NOTE: Don Bosco is the author of the award-winning LION CITY ADVENTURES series, about a society of children dedicated to exploring Singapore, making new friends and solving mysteries. This post is part of a series about the creative inspiration behind the books, the publishing process, etc.

From the start, our LION CITY ADVENTURES series was created as a hybrid reading experience, meaning it contains both non-fiction and fiction sections. If you’ve seen the first book, its main bits take young readers on a learning tour of interesting locations around Singapore. They get to visit some famous places and complete fun activities. This journey is packed with the kinds of cool things that children love: architectural oddities (meaning: buildings that look strange), yummy food, helpful local phrases to use, places to hang out and play, and so on. But there is also an entertaining fiction section at the end of each chapter that unfolds the story of the Lion City Adventuring Club. Here’s how we made it all work.

It’s your world, explore it

The series packs in a lot of fascinating local history, geography and culture to intrigue young readers. For example, in the first book they visit the Singapore River and learn why it enchanted Sir Stamford Raffles so much that he had to start something here. They also go to Chinatown, Little India, Geylang Serai, Arab Street, etc, and uncover stories about the early settlers and how they made their fortunes. And they tour modern marvels like Gardens by the Bay, with its sci-fi-ish Supertrees. The more cool stuff they know about Singapore, the more confident they’ll feel about exploring it. It’s the same for parents too.

Children should feel special

At the same time, the readers follow a trail of stories inserted along the way, about this very old and distinguished organisation called the Lion City Adventuring Club (LCAC), made up of brave children (with help from awesome adults, of course) who explored Singapore and made astounding discoveries. In every chapter, readers have to help the LCAC complete activities, tackle puzzles and solve mysteries. In the first book they even get to earn a special certificate. All this create a fun role playing element that so that readers feel like they’re actively taking part in the storyworld. They naturally look forward to new adventures.

Encourage children to dream big

It’s all about the magical experience of being young and curious. As our readers learn to appreciate the real Singapore, they’re also stepping into an alternate reality story that they can eventually enjoy across different books, even through local events, via apps, and so on. They feel like they’re taking part in something really epic and thrilling and authentic and local. There’s a lot of effort taken to bring the Lion City Adventuring Club to life, and deliver a great story experience for young readers. Complete with an official badge.

Thanks to everyone involved, the Lion City Adventuring Club is getting more real every day. And what an awesome organisation it is turning out to be. Whatever you can imagine, you can create. This has become our great passion. To help young readers feel their imagination expanding. To give them a genuine sense of awe and a loving connection to our beautiful island. And also to teach them about all the nice food you can find all across Singapore.

Collect the books. Try the activities together. Talk about the stories. Imagine and enjoy. And do feel free to get in touch if you’d like to get involved in any way.

Happy reading!


Book 1: Lion City Adventures

Book 2: Secrets of the Heartlands

Book 3: Island of Legends

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Yes, SECRETS OF THE HEARTLANDS (Lion City Adventures, Book 2) has been nominated for this year’s POPULAR READERS’ CHOICE award. Please take some time to vote for your favourite books, and you might win a $50 voucher plus 1 year Popular card membership. For readers in Singapore only.

Vote and win here:

For updates about Don Bosco’s new book projects, visit the Super Cool Books website here.