SINGAPORE: A new book launched on Wednesday (Jan 26) aims to introduce pre-schoolers to the topic of stranger danger and help engage children in rejecting offers of unknown substances.
The interactive children's book - titled Be Careful, Max! - is designed for interactive storytelling sessions, with animal characters and pop-up flaps.
First produced in July last year, the book is a collaboration between the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and three graduates - Natalie Tan, Rachel Moo and Sophie Lim - from Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Design & Media.
It was officially launched on Wednesday by Minister of State for Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and PCF Sparkletots assistant chief executive officer Tan Lee Jee.
Part of ongoing efforts to provide targeted preventive drug education materials suitable for younger audiences, Be Careful, Max! was conceptualised in consultation with the Ministry of Education’s Preschool Education Branch.
Though the book - CNB's fourth title aimed at children and youths - contains no explicit references to drugs, the anti-drug ribbon and CNB’s original character, Captain Drug Buster, are featured in the artwork to amplify the drug-free message.
The launch, which was livestreamed to the public, included a prerecorded storytelling session with PCF Sparkletots teachers and kindergarten children.
It also featured children singing and dancing to an anti-drug jingle and participating in an origami anti-drug ribbon folding activity.
Speaking at the event, Associate Professor Faishal emphasised the role of parents and educators in preventing drug abuse among the young.
He added that preventive drug education remains the first line of defence against drugs, and family and communal support can help youths lead a healthy and positive drug-free lifestyle.
“We hope that the pre-school students and children will not only have an interactive and fun time reading the book, but at the same time, learn to be careful, pick up healthy habits, and avoid getting themselves involved in unhealthy activities as they grow up," he said.
More than 330 copies of Be Careful, Max! have been distributed to selected pre-school operators and community libraries.
An online version of the book can also be found on CNB’s website.