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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I first heard of Jin Pyn through an email that I thought had been inadvertently addressed to me. I wrote back, she apologised (there was no need) and I knew in that instant, I had to get my hands on her book - 'The Elephant and The Tree'.

Then the book arrived and she mentioned she also had a film. Given that anything visual is always welcome, I told her I'd love to see it. The final edits took her a couple of weeks and when it finally did arrive, it was love at first sight.

Adult Voice: Wake up, it's time to tell the story....
Baby Elephant: I'm an elephant and I can count to three...

Adult Voice: No, no, not that...
Baby Elephant: Huh, I'm an elephant not a tree...

Adult Voice: Not again...
Baby Elephant: I'm an elephant who loves trees...
Ok, I'm awake now...."

With that begins the charming tale of elephants and trees. It was selected by Singapore's Media Development Authority and National Book Development Council's First-Time Writers and Illustrators Initiative. In addition to that, she is being groomed to be a wildlife film-maker and has been handpicked by Animal Planet from a long-list of 34,000 applicants.

You mention the laurels and Jin Pyn is modest to brush them off. All she cares about is her message that is so evocatively narrated through her book and her short film. She has spent time with the elephants in Chiang Mai, she is passionate about the way they are treated and how they can be given a decent life. I've read her thoughts (worthy of a book of its own) on what led to the book and the movie and it's enough to stir even hardened souls.

Such is the power of her pen that through her book and her short film, she hopes to make everyone realise that "life isn't about ourselves." To that end, part of the proceeds from the book and the film are being channelled into an elephant welfare fund. Little surprise that wherever she is going, she is touching hearts and changing minds.

This is one name to watch out for, so track her on the web and on her blog and feel free to do your bit for the elephants. You can start with the merchandise.

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