Friday, December 9, 2011

Asian Legends (Malaysia): The Lion City by Mohamad Salmi

Rating 3 out of 5
Age Group: 3-8
ISBN: 9675222026, 9789675222023
Format: Paperback
Publisher: MPH Group Publishing Sdn Bhd
Publish Date:25-DEC-2010

How did Singapore get its name? It all begins with an adventurous young Sumatran Prince called Sang Nila Utama, who loves hunting. His hunting expedition brings him to an island, where he stumbles upon a magnificent animal that will inspire the name of one of today's most modern and prosperous nations in Asia.

I purchased this book while in Singapore for my older nephews (who are 3 and 4). I wanted to get a unique souvenir and both like books and reading so I thought this would be a great way to teach them about local Asia culture.

The English names Singapore derives from the Malay word Singapura (which means lion city). There are no known Lions to have inhabited the area and it is believed the creature encountered by Sang Nila Utama was really a tiger. And who is Utama I hear you say well he was a Srivijayan prince from Palembang who founded the kingdom of Singapura in 1324. So there your history lesson for the day back to the book.

So as you can see the tale of how Singapore originally came to be is an old one. It is amazing it has survived the passing of time and I wonder how accurate it really is. In this children's book it is retold simply and easily written in a style aimed at young readers.

The artwork is a basic cartoon style, with lots of bright colours to capture children's attention.

This is a wonderful book that can help teach your child about Malaysian legends and how Singapore came to be.

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