Friday, May 30, 2014

AFCC 2014

The 5th Annual Asian Festival of Children's Content or AFCC officially starts today but the fun started yesterday with the set-up for all the action. Kenneth, Adan, Carlo and the AFCC Angels got to the National Library early to make sure that everything was going according to their well-laid plans.

Adan, Faith and Preema

Kenneth and Mr Rama  discuss the day's events.

The previous couple of years, the official bookstore was managed by Cheryle and Denise of Bookaburra but this year it's being run by Woods in the Books and let's just say that they have mighty big, HUGE, shoes to fill.

After browsing around the mediamart, the area where various vendors like Samsung and this year's festival country of focus: India have pavilions set up, I joined author James Mayhew for a drink at the nearby Hanis cafe. 

James has been in town for almost a week and we had a bit of a chat before illustrator Dave Liew joined us.

Once again, like last year, The Learning Connection was staging a  local children's story, Shekinah Linn's Spice Kids: Star Anise. A group of children sat enthralled as the performers brought Shekinah's story to life. Shekinah, no doubt, was really, really happy.

Dave and James were rescued from having to listen to me ramble on about publishing, when Stephanie and Faith from the Book Council came to tell them that it was almost time for their duelling illustrators session, a session in which they challenge each other to illustrate a story on the spot. And while the minutes ticked down to their challenge. And then it was time!

Award-winning author, Andrew Weale, Emma, Sarah and Linda made it to the library just in time for the event which thrilled everyone who watched these two ultra-talented illustrators duking it out with paper and paintbrushes. The kids loved that and James and Dave were besieged for autographs.

Auntie Susanna arrived after that and we discussed our upcoming book launches this weekend  and ran a couple or errands at the neighbouring Bras Basah Complex before it was time to get ready for the official launch.

Emma, Andrew, Sarah and Linda.
As we headed back downstairs we spotted Kelvin and Denise from Closetful of Books at the drop-off point.  Denise is a huge admirer of AFCC Board of Advisors Chairman Claire Chiang, so Auntie Susanna and I took the opportunity to introduce her to Claire.  There's no need to describe Denise's reaction as you can see it for yourself from the photo below.

Denise and Claire

Auntie Susanna and Claire

James Mayhew and Sally Gardner

I ran into  Ken Spillman, Linda Lingard, Sally Gardner, James Mayhew, Corinne Robson and Marjorie Coughlan before there was a flurry of flash bulbs and the crowd surged forward, signalling the arrival  HE Ms Vijay Thakur Singh, High Comissioner of India

At the India's Pavilion,  HE and the official delegation from India presented the library with a set of favourite children's books from their country. I, for one, can't wait to read them.

We were then ushered to our seats at the library's plaza to await the arrival of the guest of honour, Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister of Culture, Community and Youth and second Minister of  Communications and Information.

Mr Rama and Mr Wong

Claire, Her Excellency and the Minister all addressed the guests 
before it was time to announce the winners of the Scholastic Asian Book Award.

Ms Lim Li Kok, HE Ms Vijay Thakur Singh, Mr Lawrence Wong, Ms Claire Chiang,
Ms. Seline Lee and the winners of the Scholastic Asian Book Award.

With the official part of the launch over, the Minister toured the Mediamart, stopping at various booths to test out their products. It was dinner time for the rest of us.

All in all in was a great  start to what will be another amazing AFCC. If you haven't registered, don't worry, you still have time to do so. Just head on down to the National Library and you can register on the spot.  See y'all later!

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