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

The Scholastic Picture Book Award is the joint initiative of the Singapore Book Council (SBC) and Scholastic Asia.

SPBA Winners

Congratulations to Le Phuong Thao (Vietnam) for winning "Dinnertime in the Small Alley", Somaye Mohamadi  (Iran) for being 1st Runner Up for "When Dad Became an Elephant" and Nguyen Thuy Tien (Vietnam) for being 2nd Runner Up for "Step by Little Step". 


The objectives of the Scholastic Picture Book Award are as follows:

  • To foster the creation of picture books with Asian content, by Asian writers and illustrators.
  • To promote public awareness of and interest in picture books with Asian content
  • To recognise and award a prize to an excellent picture book with Asian content.  Shortlists 

SPBA 2024 Shortlists  

Daddy, Daddy Where are we? - Going to School

Author: Guo Shaoqing 
Illustrator: Yue Yuan 

Manuscript Synopsis:

On a rainy Monday, Dottie and Dad are preparing to go to school, but how are they getting there?  Inspired by the author's childhood memories, this story tells of the imaginative jouney taken by a father and daughter as they travel together to school on a rainy morning. 


Guo Shaoqing (China/Singapore)

Guo Shaoqing is a mom of three kids and currently works as an associate professor for Shenzhen University. 

Yue Yuan (China) 

Yue Yuan is currently studying for a Master's degree in illustration and publishing at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. Italy.


Dinnertime in the Small Alley 

Author and Illustrator: Le Phuong Thao 

Manuscript Synopsis:

Dinnertime in the Small Alley is a heartwarming story celebrating the joy of family dinners and the neighbor relationships. Bom has always longed for a "normal" family dinner, but dinnertime at his mom’s restaurant has always been with their chatty neighbors in the small alley. One night, with his mom away and a surprise feast, Bom came to appreciate the daily moments at his family’s bustling restaurant and the bonds formed around the dinner table with his neighbors. He discovered that family isn't defined by who you're born with, but by the love and care you share with one another.


Le Phuong Thao (Vietnam) 

Born and raised in the heart of Hanoi, Le Phuong Thao has spent her career working with young children, and brings her passion for education and art to the world of children's literature. Her love for art, particularly her unique use of traditional paper and materials in illustrations, infuses her work with a touch of cultural richness. With a firm belief that each children's book is more than a story, but a wholesome work of art that nourishes a child's soul through both words and images, she creates delightful hand-crafted tales with the same care of a home-cooked meal.

Hello, Bad Mood!

Author and Illustrator: Lin Cheng 

Manuscript Synopsis:

A child's encounter with 'Bad Mood' leads them on a path of mutual discovery, friendship and healing. 


Lin Cheng (China)

Lin Cheng, born in China in 1993, received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in animation from Shandong University of Arts, China. She also received a postgraduate degree in illustration from the University of the Arts London in 2022. She is currently studying for a PhD in comics at the University of Glasgow.

Only a Hand’s Length!

Author: Uyen Dao
Illustrator: Hoai Phong

Manuscript Synopsis: 

“How far is it from our house to the golden-scented rice terrace where Mommy harvests the ripe rice?” asks the little girl. “From up here, it’s only a hand’s length!” said her brother.  With this conviction in their hearts, Núi, a minority child whose name means “the mountain” in Vietnamese, and his younger sister, Hoa, whose name means “the flower” in Vietnamese, set off to visit Mommy and surprise her. Nothing can stop them. What can make a long and difficult journey shorter and happier if not love?  A sweet story that celebrates love and family.


Uyen Dao (Vietnam)

Uyen Dao lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She works as a freelance writer. Through her works, she wants to celebrate the miracle of childhood.

Hoai Phong (Vietnam) 

Hoai Phong is a young illustrator living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He works for the studio Funti Kidbooks. His desire is to convey good messages of stories to readers through pictures. He hopes to create a colourful and new world with his illustrations.



Step by Little Step

Author and Illustrator: Nguyen Thuy Tien 

Manuscript Synopsis: 

Nam attempts to walk home from school by himself for the first time. Together with his best friend, Nam overcomes his anxiety and fear, going on a magical and memorable journey. Crossing the fields, past the houses, Nam takes in the peaceful beauty of the village through every little step and completes his walk with a happy heart.


Nguyen Thuy Tien (Vietnam) 

Nguyen Thuy Tien (pen-name Imillus) is a freelance illustrator in Vietnam. She graduated from Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts, majoring in fashion design, but decided to become a children's book illustrator instead. She loves to create her magical world through detailed drawings, mainly about nature, kids, animals.


Tien and the New Neighbour

Author and Illustrator: Tan Siang Yu

Manuscript Synopsis:

Tien was excited to see his new neighbours moving into the flat next door. Should he say hello? As his parents were busy, he decided to make his famous tang yuan for them. However, he chickened out when he stood outside their flat as he imagined all sorts of negative reactions from the neighbour’s boy. When the friendly neighbourhood ice cream seller came along, Tien had another idea and quickly bought ice cream, but he tripped and fell. This mishap, however, revealed to Tien that the neighbour’s boy was not what he imagined him to be.


Tan Siang Yu (Singapore)

Writer and illustrator Tan Siang Yu is a Singaporean who loves all things creative. After graduating with a BA Honours in Fine Art from the University of Leeds, he taught art to high school students for more than 25 years. At the same time, he has also been telling stories through films, often about children and their little adventures. Tien and The New Neighbour is his first children’s work.

When Dad Became an Elephant 

Author and Illustrator: Somaye Mohamadi

Manuscript Synopsis: 

On a day at home, Nick and Dad embark on different adventures - from being caught in a spider's web, to travelling to outer space, and escaping a rampaging dinosaur - all until Mom comes home. 


Somaye Mohamadi (Iran)

Somaye studied at the University of Kashan, and is a member of the Illustrators cultural and Artistic Association. With 12 years of experience in illustrating for children's book and magazine illustration, she has illustrated over 50 children books. Her works have been shortlisted for illustration festivals in Seoul and have received awards.