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Monday, May 23, 2016

Exploring Singapore with Books, Food & Maps -- Global Learning for Kids

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

This month Global Learning for Kids is exploring Singapore. I requested some books about Singapore from my contact at Tuttle Publishing. She sent me six books and a traveling map. We shared Singapore Children's Favorite Stories with you a few weeks ago as one of our posts for Multicultural Kid Blogs' Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month Series and Giveaway. (Have you entered the giveaway yet?) The first book we are going to share is Singapore: World City by Kim Inglis. 

This book takes the reader throughout Singapore. With 300 photographs it is perfect for giving a child a sense of the country. It is divided into two parts: Introducing Singapore and Exploring Singapore. This book shares the government, the people, the food, the arts, and culture of the city of Singapore. Then the second part takes the reader all over Singapore to the various neighborhoods -- some glamorous and others not so much. It gives the reader the full view of the Lion City. It also shares the zoo, the parks, reserves and more. It really is a gorgeous book that shares this beautiful island nation.

Singapore Travel Map Thirteenth Edition by the Periplus Editors is a perfect companion to Singapore World City.  After looking through the book have the kids find the various places on the maps. Then perhaps plan a day as a tourist in Singapore. Which places would each child want to visit? What order should they be done? Really a perfect lesson on map reading, time management and planning. 

Lately Hazel has gotten into watching HGTV (Home and Garden Television) with me. She loves the shows like House Hunters International. So, she really loved the next two books that shared some unique tropical houses in Singapore.

Singapore Houses by Robert Powell and photographs by Albert Lim KS share beautiful pictures and information about twenty six very unique houses. The book provides information about the architect as well as floorplans of each house. At one point I considered becoming an architect so I love looking at these houses. It is so different from where we live and gives us a look at the culture of Singapore. Hazel and I focused on the pictures more than any of the words since I did not want to bore her too much.

25 Tropical Houses in Singapore and Malaysia by Paul McGillick and photographs by Patrick Bingham-Hall shares twenty five houses (some are repeated in the previous book and some are in Malaysia). One of our favorites in this book had glass floors/ceilings. You can see it in the second picture above. Hazel and I spent a long time discussing what it would be like to have glass floors. We also noticed the more modern trend to these houses and some even felt industrial to us. The settings however are beautiful and the photographs are gorgeous. 

Our final exploration of Singapore involves food. We were sent two cookbooks to try recipes. Due to our own likes and dislikes I adapted the recipes to suit us. Overall all three of us liked all the recipes we tried in both books!!

From The Food of Singapore by David Wong and Djoko Wibisono and photographs by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni, we made Special Nonya Fried Rice. The recipe is on-line as well. I took out the fish and prawns and added some broccoli. I also was short on garlic, but did use some. The recipes are easy to follow and have photographs of most if not all. The book also includes recipes for condiments and sauces. I hoped to make the Malay Chicken Satay, but had trouble finding the ingredients without going to an Asian grocery store. 


Singapore Cooking by Terry Tan and Christopher Tan with photographs by Edmond Ho has 111 recipes with beautiful photographs.  We tried two noodle recipes from this book. I had some difficulty finding the correct ingredients and adjusted some to our taste again. The first is Beehoon goreng fried rice noodles. The recipe is available here.  I used chicken breast instead of legs and did not use curry leaves (Steve has a mental block against anything with curry in it), cabbage leaves (I forgot to buy it), or the green chillies. I used baby spinach since I had some. We all really liked this recipe. Our second recipe was Beef hor fun rice noodles. (I didn't find this recipe available on-line--sorry.) I could not find the flat rice noodles and the flattest I could find were udon noodles so we used those. I left out the pickled chillies and used cooking sherry instead of rice wine since that is what I had. I also added green beans so it would be a complete meal. We all enjoyed this dish very much.

It is fun to see how the cultures and foods have mixed in this nation of immigrants. The recipes range from India, Malaysia, China and more. The recipes in both books had a mix of all of these. Overall we really enjoyed our exploration of Singapore and looking through these great books!!


This post is part of the Global Learning for Kids Series. Be sure to check out all the other posts shared here on Singapore and add any you have. Our goal is to have a place full of resources on Singapore!!