Written by 9:00 am Parenting

5 Librarian-recommended Singapore Children’s Books that encourage Individuality & Inclusivity

Words belong to everyone. In stories, words can help you express yourself, put you in someone else’s shoes, transport you to faraway lands, and immerse you in distant cultures. In addition, they show us how to celebrate the beauty of differences, the power of individuality, and the warmth of inclusivity, no matter where we are.

Of course, you do not have to take our word for it. But try reading these made-in-Singapore books for children, and you will see what we mean.

Recommended by Chen Wanying, Deputy Head (Early Literacy) of the National Library Board (NLB), the books encourage children to embrace their individuality and understand concepts such as inclusivity.

(See also: How Children can help Build an Inclusive Society in Singapore)

“The stories are set in our local context, allowing children who read them to be more familiar with the stories. The familiar setting helps them to better relate to the characters and stories, as there are elements of shared experiences.”

It is also a wonderful surprise for the children when they come across the names of places or food that they use in daily life in the stories, and that helps them to become more motivated in exploring the books,” she tells us.

Sahara’s special senses

Author: Eva Wong Nava
Illustrator: Debasmita Dasgupta
Publisher: Little Knights
Call Number: Children Singapore English WON

Sahara Khan is a determined, strong, and courageous girl. She has an epic vision of becoming a chef — and nothing can stop her. Find out how Sahara develops her senses and learns to use them in the kitchen. Join her in an epic journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

(See also: Resources for Families of Children with Special Needs in Singapore)

Extraordinary Eloise

Author: Charlene Chua
Illustrator: Paula Pang
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Call Number: Children Singapore English CHU
Overdrive Link: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/1439789

Extraordinary Eloise is a lyrical celebration of a child’s unique individuality. The story will tickle little people’s funny bones and inspire them to quit trying to be like others, and to start being more like themselves.

Little Cloud Wants Snow!

Author: Gwen Lee
Illustrator: Neal Sharp
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Call Number:  Children Singapore English LEE
Overdrive link: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/1439793

Little Cloud wants to make a snowman but he lives in the tropics where it doesn’t snow. Together with Mama Cloud, they set out on an adventure. Young children will be enthralled by the beautiful illustrations in this book even as they are introduced to the different type of clouds and the water cycle.

(See also: Coastal PlayGrove — an Outdoor Playground with Free Entry at East Coast Park!)

Little Mole’s Awesome Star

Author: Emily Lim-Leh
Illustrator: John Lim
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Call Number: Children Singapore English LIM
Overdrive link: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/5394781

Little Mole is very eager to see his special star. Big Mole said it would point him to awesome things. The young mole goes in search of his star and finds it in the most unexpected place. Join Little Mole on his journey to independence in this starry tale about discovering one’s place in the world.

There Was a Peranakan Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

Author: Gwen Lee
Illustrator: Cheryl Kook 
Publisher: Epigram Books
Call Number:  Children Singapore English 398.8 LEE
Overdrive link: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4686093

There was a Peranakan woman who lived in a shoe. She made so many nyonya kueh, she didn’t know what to do. In this book of modernised nursery rhymes, original rhymes are recreated with local flavour and humour. Traditional food, local places and festivals are the essence of the rhymes! This is a book that resonates with our time, country and culture, and will surely last for generations to come.


Do you know of any other books for children that celebrate individuality, and inclusivity? Do share them with us in comments section of this article’s Facebook, or Instagram posts.

In the meantime, happy reading on this UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day (23 April) week!

(See also: 6 Singapore Children’s Books that Encourage Kindness)

Featured image: cottonbro from Pexels

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