Their first foray into the publishing world was a chapter book, Master & Apprentice which won the Calisto Award in 2012. The sisters' talent lie in their ability to take local and seemingly ordinary events and retell them in their own way, usually with humour.
Lim Lay Har and Lim Lay Koon have produced another picture book with a Malaysian setting. Their previous picture books include Atuk's Amazing Sarong and Bunyi-bunyi dari Dapur Nenek (which won a DBP prize and was subsequently published by DBP).
Their latest picture book is no less a pleasure.- a beautiful book in both text and illustrations. A story of a boy having his first experience of fireflies and also one of a memorable time with his father. We expect this book will be a Malaysian children's picture book that will become a classic. Publication will be end of April 2018.
Oyez! authors, Basari Mat Yasit and Nor Azhar Ishak are at Nami Island together with a team from Malaysia. Malaysian artist, Yusof Gajah is on the jury panel of the Nami Concour.
Books by both Basari and Nor Azhar, published by Oyez! have won awards. Basari's Lelaki dari Sungai / Men from the River won a distinction list at Nami Island while Nor Azhar Ishak's Under the Sea had previously won two awards - the Children's Literature Festival, Kuala Lumpur and the Samsung Kids Time Award, Singapore. Both books are unique. Lelaki dari Sungai / Men from the River is a bilingual book and a retelling of a Sarawak folktale. The strong, flat colour illustrations were inspired by the 'pua kumbu' a traditional woven fabric from Sarawak. Nor Azhar's Under the Sea is illustrated using the batik technique and then digitally transferred to the page.
Basari with Lelaki dari Sungai / Men from the River at Nami Island, with Fred Minn, of Naminara.
Oyez!Books is pleased to announce that consumers can now get books by Oyez! at Love Community PUJ Bookstore （社区关怀工作室). Set up in 2003 as The Community Care Activity Studio, the organisation aims to give back to the community. According to Love Community, 'Life is learning and the earth is the classroom.'
We hope this partnership will continue and grow to benefit the community.
When I was in secondary school, I had trouble understanding physics concepts (and so did most of the girls in my class in our all-girl school) and the physics master said, girls always have difficulty grasping physics compared to boys. I looked at him and wondered if that were true. I was a straight A student but physics flummoxed me. Anyway, the next test topic was on astronomy and space travel so I went to the school library and read a variety of interesting books on that topic. Soon I was reading for pleasure and out of curiosity. Those books helped me to understand my school textbook better and when the test results came out, I had scored an A.
I tell this story because I believe any child can love and enjoy the sciences when they are presented in an interesting way. At Oyez!Books we look for books that children will love and enjoy while learning. And we are pleased to recommend The Young Scientists Series of 12 Volumes from World Scientific Publishing, an international publishing company based in Singapore.
Each volume features a key science area and five associated scientists / mathematicians / inventors / discoverers from different countries. Written in a fast-paced story and conversational format by famed author and columnist, Nury Vitacchi, these books are suitable for children in primary schools. Here's the complete list:
Volume 1: Secrets in the Rocks — Five Astounding Tales of People Solving Mysteries Beneath Our Feet:
The Girl Who Found a Flying Dragon (Mary Anning);
The BoyWho Went Searching for Giants (Georges Cuvier);
Love, Rocks and the First Dinosaur (Mary Morland);
The Bug Boy Solves a Huge Mystery (Louis Agassiz);
The Woman Who Saw Deep into the Earth (Inge Lehman);
Volume 2: Fabulous Physics — Five Amazing Stories of People Who Solved Nature’s Puzzles:
The Man Who Saw a Living Skeleton (Wilhelm Rontgen);
The Servant Girl Who Beat Einstein (Marie Curie);
The Boy Who Climbed to the Top (Abdus Salam);
The Quiet Queen of Physics (Wu Chien-Shiung);
