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Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Review: Master & Apprentice - A Story Book For Kids Age 9-14

Title: Master & Apprentice
Author: Lim Lay Har
Illustrator: Lim Lay Koon
Publisher: Oyez!Books
For Whom: Kids from 9-14

Meet The Characters

The Master - Kow Kee, The Kuih Lapis Seller

The Apprentice - Kow Kee's son Kee Huat, the Baker

Old Wong - The Coffee Shop Owner

Aunty Sim - The Chatterbox With The Cauliflower Hair

Mr Chew Teck Lee - The Plump Tycoon

Master & Apprentice is a delightful tale about Kow Kee, the 68 year old kuih lapis seller who wishes to pass on his trade to his unwilling son, Kee Huat. Read how the Merdeka Cooking Competition brings this father and son team together by competing against one another.

I love that this book is full of local scenes and characters that readers can identify with easily. The author certainly has a way with words. Children reading this can quickly learn how to use idioms and proverbs to describe situations. It will certainly be a good change from reading boring school essays.  For example, the clever play of words when describing the scene when his friend suggested that Kow Kee participate in the Merdeka cooking competition was hilarious.

"Whoever heard of a 68-year old man taking part in a cooking competition? Why, he would shrivel under the spotlight! Even worse, he would be surrounded by chatterboxes who could talk the tail off a donkey. He shuddered at the memory of Aunty Sim and Mrs. Chan trying their hardest to pry his secret kuih lapis recipe from him. He was like a fish out of water whenever he had the misfortune of getting cornered by those two women. He'd open and close his mouth, unable to get a word in sideways while their incessant chatter flowed over him like a babbling brook."

Aunty Sim was described as a plumpish woman in her late fifties with short greying hair permed into tight curls that made her look like she had a grey cauliflower sitting on top of her head.

Black and white illustration with pencil strokes complement the stories perfectly. This 97 page story is both engaging and entertaining for the young reader. Those who like to cook may also appreciate the kuih lapis and devil's food cake recipe found at the end of the book.

This book is the 1st prize winner of the Calistro Award 2012. It is currently in our September Book Deal for members. Go here to participate in this deal.

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