50-word stories celebrate life in S'pore

His fifth child.

That was how Mr Andre Yeo described his first book that took nine months of labour and love to complete.

The book is titled Home: 50 50-word Stories To Celebrate Singapore's 50th Birthday.

It captures everyday life here in 50 stories, each 50 words long.

Mr Yeo, 42, an assistant editor at The New Paper, has three daughters and a son, aged between 23 months and 11 years old.

He said: "I accomplished a personal challenge by completing this book. I want to use it to tell my children not to give up, and to achieve their goals and dreams."

The idea for this book came to him one day when he was at home.


He said: "I would constantly think about it at home and even during work."

Initially, he had doubts about embarking on this personal project. "Writing this book was a scary experience.

"I didn't know if I was able to send across my message clearly in just 50 words, and I was not sure if people would accept my ideas," he said.

With his wife's encouragement, he went ahead with the challenge.

Mr Yeo began writing the book in August last year, and completed it in May.

He said: "This project is not about money, but achieving a dream."

Author Pearlin Siow, 38, said: "I'm incredibly stoked about the book. Writing stories about Singapore that span all pertinent topics is hard enough, but Andre challenged himself to do it in 50 words per story.

"The book is also beautifully designed and illustrated, and will make for a great tourist souvenir."

StarHub, the sponsor of Central Singapore Community Development Council's Nurture Programme, has placed the book in all 12 of its Nurture Centres.

The centres are part of the StarHub-Central Singapore Nurture Programme, which aims to improve the literacy of children from low-income families.

StarHub's chief marketing officer, Ms Jeannie Ong, said: "Celebrating the unique flavour and past of Singapore in 50 stories of 50 words each is no mean feat.

"When we learnt that Andre has made it possible, we jumped at the opportunity to support him, and at the same time, share his book with the Nurture children whom StarHub supports."

She also added that Mr Yeo's engaging and concise writing style would appeal to the kids.

Mr Yeo is grateful for this opportunity, saying: "StarHub responded quickly when I approached them in October. It is encouraging to have their support."

The hardcover book is on sale at Books Kinokuniya, Times bookstore, Books Actually and Cat Socrates at $15.90 inclusive of GST.


This article was first published on Nov 7, 2014.
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