This latest release by Pepper Dog Press is a 32-page picture book filled with lusciously rendered full-colour illustrations by talented Singapore artist Teressa Ong.
Like Pepper Dog Press’s other picture books The Little Singapore Book and Tiger Tales: Almost True Animal Stories from Old Singapore, this too is filled with rich illustrated details that encourage young readers to explore Singapore’s heritage and have conversations with the grown-ups reading with them. Oyster Girl is suitable for anyone from four years old.
Xiao Wei’s grandma is an awesome hawker, well known for her Hokkien oyster cakes. But Xiao Wei always wanted to know why this snack was so special to her. One day, when Xiao Wei visits Ah Ma at her stall, all is revealed. Ah Ma’s tale transports Xiao Wei and readers back to Hui’an, China long ago where, as a child, she harvests oysters by the sea and eventually, sails to Nanyang for a better life. Oyster Girl is a charming celebration of family ties. It is also author Joyce Chng’s tribute to her late grandma who was indeed an awesome hawker and whose traditional oyster cake recipe is included in the book. Ah Ma’s story captures a slice of Singapore’s pioneering past and the hardworking Hokkiens who settled in Singapore a long time ago. It is also a peek into Singapore’s diverse hawker heritage, which is listed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.