The Country of Focus is one of the signature programmes of AFCC. The festival has spotlighted eight countries in the previous years, through the AFCC Country of Focus (COF).

This year, we are proud to showcase Thailand as our Country of Focus (COF).

COF Thailand aims to showcase the best of children’s literature and young adult (YA) books and writers from Thailand, and to provide insights into the children’s books industry in Thailand, while promoting cross-cultural understanding and encouraging book collaborations between Singapore and Thailand.

Co-organised with the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT), COF: Thailand features Thai writers, illustrators and publishers in a series of talks, panel discussions and workshops. Notable Thai illustrators are also part of a special section of the annual Book Illustrators Gallery (BIG), reflecting the diversity and artistry of their works.

AFCC has likewise commissioned award-winning Thai illustrator Kampanart Sangsorn to create the AFCC 2021 key visual.

An AFCC Festival Pass gives you full access to COF: Thailand sessions.

You can visit this page to find out how you can access the programmes. VOD sessions will be available from the day after the event to 30 June 2021, 2359 (GMT 0800).

 AFCC Co-translation Project 

To cap off the collaboration, AFCC will be translating and co-publishing selected children's books from both Thailand and Singapore to make them available to the children in each country as part of a Co-Translation Project, in partnership with PUBAT.

This project will involve the translation and publication of selected children's books from both Thailand and Singapore, which will be made available to the children in each country. Two children’s book titles from each country will be selected and translated from Thai into English, and vice versa. The Project will be launched at AFCC, while the launch of the publications will be later in the year. 

Copies of the books will be made available free to children in both countries in through their local reading initiatives. The project is exploring both printed and digital forms of the translated books to widen its reach.

Through this Co-Translation Project, children and parents from both countries will be exposed to the stories and characters in the books, thus gaining better cross-cultural understanding of our respective cultures.

This project is made possible with support from The Head Foundation.

The Rabbit in the Moon

by Narit Sookmark / Illustrated by Preeda Punyachand

ISBN 978-616-541-238-4 / Published by Pelangi Publishing

This is the story of a little rabbit who searches for the missing moon, to bring back the light to everyone as before. The picture book lets children learn about the importance of the common good rather than their own.

The Mice that ate the Old Iron Scales

Illustrated by Kampanart Sangsorn

ISBN: 978-616-227-978-2 / Published by Hello Kids

Naduk, a once rich merchant, fails in his business and leaves the city to find his fortune in a new land. All that he has left is a heavy iron beam, which he decides to ask his good friend, Laksman, to keep for him until he returns. Naduk soon becomes wealthy again and returns to the city, asking his friend for his iron beam. Laksman, instead returning the beam, says that mice ate the scales. Naduk then understood what was going on in Laksman’s mind. In return, Naduk hid Laksman’s son and told him that the hawk had swooped down and carried the boy off.


Retold by Abdullah Basmeh / Adapted by Ruth Wan / Illustrated by Eliz Ong

ISBN 978-981-122-634-2 / Part of OUR FOLKTALES, published by World Scientific

Badang, a poor labourer, uses his wits to gain super strength and freedom from his master. The Raja of Singapura hears reports about this strongman, and summons Badang to his kingdom. With his quick mind and strength, Badang becomes legendary as the undefeatable royal warrior, defending his King and country’s honour. Among his many challenges, Badang lifts a gigantic boulder, and hurls it to the mouth of the Singapore River.


Written and Illustrated by Ben Lai

ISBN 978-981-117-938-9 / Published by Epiphany Arts

Join Ah Girl in her day-to-day interactions with her family and friends. Discover local culture and icons while exploring the many ways we can achieve more when we work and play with others. An illustrated glossary at the end of the book provides a perfect prompt for a search-and-find exploration of the previous pages.

27 May (Thursday) Reimagine

4:00pm – 5:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Children’s Book Publishing and Distribution in the ASEAN: Obstacles and Solutions

The ASEAN region boasts a combined population of approximately 649 million people and one-third of them are potential readers aged 19 or younger. However, children and young adult books by ASEAN writers are still inaccessible to their readers. What is the cause? Publishers and distributors from the region will talk about the present obstacles and positives they experience in distributing books in the region.

This session is presented as part of the Country of Focus: Thailand.

Andrea Pasion-Flores

Andrea Pasion-Flores (Philippines)

Andrea Pasion-Flores is the publisher at Milflores Publishing, Inc., a general trade and textbook publishing company based in Manila. Before purchasing the company in 2020, Andrea was general manager of a large trade publisher, a literary agent, and executive director of the National Book Development Board of the Philippines. She is a member of the board of international advisors of the Singapore Book Council.

Gesarin Anek

Gesarin Anek (Thailand)

Gesarin Anek has more than three decades of experience in retail marketing with various nationwide hypermarkets. She was the managing director at Asia Books, the largest English language chain bookstore in Thailand, from 2017–2020. Gesarin is currently an advisor for Plan for Kids publishing house and a board member of the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT).

Yani Kurniawan

Yani Kurniawan (Indonesia)

Yani Kurniawan is the founder of Literasia, a literary cum creative agency based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the production manager at 17000 Pulau Imaji Foundation, which bridges and facilitates the collaboration between publishing industry stakeholders like writers, illustrators and creative content creators. He was previously part of the Indonesian National Book Committee.

Mindy Pang

Mindy Pang (Singapore)

Mindy Pang has more than a decade of experience as an editor and marketing manager at Marshall Cavendish International (Asia). She was the driving force behind key publications as a senior editor and currently develops marketing strategies to help the publishing house remain a leading publisher in Asia and beyond.

