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

Building a child’s self-esteem doesn’t have to be a hair-raising experience! In this session, learn how infusing humour and warmth into narratives empowers children to embrace their uniqueness. Joseph Namara Hollis, Rachelyn Gordon and Ames Chen will share their insights about using picture books as catalysts for vital classroom discussions about self-affirmation, kindness and acceptance.

Ames Chen

Ames Chen (Singapore)

Ames is a Humanities teacher by training, but has since converted to freelance training since she became a mother. This journey ignited her love for storytelling, and she is now learning to share the stories of others. She has specifically chosen to pen books for children as she firmly believes in the potential of the next generation to affect change. Her first children's picture book series - The Invisible People is well-loved in many Singaporean homes. It highlights occupations we often neglect in our midst, from the cleaner of the food center to our neighbourhood bus driver. She started writing these with the intent to ignite kindness to those 'invisible' to us, starting with the smile of a grateful child.

Joseph Namara Hollis

Joseph Namara Hollis (UK)

Joseph Namara Hollis is a multi-award winning author-illustrator from the United Kingdom. Named "most exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration" in 2022, with his debut title Pierre’s New Hair winning the Klaus Flugge Prize. In 2018, on graduation from the internationally renowned MA at Cambridge School of Art, Joseph won the V&A Student Illustrator of the Year Award. The judges praised him for "bringing charm and sophistication in equal measure". Since then he has worked with Tate Publishing, Laurence King, and Andersen Press. He also lectures at Nottingham Trent University, where he shares his passion for illustration and picture books.

Rachelyn Gordon

Rachelyn Gordon (Singapore)

Rachelyn Gordon grew up inventing stories to get out of trouble. Though her stories did not often work, the practice came in handy for her job as a primary school teacher. Teaching with colourful stories did not quell the ideas in her head. Instead, it pushed her to write and publish Rosie And The Mamak Shop in 2020 and Curly in 2023. Rachelyn is currently working on her next picture book and transitioning out of mainstream teaching to teaching private creative writing workshops. Find out more about her at /

Programme dates and times are subject to change.