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Reading Has Never Been So Enjoyable: Book Bugs is Back for Another Edition!

Book Bugs Poster

With the technology that we have right now, reading books is never quite the same for children. Who would have thought that a card game and other activities for kids could be effective in developing their love for reading? Well, it has surely made reading an enjoyable experience, which is a good thing for our kids.

Transforming the way children read, the National Library Board’s Book Bugs Programme provides exciting elements that make reading feel more like a game — players are awarded points when they borrow books or eBooks. With the earned points that they receive, children can redeem Book Bugs cards, which are available for redemption starting 14 December 2020. There will also be various Book Bugs quizzes and programmes that give opportunities for players to earn bonus points and Book Bugs merchandise.

Book Bugs is back with a brand new look

Now on its third run, NLB is bringing back the popular and successful programme. Book Bugs: Explorers of Stories Past is not like your ordinary children’s books. It’s a bug-themed collectible card game that aims to inculcate and expand a child’s love of reading. In this edition, children can look forward to exciting new content based on local and regional stories and folktales in English and mother tongue languages (MTLs).

A new experience and new stories to explore

Book Bugs: Explorers of Stories Past is set in the mythical period before stories were put into children’s books, when bugs used to roam free and had the chance to transform every time a story was told. Here, the bugs serve as a metaphor for characters in specific stories and children get to ‘travel’ through different mythical lands while collecting these bugs.

This edition of Book Bugs expands on previous editions by diving into local and regional stories, folklore, and trivia while also focusing on mother tongue languages. The bugs are based on Singapore stories and folktales such as Attack of the Swordfish and Badang, as well as stories from the region, such as Sang Kancil, Madame White Snake, and Tenali Raman, to name a few. Some cards will present trivia in both English and a second language including Chinese, Malay or Tamil.

Foxy Roxy quizzes from Book Bugs activities for kids
Foxy Roxy’s Quizzes provide bonus points for successful readers. Image from NLB Children & Teens Services website.

New features of this Book Bugs programme include:

  • 74 exciting new cards – 35 English cards and 39 Bilingual cards (13 from each language).
  • Cards that will be released in phases, according to the four different lands that the bugs reside in (Magical Forests, Mysterious Seas, Mystical Mountains and Marvellous Homes).
  • All public libraries, except library@esplanade, library@orchard and library@chinatown, and Choa Chu Kang Public Library, which is currently under renovations, will have card dispensers.
  • Monthly Book Bugs quizzes from which to earn bonus points.

The programme will also feature various activities for kids: pop-up events and playoffs, which provide opportunities for children to take part in language games and collect tokens. Children will get to play a card game against each other with their collection. In addition, patrons can earn chances to win a Book Bugs Explorer’s Kit in the Bug-a-thon lucky draw by borrowing physical books and eBooks in MTLs. All events will have safe management measures in place.

Book Bugs: Explorers of Stories Past is in line with NLB’s Readers for Life, Learning Communities, Knowledgeable Nation vision, where we encourage awareness, appreciation, and greater discovery of Singapore’s rich history and culture, and the region. The team behind the programme used NLB’s rich collection of Singapore and Asian Children’s Literature to develop this round of the Book Bugs programme.

The positive responses to previous Book Bugs editions

The last edition of Book Bugs had generated over 11 million book loans in our public libraries and received participation from close to 140,000 children. This positive response provided the impetus for NLB to bring it back for another edition.

Book Bugs has also been recognised by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions as an exemplary programme that embraces technology and games to transform reading habits. NLB hopes that through the programme, children will discover the joy of reading.

Find out more about Book Bugs: Explorers of Stories Past at go.gov.sg/BookBugs, and also stay up to date with more trivia, upcoming card releases, do-it-yourself activities, activities for kids, and programmes on NLB’s social media channels.

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Katherine Sng

Katherine Sng

I am a single mother living in Singapore. I am an advocate of living a healthy lifestyle through exercise; eating right; keeping a positive and youthful outlook of life; and, to live vicariously while you can. When not spending time watching Bubba grow, I am catching up on the latest news and entertainment gossip. I strongly believe that empowerment is possible for anyone, as long as they believe in themselves and the people around them.


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