On a visit to the Central Library at Bugis after several months, I stepped inside the all-too-familiar children’s section which houses this beautiful mock treehouse having recycled plastic bottles on ceiling doubling up as branches and leaves. The children’s section had underwent renovation and the treehouse with baby-friendly chairs and rocking stools all around it were inaugurated only in mid 2013. The collection of books was as attractive to me as it was to my daughter.
The year 2014 was when we spent at least an hour there every week as we let our then 2-year old daughter play all around the tree house, choose her own books and read those with her. I absolutely loved all those colourful baby books which were made all the more fun by having all those interesting features like flaps. Spot the pup, Usborne publishers’ book featuring that little, yellow duck hidden in all the pages, ABCD or counting books, numerous books on farms, Olivia the pig, Elmo teaching ABCD, animals, etc. and so on. Spot the pup series was the one S enjoyed so much that she called herself Spot and called her father and I by the name of Spot’s parents, Sam and Sally.
Yesterday, as I automatically turned towards our favourite board books section, the age group printed for that category brought with it with the cliched thought of how time flies! 0-3 years, said the board. Now, both my children have crossed that age group!
My thoughts didn’t stop with all the stages and baby milestones that my children have crossed or the reading milestones that S has crossed as she can now read all the children’s books and magazines on her own and even reads all his books for R too or the way R can mimic the phonic sounds of letters of small words now. In a year or so, he will also start reading simple books.
This library means more to us than just reminding us of our love for books and reading. This was a part of our weekly routine which only got completed with a visit to Krishnar temple, walking through Waterloo Street, which, to me, showcases perfectly all things typically Singapore, and shopping at Fairprice at the now demolished Rochor Centre.
As I went through a wave of feel-good memories, I found myself having a relaxing moment. And what better place to relax than a library which has this huge collection of books and comfortable seating to sit back and read and a small treehouse for babies and children to take their books to and ‘read’!
Coming back to the children’s section of the library itself, the rocking stools and chairs have been replaced with fewer chairs, the baby book collection not as much as it used to be. I couldn’t find even one Spot the puppy book. Have all been borrowed because of the double loan quota now?
But we still had a relaxing time as little R was busy exploring what was a not-so-familiar place to him. As for S, she was so happy to be back in the treehouse after a long time. Except that this time it was not a go-up-and-down-the-treehouse that she wanted to do or browse through Spot the pup or some board book, but it was some storybook that she grabbed and sat down to read as R walked all around the place playing with computer mouse or taking a random book or impatiently waiting to collect his Book Bug collectible cards from the machine. Time, indeed, flies!