9789815169188 | 9789815169188


The Mischief of Ordinary Things: Not everything is as it seems

ISBN 9789815169188


Felix Cheong Sam Lay

Poetry meets art in this anthology that encourages readers to see out of the box.



Is that a swing, or a pair of glasses? Is that word ‘bar belles’ or ‘barbells’?

Look again, read again; you will see images and words in a new light in The Mischief of Ordinary Things.

This innovative collection of poetry by Felix Cheong is inspired by artist Sam Lay’s Life in a Notebook series, which playfully hides ordinary objects in plain sight in the artwork. So three-dimensional and seamless is the integration that you are forced to do a double take. 

In turn, Cheong responds to these thoughtfully cheeky images by penning poems about heartbreak, life in the workplace and art-making. Lyrical, witty and satirical, they offer an intriguing textural counterpoint to Lay's artwork, and a whole new world of meaning-making opens up.

Welcome to The Mischief of Ordinary Things, where the familiar appears strange and what is strange, most familiar.

  • New collection of writing from an award-winning author
  • Established illustrator with a strong following
  • Quirky full-colour illustrations that make readers adapt to see ordinary things in a new light
  • Entertaining, evocative and insightful pieces that will resonate with readers
  • Gift for people interested in literary works

Felix Cheong

Felix Cheong is the author of 17 books across genres, from poetry to fiction, from children’s picture books to non-fiction. His works have been widely anthologised and nominated for the prestigious Frank O’Connor Award and the Singapore Literature Prize. Conferred the Young Artist Award in 2000 by the National Arts Council, he holds a master’s in creative writing and is currently an adjunct lecturer with the National University of Singapore, Murdoch University, University of Newcastle and Curtin University.

Sam Lay

Sam Lay is a Singapore-based cartoonist whose artistic practice blurs the lines between the familiar and the unfamiliar, transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary and making the extraordinary approachable. Lay's unique pantomime technique engages the reader in a silent yet captivating visual dialogue. In 2020, with the support of the National Arts Council, Lay embarked on The Oddly Sequential project; pantomime cartoon works that celebrate the universal human experience. Expanding his creative horizons in 2021 with the Arts x Everyday series titled "Life in a Notebook," Lay seamlessly integrates everyday objects into his illustrations, creating a visual world that feels both familiar and refreshingly new.


From The Same Author