Originally published in the 1990s, these picture books were written in clear, simple Bahasa Malaysia that makes the stories a pleasure to read. The illustrations depict an earlier time yet are relevant today. For example, in Balik ke Kampung, a couple and their children returned to their parent's home in the kampung. They took the train and the bus and were loaded with gifts of fruits when they leave.
In Aiskrim! Aiskrim! we see the ice-cream man and the bread man in Roti! Roti! who are a familiar sight even today, with some differences.
These differences can be seen in the houses, the furniture and in some cases technology. The latter can be seen in Penoreh Getah where two women worked in a rubber estate.
This collection also contains an earlier picture book by Yusof Gajah. In Hendak ke Mana, Cantik? we are treated to the colourful illustrations of Yusof Gajah featuring a bird as the main character. You will have to read the book to find out whether Yusof had forgotten his elephants.
As these books were published more than twenty years ago, the original illustrations could no longer be found. So we have to scan the original books and do some cleaning and touching up. This requires skill and patience to retain the original illustrations as much as possible while brightening them.
The collection is expected to be published in November this year. Watch out for it!