Singapore children's book Lemonade Sky makes international catalogue

The book by author and illustrator J. H. Low is the only Singaporean title on the White Ravens catalogue.
The book by author and illustrator J. H. Low is the only Singaporean title on the White Ravens catalogue.PHOTOS: EPIGRAMBOOKSHOP.SG, COURTESY OF EPIGRAM BOOKS

SINGAPORE - Home-grown picture book Lemonade Sky has scored a place in the White Ravens catalogue, an annual selection of the best children's books from around the world.

The book by author and illustrator J. H. Low, published earlier this year by Epigram Books, is the only Singaporean title on the list.

The catalogue, which is published by the International Youth Library in Munich, highlights noteworthy new titles worldwide ahead of major book fairs such as the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Bologna Children's Book Fair.

This year's edition includes 200 titles from 54 countries in 38 languages.

In Lemonade Sky, a boy wanders aimlessly around a city much like Singapore, in the company of imaginary friends based on his toys Dino and Mr Wang.

In the landscape of his imagination, the city is filled with enormous creatures such as a wolf taller than a Housing Board block of flats or a menacing angler fish. He dreams of flight and freedom.

Low, 50, said he was honoured to be chosen. Lemonade Sky, he added, was based on his own memories of growing up in Sims Drive.

"As a child, I used to spend endless hours roaming around many blocks of dull, uninspiring flats in my neighbourhood. There was a familiar staleness in the air and a feeling of being bottled up.

"To this day, many years later, that feeling never really left me, but it was most vividly felt during my boyhood."

Previous Singapore titles featured in the White Ravens catalogue have included Chinese-language books Xiao Xiong De Xin Yi (The Little Bear's New Clothes) by Hu Wei last year and Xin Ku Le Hong Tou Jin (The Toil Of The Red Headscarves) by Lin Denan and Patrick Yee in 2019. Both were published by Lingzi Media.