Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) Launches the 5E Picture Book Series with Engaging Storytelling from Kinderland Academy’s Educators and Children.

Dr. Cheng Wan-Ni presenting the books at the launch of the 5E picture book series

On May 13, 2023, the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) introduced the 5E picture book series at the National Library Board (NLB). The standout moment of the event was the storytelling of “Sending a Hug to You,” presented by Ms. Zhang Yun and Ms. Dong Wenjing from Kinderland Academy, together with our children.

Kinderland Academy educators conducting storytelling session for children on “Sending a Hug to You”

Dr. Cheng Wan-Ni, SCCL Dean of Early Childhood Care and Education Department, is the author of the 5E picture book series. The six books titled: “Mosquito Spots,” “Animal Picnic,” “The Journey of the Little Stone,” “Little Brother’s Blanket,” “Sending a Hug to You,” and “Sneezing Green Island,” reflect the social environment and culture of Singaporean pre-schoolers. Each book in the series embodies the 5Es — Extendable, Enabling, Engaging, Educational, and Enjoyable — offering a unique reading experience while stimulating creativity in children The open design of the books allows children to extend the stories with their favourite characters or elements, or to change the sequence of events, creating new storylines.

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)

The storytelling session lead by our educators was lively and engaging. Their captivating storytelling successfully grasped the audience’s attention. A touching moment occurred when Ervan Tham, student from Kinderland Academy, acting as a postman, “delivered” hugs to “grandparents” amongst the audience. These role-playing experiences highlighted the joy of reading Chinese picture books for the children. The educators, through their repeated practice, have further improved their storytelling skills, earning praise from experts and professionals at the event.

This marked the fourth occasion when Kinderland partnered SCCL in their picture book launches, each centred on local culture. The publication and guided reading session of this 5E picture book series were supported by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism. It took five years to develop this series. Recognising Kinderland’s reputation and expertise in early childhood education, along with our successful collaboration history, SCCL invited us in 2019 to contribute to this project. Dr. Carol Loy, Director of Curriculum and Chinese 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.