SINGAPORE - During an MRT ride from Bishan to Sembawang, an injured flamingo hobbles into the train cabin.
With a shimmer, mascot Stand-up Stacey emerges from a sticker on the cabin's wall. She asks a lion engrossed in his mobile phone to give up his seat and the wild cat obliges, apologising for having been carried away.
This magical scenario and others play out in a colourful book that kindergarten children from PCF Sparkletots have created with the Land Transport Authority (LTA). It was launched at LTA's headquarters on Friday (Nov 26), and can be collected at all McDonald's outlets with each purchase of a Happy Meal from Dec 18.
In the book, entitled Max & Robbie's Magical Train Ride, a young boy, Max, and his best friend, raccoon Robbie, offer to deliver food to his grandparents, encountering animal characters on their way that need a reminder from the LTA's Thoughtful Bunch mascots.
Stand-Up Stacey and other mascots Move-In Martin, Give-Way Glenda, Bag-Down Benny and Hush-Hush Hannah appear in creative ways to guide koalas, giraffes and others in the right behaviour.
The scenarios were thought out by pupils from PCF Sparkletots at Block 723 Nee Soon Central and put on paper by a vendor.
The back cover of the book comes with a game similar to snakes and ladders, where children can use a dice created from Thoughtful Bunch templates to practise what they have learnt. They can also make finger puppets and try to navigate a maze.
"Gracious commuting culture will need time to develop," Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng said at the launch, adding that it is "especially important" that people cultivate these good virtues and social habits from a young age.
"It is very significant that we are working with PCF Sparkletots pre-schoolers to come up with the story because a story from the kids will relate better to the younger generation," he said.
He added that this does not remove adults from the process, who must continue to be role models for those who are younger.
LTA said it will hold a contest on its social media channels for 10 participants to win a physical copy of the book.
It can also be downloaded from the LTA website and borrowed from all public libraries from mid-December.
LTA's campaign to promote graciousness on public transport began in 2009 and is in its 12th year. The Thoughtful Bunch was rolled out in 2014, and given a makeover last year by students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
Before the Covd-19 pandemic, about 7.6 million trips were made every day on MRT trains and buses.