Keep Shining!

Featuring Shine, a multi-national award winner! This children's bedtime storybook has received four prestigious awards: Good Design Award 2021 (Japan), DFA Design for Asia Award 2021 - Bronze (Hong Kong), Golden Pin Design Award 2021 (Taiwan) and iF Design Award 2022 (Germany).

Shine is a children's storybook that unfolds in the dark with a torchlight. When light interacts with each page, shadows come alive to tell a heart-warming story. The theme revolves around parental love as shadows have a powerful ability to convey messages which are difficult to say in words. Through Shine, young readers can see shadows in a different light, and go to sleep knowing how much their parents love them and hope for them to shine.

Design by Ng Zi Ning.

What is the inspiration behind Shine?

Zi Ning, the Designer, was fascinated by how shadows could tell a story simply by using hands or figures like those in Wayang Kulit – a traditional form of puppet-shadow play found in parts of Southeast Asia. With this in mind, she saw the opportunity in combining the narrative abilities of shadows and the imagination inherent in everyone to create a bedtime story that unfolds in the dark.

What contributes to its aesthetics?

The Designer cleverly explores with paper on how translucency affords mystery, how indents and prints can only be seen when light is shone from a certain angle, and how cut-outs can create shadows across pages.

The design of the book is kept clean and simple to evoke a sense of curiosity and mystery. Using shadows to illustrate human figures also allow gender, race and age to be kept neutral or open-ended. With this, the story can be read with flexibility according to the context set by the readers.

Being a black and white book also sets the mood and tone of the story. It offers readers a quiet and contemplative experience, especially when read before bedtime.

Evaluation from Good Design Award 2021:

"This picture book tells its story using shadow pictures created from the interaction of light and shadow from a flashlight in the dark before falling asleep. The various shadow pictures provide a positive feel to the world of dark and light, which some children find frightening. A different scheme is used on each page, making it fun to just turn the pages. The creativity of the design that assumes the book is read before going to sleep employs darkness and white space, which excites your imaginative power."

Source: Good Design Award Online Gallery

Reviews from Readers:

"I'm so in love with this book!! ... The story is simple, but so heartwarming. It’s written like a love letter to a young child, preparing the child for the realities of this world, yet reminding him/her that they are loved and there will always be people they can count on. 

The interactiveness of the book—by using a torch light to reveal the touching illustrations and hidden wonders in the story—really makes for an intimate bedtime story experience for parent and child. ...

... Would definitely recommend you getting this book if you’re a parent with young children, or if you’re someone who loves great design that tells a good story!
I loved it so much myself..."

- Jeremyltw (Review posted on Instagram)

"We were captivated by the creativity of how shadows and lights were used in the telling of stories and sometimes the lights highlighted pictures that could only be seen when illuminated and other times the shadows formed a beautiful picture that better represented the message on the page. 

Although there wasn't a storyline, this book was written to feel like a personal letter from a parent to a child. We believe that this heartfelt message is one that most parents will relate to. As a child, many of the words on the page consist of words of wisdom, reminders of affirmation and lots of encouragement which will always be helpful in strengthening the parent-child bond."

- Little Day Out (Digital media publisher on family-friendly news and resources)

Shine retails at SGD 35 for the book only, and SGD 65 for the Gift Set that includes the book, limited-edition gift box and a rechargeable LED torchlight.

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Photo Credit: Poh Yun Ru

Last updated: 6 May 2022

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