CHEEMING BOEY shows that listening to your mum and dad as they tell stories from long, long ago is not only far from mundane, but also a chance to discover little family surprises that are decidedly cute and quirky. This is evident in his latest book, When I Was a Kid 5.
Better know as Boey, the artist and author’s fifth graphic novel is a collection of stories and childhood musings from his parents.
Half the book is dedicated to his mother, ‘Ah Pui’ a.k.a. ‘Little Fatty’, and the other to his father, ‘Gor Ko’, a Hokkien nickname earned for being the fifth of eight boys.
Each chapter tells an independent story from either his father’s or mother’s side, based on varied subjects – from the origins of certain food dishes, to the tale of a hardworking baker grandma with a wooden leg.
When I Was a Kid 5 also gives an interesting peek into answers resulting from innocent questions.
In the chapter on Chinese New Year, Boey asks his mother how she used to welcome the festival as a child, while in another simply titled Crispy, his dad is posed the same question.
Their respective responses are parallel (as most of the chapters are). Simple and very matter-of-fact, it is rather interesting reading about someone else’s parents’ history.
The book also reveals how his parents met – a sweet ‘aww’ moment in the middle – one of the many unexpected and surprising facts Boey finds out through his latest work.
This is a nice, light read that someone young or old would enjoy picking up for an afternoon, or as a quick bedtime read.