The Boy Who Secretly Read the Books He Was Binding (Michael Faraday);
Volume 3: Magical Mathematics — Five Astonishing Stories of People Who Did Miracles with Numbers:
The Girl, the Pearl and the Not-So-Sad Story (Lilavati);
The Boy with No Birthday (Carl Gauss);
The Math Girl Who Stunned the World (Philippa Garrett);
The Penniless Youth Who Amazed the Professors (Srinivasa Ramanujan);
The Good Witch Who Made an Amazing Decision (Maria Agnesi);
Volume 4: Breakers of Barriers — Five Stunning Stories of People Demolishing Walls to Make History:
The Unloved Teenager Who Found Her Place (Ada Byron Lovelace);
The Scientist and the Secret in the Ancient Book (Tu Youyou);
The Impossibly Young Doctors (Balamurali Ambati and Sho Timothy Yano);
The Motherless Child Who Solved His Father’s Problem (Blaise Pascal); The Girl Torn Between Two Careers (Rachel Carson);
Volume 5: Scientific Pioneers — Five Incredible Tales of People Who Helped Develop the Scientific Method:
The Woman Who Hid the Moon (Aglaonike);
The Man Who Stayed in His House for Ten Years (Al-Haytham);
The Boy Who Was Curious All His Life (Shen Kuo);
The Grumpy Nun Who Was Forbidden to Sing (Hildegard of Bingen);
The Boy Who Sorted Out the Living World (Carl Linneaus);
Volume 6: The Amazing Quantum — Five Awesome Stories of People Who Made a Revolution in Physics:
The Boy Who Didn’t Listen to His Teacher (Max Planck);
How a Compass Inspired a Genius (Albert Einstein);
The Boy Secretly Reading a Book Behind His School Desk (Wolfgang Pauli);
The Student Whose Schools Kept Closing (T D Lee);
The Boy Who Had a Dispute with His Father (John von Neumann);
Volume 7: The Science of Humanity — Five Fascinating Stories of People Who Helped Us Understand Ourselves:
The Boy Who Found Different Ways of Thinking (Jean Piaget);
The Woman Who Taught Us Love and Remembrance (Artemisia);
The Mother with Six Boys and Six Girls (Lillian Gilbreth);
The Girl Born in the Shadow of the Moon God (Enheduanna);
The Explorer Girl Who Travelled Far Without Leaving Home (Alice Hamilton);
Volume 8: Women of Discovery — FiveSuper Stories of Fab Females Who Made Scientific History:
The Girl Who Found Her Sisters on the Other Side of the World (Harriet Noyes);
The First Woman Doctor in History (Merit Ptah);
The Girl Who Had to Hide Behind a Man’s Name (Sophie Germain);
The Murderous Princess Who Found Salvation (Anna of Byzantium);
The Bug Hunter Who Dreamed of the Jungle (Maria Merian);
Volume 9: The Inventor’s Spark — Five Marvelous Stories of People Who Helped Shape the Modern World:
The Boy Who Combined a Bike and a Train to Invent the Car (Karl Benz);
The Failed Doctor Who Sparked an Idea (John Walker);
The Woman to Thank If You Like Chocolate (Mary the Alchemist);
The Man in the Burning House (Garrett Morgan);
The Boy Who Lost His Chance but Got It Back (Gregorio Zara);
Volume 10: Advances in Alchemy — Five Startling Stories of Chemistry and Biology:
The Strange Adventures of Doctor Poison (F F Runge);
The Young Woman Who Was Forgotten (Rosalind Franklin);
The Girl in the Chamber of Corpses (Alessandra Giliani);
The Farm Girl Who Made Your Milk Safe (Alice Evans);
A Tasty Treat Found by Accident (Frank Epperson);
Volume 11: The Call of the Stars — Five Wonderful Stories of People Looking to the Heavens:
The Boy Who Decoded the Dance of the Stars (Jeremiah Horrocks);
The Poet–Scientist Who Detected an Earthquake (Zhang Heng);
The Farm Boy Who Saw the Galaxies Flying Away (Vesto Slipher);
The Girl Who Named the Stars in the Sky (Annie Jump Cannon);
The Boy Who Understood Einstein (Michio Kaku);
Volume 12: The Mystery of Nature’s Laws — Five Striking Stories of People Investigating the Deepest Puzzles of Reality:
The Girl at the Back of the Boys-Only Classroom (Amalie Emmy Noether);
The True Story of the Philosopher’s Stone (Jabir Ibn Hayyan);
The Bullied Boy Who Fought Back (Isaac Newton);
The Teenager Who Saw the Light (Galileo Galilei);
What We Learn from the Strange Tale of the Human Computer (Shakuntala Devi).
And if you think these books are too difficult, don't worry. Give them to your children and they will explain it all to you.
