Loving Books is excited to announce its first publication along with its launch: the first two books in a new children’s picture book series, Candy and Friends.
Candy Makes New Friends and Candy is a Good Helper introduces children to the orange tabby cat called Candy, her friends and her family. Initially published as a series of four Chinese books in August 1994, these titles were a collaboration between aunt-and-niece duo Bessie Chua and Linda Yan, and one of the first book projects that illustrator Patrick Yee embarked on. After years of success with the Chinese version, Loving Books is happy to announce the arrival of its English counterpart in 2018, complete with cuter illustrations, a more modern look and more adorable flaps!
“Cats are very curious, like children,” says Bessie. “They’re very inquisitive, and always get into trouble while exploring and trying to fi nd out things.” Linda also believes that the cat is a ubiquitous idea in Singapore. “We often see cats lurking around our neighbourhoods, and many of us keep them as pets.” Creating a main character that was both adorable and one that children could relate to was the idea behind Candy, an orange tabby cat.
To create the artwork, Patrick decided to use a collage technique, employing a myriad of materials such as coloured paper, newspapers, rice paper, poster paint and chalk. “The illustrations may look simple, but it took me hours to complete one picture, as I had to make sure the characters remained consistent,” says the artist. The result: beautiful, colourful illustrations that are sure to grab the attention of the little ones.
As children flip through the pages, they will get to know Candy, his friends and his family. Through his fun outdoor adventures and while he is helping out around the house, children are encouraged to interact with the story by playing around with the exciting flaps that hide characters, sounds and even words. It has been observed that not only do children love flap books, but these flaps are also highly beneficial to their learning: they help to bring important words and sounds into focus, and train their memory skills.
“Children are curious, and the flaps spur their curiosity: what’s behind? In turn, they themselves become like little cats - they want to fi nd out,” says Linda. “These books are great for children just starting to pick up language. For parents who are busy, these are very simple books to read and re-read to their children.”
Above all, these books bring valuable lessons to the table. They aim to teach children from a very young age about certain lifelong values, such as responsibility, friendship and patience.