Merli brings readers on a journey through multi-faceted Singapore in new children’s book Marky Polo in Singapore

The third instalment in the Marky Polo’s Travels book series launched on September 15th, with Merli’s appearance marking the Merlion statue’s 50th anniversary this year


15 September 2022 – World Scientific Education is launching Marky Polo in Singapore, the first children’s book featuring Merli, on 15th September. The launch coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Merlion statue’s installation at Merlion Park by Singapore’s founding father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Merli is a heart-warming and whimsical illustration of Singapore’s mythical national icon, the Merlion.

Written and illustrated by award-winning local creators Emily Lim-Leh and Nicholas Liem, Marky Polo in Singapore is the third book in the augmented reality children’s book series Marky Polo’s Travels, featuring a pangolin’s travels around Asia.

Marky Polo is a likeable, relatable pangolin character who is still trying to make his mark in the world. He comes from a line of renowned travellers, with his great-grandfather Macho Polo being the first pangolin to scale Mount Everest. Readers can scan selected pages of the book which takes them to curated videos and websites on Singapore’s attractions and fun information on Singapore’s local wildlife, including the pangolin, a scaly anteater native to Singapore and the region. Singapore’s culture and street art are also woven into this fun and meaningful story that celebrates all things about Singapore.

In Marky Polo in Singapore, Merli and his friends play tourist guides to Marky Polo’s cousin Merry Polo who visits Singapore for the first time. Young Merry Polo wants a holiday packed with non-stop fun and merry making. Merli enlists the assistance of his friends – Jewel the hornbill, Chomp Chomp the crocodile, Marina the otter, and D65 the Unidentified Flying Durian – who take turns to introduce Merry to Singapore through its key attractions, from an indoor waterfall and cooled conservatories to adrenaline-filled family-friendly experiences, food centres and cultural precincts. As the most fun-loving, and sometimes most inconsiderate Polo in Marky’s family, Merry Polo gives everyone the run-around till she finally learns to be more thoughtful to others.

“We are delighted to see Merli and his friends come to life in Marky Polo in Singapore for their very first appearance in a children’s book. Marky Polo’s Travels series provided the right fit for Merli and his friends with its fun and engaging storyline combined with awesome illustrations. Merli’s AR filter and other AR elements add another layer of interactive fun,” said Ruth Wan, Publisher of World Scientific Education.

In conjunction with the book’s launch, World Scientific Education will be organising a line-up of Merli and Marky activities and giveaways starting on Merlion’s 50th anniversary on 15 September 2022:

*Free pack of 12 Whatsapp stickers of Marky, Merli and his friends is available for download at

*Instagram photo-taking promotion with standees of Merli and Marky Polo in five locations throughout Singapore from 15th September to 20th October. These locations include the Skyline Luge and iFly at Sentosa, outside Malay Heritage Centre, Sultan Mosque and Chinatown. Public will also stand a chance to win a total of 50 prizes over five weeks (10 prizes per week) including tickets to the Skyline Luge, iFly Singapore, Canopy Park, Mega Adventure’s MegaBounce, Hydrodash and Nestopia. To participate, public can take photos with the standee cut-outs and post to Instagram with hashtag #MerliandMarkyinSingapore and follow @worldscientificedu.

*Marky Polo in Singapore storytelling video premieres on Friday 16th September on National Heritage Board’s Speak Good English Movement Facebook Page.

*Marky Polo in Singapore Storytelling Event will take place at Times Bookstore Waterway Point on Saturday 1 October at 3pm-3.45pm. Meet author Emily Lim-Leh and illustrator Nicholas Liem for a storytelling session, accompanying art activity and an autograph session.

There will be a host of other activities in the next few months – details will be announced on World Scientific Education’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

About the book

Marky Polo in Singapore is available in all major bookstores from this weekend at $12.90 (softcover) and $19.90 (hardcover). It is also available for purchase online at
More information and advanced reviews for the book can be found at and on Instagram @worldscientifcedu.

About Emily Lim-Leh, the Author

Emily Lim-Leh is a multi-award-winning author of over 40 children’s books. Her inspiration for Marky Polo’s Travels series came from her 11-year-old son. Her inspiration for Marky Polo in Singapore came from a staycation in Chinatown where she rediscovered Singapore and found the ending to the story. Read more about Emily at her blog

About Nicholas Liem, the Illustrator

Nicholas Liem is an award-winning comics book artist who is also architecturally trained. His expertise in these areas contributed to the architecturally true-to-life illustrations combined with humorous comic book elements. Nicholas, who became a Singapore citizen in 2019 after marrying a Singaporean lady in 2013, took his 4-year-old and 8-year-old children to every location featured in this story to get a better perspective and personal point of view for his drawings. It also gave him and his family the opportunity to rediscover Singapore.