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Forbes is a senior book and the co-editor of Urban Odysseys: KL Stories, a magazine. He lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In this interview on his blog, eric forbes’s book addict’s guide to good books, Lianne talks about the concept and behind-the-scenes work on Maxilla, as well as offers personal experiences with and opinions on books.
"Hunter is a highly tactile and visual learner, and has never really shown much interest in reading [...] he really enjoyed Maxilla [...] He was quiet and captivated from cover-to-cover, and asked me “Read it again!” when I finished. It’s actually the first time he’s ever said that after a book! The beautiful illustrations help too – the pictures are colourful and captivates young children."
"Even though the book is designed for emerging readers aged 5 to 8 years old, younger children like Coco will be able to follow the simple tale, accompanied by beautiful illustrations, of the heart-warming relationship between a boy and a caterpillar. Even if you’re not a fan of creepy crawlies, Maxilla is a lovely story that will worm its way into your heart."
"Children can easily relate to Reuben’s struggles of letting go, especially when they want something so badly. [...] My first reading with my little 3-year old was amazing. She was enthralled and captivated by the colourful, realistic illustrations."
"Maxilla offers readers a quiet and touching story, and is a wonderful introduction to the concept of metamorphosis for the older pre-school set. Shing’s illustrations are soft and inviting."
"The book encourages kids to think about the possible consequences of their actions, and the importance of making the right decision even when it’s not easy to do so. After reading the book, the kids and I had a good time discussing why it was difficult for Reuben to make the right decision and applying it to relevant scenarios from their own experience."
"[...] a lovely book that is thoughtfully written [...] Maxilla’s illustrations are gentle and feathery, exhibiting the gentleness and calmness of the story [...] I love the details in the colouring, so much patience and love."
"It is most certainly a good book for introducing children to the natural world and showing them how they can learn more about the little creatures that they may meet in the park by doing their own research and by talking to experts."
"I loved the illustrations and that they all look very Singaporean, hence Asian [...] the book is educational and informative [...] up to date with the inclusion of technology – the Internet and iPad. [...] It’s fun, relevant, up to date and encourages children to love nature and to learn about it. It’s a thin book and is easy to read and can be read fast too."
"The book is beautifully illustrated and clearly written. The moral behind the story shines through too, which I thought was especially relevant since caring for nature and its inhabitants is something we may not experience every day living in Singapore. [...] I especially enjoy books like Maxilla that help in teaching children that nature has a timeless place in our lives."
"I particularly loved the message of the book: to respect nature and how sometimes being loving means letting go. We go on walks frequently, and I think it is important for the boys to learn how to respect nature, and not disturb the living creatures they encounter during those outdoor forays."
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