For a small city with a number of large, chain stores, Singapore, surprisingly, has several thriving independent bookstores. My favorites so far? BooksActually, Basheer Graphic Books, and Woods in the Books: The Picture Book Shop.
I find so much inspiration at Woods in the Books. I can spend hours browsing through owners Mike Foo and Shannon Ong’s handpicked collection of picture books, graphic novels, and comic books. The white walled and inviting shop carries work by house favorite, French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé; quirky graphic novels; pop-up versions of The Little Prince and The Wizard of Oz; and of course, classic books such as Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are.
The shop is also part gallery and showcases framed, limited-edition prints by several up-and-coming local artists, including Mike (AKA moof). The last time I was there, I spotted these delightful giclee prints by “Twisstii.”
I dare not call Woods in the Books a “children’s book shop.” There is a common misperception that picture books are exclusively intended for the very young. They are not. I would venture a guess that both Shannon and Mike would agree with me that the picture book is a form of literature for people of all ages.
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A friendly reminder: Learn more about picture books at the UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE) Forum Series’ The Picture Book as Art Object: A Panel Discussion on Thursday, May 19 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at The Pigeonhole. RSVP on Facebook.