bosco’s mystery and adventure series).
This story is about Claire and Justin who are members of the Lion City Adventuring Club in Singapore. The club is sent a box, which they can’t seem to open, along with eight cards.
The cards hold the key to unlocking the box. Each card has an image on it, depicting someone or something from Singapore’s history.
As the children try to unlock the box, they learn about these legends: Pu Luo Chung, Sang Nila Utama, enemies from the north (when Ayutthaya attacked Singapore), Badang, the angry swordfish, Princess Radin Mas Ayu, Pirate Island, and Turtle Island.
At the end of each mini story, there is some information about these legends. In the book are also pages that can be coloured and activities for children to do.
What can children learn from it?
They will learn about some of the legends that are famous in Singapore. They will also learn about the value of teamwork and deciphering codes.
In the mini stories, there are values to be learned such as being kind and patient and taking care of others.
Most importantly children will learn about persevering to solve challenges and creative thinking for problem-solving.
What did I like about it?
Don Bosco’s books are always entertaining and value for money. Not only does your child get some stories, but they also learn some history and there are activities (puzzles, origami) to keep them busy for a while.
My three favourite stories from this book are Badang, the angry swordfish, and Princess Radin Mas Ayu. All of these are fascinating and offer readers something to think about.
I’m not a fan of this style of illustration, but I am sure it will attract its intended market – children.
I think this book is a good attempt to bring history to the children of today and make the stories and characters current and relatable. The dialogues in each legend made the stories more interesting and attractive.
Don Bosco has found a nice niche writing for the 10-13 age group. He typically includes some of Singapore’s culture and history and inserts some aspect of adventure and mystery. He is definitely one of the outstanding children’s book authors in the region.
Where to get it?
Available in major bookstores in Singapore including Popular, Times and Kinokuniya.
Should you get it?
If you are looking for a book on Singapore’s legends, yes. Since many of us in Malaysia are familiar with some of these legends, there is no reason why these stories should not appeal to us.