Book: The Littlest Dinosaur 小恐龙

I haven’t been blogging for about two months, as we were busy with the June holidays and the kids falling sick. But we didn’t stop reading this two months, there are many books that I wanted to share, but alas, time doesn’t allow as most books were returned to the library before I have time to take photo and blog about it. Luckily, I manage to “salvage” this book.

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I was trying to look for Chinese books to read to the littlest, when I saw this book on one of the shelves. The (English) book title was just shouting at me to borrowed it. I mean, I always call our youngest the littlest and he has a love for dinosaur, isn’t this book, just by the title, so suitable for him?

Storyline

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This story is about a Mummy Dinosaur who had laid a few eggs. And one day, the eggs began to hatch. However, there is just one egg that wouldn’t hatch. The Mummy Dinosaur took extra care of the egg, fanning it when its hot and keeping it warm when the weather is cold. Due to the extra care that the egg requires, Daddy Dinosaur have to take over the responsibilities of taking care of the other baby dinosaurs.

And one day, when Daddy Dinosaur cannot take it any longer, he wanted to crack the egg, but was obviously stopped by Mummy Dinosaur who feels that the egg should be given time to hatch by itself.

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Finally, one day, the egg hatched. But the dinosaur inside was so small. No bigger than the toe of an adult dinosaur (according to Daddy Dinosaur). And no matter how much Mummy fed the littlest dinosaur, he wouldn’t grow bigger. There were obviously many disadvantages of being such a small dinosaur. So the littlest dinosaur was often very sad. Until one day something happened, and as with most children books, our littlest dinosaur save the day.

What we like

  1. It’s a Chinese and English book combined into one! One book but yet we can teach both languages. And the kids can “read” how the English content is being translated to Chinese and vice versa. A good way to learn language I feel.
  2. It incorporates science and fiction! The littlest dinosaur will climb to the top of the mountain and stay there for a long time because everything seems small when he is at the top of the mountain. So I took the opportunity to ask the littlest to observe if that statement is true. I’m still looking for a way to explain the science behind it in a simple enough way for the kids to understand. Let me know if you have any idea.
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  3. The moral of the story is about accepting ourselves for who we are and we will be useful in our own way. There is no need to get upset for being different. I find this a good value to have, especially for the littlest who often felt that he is not “big” enough to do what his siblings are doing (though his context is a little different from this).
  4. A reflection of real life. I liked the part where Daddy Dinosaur got so tired of taking care of the siblings that he wanted to crack open the egg, so Mummy Dinosaur won’t be spending her time tending to it. It’s so real isn’t it? I think next time when I read this to the kids, I will bring up the analogy that if they fall ill, the same will happen to Daddy and Mummy. So they better keep themselves healthy by drinking more water and washing their hands more often! LOL!

All three kids love the book, though the littlest will not allow me to read every word and choose to look at the pictures. So it really train my skill to summarise it for him. LOL.

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Library Details:

  • Libraries: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Choa Chu Kang, Geylang East, Jurong, Jurong West, Queenstown, Sembawang, Toa Payoh and Woodlands
  • Call Number: Chinese FOR
  • Location: Junior Lending Picture Book
Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Book: 大卫,圣诞节到啦!

I know it seems weird to be introducing a book about Christmas when we are in March. However, we chance upon the book in the library and I’m afraid the book won’t be available when its near Christmas period (talking about kiasu, LOL). Besides, the Littlest (2 y.o.) really love the book. It’s the few book he allows me to read from page 1 till the end without pushing my hand away, flip to the last page and declare “The End”. So I think it’s really worth the mention here.

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See the little foot here. The Littlest was trying to snatch the book to “read” when I was trying to take photo for the post.

We are not new to 大卫. We read about him in the other book “大卫惹麻烦” (see pic above) and we know that 大卫 is not a really good boy. In this book, 大卫 continued with his “mischief” on the days leading to Christmas.

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大卫 trying to take a peek at the present.

