That was the first question a spunky grade two kid asked me this afternoon when she and her classmates marched in to see my presentation Picture the Story.

Talk about RANDOM!

Reminds me of that famous youtube video that went viral about that kid who was being interviewed by a reporter who asked him some question and he replied completely off topic, “I like turtles.”

I never quite understood why that was so funny at the time, but now, even just typing that is cracking me up.

Kids are so random! I think they have a running commentary going on in their head and under any circumstances they thing the rest of the world is in tune with what they’re thinking and they just blurt it out.

They have to learn to censor themselves I guess.

Yeah so this spunky little girl comes up to me and askes, “Do you like cheese?”

Me: (stammering a little) Um, I guess so. Yeah. Kind of. But it does make me congested.

Then she cheered. She turned to her friends and said, “Yeah! She likes cheese! Hurray for cheese!”

And then the three or four of them started chanting, “Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!” Till the librarian told them to settle down.

I figured something out today. I thought the rambunctiousness of the children, the way they called out their comments, not putting up their hand and stuff, meant that they were ‘less disciplined’ than other kids I’ve dealt with at other schools.

I realize I’m completely wrong.

It actually means that the kids here are SO eager to learn whatever I have to show them that they can’t CONTAIN themselves!

Wow! The biggest challenge I’ve had is to tamp down their exuberance enough to continue with the presentations.

It was a little disconcerting at first. The amount of material I’m normally able to cover with a group of a hundred, I was not able to cover at all. There were simply too many enthusiastic interruptions.

But then there were follow up meetings arranged, where I went to their individual classrooms and showed them the things I hadn’t been able to fit into the large presentation.

And kids, who are notorious wrigglers, sat very quietly and listened as I explained the process from idea to a finished picture book, including their favourite, BIG RED LOLLIPOP!

And the exuberance extends to the library staff! My hosts have been absolutely amazing!

Sometimes you go on these assignments and you’re pretty much left to fend for yourself. But not only did the primary school librarian pick me up from the airport with a big bouquet of orchids and a bag full of nibbles and water bottles! One of the Muslim library assistants brought in a prayer mat and compass for me so that we could ascertain the exact direction of the quibla and so I could pray on something clean and pure!

And to top it all off, the same Muslim lady brought in some chicken pastry pie the other day and today she brought in a masala dosai for me too!

Talk about hospitality!!!

It’s been phenomenal!

These people in Singapore are the best!

We’ve even talked about going to the Raffles Hotel, where Somerset Maugham stayed, for high tea, and going to the Museum of Ancient Civilizations.

Can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! The first week is more than half over!

Wow! Time flies!

They’re picking me up for dinner in less than an hour! Sounds like lots of fun!

Over and out from the balmy steamy misty land of Singapore!