TOTS TO TEENS
By DAPHNE LEE
A LARGE colourful book caught my eye in a local bookstore last week. Sayang: Pantun & Seloka Kanak-Kanak (MPH Publishing, 96 pages, ISBN: 978-9833698660 ) is a collection of old Malay nursery rhymes and songs, compiled by Azah Aziz and illustrated by Dzulkafli Buyong.
I recognised many of the rhymes in this book (for example Timang Tinggi-tinggi, Oh Bangau! and Gendang Gendut) from my childhood, , but I also noticed the exclusion of some of my favourites, like Waktu Fajar Saya Bangun, Bangun Pagi and Tektek Bunyi Hujan.
Still, reading the book was quite a nostalgic experience. Furthermore, the illustrations reminded me of a batik art calendar I was given when I was in primary school. The pictures in that calendar depicted farming and kampung scenes and absolutely fascinated me. I used to weave countless stories around those pictures and Dzulkafli's batik-style drawings brought fond memories of the days when a tattered calendar could keep me amused for hours (and days) on end.