I use the book to explain to the Littlest (the elder two should already know) what is the wrong thing to do. For example, it is very dangerous for 大卫 to stack the chairs so high and climb on top of it. He could fall off and hurt his head like “humpty dumpty”. The littlest seems to understand it and could say “humpty dumpty” whenever we are reading this page. And when I asked “可以把椅子叠这么高,然后爬上去吗?”, he could reply me “不可以”. But well, in reality, the boy still climbs up chairs around the house when we are not looking. So it’s really, knowing is one, doing is another thing. LOL.

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Another page showing a “mischief” act.

When we were reading this page, I actually asked the elder two, why 大卫 should not be eating the Christmas cookie. I was glad that they actually observed that the cookies were probably not baked yet and 大卫 will probably get a tummy ache from eating it (cause and effect). For the Littlest, he always exclaim “吃饼干” when we come to this page. LOL. He probably couldn’t understand the concept of “uncooked” food yet.

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This is the Littlest favourite page. He burst into laughter and exclaim “naked body” whenever we are at this page.

The kids obviously knows that they need to be clothed when they are out in the street (including the 2 y.o. understand this). Before proceeding to the next page, you can actually ask the kids “你觉得为什么大卫会光着身子出门去?”. This will simulate their creative thinking and helps in their 口语表达 and probably 看图说故事 next time. There is actually some clues in the written words, see if your kids manage to guess it. And I think it will be a joy listening to their answers.

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Oh.. 大卫 has been looking forward to Christmas and his present. But he is not going to receive any?

This is my favourite page. LOL. We use this page to describe about emotions and also to tell the kids that they are not going to get present if they misbehave, just like 大卫. So they better start behaving now. And that is the reason why we should be reading this book even before Christmas comes. LOL. As to whether 大卫 is really not getting any present, read the book to find out for yourself. 🙂

Overall, we love this book as it is (1) funny, (2) easy to read (only a few words per page) and (3) a lot of room for discussion. Like the few pages we showed above, there is so much to talk about in the illustrations that can expand the kids vocab in Chinese and also their creativity.

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This is actually the back cover of the book, but it’s equally funny. Like a “chocolate cow”? I asked the kids if a “chocolate cow” will give “chocolate milk”. Obviously, they are old enough to provide me the correct answer. But you may be surprise at what younger kids might think.

This book is available at our local libraries:

  • Libraries: Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geylang East, Jurong, Jurong West, Marine Parade, Pasir Ris, Queenstown, Sembawang, Serangoon, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Woodlands
  • Call Number: Chinese SHA
  • Location: Junior Lending Picture Book
Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Book: Maisy’s Plane and Maisy’s Tractor

Some people grew up watching Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse, my kids grew up watching and reading Maisy. Not so sure how many of you actually know of this mouse.

I learned about Maisy as it was one of the recommended books for young children. I borrowed Maisy from the library and chance upon a Maisy DVD when I was shopping at Popular one day, it complimented what we were reading, so I allowed the kids to watch it once they are above 1 y.o.

I think the kids love the simple drawing and storyline of Maisy. Even my elder two (7 y.o and 6 y.o) can watch Maisy with the littlest (2 y.o.) now and still enjoy it. There are many Maisy books in the library. Today, we are sharing two of the books meant for younger kids. There are other ranges for slightly older pre-schoolers, which I hope to share in the future.

Maisy Plane - Cover
The pilot driving the aeroplane is (of course) Maisy, guess where is she going?

In “Maisy’s Plane”, Maisy is driving her aeroplane to Eddie’s (another main character) birthday party. But the emphasis on the book is definitely about transportation.

Maisy Plane - Parts
This page exposes the kid to related vocab like ‘Engine’, ‘Vroom’ and ‘Propellers’.

At this age, the kids probably wouldn’t understand what each part of the vehicle is for, but we can still expose them to the vocab and do simple explanation.

Maisy Plane - Different Vehicles
If you notice, the different characters came in different types of transport.

As you can see, the exposure on transportation is gently worked into something the kids know and can identify with, i.e. birthday party. Although there is not much words, again, there is a lot to discuss in the drawings. The littlest love to point to the different objects and name them (including the small gingerbread man), this also trains their observation skills.

If you have a child that loves transportation or you wish to expose your young kids to transportation, consider reading this book.

Maisy Tractor
Maisy is now working on a tractor.

This book is not really about the tractor, but what Maisy does in the farm using the tractor.

