While many are grappling with the “new normal” routine (and, reality) of working and schooling from home during this pandemic, the world appears battered and bruised by the effects of climate change at the same time. Deeply moved and inspired by individuals who would go out of their way to support socially isolated and vulnerable persons in their midst, Tommy Wong and his family decided to put a story together that they hoped would uplift spirits, encourage greater environmental mindfulness and foster a culture of compassion and empathy in the community.
In “The Boy Who Turned Lives Around As The World Turned Upside Down!” (published by Partridge Singapore), readers are invited to join the story’s protagonist, Tommy, and his family for an awe-inspiring adventure as they step out of their comfort zone and put on their thinking caps to make the world a cleaner, cosier and more compassionate home for all. From caring for the fruits and flowers in their rooftop garden to creating a remote-controlled cart using recycled or reusable materials for their elder neighbour, Tommy and his family’s creativity, compassion and camaraderie with the community inadvertently turn lives around even as the world they live in appears out of order due to climate change.
“This book depicts scenes and sentiments that we can relate to as we adapt in the face of an evolving pandemic and extreme weather events. The story demonstrates the importance of facing up to life’s adversities with resilience and hope and being kind to others in all circumstances. Although the story is not explicitly about the pandemic, sharp-eyed readers will probably be able to spot some allusions to it through Tommy’s illustrations,” Celene Ting, Tommy’s mother and the book’s author says. “Working and schooling from home amid tightened community mitigation measures during the present pandemic also spurred our decision to make our bilingual book – written in English (UK) and Mandarin (Simplified Chinese) – available in formats other than in print so children and their families can tap on the various formats to stay meaningfully engaged outside the classroom,” she adds.
When asked what she wants readers to take away from the book, Tommy’s mother answers, “As “The Boy Who Turned Lives Around As The World Turned Upside Down!” shows how ingenuity and innovation can help us navigate and thrive in tumultuous times like these, I wish for our readers to remember that there is light even at the end of the darkest tunnel. I hope our book uplifts every sector and member of society, especially those who may be suffering or feeling helpless and all alone. This book is dedicated to our family and friends, including all healthcare, essential and migrant workers.”
“The Boy Who Turned Lives Around As The World Turned Upside Down!”
By Celene Ting and Tommy Wong
Hardcover | 8.5 x 11in | 44 pages | ISBN 9781543763133
Softcover | 8.5 x 11in | 44 pages | ISBN 9781543763119
E-Book | 44 pages | ISBN 9781543763126
Audiobook| ISBN 9781543765809
About the Illustrator
While learning to live with COVID-19 restrictions, Tommy spent much of his time drawing. His illustrations inspired his family to put their first children’s book together with him. Today, 6-year-old Tommy (still) enjoys art and science (plus a game of chess). He looks forward to many more adventures as he heads to primary school in the coming year.