Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Library Hop # 3 :- Let's hop to Queenstown Public Library

Let me introduce you the oldest library building that is still standing in Singapore. Let's hop to Queenstown Library.

Queenstown library is the library I have been visiting since young. It brings back lots of fond memories. The Queenstown polyclinic used to situate at the existing Margaret Drive Dormitory. Well, things very different now. Gone were the Queenstown Cinema & Bowling Centre and the Margaret Drive hawker centre where you can find cheap and delicious food. Gone were the HDB buildings that used to be in front of the library. Tah Chung Emporium was demolished even earlier. It was the place where my mom used to buy me toys and bring our family shopping around after a library trip. I still visit the place when I was having my tertiary education. Oops! Did I just review my age? With all these buildings gone, it is a no wonder nowadays people would comment this library is situated in a "ulu" (remote and out-of-the-way) place when they first visit the library. If you wonder whether the building would be demolished? The answer is no. I am glad that the building is one of the 3 buildings added to be conserved in Queenstown, bringing the total number to 6.

I still remember the location of  this photo from Queenstown library.  I used to borrow from and return books at these counters. They were not electronically scanned then. I remembered each book have a slip of paper paste on the first page and were stamped with a date stamp to indicate when we should return the books. Sometimes, when the books were so popular , you can see more than a slip of paper on the first page. I remember role playing as a librarian and ask my sister to borrow books (not library books)  from me. Then I get to stamp on the paper which we clip onto the first cover of the book. That was fun!

Source: One of the old photos display near the stairs leading to the 2nd storey

Queenstown library, a 2- storey stand alone library,  is located at 53 Margaret Drive. It was opened in 30th April  1970, by the then- Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Queenstown, being the first satellite town, is chosen to have the first full time branch library built. It was 3,195.85 square metres when it was first built. It was closed on 4th February 2003 for upgrading and reopened 8 months later on 31 October 2003 with a expanded floor area of 3,349 square metres with a initial collection of about 150,000 printed and non- printed items. Today, they have a collection of 210,000 books, magazines and audio-visual items.

On displayed in the library

Present look of  Queenstown Library -   2014


1st storey : Children’s Collection, Adult Fiction,  Family and Parenting collection, magazines, newspapers, multimedia stations, programme zone, activity area and Café Galilee .

2nd storey : Adult Non-Fiction, Reference Collection, Young People’s Collection, Comics Collection, quiet reading room and multipurpose room are located

Enhanced  ( Kids friendly and wheelchair friendly) facilities spotted : -

1. wheelchair/ pram- friendly access ramp near the entrance of the library
2. a lift within the building.
3. toilets and self-help stations with lowered heights. (Since I mention about toilets, there is a squat toilet in the ladies located in the second storey. I bet younger generation , like my girl have never seen before.)

Special facility :-


Garden is closed to public unless there is a gardening workshop or activity.
Queenstown library seemed to be the only branch library to have a garden of its own. (I would not say it is the only one because I have yet to explore all the libraries in Singapore. Yes, I am still hopping around) Several workshops about gardening has been conducted here. The other library that conducts outdoor gardening programme is none other than the Central library which is situated at the National Library Building. This library is garden themed library with focus on garden related library programmes. If you are keen on volunteering yourself for garden work, you may want to register Customer Service Counter at Level 1. 

Bicycle park - Definitely a must
The boundary wall which I am so familiar with

Below are some sketches which I found while touring around the library.

Learning regardless whether you are young or old.

Love the quote and crown frame. It's so Queen's style!
Did you know? 
Being the first branch library, it is not surprising Queenstown library has acquired first for many things. But did you know that one of the reason Queenstown library became fully air-conditioned in 1978, it was due to teenagers used to throw books outside the library through the windows so that they could take home without borrowing them? Tsk tsk tsk...


Books recommendation

This month we would be recommending 3 Chinese books instead. Ah girl loves all of them  and has difficulty choosing her favourite. Finally she choose 奶奶的八十大寿 = Grandma's eightieth birthday simply because she loves birthday party. LOL...

我怕黑 / 编绘, 铁皮人美术. (translated as I am afraid of dark)

Synopsis: - Little children are afraid of dark. So is the little character of the book. Read about why a child is afraid of darkness, especially when they were to sleep alone. Discover tips at the end of the book to help children cope with the fear of darkness.

