Edmund Chen helps create picture book to teach pre-schoolers about Total Defence, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Edmund Chen helps create picture book to teach pre-schoolers about Total Defence

This article is more than 12 months old

Kids learn to make Singapore a better place

One is never too young to learn about Total Defence.

That is what inspired local actor, author and illustrator Edmund Chen to create My Little Red Dot – Making Our Home A Better Place.

The children's picture book, a collaboration with Nexus and the Early Childhood Development Agency, was launched last week at PCF Sparkletots at Pioneer Block 661.

The interactive book aims to teach pre-schoolers the concepts of Total Defence, which align with the national curriculum framework for kindergartens.

Five pillars of Total Defence - military defence, civil defence, economic defence, social defence and psychological defence - are featured in the book.

"They are incorporated in a relatable and fun way in the hopes of encouraging children and their parents to participate in making our home a better place," said Chen, 58, who spent three months on the book.

To catch the attention of the young audience, Chen used bright colours, exciting images and simple words that rhyme.

All illustrations in the book were hand-drawn by him.

The book will be distributed by next month to over 500 pre-schools from PCF Sparkletots and My First Skool, reaching a total of over 28,000 children.


Before the launch of the book, the pre-schoolers spent two weeks learning about Total Defence.

These lessons included an art contest, discussions of the concepts of Total Defence and role-playing.

Some might wonder if it is too early to teach pre-schoolers such concepts.

Ms Hamidah Juhan, 42, the lead centre principal, said: "It is important to implement these concepts and values that help in character building at a young age because their brains are like sponges at this stage."

Ms Tan Chiew Hoon, 28, a senior teacher at the centre, added that while the children might not understand some references, teachers can simplify the concepts through activities such as role-playing or storytelling.

The response from the pre-schoolers to the book was positive, and they seemed to be excited to see what they had been learning come to life.

Chen said: "Seeing their excitement made me feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to do this."