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: Hi! Fly Guy

We chance upon the “Fly Guy” series of book from the scholastic book list that was sent home from the kids’ school. The first book we read was actually “Fly Guy’s Amazing Tricks”. But it was so funny that the boy request for other series of the book. And a search on NLB latest app shows that there are actually eCopies of the series available for loan. So the prudent mummy borrowed as many title as she could find from the series. LOL.

The first in the series should be this book “Hi! Fly Guy”.

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Chapter 1 talks about how the boy named Buzz was out looking for a pet to catch for “The amazing pet show” and bumped into the fly who was looking for food. He caught it and decides to keep him as a pet and named him “Fly Guy”.

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In the subsequent chapters, it talks about how he convinces his parents that flies can be pets. And brought Fly Guy to “The Amazing Pet Show” only to be laughed by the judges.

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We love the book because the drawing is pretty and the story is funny. Entertainment aside, it teaches some values to the kids too. Like in this book, although Buzz got laughed at, he didn’t just give up. He tried together with Fly Guy to convince everyone. Something I find appropriate at this juncture for the boy as he is going to a new big school next year. He is bound to meet times where people will laugh at him or the things he did. He shouldn’t just feel embarrassed and shun away. If it is something he feels strongly about, maybe he should stand up for himself like Buzz did.

This is a simple chapter book that the boy (6.5 yo) can read by himself. So if you are trying to introduce the concept of chapter books or encourage your pre-schooler to read chapter books by themselves, this may be a good starting point.

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Title: Hi! Fly Guy!
Author: Arnold, Tedd
Call No.: English ARN
Available At: Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Geylang, Jurong, Jurong West, Queestown, Sembawang, Serangoon, Toa Payoh and Woodlands Library

Book: Sarahbelle’s Playful Puns

Although the boy (6.5 y.o) is quite well read, we didn’t really introduce “Puns” to him. He initially thought they were similar to words that rhyme. I tried explaining to him and the girl, but they couldn’t quite get it. The best way is to learn through examples, which are playfully “illustrated” (pun intended) in this book “Sarahbelle’s Playful Puns”

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Naughty or Knotty?

The book talks about a day of Sarabelle, and how she uses pun in her day and brings laughter to her mother as well as us (the readers). This is good as the kids can identify with the things she is doing.

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This is the kids favourite page, they laughed loudly when we come to this page. Something they could really identify with. Guess what is Daddy doing?

The kids love the book and requested me to re-read a few times when we first got our hands on it. The illustration and story were funny. However, some words are unfamiliar to our kids, so they didn’t quite get the gist of the pun. For example, we don’t usually use the word “knotty”. I usually says “tangled” so my girl didn’t understand “knotty” until I explained to her. However, it does give her a chance to learn new words!

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What word rhymes with Otter?

“Sarabelle’s Playful Puns” is written by a local writer, Anastasia, who is a part-time working mum to three small children. This book is about her eldest daughter who is 6 (same as the boy!). Through the story, she hope to demonstrate that language is very much alive and fun. As a mum, she wants to leave a legacy for her daughter and immortalise the precious things that she says now.

Support local author and get her book from this crowd funding website or at Le Petit Pumm, Centerpoint, #03-05. It will make a great christmas present for the 4-8 y.o.

*Disclaimer: We received this book for review purposes. No monetary compensation was received. We are just doing our part in helping local authors. All opinions, fun and laughter are our own.

Book: 十四只老鼠大搬家

We stumbled upon this book quite by chance. I make it a point that the kids must borrow at least one Chinese book each time we visit the library. So the girl was looking around and I was helping and I saw this book and showed it to the girl, cause she loves reading “Seven Little Mice” series, and I thought this drawing looks similar with that (I later found out they were from the same illustrator). The boy also quipped in to share that he has read another book from this 十四只老鼠 series in school and enjoys it. So we borrowed two from the series back home.

And since that day, the two books were read almost everyday before bed time. The kids simply love the illustration which is funny at times.

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The wordings will also have questions that make you examine the illustration and find out who is doing something funny. The kids love looking for the answer.

I believe “十四只老鼠大搬家” is the first in the series. It talks about how the family of 14 (Grandpa, Grandma, Dad, Mom and 10 siblings) were out scouting for a new house. They walked in the forest, slept in the open, met the weasel and finally found a big tree that meet their requirements.

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There will also be funny illustration like this where someone was hit by the bamboo. Or who is the naughty ones that are not working but fooling around. I think it reminded the kids of themselves so they love looking out for such ‘funny’ drawings.

