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Bangkok Prep teacher launches Songkran for kids to soak up some reading fun
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Bangkok-based international school teacher publishes book to promote understanding and appreciation of Thai festival and culture among children

 Pepa O’Donovan, an Early Years’ teacher at Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School (Bangkok Prep), has just published Songkran, an English-language children’s book about the traditional Thai New Year festival.

 

 This self-published book, illustrated by Thai cartoonist Chanin Suasungnern, takes young readers through the different rites performed during this Thai New Year, giving children an opportunity to learn more about this popular Thai festival.

 

 The book is aimed at children ages 3 to 7 and tells the story of Nam, a 9-year-old boy from Bangkok. The colourful book takes young readers through Nam’s day during this most celebrated holiday in Thailand. Nam participates in traditional ceremonies associated with the festival such as religious functions, special rites and finally joins his friends in a fun-filled water fight.

 

 Pepa’s experience with the Songkran festival with her family in Thailand inspired her to write this book.

 

 “It was only after celebrating this great festival did I realize that much of the traditions and culture in this festivity has gone unnoticed as people are attracted by the excitement of the water guns and water fights. I felt I needed to let my children and students understand the importance of coming together as families and friends to celebrate and understand each other’s cultures and traditions”, explained the mother of 2 young children.

 

 An adult TCK (third culture kid), Pepa has spent most of her life overseas. Born in Kenya to an Irish father and Spanish mother, she grew up in Tanzania and Lesotho. She attended schools in Africa, Spain and Ireland and went on to study Social Anthropology at Sussex University in the United Kingdom. Passionate about children’s development, she also studied Montessori and has worked in various international schools in Spain and Thailand, where she presently resides with her family.

 

 Pepa said that Songkran fills an unmet need for a book that explains about Thai festivals in simple English to children.

 

 “During my travels, it was difficult to find children’s books related to the local culture of the countries I visited. I buy books as souvenirs for my children as I like to keep the souvenirs alive in their memories by reading them stories about the country their family just visited,” she pointed out.

 

Songkran is Pepa’s second book. Her first children’s book, Not Quite the Usual Setup, is co-written with a long-time friend and schoolteacher and addresses the issues surrounding 'step families' or 'blended families'.  The book is currently in the process of being published.

 Pepa is now planning to write a series of festivities from around the world for children. As for now, she is busy working on her next favourite festival – Loy Krathong,

 

 With the right colours and a bit of imagination, your experiences could be turned into a children's book”, she said.

 Songkran is available for Baht 250 at Wankaew Book Shop by Nanmee Books in Sukhumvit Soi 31. On March 26th, Bangkok Prep is hosting a book launch at the Bangkok Prep’s Primary Library during 8.30 to 15.30 where Pepa will be reading her book to students followed by a book signing session. The event is also open to public. To attend this event and book a seat, call Valerie Campeau at 02-2607890 (Ext 107).

   About Bangkok Prep

Bangkok International Preparatory and Secondary School (Bangkok Prep) is a private co-educational mid-size school located adjacent to the Thonglor BTS station, making it the most accessible and conveniently located international school in Bangkok.

 The programme of study is based on the National Curriculum of England providing quality education to students from Nursery to Year 13.  The school offers a rigorous ‘IGCSE’ programme to Year 10 and 11 students as a precursor to the Cambridge-approved ‘A’ Levels studied in Years 12 and 13, thereby PREParing students for acceptance to leading Universities throughout the world.

 

 Bangkok Prep is proud of its holistic international approach to education and with more than 35 nationalities represented the school celebrates its cultural diversity.  Students develop their own sense of identity whilst recognising and empathising with other cultures, traditions and beliefs. Last year, Bangkok Prep celebrated its 10th anniversary.

 

 Bangkok Prep:  PREParing students for life.

 

 For further details, visit www.bkkprep.ac.th

 



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