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Asian Festival of Children’s Content
23–26 May 2024

HABA 2024 Winners

Congratulations to Alan John and Quek Hong Shin for winning the Picture Book Category with Grandma's Tiger, and Melanie Lee and Arif Rafhan for winning the Middle Grade Category with Amazing Ash and Superhero Ah Ma 2. 


  • To recognise outstanding published works by Singapore writers and illustrators.
  • To encourage the publication of quality children’s books in Singapore.


The Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award (HABA) is presented biennially to an outstanding Singapore Children’s Picture Book and Middle Grade Book. Eight books were shortlisted for HABA 2024.

HABA 2024 Shortlist 

Click on the book covers to find out more about each title.

Picture Book Category

Bee Hoon Boy: Written by Ames Chen, Illustrated by Dominic On  Becoming Margaret Leng Tan: Written by Low Lai Chow, Illustrated by Dan Kuah Grandma's Tiger: Written by Alan John, illustrated by Quek Hong ShinNing and the Night Spirits: Written and Illustrated by Adriena Fong

Middle Grade Category

Afterlife: The Boy Next Realm. Written by Gina Chew, Illustrated by Nadhir Nor Amazing Ash and Superhero Ah Ma 2: Coming of Age. Written by Melanie Lee, Illustrated by Arif Rafhan Escape from Bussorah Street. Written by A.K. ZaiSecrets of Singapore: Fabulous Food  Written by Angèle Lee, Illustrated by Elvin Ching

The Judges

Judges’ Comments:
It was a joy reading the books submitted for the Hedwig Anuar Book Award. The overall quality of the submissions reflect how much Singaporean children’s literature has evolved in quality and sophistication over the years. There is a wide range of themes explored in the submitted stories: from clever informational texts to historical events to delightful flights of imagination. The judges deliberated on not just literary and visual merit, but also readership appeal and originality – evoking an unmistakable sense of place and community, that is not only distinctly Singaporean in nature, but also reflective of the global world that readers (young and old alike) are a part of.

Dr Myra Garces Bacsal  (United Arab Emirates)

Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart.

Dr Eugene Evasco (Philippines)

Eugene Y. Evasco is a writer, editor, translator, and collector of children’s books. He is currently a Full Professor at the UP College of Arts and Letters. Some of his new books at Lampara are Ang Nag-iisa at Natatanging si Onyok, Ang Singsing-Pari sa Pisara, Ang Beybi naming Mamaw, and the Filipino translation of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. In 2014, he won the UP Gawad sa Natatanging Publikasyon sa Filipino (Malikhaing Pagsulat category). He became a part of the Hall of Fame of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2009 and is currently a Fellow of the UP Institute of Creative Writing. He was accepted as a Research Fellow to the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.

Priscilla Tey (Singapore)

Priscilla Tey is an illustrator and picture book maker. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), she loves woolgathering, writing stories and maintains her sheep obsession at healthy levels. Her first picture book In-Between Things was published by Candlewick Press in 2018 and her second book, Twitchy Witchy Itch was published in July 2021. Her third book Counting in Dog Years, written by Betsy Franco (Candlewick Press) was published in October, 2022. Priscilla currently resides in her native country of Singapore, and teaches Art to students of various ages when she is not illustrating. 

About Mrs Hedwig Anuar

Mrs Hedwig Anuar was the first Singaporean Director of the National Library of Singapore, a position she held from 1960 until her retirement in 1988. She put in place the foundations of the modern library system in Singapore and made contributions to all aspects of library work. This award recognises her outstanding contribution to children's librarianship and the promotion of books and reading for children.


View past HABA winners