Escape into another world

Local celebrities are taking a leaf from the books of famous people around the world and reading to children. A series of videos of local voices reading children’s books is now available on the Donut and Ah Meow channel on YouTube.

And all the content is hosted by two of K11 Musea’s homegrown characters.

The Donut Good Bookreads – Celebrities Edition, which debuted on Children’s Day, is part of the YouTube channel’s children’s book recommendation show. Working in collaboration with bookstores and publications, the channel worked with Eslite Bookstore to present eight books from December to February. And now, Donut and Ah Meow’s new series will present 12 books from Sun Ya Publications every Tuesday and Thursday until May 12.

Eight celebrities joining in the initiative are media veteran Stephen Chan Chi-wan, television and radio hosts Kitty Yuen and Jacqueline Pang, as well as current and former news anchors Akina Fong, Oscar Lee, Vince Ng, June Lam and Karen Cheng.

The series is organized into four themes.

Science and astronomy explores scientific theories and the climate; ecosystem and environmental protection teaches children how to cherish the Earth’s resources and animal protection; positive behavior focuses on uplifting stories that set examples for how we should be nice to others; and finally, human biology delves into the functions of human bodies.

The most viewed video, which chalked up more than 2,800 views in less than three weeks, was presented by Pang, who recommended Mr Water’s Christmas Odyssey by Agostino Traini. Playing four roles with suitable voice changes, she retells the story of Mr Water as he traverses both the north and south poles, visits Santa Claus to teach children about climate change and shares a little about the regions’ geographies.

“It’s good to be a storytelling sister again,” said Pang. “I hope that children won’t stop learning even during the pandemic and will stay home to fight the virus.”

In another episode, she reads A Pig on Diet by Irene Yim Ng Seen-ha, about a girl who gives up on a pig who becomes fat. The moral of the story is “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Fong reads Parker Penguin by Emma Tranter, taking us on the journey through the life cycle of the fabled emperor penguin. The video has been viewed more than 1,200 times in two weeks.

When Fong was invited to tell the story, she worried about kids not knowing her, “but the possibilities will come as long as you try,” she said.

“Either the kids or the parents are bored since they are stuck at home,” she said. “I hope that the series can help children study at home during the pandemic and bring relief to parents.”

The latest episode presented by Vince Ng recommends 3D DIY Picture Book: Gummy Candy Hide & Seek. Written by Lee Yi-yan and featuring pop-up and 3D effects, the story is about a squirrel’s love for eating gummies. But after helping two stray gummies, he learns about the power of friendship.

“It is good for parents and children to do handicrafts together at home,” Ng said. “The story also teaches children to be kind and help others.”

Aside from the Donut Good Bookreads project, the channel also hosts animal series Dino 101 and Amazon 101, and a kids-friendly English project, Getting to know the world with Donut.

(This article was published at The Standard on April 28, 2020: Education: Escaping into another world )

200428 Escaping into another world

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