This post is long overdue. I meant to share this before I left Singapore, but as per usual life got in the way and I was unable to draft and schedule as planned. I am happy though to share that my Book Hunting Expedition has taken an exciting, quirky twist as I was invited to check out the library and the fabulous titles in the prestigious Tanglin Trust School, a British-based international school mostly for expatriate children in Singapore, a week or so before I left for the States.
Through the generous and kind invitation of Benjamin Farr, the librarian from Tanglin, I had the rare opportunity to ogle the bookshelves in the school. Benjamin attended my talk Picture Books as Portals to Enchantment and Imagination during the recent Asian Festival of Children’s Content and we got into a nice discussion right after my presentation. I was also glad that the invitation came at a time when the school was celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee! I knew I should have posted this a week earlier when everyone was abuzz about the festive celebration, but c’est la vie.
The entire school was festooned in red, white, and blue decorations as painstakingly created by the lovely kids and faculty from the school. I realized as I was going over the school’s library – both the Infant and Junior Library – how important it is to have committed librarians who know their books so intimately, it is like second skin to them. I just had the most wonderful time with Benjamin and the beautiful librarian from the Junior Library, I think it was Mrs. Celeste Fisher, if I am not mistaken.
And so I plopped down shamelessly on the floor as Benjamin kept bringing me all these luscious, ‘controversial’ titles that we rarely see in the community libraries in Singapore, such as the ones below:
I’m sure we have A Chair for my Mother and William’s Doll, and I noted a copy of And tango Makes Three - but I was not able to locate What’s a Penguin to think when he wakes up Pink! in our database, thus far. These books look luscious enough to taste!
These are unfamiliar titles for me, and I am so glad that Benjamin has introduced me to them. Mem Fox’s The Straight Line Wonder is utterly captivating.
Lovely books on their shelves. You see that huge folder of Anthony Browne? Great, isn’t it?
Fabulous Book Discoveries
Visiting the school’s Junior Library introduced me to so many titles and authors that I nearly drowned in so much information. I didn’t know that Shaun Tan has this collaboration with the amazing and controversial Gary Crew as seen in this book The Viewer which surprise, surprise, we do not have in our community libraries! Why is that??? I also discovered a new author – who is rapidly becoming a favorite – Armin Greder whose The Island I managed to find and borrow from our community library:
I also borrowed The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan from the local library after they showed me the book. I just know that it’s perfect for our Immigrant Experience theme here in GatheringBooks.
And here is the mysterious Benjamin Farr, Librarian Extraordinaire, whose blurry image I am sure would leave lots to the imagination of the viewer/reader.
More Bargain Books
Before I left for the States, I made sure that I also visited my favorite bookstore in Bras Basah, and I am glad that I did that since I managed to snag a few great titles:
Another Alexander McCall Smith title with The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and a Newbery Medal book by Virginia Sorensen: Miracles on Maple Hill. Priced at 2 books for 5 dollars.
I am slowly collecting Terry Pratchett titles, so I am glad to have discovered another Discworld Novel Witches Abroad. I also found Laurence Yep’s Dragon of the Lost Sea being sold for 1 dollar alongside the Prydain Chronicles’ Creator, Lloyd Alexander’s The Rope Trick.
My 10 year old daughter is also pleased to have found these Goosebumps titles: The Headless Ghost and Ghost in the Mirror. She has listed down in a notebook all the titles she already has as well as the ones she has yet to find. I have a book hunter Junior!
Featured Book of the Day
A little over a month ago, I shared that I found Books 1 and 2 of Kevin Crossley-Holland’s Trilogy on sale at Bras Basah: Arthur and the Seeing Stone as well as Arthur at the Crossing Places. I had faith even then that I will hunt down the last book in the trilogy. True enough, I found it on sale in Bras Basah Arthur: King of the Middle March. How awesome is that! I just love hunting down books.