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 Day the Crayons Quit

How does it feel when you wanted to look for Crayons to do some colouring and you found a stack of letters addressed to you instead? Well that was what happened to Duncan.

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Duncan was looking for his Crayons and found a stack of letters written by them addressing to him, mainly to complain about how they were “treated” by him.

The kids love this book because the crayons were really funny. There was the orange and yellow fighting to be the color of the sun and the “naked” peach color. They couldn’t stop laughing at the jokes.

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The boy thinks that this page is so funny that he can memorize the letter ‘Peach Crayon’ wrote.

For me, I like how the book introduces some uncommon color (e.g. peach and beige) to the kids and what are the objects that is in that color.

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And more importantly it teaches about different kind of feelings. It’s good to let the kids know, apart from happy, sad and angry there are other kinds of feelings that may better describe how they are feeling. For example, the girl asked me what is ’empty’. It may be a little difficult to explain and also for them to get the concept right away. But I think one day when they experience it, they will know what it is and better articulate them to others.

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This book can be found in most National Library:

  • Section: Junior Lending Picture Book
  • Call Number: English DAY

There is a sequel to this book which I will share the next week. Meanwhile, enjoy the jokes in this first.

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Book: 巴巴爸爸的诞生

One day after school, the boy came home excitedly and told me he need want to get a book called 爸爸爸爸 *my brain went…*. I clearified with him, and luckily he recognise the words and told me its “巴士的巴”, follow by Daddy. *Phew*.

The boy love to read and we have no lack of reading materials at home. But I was quite surprise he wanted a Chinese book so badly. According to him, his best friend, H, brought one of the books to school for her Chinese show and tell. And subsequently, brought more from the series for sharing. He finds the story interesting and wants to read them all.

I have a soft spot for books and since the boy wanted so badly I decide to get it for him. I went to my favourite shopping website to search. I was happy to find the series at a reasonable price. However, the shipping was expensive (about 2.5 kg), but I think add together still reasonable for 16 books in total.

A little background about 巴巴爸爸. Its translated from French, Barbapapa, which was written in 1970s. So some of the storyline may seems “dated”, but I think the underlying messages still apply.

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The first book 巴巴爸爸的诞生, as the title suggests, covers the birth of 巴巴爸爸, the main character of the story.

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Apparently, 巴巴爸爸 was planted by a little boy in his backyard. And slowly he grew and grew, until he wasn’t able to fit into the little boy’s home anymore. For some reason, he was sent to the zoo.

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As you can see, he wasn’t happy in the zoo as he doesn’t have any freedom. He was very sad, until one day, he noticed something special about himself.

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So 巴巴爸爸 is very flexible and can take many form and shapes. However, this pose another problem.

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The zoo is no longer willing to keep him as he is not in a cage and “walks” around the zoo freely.

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He can’t fit into a hotel either. So 巴巴爸爸 is sad again. However, as with most kids stories, there is always a happy ending. Read the book to find out what happened.

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What I like about the book are the learning points that we can relate to life.

  • When we are trapped in a situation, did we think out of the box and see if there are other alternatives? Like how 巴巴爸爸 found that he can actually “squeeze” out of the cage.
  • There are social norms in our society that makes us feel out of place. Do we just continue to sulk and be sad, or embrace it? Just like how the zoo chase 巴巴爸爸 out because he is not “normal”.
  • Do we find out what we are good at and make good use of it?

All these questions may seems a little tough for a pre-schooler. However, its good way to get them to think, and hopefully help them in the days to come.

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