Film / Book Reviews

The Invisible People

The Bus Driver; Auntie Goes Home; Uncles at Work

Who are the people in your neighbourhood? Ames Chen, the author of the Invisible People series, wants her children—and yours—to know. The series tells the stories of people in three jobs often marginalised in society: The Bus Driver, Auntie Goes Home and Uncles at Work.

Everyone has taken a bus; many families have foreign domestic helpers; and everyone lives, works or studies in buildings built by migrant construction workers. But we often pay little heed to these invisible but essential workers, and even less to their untold stories. Ames wrote these three books to shine a spotlight on these men and women who are their own people, with histories, families and needs which mostly go unnoticed.

But the little boy who takes the 7.05 a.m. bus notices when his favourite bus driver no longer drives the route, and he writes a letter to the bus company. The little girl in Auntie Goes Home comes to realise, over time, that her foreign domestic worker has physical needs, emotions and dreams for her future outside of her work with the family. And the father of the little boy in Uncles at Work takes him to visit the migrant workers who are building their new flat so that the child can understand the human cost behind his new home.

The simple and relatable storytelling style is accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Jayl Chen. COVID-19, and the resultant circuit breaker, has shown just how vulnerable many of our essential workers are, especially if they are foreigners living in our midst. This picture book series will hopefully help its young readers to feel greater empathy for those whom they might not normally “see”.

The Invisible People: The Bus Driver, Auntie Goes Home, Uncles at Work

By Ames Chen

Published by Graceworks (2020), 28 pages each

$10 each

Enjoy 15 per cent off The Invisible People if you buy the complete set of three books. Use promo code MMTIP at the webstore’s checkout page (valid from 1–31 Aug 2020).

Sheri Goh is the Editor of Methodist Message. / Book visuals courtesy of Graceworks