And just like that, we have come to the end of The Adventures of Squirky the Alien.

In the penultimate book, How do you get to the Garden Galaxy (which we wrote about here and which gave us all the sads), Squirky managed to track down the whereabouts of his biological parents. Faced with the prospect of finally reuniting with his parents, he eventually decided to give up that opportunity in order to go back to his life on earth with his adoptive parents.

I got to say, that decision truly gutted me. It was such a beautifully bittersweet moment – and I felt like writer Melanie Lee had personally sucker punched me. It was such a real dilemma, one that I can imagine many adoptive children go through.

And so, it was a pleasant surprise when Melanie wrote me to say that the last book was completed. I received it in the mail with much anticipation and could not wait to read it.

Was it a happy ending? Well, I won’t give it away here but needless to say, I thought it was the perfect ending. I really, really loved it. I felt that it reflected life so honestly, that we all make hard choices in our lives and we live these choices everyday. Some days are good, some days are tough – but we grit our teeth and move on. And so it was with Squirky too.

My boys and I, we have gone on the journey with Squirky for six books now and I have to say that it was a good, learning experience. Through the books, Aidan and I have spoken about the importance of empathy, for instance. And, funnily enough, almost-two Zac is a fan of Squirky! He loves to pull the books out of the shelf and wave them in my face with an imperious “Read! Book! Mummy, read!”

It got to the point that I had to hide the books because I was reading them for the nth time for the evening/week and I could practically memorise EVERYTHING (sorry Melanie!). Heh.

If you were looking for something new to read to your kids, I highly recommend this series. Not only is it culturally relevant, it’s full of lovely conversational moments that you can use to guide your tots. Plus, support local eh!

Dear Melanie, thank you for being so honest and open about your experience as an adoptive parent, and for bringing Squirky to life through your words. And thank you for sharing this story with me!

GIVEAWAY!
We have two copies of When Does The Search End? to give away! All you need to do is to complete the following steps.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note
Melanie Lee and illustrator David Liew are part of this year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC), which is happening from 25 to 29 May 2016 at the National Library Building, Singapore.

afccsquirky

Check out these events below:

1. Launch of The Adventures of Squirky the Alien #6: When Does the Search End? [Note: This event is FREE and anyone can come!]
Date: Sun 29 May 2016
Time: 3-3.30pm
Venue: NLB Building, L1 Plaza

2. Squirky author Melanie will be co-presenting a talk on “Being Honest about Difficult Issues with Stories” with NIE Associate Professor Ruth Wong [Note: You will need to have signed up for either the Parents Forum or Preschool & Primary Teachers Congress]
Date: Sun 29 May 2016
Time: 1.15-2.15pm
Venue: NLB Building, L16 The Pod

She will also be moderating a panel discussing themes close to the Squirky book series:
– To S.I.R. (Socially Inclusive Reads) with Love: A socially inclusive picture book for kids, with or without special needs [Note: You will need to have signed up for the Preschool & Primary Teachers Congress]
Date: Sun 29 May 2016
Time: 11.15-12.15pm
Venue: NLB Building, B1 Multipurpose Room

Terms and conditions
Giveaways are open to Singapore residents only. Winners will be contacted using the contact particulars provided when entering this draw (email address as requested) and will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn.

All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (eg. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win. Giveaways are in no way directly linked to Facebook.

Disclaimer: We were given the book for purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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