You know what? I bet you do not know where my friend Beena lives. Well, let me tell you. She lives in a country called Malaysia. But not only that, she lives in a beautiful part of Malaysia that is called Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Yes, you heard me right – she lives on an ISLAND. Isn’t that exciting? And a tropical island at that. Just thinking of islands makes my imagination go WILD!! Islands are cool, don’t you think? They have lots of beaches and many of them also have mountains, even volcanoes sometimes. And the island of Borneo is even cooler than most islands because it is a tropical island. Haha, that’s funny, don’t you think – cool because it is tropical? Get it? Tropical means hot and so I think that it is funny that the island of Borneo is “cool” because it is “hot”, but maybe that is just my sense of humor. My kids always tell me to stop telling “dad jokes” so I think I will just move on with this story and stop telling jokes…

Anyways, because my friend Beena is from Sarawak, she made these two paintings for us of places where she lives – one is a beach and the other a mountain. These are places that she sees when she’s out and about on the weekends. Both are beautiful don’t you think? And, of course, since my friend Beena has a funny name and likes funny things she chose to make painting of places with funny names. Are you ready for this? The beach is called Bako, that’s a little funny but not much. But the mountain that she painted has a REALLY funny name – Mount Santubong. Boing, boing, bonkers, HAHA! I think that name is the EST – San-Tu-Bong!!

Now, there are so many things that I could tell you about the island of Borneo, but I chose just three. If you want more you’ll just have to go to your library or to your computer and read more about it. Or you’ll have to go and ask my friend Beena – she knows a lot about the island because she lives there!

The first thing that I wanted to tell you about the island of Borneo is that it is the 3rd largest island in the world. Yep, you heard me, the third largest island in the world! The second thing that I wanted to tell you is that the Island of Borneo has some of the most diverse plants in the world because it is what they call an “evolutionary hotspot”.

“Evolutionary hotspot”, now that’s a mouthfull. I think that it means that it has lots and lots and LOTS of different plants and animals living on it. Anyways, I visited Sarawak on the island of Borneo once and I can tell you that it is true – there are just soooo many different kinds of plants and animals there! In fact, the largest flower in the world exists on the island of Borneo. It is called the Rafflesia arnoldii. Now THAT is the funniest name in the entire story today, maybe even the funniest in the ENTIRE COLLECTION!! The Rafflesia arnoldii is so large that it is almost the same size as a person – not an adult person, of course, that would be too huge for a flower, even for the largest flower in the world. It is more like the size of a child person. That’s pretty big for a flower don’t you think? But the second thing I wanted to tell you was not just that the Rafflesia arnoldii is the largest flower in the world, but also that it is one of the stinkiest, because it smells like rotten meat. You heard me right, rotten, stinking meat!! YUCK!!

The third and last thing I wanted to tell you about Borneo I already told you earlier, and it is the most important thing of all. And that is that my friend Beena lives on the island of Borneo.
And that is the most important thing about the island of Borneo, at least for me .

OK. Now enough about Borneo. How about the imagination stories that we can think of when we look at the two painting Beena made for us? My friend Beena said that her imagination made her see a whale in the clouds of one of the paintings. Do you see it too? If I look really hard I can sort of see a whale in the painting of mount Santubong. But the first thing that my imagination saw when I looked at these paitings was the small boat next to the cliff on Bako Beach. The boat with a roof on it; not the other ones with no roof. My imagination saw that boat first because I imagine that since it has a roof, a family must live in the boat – it’s like a floating boat house! And I imagine that it would really be neat to live on a house on a boat at the beach. That would certainly be different than living on a regular house on land don’t you think?

Now it is your turn. What story or memories do you see in this painting called “Out and About in Sarawak, Malaysia”? Think of it and then write it down. Oh, and then don’t forget to pass it on to a friend so we can come up with 1,000 stories for this painting. Actually, since Beena shared with us two paintings this time, we’ll have to come up with 2,000 stories for these paintings, together.

See you next time!


  1. The paintings are enchanting. The story behind the formation and attractions of Bako National Park adds meaning and depth to the pictures. An interesting read!

  2. A beautiful description of a beatiful park.Tha painting and the story blends well.The factual details enhances the color and texture of the painting.

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