The first book in our new Autumn Wonders imprint is Water Buffalo’s Reward. It is also the first book in the new Asian Values series. We’ve always wanted to do a children’s book series. In 2008, when we started to seriously brainstorm a suitable series so that we could finally kick off a new imprint for children’s books, it was natural to think of a series on Asian Values. It was a good fit with Select Books’s Asian books specialisation. We pitched the idea to the Media Development Authority, who liked the idea and gave us a grant for a series of three books.
Water Buffalo’s Reward, was launched on 6 January 2009, and is now on sale at all the major bookstores as well as on Amazon. It is the story of a water buffalo learning about the value of diligence. Written by Qin Yi, a Singaporean father of two young boys, and illustrated by Li Dan, who has a Masters in Illustration from Edinburgh College of Art, the story is simple and charming, but with hidden complexities that will enable parents and teachers to discuss the story and the underlying value of diligence with children. It also comes with pointers and fun facts for parents and teachers. The artwork by Li Dan is complex and detailed and very attractive. One of the reasons why we liked the story was that it sought to bring out the subtleties of the value of diligence – it’s not just about “working hard”; it’s actually about delayed gratification and a sense of responsibility.
Water Buffalo's Reward was featured on the popular website Culturepush.
The second and third book are scheduled to be published in late 2009 and early 2010 respectively.