So off they go to build their house. They even manage to connect water from a waterfall all the way back to the outside of their house. It certainly show the kids that team work is very important. Everyone has a part to play in the family.

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We used this page to discuss about Science. I asked how the kids think how the water can flowed all the way home. I think it is also a good extension into a home project to make our own structure using straws to experiment it out.

Apart from learning about working together as a team, we learned quite a handful of Chinese vocab from the book. For example, the boy asked me “What is 黄鼠狼?” (haha, Mama knowledge of animals and Chinese is limited). I had to check with Mr Google to find the answer.

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Together we also found out what is 橡子, 松果 and 山药.

If you are looking for a good 绘本 to read to your pre-schooler, consider this book. It has interesting story and beautiful illustration.

Title: 十四只老鼠大搬家
Author:
Iwamura, Kazuo
Call No.: Chinese IWA
Available At: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geylang East, Jurong West, Marine Parade, Queenstown, Serangoon, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Yishun Libraries

 

Book: The Day the Crayons Came Home

After we read about how Duncan’s crayon quit, we are very happy to know that there is a sequel to it!

So, it was another day that Duncan took out his crayons to color. Nope this time round his crayons are still around, just that he noticed another stack of postcards meant for him. It’s from the crayons that he has forgotten.

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Postcards are something quite ‘alien’ to the kids these days. The boy knows about it because the last time we were in Melbourne, we bought a postcard and post it back to my parents. It’s a good experience and I think it serve as a good memento too. Try it the next time you go travelling.

Similarly, this story book is full of jokes that make the kids laugh.

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Remember the two colors that wanted to be the Sun. Guess what happened to them?

This books also introduces more less-known colors like Neon Red, Pea Green, Burnt Sienna, etc. Colors that even Mummy doesn’t know they exists. LOL.

And similar to the previous book, different feelings are brought up. This time round, the kids learn about embarrassment.

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Make a guess why is Brown so embarrassed?

This book also touch lightly on countries as they show Neon Red going on a tour before reaching ‘home’.

But my favourite page of the book is really this.

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There are characters from both books on this page.

I like how he creatively solve the ‘problem’ for everyone and it’s just such a happy page to look at.

This book can be found in most National Library

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

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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: 谁敢嘲笑狮子

I realize I haven’t been sharing much Chinese books on the blog. Its time to start the trend rolling. Lol. Expect more Chinese books to come along the way.

The Story

What is a lion good at? In this book “谁敢嘲笑狮子”, the lion was trying to brag about himself to a lioness.

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After considering, the lion thinks he is good at running…

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But is there any animal that can run faster than the lion?

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Well, a cheetah can definitely run faster than a lion. Who can climb a tree faster than a lion? Who is stronger than a lion?

Well, the book revolves around the lion trying to think of something he is really good at. But unfortunately whatever he comes up with, there is always an animal that can do better. It makes him really upset, until he finally found something that he is good at. Well, you gotta read the book to find out what his talent is.

The Learning Points

One thing about reading I learned from my kids pre-school teachers is that there should be engagement during the process. And this can be through asking simple questions. The usual “Who”, “Why”, “What”, “How”. Especially when they are 5 years old and above, there should be more second level detail questions and not just questions that can be answered by observing the illustration.

For a starter, this book is great as it naturally makes you ask the kids what is coming up next. The book is by laid out such that on one page, the lion will be talking about a particular skills he is good at. And you can then make the kids guess which animal is better at that skill and is likely to be coming up in the next page. The kids will have a good time playing the guessing game.

Apart from understanding about animals, the book has a greater learning story behind. It remind us (kids and parents) that everyone has something that they are good at. There isn’t a need for constant comparison. Even if you feel that you are not good at anything, it probably just means you haven’t found what you are good at. Just like how the lion found out what he is good at after a few rounds.

I use it to explain to the boy (6 y.o) that its ok if he loses in some games. Cause it’s probably his friends are better than him in that area. He should not give up but continue to learn and explore what he is good at. It is also a reminder to myself that as the boy starts formal education next year, we should not be joining others in the “rat race”. Everybody is unique in their own way, and has their own talent.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a Chinese book to read with your kids, consider borrowing this from the library. The illustrations are attractive and the words are not too difficult to read. The learning story behind is also great.

Details (at time of publish):

  • Book Title: 谁敢嘲笑狮子
  • Call Number: Chinese BRI (Junior Lending Picture Book)
  • Available at (Public Library): Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geylang East, Jurong, Jurong West, Marine Parade, Pasir Ris, Queenstown, Sembawang, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Yishun

 

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