Trivia Time: 20 questions about books

Who’s ready for Expat Living’s Weekly Quiz. You can get together with a small group, have a glass of wine and try these out – or stick to Zoom, of course. This week, it’s one for the bibliophiles: 20 trivia questions about books! #1 Over two million pulped copies of Mills & Boon romance novels were used in the construction of which road: Route 66 in America; the M6 motorway in the UK; or Australia’s Great Ocean Road?#2 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is by Marie who? #3 Was George Orwell’s 1984 published in 1984, 1894 or 1949? #4 “Hopscotchy”, “whizzpopping”, “crodsquinkled”, “trogglehumper” and “snozzwanger” are all words used in books by which children’s author of the 20th century?#5 Which electronic reading device sold out in just over five hours when it was first released in 2007?#6 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was originally published in which language?#7 Which of these is not a Stephen King book? Carrie; Ghost Story; It; The Shining.#8 What word, starting with “g”, describes the inner margins of the pages of a bound book?#9 What’s the surname of Meg, Beth, Jo and Amy, the four sisters in Little Women? (Hint: it’s also a month.)#10 Finish the title of this book by Dr Seuss: One Fish, Two Fish… #11 The author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo, also wrote a book about an escaped convict named Jean Valjean. What is its title?#12 The following four book titles are all genuine, except for one that we made up; which one? Everything I Know About Women I Learned From My Tractor; Anybody Can Be Cool … But Awesome Takes Practice; Who Ate All the Bacon?; Unicorns Are Jerks – A Coloring Book Exposing the Cold, Hard, Sparkly Truth.#13 Mockingjay is the third book in which trilogy of science-fiction novels?#14 Liane Moriarty, the author of Big Little Lies, is from where: America, Australia, Canada or England?#15 Herr Dumpidump is the title of the Norwegian translation of which Mr Men book: Mr Damp, Mr Bump or Mr Pimp?#16 Finish these book titles: The Spy Who Came In from the _____; The Fault in Our _____; Harry Potter and the Deathly _____.#17 Which prominent figure wrote 2018’s best-selling memoir Becoming?#18 “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” So goes the opening line of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. What’s the name of this particular hobbit?#19 What happened to the original manuscript of John Steinbeck’s famous book Of Mice and Men: Was it: eaten by his dog, carried away in a tornado, or accidentally thrown out in the garbage?#20 What’s the name of the first book in the Bible?BONUS: Who am I?(If you can answer correctly after the first clue, you get 10 points, but you lose a point for each additional clue you require to identify the person.)I’m a famous children’s book character. (10)I first appeared in the UK in 1987. (9)My books have since sold over 70 million copies and inspired TV shows, comic strips and video games. (8)I’m given a different name in my books in some countries – for example, Charlie in France, and Holger in Denmark. Even my name in my American books is slightly different to my original name. (7)My creator’s name is Martin Handford. (6)I’m an illustrated character. (5)Other characters who appear with me include Woof, Odlaw and Wilma. (4)I always wear the same outfit: red and white striped top, matching red and white hat, blue jeans and glasses. (3)I can be very hard to find. (2)I am who, starting with “W”? (1)All the answers (no cheating!)#1 The M6#2 Kondo#3 1949#4 Roald Dahl#5 Kindle#6 Norwegian#7 Ghost Story is a book by fellow American horror writer Peter Straub#8 Gutter#9 March#10 Red Fish, Blue Fish#11 Les Misérables#12 Who Ate All the Bacon?#13 The Hunger Games#14 Australia#15 Mr Bump#16 Cold; Stars; Hallows#17 Michelle Obama#18 Bilbo Baggins#19 It was eaten by his dog#20 GenesisBONUS: Wally (or “Waldo” in North American versions of the book)Looking for something to do? See our What’s On section.