Reason for choosing the book:
The illustration is cute and little one had started to be afraid of dark recently and had borrowed in the hope that I could overcome her fear. And yes, it is working! 


 : 生理认识的学习 / 作者, 唐韵 ; 绘者, 铁皮人美术. (translated as where do I come from?)

Synopsis: - A little girl is very curious about where she come from and starts asking the living things around her where they come from and finally approaching her mommy when she realised she is not born the same way as the rest of the living things.

Reason for choosing the book:
It is an unavoidable question. Fascinated by the illustration and interested to know how exactly to touch on the birds and the bees without embarrassment. Yes, I think this is a good read.


奶奶的八十大寿 = Grandma's eightieth birthday / story by Pauline Loh ; illustration by E'van LeAngelis S.

Synopsis: - Grandma's birthday is coming but everyone seemed so busy to attend. What can Meng Meng and An An do to get everyone to celebrate the birthday? It would good if everyone could come together isn't it?

Reason for choosing the book:
This is a delightful find! It focus on family tie, a value I have wanted to instil in my little one. It is also a bilingual book with focus on simple Chinese words such as  奶奶 (grandmother) , 爷爷 (grandfather) and 气球 (balloon). Children who are learning to write can trace the enlarge word as show below to learn to write. 
Being a bilingual book, the book contains both English and Chinese, it saves me the trouble of translating. Lol...
Another note to add on, the author of this book is Pauline Loh, writer of " No More Cocoa" A guide about 
Pneumococccal Disease. 



53 Margaret Drive
Singapore 149297

24-hour Bookdrop

How to get there

Nearest MRT: Queenstown
Buses: 32 via Margaret Drive,
51, 111, 145, 186, 195, 970 via Commonwealth Avenue


Sweet Day's Lifebook

Linking with
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Fun at the parks and gardens

Sometimes, we need a breather at the parks. Below are some parks and gardens which we have visited since little one was born.

1. Punggol Waterway Park

Punggol Waterway Park

2. Garden by the Bay
Children's Park at Garden by the Bay
Garden by the Bay (night)
3. Alexandra Hospital

4. Bishan Park

5. Botanical Garden

She loves this bridge

Serene scenery

Amazed by large leaves
Jacob Ballas Garden

6. Chinese Garden

7. West Coast Park

West Coast Flying Fox
Sun tanning

8. Hort Park

9. National Orchid Garden

10. Pasir Ris Park
Pasir Ris

11. Orchard Central Roof top Garden
Orchard Central

Friday, February 21, 2014

Simple V-Day snacks a kid can do... chocolate dipped strawberry and Tang Yuan

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries


I have not stated the amount because it is according to preference. 
Melted sweetened chocolate


  1. Hold the leaves of the strawberry. (Best way to do is to hold all the leaves so you have a stable grip)
  2. Dip the strawberry into the melted chocolate, careful not to coat the leaves.


3.  Wait till the chocolate stop dripping and transfer onto a plate. Make sure to space the coated strawberries apart. Chocolate liners are optional.

4. Put in the fridge for half an hour.

Tah dah!!!

Tang Yuan

I actually wanted to make Yuan Xiao instead of Tang Yuan. However, due to having the wrong equipment, I have to abandon the plan and make Tang Yuan instead. Little one is helping me out to roll the read bean paste and hazelnut filling into balls. She did the same for the dough.

I love playing  experimenting with food. I suspect Yuan Xiao and Tang Yuan would probably taste the same.
Yuan Xiao's skin is coated by rolling the fillings on high side tray or large flat bottom serving bowl. As for Tang Yuan, it is made by rolling the dough into balls instead. In my personal opinion, making Tang Yuan is less messy and easier to make. Attaching a video to show the process of making Yuan Xiao.


Below are my trial and error result for Yuan Xiao Making. After which turn into various variety of making Tang Yuan

Red bean and Hazelnut paste
Try mixing flour in a 20cm bowl 

Try mixing in a 20 cm plate yields better result
Very lightly coated, powdery coating makes them look like mochi

After steaming.... it's a no wonder they say need to coat more than 10 rounds.

In the end make Tang Yuan instead. The middle one is Xiao Yuan.

Dump all the 7 balls into the soup... and after 10 mins... what happen to my Yuan  Xiao? It had dissolve completely in water, turning the water brown!

My very big boiling Tang Yuan

Steamed Tang Yuan 
Steamed Tang Yuan and Muah Chee

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