I met architect, author and illustrator Tom Schmidt a few weeks ago while he was visiting Singapore on a book tour. Our mutual friend introduced his book to me as “a travel guide of Hong Kong designed for kids.” Although I didn’t have time to actually attend his book event that weekend I did find a copy of his book on my colleague’s desk when I arrived at work the following Monday. To my surprise, his “travel guide for kids” turned out to be addressing much more complex urban issues in Hong Kong than I expected. The book is written as an illustrated novel, and is presented from the point of view of an American architect traveling through Hong Kong. The story addresses many serious issues facing Hong Kong as a city, such as development’s impact on the environment and preservation of historic structures.
As another American living in Asia and a researcher that studies many of the issues Tom writes about, and deals with in his other job as an architect in the hospitality industry, I was very excited to see these urbanization issues presented in such an accessible manner.
This is the third book in the Bumbling Series by Tom. His first books, Bumbling Through Borneo and Bumbling Through Sumatra, use the same graphic novel approach to address issues facing these less urbanized areas like deforestation and the importance of ecosystem systems services.
For more information on Bumbling Through Hong Kong and Tom Schmidt, a full book review was written by my friend Mallika Naguran at Gaia Discovery. Bumbling Through Hong Kong can also be purchased on Amazon or through the publisher, Kakibubu.