Satoshi Kitamura, PTA Visiting Author

Satoshi Kitamura, PTA Visiting Author
Satoshi Kitamura, PTA Visiting Author

Thanks to the generous support of the Tanglin PTA Visiting Author Fund, the Infant Library were delighted to welcome Satoshi Kitamura, a renowned children's picture book Author and Illustrator this week.

Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, met Satoshi during their library time. He shared some wonderfully quirky stories in the traditional Japanese style of 'kamishibai' or paper theatre.

His stories are humorous, thoughtful and distinctive. In one, Lionel the rock star goes to a Baboon Barber to get a cool haircut for his upcoming concert. In another, there was a monster so hungry he ate everything around him, even the toilet! Eventually, the monster grows so big and hungry he even swallows the universe. The children laughed at the first, as Lionel tried on many different styles. They were amazed by the second as the monster transformed into a universe of its own, complete with a blinking starlight!

Satoshi also shared a new story he created just for his trip to Singapore, 'The Bird of Passage'. It's a subtle, beautifully illustrated tale of a bird's journey through its life. Created on an emaikimono, a paper scroll, which is turned slowly as the storyteller speaks. The children were captivated by the story and fascinated when Satoshi later demonstrated the mechanism that made it all work with one Year 1 child saying: "Wow, that's so cool!". To inspire them to create their own stories, each class was given a copy of The Bird of Passage printed especially for our school.

Year 1 was also fortunate to have Satoshi visit them on Wednesday morning for an 'artist-in-residence' session. The students clearly enjoyed watching an artist at work, asking him questions about his stories and his work.

On his last day, Satoshi enjoyed meeting parents and children as he signed copies of his books, Millie's Marvellous Hat, Me and My Cat and, My Hand. And to make it all just a little bit special, Satoshi drew a special doodle in each book.

Of his time at Tanglin, Satoshi commented: "The children are wonderful and fun. It has been great to share my stories."

Michael Kelly, Head of Infant Library said: "Tanglin is already very good at making children feel valued. I hope to add to this by bringing these kinds of cross-cultural experiences to our diverse community."

Satoshi has enjoyed reading comics and illustrated novels since he was young. He started his career working in advertising as an artist, and soon made his way to London where he lived for over 20 years. His work includes over 20 of his own books and he has contributed as an illustrator for other books. Satoshi translates all his own work into Japanese and his books have been published in many languages, including Spanish and Korean.