Talking about racism with children

How do you talk to children about racism?The death of George Floyd in the US and the following protests and riots have made talking about racism front and centre. Children might overhear a news story or their friends talking, which means it’s key for you to have a plan of action for discussing racism with your children. Teaching children to recognise and challenge structures and practices that fuel inequality and cause harm will not only change society for the better, but it will empower your children, too.The most important thing you can give your child? Yourself. Children need a trusted adult they can talk to during rough times, whether it be a discussion on racism or something else.But what should you say? According to DR SANVEEN KANG, a clinical psychologist and the founder of PsychConnect, the way a parent approaches the topic of racism should depend on the age of the child. Talking about racism with younger children#1 Be honestDon’t encourage children not to “see” colour or tell children we are all the same. Rather, discuss differences openly and highlight diversity by choosing picture books, toys, games and videos that feature diverse characters in positive, non-stereotypical roles.#2 Embrace curiosityBe careful not to ignore or discourage your child’s questions about differences among people, even if the questions make you uncomfortable. Not being open to such questions sends the message that difference is negative.#3  Foster prideTalk to your child about your family heritage to encourage self-knowledge and a positive self-concept.#4 Lead by exampleWiden your circle of friends and acquaintances to include people from different backgrounds, cultures and experiences.Talking about racism with older children and pre-adolescentsAs children move into older childhood and pre-adolescence, take a firmer stance.#1 Model itTalking about racism with your child and discussing the importance of embracing difference and treating others with respect is essential, but it’s not enough. Your actions, both subtle and overt, are what your child will emulate.#2 Acknowledge differencesRather than teaching children that we are all the same, acknowledge the many ways people are different, and emphasise some of the positive aspects of our differences — language diversity and various music and cooking styles, for example. Likewise, be honest about instances — both historical and current — when people have been mistreated because of their differences. Encourage your child not only to talk about what makes them different, but also to discuss ways that may have helped or hurt them at times. After that, finding similarities becomes even more powerful, creating a sense of common ground.#3 Challenge intoleranceIf your child says or does something indicating bias or prejudice, don’t meet the action with silence. Silence indicates acceptance, and a simple command such as “Don’t say that” is not enough. First, try to find the root of the action or comment: “What made you say that about Sam?” Then, explain why the action or comment was unacceptable.#4 Seize teachable momentsLook for everyday activities that can serve as springboards for discussion. School-age children respond better to lessons that involve real-life examples than to artificial or staged discussions about issues. For example, if you’re watching TV together, talk about why certain groups often are portrayed in stereotypical roles.#5 Emphasise the positiveJust as you should challenge your child’s actions if they indicate bias or prejudice, it’s important to praise them for behaviour that shows respect and empathy for others. Catch your child treating people kindly, let your chld know you noticed, and discuss why it’s a desirable behaviour.Talking about racism with teenagersTeenagers are able to have more intense conversations, so focus on keeping the conversation going.#1 Use current issues from the news as a springboard for discussionAsk your teen what they think about the issues.#2 Stay involvedAsk your teen about the group or groups they most identify with at school. Discuss the labels or stereotypes that are associated with such groups.#3 Live congruentlyDiscussing the importance of valuing difference is essential, but modelling this message is even more vital. Evaluate your own circle of friends or the beliefs you hold about certain groups of people. Do your actions match the values you discuss with your teen? Teens are more likely to be influenced by what you do than what you say, so it’s important for your words and behaviors to be congruent.#4 Broaden opportunitiesIt may be natural for teens to stick to groups they feel most comfortable with during the school day. These often are the people they identify as being most like themselves. Provide other opportunities for your teen to interact with peers from different backgrounds. So, suggest volunteer, extracurricular and work opportunities that will broaden your teen’s social circle.#5 Encourage activismPromote healthy ways for your teen to get involved in causes they care about. When young people know they have a voice in their community, they’re empowered to help resolve issues.The New York Times recommends the following books about racism:Connect with Dr Kang here. She also offers virtual counselling sessions.Intersted to know more? Then read on to discover how stress affects children.

Books that are perfect gifts

4th December 2019 by Melinda Murphy 3 Min ReadSearching for the perfect Christmas gift? How about a book?Three Hours From…This is the perfect read for anybody in your life who loves to travel. Lonely Planet has compiled 894 amazing quick trips from favourite cities around the world. And these aren’t just any trips, but super cool, easy getaways divided into one hour, two hours or three hours away from those cities. Some of the suggestions you may have heard about, but many will be totally new. Pick it up and become a traveller, not a tourist. Singapore Shophouse WalksWith stunning photos, this is more than just a pretty coffee table book. The pages take you on a treasure hunt through Joo Chiat, Katong and Geylang, telling the stories of the brightly-hued shophouses in those areas. This gift is perfect for the holidays and would also make a brilliant leaving gift for friends repatriating or moving onto other assignments. Available from Emporer’s Attic.Blood and Bandages – Fighting for life in the RAMC Field Ambulance 1940- 1946A personal and moving memoir written by Elizabeth Coward. Buy it here Singapore Colonial StyleA stunning hardcover book showcasing the interiors of iconic colonial buildings in Singapore. Buy it here West: The American CowboyFor a taste of something other than Asia, pick up this jaw-dropping book. Award-winning photographer Anouk Masson Krantz travelled to ranches, rodeo communities and private homes across the US, capturing a dying way of life. His awe-inspiring images pay tribute to the pioneering spirit of the American West that honours honesty, integrity, loyalty, work ethic and dedication to family.Lost in SingaporeA fascinating story of a boy who got lost and through his adventures realised Singapore is a great place in which to get lost. Buy it here A Warm ChristmasAny kid living on the Little Red Dot will totally relate to this book. It’s the story of Jack, who lives in a very hot place, always wishing for a snow-covered holiday. One year, Jack gets his snowy wish, but realises it’s not quite all he’d hoped. It turns out that a warm Christmas is exactly what he loves most. The book was written by an author living right here in Singapore. Wonder where she got the idea? Singapore SnowflakesAlso written and illustrated right here in Singapore, Singapore Snowflakes is the story of Jack and Milly who wake up to a snow-covered Lion City. An elf then takes them on a magical adventure that includes ice skating in the Marina Bay and skiing in the Gardens by the Bay. It’s a great chuckle for little ones living here. Available for sale on the Expat Living website (! Adorable Cake FigurinesA fun step-by-step book on making the cutest fondant cake toppers by Enkhtur Maini. Buy it here Looking for more on the festive season?Gorgeous Christmas gift ideas for kidsHow to host an easy Christmas partyThis article first appeared in the December 2019 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!