Sheikh Faisal Sheikh Mansor

Moderator Sheikh Faisal Sheikh Mansor (Malaysia)

Sheikh Faisal Sheikh Mansor ("Shake") is the Honorary Secretary of the Malaysian Book Publishers Association (MABOPA). He runs Shake Book Projects Sdn. Bhd, which offers publishing and consultancy services. With 20 years of experience in the book industry, Shake has written, published and sold children’s books locally and overseas to more than 50 countries around the world.

29 May (Saturday) Rebuild

9:00am – 10:00am (SGT) Convert Time

One City, One Book: Reading Initiatives in Thailand

Adapted from a project first started by a Seattle-based librarian in 1988, “One Book, One City” has become a thriving reading initiative in Northern Thailand. The project evolved from a reading campaign into a content development programme that engages schools, state leaders and non-profits to develop their own children’s books for their reading initiatives. Discover more about this reading initiative and understand why it’s high time we win children from all over — one book and one city at a time.

This session is presented as part of the Country of Focus: Thailand. This session is conducted in Thai, with English subtitles.

Thattaya Anussornrajakit

Thattaya Anussornrajakit (Thailand)

Thattaya Anussornrajakit graduated from the Faculty of Education, Silpakorn University. She was the editor of several magazines before she moved to Chiang Mai in 1999 to work as a freelancer. She wrote and published 30 books under several pseudonyms. She managed the reading promotion culture projects Chiang Mai Read; and One City, One Book Project, Chiang Rai.

Akrapol Wattanasin

Akrapol Wattanasin (Thailand)

Akrapol Wattanasin received an M.A. in Communication and Cultural Studies from the University of Western Sydney. He is now a Managing Director of the joint-venture Malaysia-Thai publishing company, Pelangi Publishing. The press, which he joined 15 years ago, specialises in children’s education and child edutainment. Akrapol has written many children’s storybooks. Akrapol has also served as a Board member of the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT).

Vasuree Pisutsinthop

Moderator Vasuree Pisutsinthop (Thailand)

Vasuree Pisutsinthop earned her BA in Education and MA in Marketing. She is the Marketing Director of EQ Plus Co., Ltd., an educational comic books publisher with 16 years of experience. EQ Plus Co. Ltd features interesting subjects featuring Thai history, science and social studies and is based in Bangkok.

30 May (Sunday) Reignite

9:00am – 10:00am (SGT) Convert Time

A Window into Children’s Literature in Thailand

Understand Thai Children’s Literature in this special lecture that deep dives into its history, current developments and future trends. Presented as part of the Country of Focus: Thailand.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

Virine Hutasangkas

Virine Hutasangkas (Thailand)

Virine Hutasangkas is a lecturer at the Department of French, Faculty of Humanities, at Chiang Mai University. She obtained her PhD in Modern Literature (Children’s literature) from Université de Tours, France. Her main interest is comparative literature (children and young adult) under various themes such as immigration, intercultural translation and multiculturalism. She loves pancake.

3:45pm – 4:45pm (SGT) Convert Time

Promoting Creative Economies: The Thai Experience

Fostering creative economies in industries, like animation and graphic design, opens a whole new world of opportunities for content creators, producers and audiences. What are the challenges and opportunities that building such economies from the ground up pose for industry professionals, and how should the creative community respond to such challenges and opportunities? Chat with a seasoned animation producer and learn more about the 'soft power' that such creative economies imbibe, in this session that looks at the animation industry through the Thai experience.

This session is presented as part of the Country of Focus: Thailand.

Auchara Kijkanjanas

Auchara Kijkanjanas (Thailand)

Auchara Kijkanjanas is the founder of Big Brain Studio and one of the pioneers in the computer graphic industry in Thailand. With 20 years of experience, her expertise and works have been recognised internationally with awards for Animation Feature Film and Animation Series, including Visual Effect works. Her previous works are Khan Khuay I; Khan Khuay II and Blink Blink: the series.

Kamolpaj Tosinthiti

Moderator Kamolpaj Tosinthiti (Thailand)

Kamolpaj Tosinthiti is a third generation bookseller. Like her parents, she was raised among books, playing hide-n-seek with her siblings and a few dogs between the bookshelves. She has a BA in French literature and is the managing director at publisher Silkworm Books. She also serves as a vice-president of international affairs at the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT).

6:30pm – 7:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Country of Focus Night

Celebrate the rich history and evolving literary landscapes of Thailand in this special evening event that culminates AFCC. In honour of the AFCC 2021 Country of Focus, join us for a showcase of the literary and cultural heritage in this gala event that celebrates the growing collaborations and strengthened ties between Singapore and Thailand.

As part of the growing collaboration and strengthened ties between Singapore and Thailand, we will also be launching the Co-Translation Project. In partnership with our Country Partner PUBAT, we will be translating and co-publishing selected children's books from both Thailand and Singapore to make them available to the children in each country. 


Time Activity
6:30pm Khon Thai Cultural Performance
6:35pm Welcome Remarks
Ms Claire Chiang | Chairperson, SBC
6:40pm Message
Chonrangsri Chalermchaikit | President, PUBAT
6.45pm Presentation
A Window to Thai Publishing
6:50pm Launch of AFCC Co-translation Project
Reading of Book Excerpts
6:55pm Closing Message
William Phuan | Executive Director, SBC
7:00pm End of Broadcast

Watch the session here