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Maisy milking the cow in the farm.

Well, if you are bringing your young kids to farm trips (near or far), can consider reading this book before the trip, to get the kids excited about farm as well as letting them learn more about the work of farmers.

Maisy Tractor - Numeracy
This book also have exposure on numeracy as Maisy counted her sheep.

Both books are available from the public library:

  • Library: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geylang, Jurong, Jurong West, Queenstown, Serangoon, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Woodlands
  • Call Number: English COU-[BA]
  • Location: Junior Lending Picture Book
Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Book: 这是什么队列?

They kids read this book in school and borrowed it from the library when we chanced upon it. And my interesting 7 y.o. boy decides to borrow the English version when he spotted it in Molly.

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Sorry for the blur photo as the Littlest (2 y.o) was trying to snatch the book from me. He loves to point at the animals and tell me their names.

This story is about the different animals lining up for something. So what are they queuing for? Read to find out, LOL.

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As you can see, the name of the animals are listed.

If your kids are really into animals, this is really useful for them to know what each animal is called. Especially when we have both the English and Chinese version, we can do a one-to-one match to know the names in Chinese. LOL.

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Do you know Hyena is called 鬣狗 in Chinese?

We also love it that there are Hanyu Pinyin below some of the more complicated words to aid us in reading. Like the Hyena. And is also a book to expose the younger kids to numeracy and the concept of counting down.

There isn’t many words in this book, however, there is so much to discuss on the illustrations. The “behaviors” of the animals are shown, that allow parents to post some questions to set the kids thinking. Like “What do you think the Wolf is finding tasty?”. Reading for young children is not only about reading words, but also to examine the illustrations and stimulate their imagination.

This book is available at our Public Library. Do check it out:

  • Library: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geylang East, Jurong, Jurong West, Marine Parade, Queenstown, Sembawang, Serangoon, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Woodlands
  • Call Number: Chinese OHM
  • Location: Junior Lending Picture Book
Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Book: Lullaby and Goodnight

Last week, I introduced an off-the-shelf quiet book from Taobao. This week, I have another quiet book “Lullaby and Goodnight” (also from Taobao) to share.

Unlike the previous book, this book has a theme and is a continuous story (and I have checked, the grammer is better for this book, thanks to Adeline for pointing out about it in the previous book). It was definitely a bigger hit among my kids. The children could relate better as it is about the things to do before going to bed.

Step 1: Drink Milk

The milk can actually be "taken" from the fridge and put onto Mummy Bear's hand.
The milk can be “taken” from the fridge and put onto Mummy Bear’s hand.

Step 2: Brush Teeth

The toothbrush is "loose" so the kids can actually brush the Baby Bear's teeth with it.
The toothbrush is “loose” so the kids can actually brush the Baby Bear’s teeth with it.

Step 3: Take off Clothes

Baby Bear's feet is suppose to be out of the jumper, but he is a little too fat and is hard to squeeze in.
Baby Bear’s feet is suppose to be out of the jumper, but he is a little too fat and is hard to squeeze in.

Step 4: Take a Bath

The "soap" can be completely hidden in the bath tub and Baby Bear can "sit" in it too. The towel can't be removed though. As you can see, the proportion of items are not correct, which my elder boy noticed too.
The “soap” can be completely hidden in the bath tub and Baby Bear can “sit” in it too. The towel can’t be removed though. As you can see, the proportion of items are not correct, which my elder boy noticed too. 

Step 5: Put on Pajamas

The pajamas can be fitted onto Baby Bear. But its a real tight fit. The kids couldn't do it by themselves. And need help mostly for this step.
The pajamas can be fitted onto Baby Bear. But its a tight fit. The kids couldn’t do it by themselves. And need help mostly for this step.

Step 6: Read a bedtime story

The book shows the different weather.
The book shows different weather conditions.

Step 7: Say a Prayer

Do people still kneel on a mat to pray these days? I'm not sure since I'm not a christian.
“Open” the window and you can see the stars.

Step 8: Go to Bed

Mummy Bear tucking Baby Bear to bed.
Mummy Bear tucking Baby Bear to bed.

