We have seen and read many children's books on animals and are absolutely thrilled with this new Borneo Animal series written by Beverley Hon and illustrated by Lim Lay Koon.
Firstly, these are animals which are found in our backyard, so to speak. Secondly, the books are beautifully written and thirdly, the illustrations are just right. We start with three books in the series: the binturong or bear cat, the tapir and the slow loris.
We expect three more titles to be added later this year including the pangolin and the orangutan with more to come. If you want to make sure an animal is not missed out, just put it down in the comments below.
Note: these books are printed entirely on thick card and sewn in the centre, with wraparound cover. They are in a good square size, making them friendly for both children and the adults reading to them.
The long-awaited book, Pak Belang the Tiger, will be ready on 18th March. Author Rossiti Aishah Rashidi has had a string of successful animal and environmental-themed books for children. She wrote this one as if she is having a pleasant chat with children, making her text simple and easy to understand.
Rossiti personally chooses the illustrators she wants for her books. This does not always work well as authors do not necessarily make the right choice - or at least the publishers do not think so! The right illustrations in a picture book are critical and many publishers prefer to choose their own illustrators. Fortunately for Rossiti, she has a successful formula and is sticking to it. Simple text combined with outstanding realistic and detailed illustrations make her books winners. Pak Belang the Tiger is no exception - the illustrations by Indonesian artist Widiyatno are breathtaking.
Pak Belang, as many of us know, is the Malay nickname for tiger and means Mr Stripes. Pak Belang is the King of the Malaysian forest. He is a carnivore and a top predator. But one animal is not afraid of him. Guess which? Pak Belang is a good swimmer but is not so good at climbing. He kills his prey instantly with a bite on the neck. However, Pak Belang has one great enemy – humans. Today, there are not many tigers left in the wild. Pak Belang, the Malayan tiger is on the list of critically endangered animals.
This information and other fascinating facts are found in the book. Whether reading alone or being read to, children are likely to find the book engrossing. Teachers and educators may also use the book as an additional resource. Rossiti is a frequent speaker on environmental issues. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to invite her to your school.
Add this valuable and beautiful book to your home or school library.
In Malaysia, no word is more evocative and nostalgic than the word kampung. It comprises all things good that belong to the home and to an earlier more innocent time.
Elly Nor Suria has sought to capture scenes around the kampung especially in the different types of houses and the life around them. This can be seen in the sarongs hanging out to dry and the neatly planted plants and pots of flowers. In one colouring plate, houses are grouped together higgledy-piggledy on winding road tracks while in another, a house stands proudly with concrete stairs and floral curtains.
Whether you love colouring or not, you will want this book in your collection. Each page is printed on one side only with the reverse blank. Pull out the page after you have coloured it, frame it or make a card with it. They are also beautiful by themselves in black and white. Perfect as a gift or get it for yourself and keep the kampung close to your heart.
Hearts, her latest picture book, is a wordless book. Done in her favourite medium, water colour, the illustrations have softer colours and feel. Appropriately so, the story is about a girl finding a bottle of hearts and returning each heart to the owner. When she finds one heart broken, she mends it carefully. Unable to locate the owner, she wears the heart on her sleeve hoping that somehow the owner may recognise and claim it. Meanwhile, the 'heartless' owner is angry and destructive.
There are many layers to this story and the use of metaphors in the illustrations is rather clever. While not strictly for children, a child will enjoy the more direct messages of the story. Read into it whatever you wish and it will probably speak to you in different ways at different times and that's the job of a good book.
Emila's illustrations for Puteri Gunung Ledang uses the motifs of Malaysian batik sarongs which can be seen in the repeated floral and plant designs placed symmetrically. However, unlike the bright colours of batik, Emila uses primarily red, yellow, grey and white, resulting in a subdued effect.
The story is told in poetry which gives it drama and pathos, suitable for a play. This is definitely one book to add to your collection if you are a fan of folktales and a collector of beautiful picture books.
Note: We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the editor, Datuk Hjh Zaiton Ajamain.
The 3rd of March is World Wildlife Day and this year's theme is 'Listen to the Young Voices'. According the United Nations, young people between the ages of 10 and 24 make up one quarter of the world’s population and as the future leaders and decision makers of the world, they must be encouraged to act at both local and global levels to protect endangered wildlife.
Oyez! has published a number of books on wildlife such as Puteri Tioman and Siti the Elephant and stories around wildlife such as Under the Sea, Pip's Peculiar Problem and Where is Owly?. We will also be launching Belang the Tiger during our Children's Book Week from 18-26th March. Author Rossiti Aishah Rashidi is a committed conservationist and wonderful educator. Watch out for more information on our Children's Book Week.
In line with World Wildlife Day, we are promoting a range of beautiful wildlife cards from Rossiti's books for your collection. Send them on or frame them up, they remind us of the wildlife we must treasure.
Cards from illustrations by Lim Lay Koon for the book Pip's Peculiar Problem are also available. Lay Koon's sense of humour translates into all her illustrations. Beautiful and fun, these cards are delightful and thoughtful.
We are celebrating International Women's Day on 8th March. The theme this year is #BeBoldForChange. We have a special gift pack for you designed by artist Emila Yusof so watch out for it!
Do you usually wake up in the morning happy or grumpy? Well, the 20th of March is the International Day of Happiness! Take the pledge:
Now, don't you think we should all be reminded of this everyday?
For us at Oyez!Books, there's nothing more wonderful than the happy smile of a child. It makes everything we do so much more meaningful and fun. Whether in the books our authors create or in the events we do, we aim to create happiness.
The International Day of Forests is on 21st March and we wish to highlight the book, We Love Trees by Rossiti Aishah Rashidi and illustrated by Evi Shelvia. We are working on a Bahasa Malaysia version as many parents have asked for it. A favourite activity is pot painting with Rossiti as children learn to recognise leaves of plants and paint them on a pot that they will surely be proud to keep.
There are several more special days to observe in March. These special days highlight important issues around the world. Do check out the UN website for more information and resources. You can download posters, watch videos and sign up to be a part of change.