The Castle Library reminds that sometimes you find the best treasures in books

The Castle Library is a story about Princess Lily who loves to travel. From travel, she learned many new things. She has seen Pyramids of Giza, walked along Great Walls of China and practically travel from one end of the world to the other.

Around the world


One day, Princess Lily ran out of places to visit because she visited all. Her father, the Sultan, summoned all wise people in his kingdom for ideas on where to travel next. The engineer suggested a rocket and off to the moon she went. And then the pilot suggested hot air balloon and off she went to touch the fluffy clouds.


Then there’s no more places to go. Out of boredom, Princess Lily went to the old library that her great, great, great grandfather had built. After reading many books, she realised that she could actually travel to places she never been. She travelled down the rabbit holes as well as sat on a wishing chair that took her to surprising places.

“Father, I have found the best treasures in books. They are so inspiring,” the princess told her father.

After hearing the delightful news, the Sultan threw a party and opened the library to public.

Princess Lily still travels to places she had been but this time she will bring back new books and toys for the library.


Credit images: Evi Shelvia

Personally, I can resonate well with this story. I love to travel but there are still a lot of places that I have yet to visit. I sometimes wander to all the places in my bucket list by reading books, travel magazines as well as visit websites about the countries. Like the princess, I like to buy books from places  that Ivisited and keep it in my own library. But oh how I wish to have a tree library like the one that the princess has.

The writer, Hayati Hanif wrote this story to show how reading enriches the imagination and one does not have to be confined to one place. She has written a number of books for children. This is her first picture book in English.

Evi Shelvia, the illustrator, also a friend of mine, really nailed it. Her imaginations were so wild and out-of-this-world that I myself could not ever think of illustrating. Kudos!

Evi was born in Jakarta. She studied industrial design. In 2009 her family moved to Kuala Lumpur following her husband’s new appointment. The first picture book she illustrated, The Gift of the Ladybug, was an Amazon bestseller on the first day of its launch. This encouraged her to illustrate children’s picture books professionally. She has illustrated for a number of picture books both locally and internationally.

This is a book to help your child discover the magic of reading and the adventures that can be found in the imagination. You can buy online at Oyez Book Store.

Title: The Castle Library
Publisher :Oyez!Books
ISBN :9789670908014
Author :Hayati Hanif
Illustrator :Evi Shelvia

Going to Frankfurt again this year

I have not missed the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF) for the last 3 years and certainly will not going to miss it this year. Having made friends and connections with publishers from around the world, it is hard to say no to FBF and Frankfurt itself. I like to think of Frankfurt as my 2nd home. :)

fallwomanA lovely fall scenery near Main River.

This year will be different as I will travel with a writer friend, Syikin, and will be sharing a room together. Planning for accommodation is good because during the book fair, all hotels in the area will mark up their hotel price. If normal rate is Euro 50, the rate will go up to Euro 100 or more.

Using HotelsCombined, Syikin and I found a cheap hotel in the central station (Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof), a walking distance (about 10 minutes) to the book fair.

For your information, HotelsCombined is a metasearch engine where you can compare hotel rates and find cheaper deals before planning your holidays.

You just have to type in the city that you are going and the date of travel, HotelsCombined will do the searching and list all the hotels available. The list contains the availability and prices from all the top travel websites from around the world, including, Expedia,, Agoda, Venere, LateRooms and many more.



Apart from the list, a refine search can be done to see Star Ratings, Price, Property Type, Guest Ratings, Hotel Features, Theme and many more.

Easy peasy, right? HotelsCombined believed that booking accommodation online should be easy. Instead of having to trawl through a hundred websites looking at a thousand ‘deals’, you just have to visit to HotelsCombined to know you’ve booked the hotel that’s right for you – at the best possible price.







My Colourart Series now available in Germany!


Mama-ErdeCredit photo: Anja Leidel @feingespinst.

My colouring books, Mama Erde (Mother Earth) and Liebe Natur (Nature Sings) are now available in Hannover, Germany. Published by Feingespinst Verlag.


  • LITERA Buchhandlung Hildegard George
    Jakobistraße 12, Hannover
  • Buchhandlung BücherwurmKinder- und Jugendliteratur
    Kollenrodtstraße 55, Hannover

    or e-mail to:

Tribute to Beatrix Potter’s would-be-149th birthday

A drawing of Flopsy Bunnies I made in tribute to Beatrix Potter’s would-be-149th birthday. Drawn on Monologue Soft Sketchbook using Staedtler watercolour pencils and Dr. Ph. Martin’s liquid watercolour.


“I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever.” – Beatrix Potter.

Helen Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English author, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist best known for her imaginative children’s books featuring animals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which celebrated the British landscape and country life.

Her parents were artistic, interested in nature, and enjoyed the countryside. As children, Beatrix and her brother, Bertram, had numerous small animals as pets which they observed closely and drew endlessly. Summer holidays were spent away from London, in Scotland and in the English Lake District where Beatrix developed a love of the natural world which was the subject of her painting from an early age.

Her artistic talents were recognized early. She enjoyed private art lessons and developed her own style, favouring watercolour. She illustrated insects, fossils, archaeological artifacts, and fungi, along with her drawings of her animals, real and imagined.

In the 1890s, her mycological illustrations and research into the reproduction of fungus spores generated interest from the scientific establishment. Following some success illustrating cards and booklets, Potter wrote and illustrated The Tale of Peter Rabbit, publishing it first privately in 1901, and a year later as a small, three-colour illustrated book with Frederick Warne & Co. Windermere, in 1905.

She continued to write and illustrate, and to design spin-off merchandise based on her children’s books for Warne, until the duties of land management and her diminishing eyesight made it difficult to continue.

Potter published over 23 books; the best known are those written between 1902 and 1922. She died of pneumonia and heart disease on 22 December 1943 at her home in Near Sawrey (Lancashire) at age 77, leaving almost all her property to the National Trust. She is credited with preserving much of the land that now comprises the Lake District National Park.

Potter’s books continue to sell throughout the world in many languages. Her stories have been retold in song, film, ballet, and animation. The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends, a TV series based on her stories, has been released on VHS by Pickwick Video and later Carlton Video.


You might want to try this quiz: Which Beatrix Potter character are you?, published by The Guardian, in celebration of what would be Beatrix Potter’s 149th birthday. Find out which of her most beloved animal characters you would be with this quiz!