AFCC Writers and Illustrators Retreat


Glorious Sunrise at Angsana Bintan, venue of the Retreat

It was such an honour to have been selected to attend this year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content‘s Writer and Illustrator Retreat over the past 4 days. The time spent with the 3 amazing mentors and the other wonderful writers and illustrators was certainly most enriching.

Holly Thompson,  Sayoni Basu and Amy Ng shared from their rich experience and also conducted workshops as well as one-to-one and small group mentoring sessions. They were approachable, knowledgeable and offered candid and honest comments and suggestions.

The participants came from a range of nationalities as well as such diverse backgrounds and experience. Over the many opportunities to interact and work together, we were not only able to move our own work forward, we have made good friends.

I visually recorded my experience, thoughts and reflections as best as I could and I enjoyed the process as well.

I am looking forward to attending the rest of the Festival and also towards where my journey as an illustrator-writer will take me.

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A Spot of Art


Art as process and as a way to unwind have always been important to me in both my own explorations and in my invitation to others to try it out for themselves. Being able to make art digitally definitely opens up new vistas of explorations as a new medium, with new freedoms and features, and of course a cheap and almost endless supply of canvases to work on.

Digital collaging is something I am playing with. Using a piece I did using some extra paint (going for no/low waste), and in very Eric Carle style, I created a digital collage using the Procreate app on the iPad with Apple pencil.

Besides being able to easily position the pieces before “pasting” down, it is also possible to experiment with cutting the shapes over and over again, and to duplicate, to lighten and darken, to change the colours, and so on. Does it make it less of a collage?

As is normally my approach, I started with just a petal and built from there rather than having a specific final picture in mind.


Did the colour combinations work well? Could I have just created the “base” piece digitally as well to create this? What would be different?

This was created over about 2 hours, with the radio playing on my iPad. In ways similar and different from creating a physical collage. Named this “Teatime Chat” and this represents part of my chat I guess.

Would anyone be keen to try out a guided session to experience this for yourself?


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Finding Duckie


I was amused by how a fellow TinyTapper used the Shape Puzzle feature and went about creating this hide-and-seek story like those books with flip-up windows.

As always, the creating process was fun.

The illustrations were created using the Inkpad app on the iPad, and I do like how Duckie turned out, don’t you? I also put my bicycle horn to use too.

For content, I have woven in colours, shapes and fruits into this simple story. Is that an overload? Will the little ones catch the subtle humour? Play it and let me know, won’t you?

What modifications would I need if this were to be done in other languages?

(Printables from this game is available here:

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A Delightful Decade

pauseability signPauseability was registered with ACRA on 1 May 2007. So, today marks the 10 year milestone. A good juncture for some reflections, thanksgiving and celebrations.

I started off on this journey of learning more about innovation and enterprise through experience with a gung-ho attitude and a hope to do something that would make a difference, and little else in terms of knowledge.  Perhaps a tad too idealistic.

For the first two years, Pauseability was an arts studio with a difference. A welcoming space for experimenting and expressing with art. I dare say it was a novel concept back then, and is perhaps still an unusual idea. Getting the word out was more difficult than today. It did grow, very gradually, but not fast enough to make it financially sustainable. It was a beautiful space. Made many good friends and sweet memories. The monthly Artist Trading Card session which started then is still running today at Bishan Library.

It also gave me opportunities to try out other things such as teaching with Singapore Polytechnic and NIE. When I closed the studio, I continued the work of as a consultant. Emergenetics, an insightful tool, was something I offered. Facilitation and training among adults was a different field from working with young ones. Oddly, it soon became apparent that being a school leader often made little difference in trying to clinch a deal outside of the education circle.

Getting to work alongside Apple with teachers, and also the wonderful app TinyTap, to see how educational technology can value add has been a thrill for “multimedia” (my nickname in the first school I taught in) me.

Later, when presented with my first ever chance to work overseas, I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Stamford School community in beautiful Bandung for 3 years.

In all this time, I was able to explore my interest in creativity and illustrations. The many projects that I embarked on have been such a privilege and joy whether events (such as  organising a film screening), products (such as the sweet Peranakan paper doll), publications (like the colouring-doodling book and Creative Cool Cat), workshops, communities and websites (like ATC@Bishan and Asian Picture Books).

A most precious lesson for me through these years has been that God is indeed my sufficiency. The various opportunities of work and people that I met are testament to God’s provision and authorship of my life and faith.  To God I cling and pray that my life is used for His ultimate purpose.

Of course, I am also thankful for the many many friends I have come to know and my supportive family; each of you have enriched me in your unique special way.

Grateful for pauseability thus far, and many more ahead.

Pause full colour

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Choose It, Say It, Link It

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For my latest TinyTap creation, there are 3 things which I would like to highlight.

Like the recent Chinese TinyTap game with the same topic, I used the idea of choice using the Sound Board feature to allow the user to create their own “story”. This “story” might be short but it did take quite a few slides to put together and the hope is that the user to keep trying out different combination. I also imagine that this is a basic form of coding which young learners could do using TinyTap.

I used the Talk or Type function as one of the games. It really was a good way to check on good pronunciation, for me the creator as a start. I learned that the ending sound for “blouse” is “z” rather than “s” and “culottes” is not pronounced as  “q-lots” but “coo-lots”.  I found out my mistakes when I tried out the game after making it. So, in my own recording, I had to make sure I got it right. Originally, I had wanted a young girl to do the voice-over. Something to work on for sure.

Lastly, to mention that when we have at least 3 games, we can link them into a playlist or a course. For a course, a “passing score” can be set for the user to move on to the next game. In this case, I created a playlist that allows the user to first read the story, then do some practice with the words (listening, reading, speaking and even spelling) before they then attempt challenges (aka tests).

Tell me if this is a good fit for you.

PS The illustrations was done using the Procreate app on the iPad. The clothing pieces were created using “digital collage”.

PPS A paperdoll in PDF version is available here:


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Asian Picture Books

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In a recent writing project, I needed to look for some local picture books related to a topic. As these are not only non-fiction titles, finding a good listing was really quite a task. I found myself exploring the shelves of Singapore published picture books at our library and realised that there are many wonderful titles (though admittedly, the quality is not consistently high).

While there are many sites listing and reviewing picture books, they are almost always about books published outside of Asia. While the industry in Asa might be comparatively new, there are some wonderful titles which need greater exposure.

For parents and teachers, I know that a collection of listing and reviews for Asian picture books would be a much appreciated resource. Especially when supporting early learners in learner-driven project work.

So, here goes my stab at gathering a community to create such a site. Find out more at the site and I hope to hear from you.

Join me, won’t you?

Posted in Books, Project Work, Reflections, Web Resources | 1 Comment


I have had this idea for a while: to create a learning resource that makes use of choice like perhaps those “choose your own adventure” stories. For a while, I was not able to come up with a simple yet engaging story for my use, and more importantly, to find a learning objective that would be best supported by such a feature.

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Then I had this idea of making choice of clothing as a way to introduce vocabulary related to items of clothing – the “What Shall I Wear?TinyTap game.

When I was playing it, it does seem like a really short game. Yet, behind this game, there was a need to create quite a few alternatives. With 3 levels of 2 choices each, led to 14 pages.

Now that it is done, I do wonder how many users would repeatedly go through it just to see the different combinations and so get to keep hearing those 3 words. So, if you or those around you do play it, please let me know how it went for you.

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Thank you.

Posted in Ed Tech, iPad, Tinytap, Web Resources | Leave a comment