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Asian Festival of Children’s Content

Edited by Margaret Thomas, written by Debbie Chia and Dr Phyllis Chew, illustrated by 8EyedSpud, Anngee Neo, Arai Kreva, Cheng Puay Koo, Hafi, Kim Ngyuyen, Natalie Christian Tan, Niki Koh, Nisa’  Tuzzakirah S. and Shana Kamaldin

Middle-grade Book Category

These are the empowering stories of Singapore women who broke the mould and continue to inspire today’s generation. From philanthropists to paralympians, the stories of Singapore’s awesome women have been collected in one must-have volume featuring the stunning, stylised work of ten female illustrators, including Anngee Neo, 8EyedSpud and PK Cheng. This book was produced in collaboration with the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO).

Margaret Thomas (Editor)

Margaret Thomas spent more than two decades as a journalist. She now works mainly on book projects and in various voluntary roles on the pursuit of gender equality. A founder member in 1985 of the feminist group Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), she has chaired the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame committee since 2013. Margaret has also been involved in civil society organisations and initiatives such as TWC2, the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Singapore Advocacy Awards. 


Debbie Chia is a writer at Singapore’s Hedgehog Communications. She is now based in Berlin with her husband and son. A former intern for the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations during her university days, she also leads a second life as a DJ and record label owner.

Dr Phyllis Chew is the past president of the Association of Women for Action and Research, as well as the University Women’s Association (Singapore) and the English Language and Literature Teachers’ Association. She was Fulbright’s and the Leverhulme Trust’s visiting professor on language, gender and comparative religion from 2010 to 2011.


8EyedSpud is a creative studio founded by Jacqueline Goh and Natalie Kwee. With over 12 years of collective illustration experience, they combine their wild senses of humour and the whimsical nature of drawing to produce meaningful (and fun!) work.

Anngee Neo creates drawings with an emphasis on storytelling with compelling characters. Her quirky, surreal and whimsical works have breathed life into children’s books such as The Rock and the Bird, The Crane and the Crab, The Trampolines that Nadia Built, and Do Gallery Sitters Sit All Day? Things People Really Do in a Museum.

Arai Kreva, whose real name is Raihana Abdul Rahman, is a visual artist dedicated to urban arts and illustration. She pursues creative endeavours headfirst with big curiosity and an even bigger passion. Her eye for detail transforms her artworks into stories and conversations for her audience.

Cheng Puay Koon is an international best-selling author who loves drawing for children. She has illustrated over 70 picture books, including the Abbie Rose and the Magic Suitcase series created with popular writer Neil Humphreys.

Hafi, whose real name is Hafizah Jainal, is a designer who draws. She makes visual interpretations through illustration, design and self-portraiture. Her images often stem from the frank and absurd, but are still relatable.

Kim Nguyen is an illustrator and graphic designer. Beyond her editorial work, her personal practice is centred on the convergence of fiction and reality, with a focus on using alternative narrative formats to examine individual identity, social systems and the lived experience.

Natalie Christian Tan is an illustrator and graphic designer. She dreams up imagery for publishers and local arts entities like the Singapore Drama Educators Association, Ethos Books, Asiapac Books and Delere Press.

Niki Koh is an illustrator and graphic designer who passionately experiments with various visual styles. With her art, she tries to explore feelings of beauty, fear, humour and comfort through a personal lens, and hopes that others may find the same things too.

Nisa’ Tuzzakirah S. is an illustrator, all-rounder creative and maker of magical and meaningful things. She is passionate about growth and hope, the exploration of being human, finding joy in normal everyday things and the empowerment of women.

Shana Kamaldin (@littlecorals) is an illustrator who specialises in ink and watercolour. Inspired primarily by nature and botany, her preferred subject matters include local bird species and oddly shaped plants.

Keep an eye out for the feature interview coming soon!