In Malaysia, this set of books that will open up a world of knowledge is selling for RM99.90 and Oyez! is offering The Young Scientists Series for RM90 while stocks last.
Give your child the gift of knowledge and they will also be inspired to know that all the great scientists were at one time, children just like them.
FREE! Teachers and parents may appreciate the free downloadable and editable worksheets with activities to guide children in reading comprehension as well as enhance their reading with fun art activities. We will send you the link to the worksheets when your order is processed.
Article by Linda Tan
Author: Nury Vittachi
Nury Vittachi is the author of more than 40 books, several of which have been published in many languages around the world. He particularly enjoys bringing science and history to life for readers young and old. He is chairman of the Asia Pacific Translators & Writers, Inc., Asia’s biggest association of writers. A lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design, he teaches students how to write stories and how to create content for novels and movies.
Illustrator: Step Cheung
Step C. studied Illustration at School of Visual Arts in NYC and Character Animation at Gobelins School in Paris. Her illustrations are published in The Standard newspaper weekly and she has illustrated for McDonald's TV commercials, Cyberport, HK magazine and different types of media. She loves to use variety of media to express her imagination of the world.
Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) was the pioneer in local picture books and many of us grew up reading and loving those books. Now Oyez!Books will be republishing ten classic picture books by DBP in a single collection.
Here are the original covers of the ten books:
Here's a list of new books that will be published from July onwards:
We are working on more books which we have not included in this list because their schedules have not been confirmed. For now, we hope readers will look out for and enjoy these coming books!
Chapter books are intended for children 7-12 years old. The story is broken down into manageable chapters and are usually illustrated. The emphasis is on the text rather than the illustrations although the illustrations certainly add to the story.
Oyez! bestselling chapter books are the Door Under the Stairs series by Heidi Shamsuddin with illustrations by Lim Lay Koon. There are now four books in the series:
1. The Mystery of the Missing National Anthem
2. The Case of the Talented Trio
3. The Case of the Football Champion
4. The Case of the House at No.74
As the characters develop in the books, Lay Koon's illustrations have fixed them in our minds, from Jo's spiky hair to Hannah's pony tail and pixie face.
Heidi, a natural storyteller, has created a series that we hope many Malaysian children will enjoy reading. We are happy to report that the National Library and several state libraries have purchased copies of the books. The books have also been exported to Singapore.
If we can enjoy reading about children drinking ginger pop and eating canned tongues in Enid Blyton's books, I believe it's possible children from other cultures will be fascinated by nasi lemak. Apart from that, school bullies, 'evil' teachers and the bonds of friendship are things that all children from whatever culture understand.
Oyez! has published three other illustrated books of short stories.
1. Pigeon Post and other stories by Gwen Smith is a collection of stories that highlight elements of Malaysian life. They include a tropical thunderstorm that resulted in a landslide; monkeys looking for a new home after their homes were destroyed to make way for a golf park; chickens running free after the lorry carrying them overturned in the rain; children looking for homes for their pets because the apartment where they lived does not permit pets; a tupai that found its way into a house; and an attack by bees that were attracted by the smell of nangka.
The accompanying illustrations are truly delightful and children living in Malaysia will certainly be able to identify with both the stories and the illustrations.. A state librarian recently commended the book and noted that we need more such books.
Introduce these local books to your children and I am sure they will soon look out for more local books with stories that are close to their world.
This Raya, Oyez!Books together with our talented Art Editor / Creative Development Director, Emila Yusof, has come up with two designs for sampul duit (money packet) and with the help of our partner, Creative United, two must-have sling bags.
The Happy Family design by Emila Yusof is quintessential Emila, and we just have to smile as it gets us right into the Raya spirit which is all about family and balik kampung. For collectors of sampul raya, this has the benefit too of being an all-year-round sampul duit.
The Kampungku design is by Elly Nor Suria. Oyez! has published a Kampung colouring book by Elly and now you can get inspired and colour yours too. The colourful patchwork of kampung scenery is so lovely, we are so proud to have it on this all-year-round sampul duit. For your information, Elly also paints her kampung scenes on larger canvas and accepts commission. Do check her out on FB.
We have packed these sampul raya and sling bags into special gift packages at attractive prices for you so why not get them as gifts for this Raya celebration?
These designs are incorporated into our Hari Raya cards and we are going to be busy during the next month sending out cards - yes, at Oyez! we are quite traditional and love sending greeting cards.
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.