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.

Maisy Tractor - Cow
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
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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
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Book: Milk Goes to School

The elder two love Terry Border books. I think they find it funny, and he has repetitive phrases which the kids can recite to after reading it for a few times. So they were very happy when we spotted this new title at the library last week.

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The main character of the book, Milk.

The story is about Milk first day of school. It started with Milk getting a little scared of her first day. So to boost her confidence, her father told her she is “la crème de la crème“, meaning “best of the best”. Given that she is “milk”, there was probably some pun intended here. When Milk reaches school, she tried to be friendly with everyone. But her jokes were insensitive and she also told everyone that her father says she is “la crème de la crème”. This puts her friends off, especially Waffle who commented that she is “spoiled”. As with all children book, the day always ends with everyone resolving their differences and became friends.

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This page shows the content of Milk’s bag spilling out. And we noticed that there was no books but lots of hair clips. From here, we realize that Milk actually changes her hair clip on every page of the book! The kids were quick to point out that this is not the right thing to do in school. LOL.

After our last book on puns, I’m actually quite glad to find another book to continue teaching the kids on “puns”. The most obvious “pun” is”spoiled”. The first time when Waffle commented she is spoiled, Milk actually “smelled” herself. I took the opportunity to explain to the kids what does “spoiled” means in this context (actually I was quite surprise the kids doesn’t know it, LOL. Maybe we didn’t read enough books!).

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Chicken nuggets hatching out of eggs?

We also enjoyed the humor, such as the one above. The kids couldn’t stop laughing when they saw the nuggets hatching. I’m just glad that they know that nuggets are processed food and doesn’t hatch from an egg naturally. LOL.

And of course the different learning points throughout the story. I actually asked the kids who do they think is a better person, “Waffle” or “Milk”? I’m glad that they both came to conclusion that both are not so nice and that we should be more sensitive to others when we talk or make comments.

As parents, this book also serve as a reminder of what are the appropriate words to say to the kids. We may think our kids are very great, but telling them they are “best of the best” may not be for their best interest. But we should also not stop short of giving them praises when they indeed earned it. Its how we phrase the praises that is more important.

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This book is available at our public library. Do check it out.

  • Library: Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geyland East, Jurong, Jurong West, Marine Parade, Pasir Ris, Queenstown, Sembawang, Serangoon, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Woodlands
  • Call Number: English BOR

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Book: The 7 Habits of Happy Kids

“The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” is written by Sean Covey, who is the son of Stephen Covey, the author behind “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Needless to say, this book is also base on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. However, it is written in such a way that it makes it easy for the kids to relate and understand.

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The main characters in the book. Your kids may identify with some of them.

The book introduces each habit by starting with a story, usually lead by one of the kids as the main character. And ends with explaining the habit that the kids should form.

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The stories are also beautifully illustrated so that it engages pre-schoolers too.

What I like about the book is that the stories are really things that happened to our kids. For example, there is a story about one of the kid getting bored and starts “complaining” about it. Which of your kid has never done this before? I think none. My kids will from time to time complain to me that they have “nothing to do”. Which really irritates me. LOL.

Or like the story, in the above picture, about choosing to learn spelling and going out to play. For my eldest who is P1 this year, this story is so timely. I hope he can really learn through the story and not make the mistake himself.

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I also love the “Parents’ Corner” that is at the end of each chapter (or habit). It gives us little tips on what to do, how to facilitate the discussion should you have no idea (like me) and some tips for the kids too.

We have not finish reading the book. But the boy has already picked up and use “effectively” 2 habits. The first is “Begin with the end in mind”. The last time we were at Kidzania, he was very clear his end goal was to “buy” the snake toy which is not cheap. So throughout his entire play there, he goes only to “jobs” that give him money. And skipped those that will cost him money including his favourite “ice-cream maker job”. In the end, he manage to get the snake and was very happy and proud of himself.

The other habit he had form was the “Think Win-Win”. He started “negotiating” for terms so that we can both get what we want. He wanted more screen time (as MeiMei has it), while I wanted him to practice one more round of his spelling and 听写 (as he has made some careless mistakes). So in the end we came to a common term and both got what we wanted. Though I’m not too sure this habit should be used in such a way, LOL.

I hope both the elder kids will somehow learn and form the habits along the way. And when the time is right, I will share the book with the littlest too.

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The book ends with a summary of all the habits and its relation to independence, interdependence and continuous improvements, much like the book for the adults.

If you are looking for good habits to instill into your kids do check out this book. They are available as physical copy and e-resource at our public library.

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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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Book: Baby Proof

In my previous post, I was sharing that I’m going to get back to reading. Here is my achievement after 2 weeks.

My first read of 2015: Baby Proof
My first read of 2015: Baby Proof. Bought years back before the birth of Zai. Look at how the pages have “aged”.

The story is about the female lead Claudia Parr who has given up on finding a man to marry cause many of her boyfriends broke up with her upon knowing that she doesn’t want children. Until she met Ben who shares the same thought as her.

Spoiler Alert!

However, Ben had a change of heart a few years into their marriage. He decided that he wants children after all and is willing to take on full responsibilities of taking care of their children (or so he says). Claudia still doesn’t want a kid and so they ended up having a divorce because of this! Of course the story went on to talk about how they ended up back together again.

Reading the back cover I thought this will be an interesting book. However, it was rather disappointing. The author went into story quickly, so there was no build up. Afterwhich, she did a little recap of Claudia’s past, went on to talk about Claudia’s friend and sisters and also on Claudia’s new relationship. So there wasn’t a really great following also. Generally nothing I resonate with and nothing engaging enough except for the fact that you want to find out if she went back to Ben and how she do it.

Thoughts
But there is one thing that is interesting. They mention that some couples want to have kids early in their marriage life so that they can enjoy life earlier when the kids grew up. Some couples want to have kids later as they want to enjoy life as a couple first. For Ben and Claudia, they find that if you don’t have kids, you can enjoy life throughout.

Well, I have never thought of it this way before. Maybe because I love kids, so I never thought of not wanting kids unless I’m not able to conceive. But I find that the thought is technically right. But as a parent, I will say there are joys in parenting that cannot be found elsewhere. As much as I miss our couple time, I’m also glad that we have 3 little ones to bring us joy and tears.

The love among the siblings. One insist on napping with TT. One planting a kiss on him.
The love among the siblings. One insist on napping with TT. One planting a kiss on him.

So, that much for my first (disappointing) read for 2015. I hope that I can continue this momentum of reading throughout the year and make it part of my routine!