Generally, the Baby Bear was too fat, which makes it difficult for the kids to do certain steps. But for that kind of price, one cannot expect too much right? I think I’m easily satisfied, LOL. However, it is decent enough a quiet book for the pre-schoolers. And I take it as a parent-and-child play when I help them out. So I will still say, if you have no time to make your own quiet book, you can consider getting this.

Our Baby Bear burst at the seams after a week play by the kids. Too much squeezing in trying him to get into the pajamas and all.
Our Baby Bear burst at the seams after a week play by the kids. Too much squeezing from trying to get him into the pajamas and all.

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Book: My Quiet Book

“Quiet Books” are books made of cloth and is meant to keep little children entertained through simple quiet activities. Common activities include shape sorting, dressing up dolls, zipping and buttoning. They are usually handmade and a search on Pinterest will show you many samples.

Since I learn about them, I have made preparation to make one for the littlest. I added pins to my Pinterest and bought materials from Taobao. Alas I was too busy to actually create one. So I was delighted when I chance upon this book on Taobao.

Here is a look at the details for some of the pages.

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Shape and colour sorting. The heart shape certainly need improvement. The littlest (16 months) love this page. He likes pulling them off and attempting to put them back. He couldn’t quite recognise the shapes yet, so he doesn’t put them back correctly.
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Buttoning. Taking out the flower and buttoning it back. TT is unable to do this, but the elder two (6 and 4.5 y.o) would play with this.
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Push button. Fixing the caterpillar head back on the push button. This page is a little difficult I feel as the kids need to aim and press. Certainly not for TT.
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Zip and unzipping. Good training for their fine motor skills grabbing the zip.

There are other pages, but I shall not share here. All the pages are listed on the seller page.

Overall I find this a very basic quiet book. Most activities are too tough for a toddler and more skewed towards a pre-schooler. But nothing to complain since its an off the shelf product that is not expensive. It provides a good start for the littlest while I find time to create one for him myself.

Have you come across any off the shelf quiet book? Share with us.

P.S. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for the book with my own money.

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Book: Meet The Wakersaur

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The boy will be going to primary school next year (*take tissue to wipe tears*). His bed time last year was about 10:30pm to 8am. Which is way over the time required for a Singapore primary school going kid. Hence we have been trying to make him go to bed early and wake up early on weekdays. 

The boy, the girl and our helper sleeps in the same room. The girl is a lighter sleeper. So these days when the helper wakes up at around 7am, she wakes up too. Not wanting them to compete, I suggested a collaboration method for them to wake each other up. The rule is this. If both of them can wake up early for continuous 2 weeks, they get to go to an indoor playground. And the one that wakes up earlier most of the time will get to choose which playground to go. So they have to collaborate to wake each other up.

So that day, the girl woke up early. And she tried ways and means to wake her brother up. I could hear her from my room. However, the brother (in her words) simply ignore her. She was quite sad. So that night, I sat both of them down and share this book with them.

“Meet The Wakersaur” is by a local writer Shervin Seah, who wrote this book base on his own experience with his kids.

When they hear the title, they asked me what is a Wakersaur. Base on the cover, the boy guess that it is an alarm clock. Quite a good guess I feel. It helps that we got the traditional alarm clock for him which help him identifies immediately with the Wakersaur.

We then proceed to read the book, which basically introduces the different methods to wake a kid up.

Feathers instead of claws? How interesting and creative.

Since this book is new to the kids, I did what we usually do with, guess what is coming up next. They find it funny that the Wakersaur has feather instead of claws. I let them guess what is the feather for. And they can relate it to tickling. We also had a fun time acting out the scenes in the book, tickling their soles, tummy, etc. The boy guess that the kid will wake up because of the alarm clock on the Wakersaur head. Well, he was surprise it didn’t (which is obvious cause he himself also can’t wake up when the alarm goes off).

We pretty much enjoy the book though we find its meant for younger kids. And the only thing we find lacking is the rhyming. Maybe because we are so use to Julia Donaldson books that we prefer rhyming sentence for short story like this. However, we will definitely want to read this with the littlest (he was sleeping when I read with the elder two), especially now that I’m trying to teach him the different body parts.

Disclaimer: We received this book from the author for review purposes. No monetary compensation was received. All views, opinions, learning and fun are our own.

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