Category Archives: Linn’s Fav Books

Little Lit Book Review: Chinese Picture Books [Part 2]

The Mother Tongue Language Festival, organised by the National Library, is held between 6 and 13 September 2014. So it is an opportune time to review some good-quality Chinese picture books, originally written in English, Japanese or French.

 

It's a Book! by Lane SmithTitle: It’s a Book! by Lane Smith

Age Range: 5 years and above

Chinese standard: Easy to Intermediate

 

It’s a Book!, written by award-winning author-cum-illustrator Lane Smith, is about a book loving monkey, a tech savvy jackass and a straight talking little mouse. This book has been translated to over 20 languages.

 

 

 

Synopsis

It's a Book! by Lane Smith The jackass simply does not get it. He asks, “Can it [the book] scroll down?
Can it blog? Can it tweet? Can it text? Can it play back music? Can you play games with it? Do you need a password?” The monkey replies to every question, “No, you can’t”, but the jackass’ curiosity grows. He ends up reading the book and refuses to return it to the monkey. At the end of the story, the jackass still doesn’t get it.

 

 

 

My Thoughts – A very clever, satirical concept

It's a Book! by Lane Smith

Brilliantly conceived and a hilarious read. Today many children are familiar with ebooks, ibook, digital books, interactive books and computer games but are clueless about hardback and paperback books. This makes a perfect gift for screen-obsessed children. My K2 nephew finds the story funny and the jackass silly even though he does not fully grasp some of the concepts such as blogging [写博客], text [短信] and wifi [无线上网]. But he gets the story. He is no jackass. Phew!

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Little Lit Book Review: Chinese Picture Books [Part 1]

The Mother Tongue Language Festival, organised by the National Library, is held between 6 and 13 September 2014. So it is an opportune time to review some good-quality Chinese picture books, originally written in English, Japanese or French.

 

Parents who want their children to experience reading Chinese at an early age should try these books. The Chinese text in these books does not come with Hanyu Pinyin.

 


GreatGrandPasGrandPaTitle:
爷爷的爷爷的爷爷的爷爷 [Grandpa’s Grandpa’s Grandpa’s Grandpa] by Yoshifumi Hasegawa

Age Range: 3 years and above

Chinese standard: Easy

 

Grandpa’s Grandpa’s Grandpa’s Grandpa is multiple-award winning author-cum-illustrator Yoshifumi Hasegawa’s first book. This comical and creative book makes learning Chinese fun.

 

Synopsis: 

A 5-year-old boy introduces his 38-year-old father and his 72-year-old grandfather to the reader. He asks his grandfather, “What is your father like?”

GreatGrandPasGrandPa-Inside2Grandpa introduces him to his great-grandfather. His grandpa exits the page. The boy spends time with his great-grandfather and asks, “What is your father like?”

His great-grandfather introduces his father as “great-great-grandfather”. His great-grandfather exits the page. Now the boy spends time with his great-great-grandfather and asks, “What is your father like?” His great-great-grandfather introduces his father as “great-great-great-grandfather”.

The beautiful cyclical structure of this story follows the boy as he traces his lineage through each historic period and finally wonders whose grandfather he will be in the future?

 

My Thoughts – Shared Moments with Loved Ones

GreatGrandPa2

The bold, quirky illustrations add humour and depth to the boy’s story—imagining the boy sharing a meal, travelling or conversing with his ancestors—reminds us to cherish shared moments with our loved ones.

 My K2 nephew reads with glee as he keeps adding yet another “great” to the preceding “great”. Try saying “great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great-grandfather.” It is a ridiculously funny and non-threatening easy read for children learning Mandarin.

 

 

 

Title: 尿尿是什么? [What is Pee?] by Kyo Yamiwaki

Age Range: 3 years and above

Chinese standard: Easy

 

WhatisPee-CoverOriginally written by a Japanese writer, this book is perfect for potty training children, especially boys. But it is also a fun read for non-potty children learning Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The story starts when Yu Yu graduates from diapers to undies. His undies is so comfortable Yu Yu discovers he can do a series of forward rolls.

Pee-Guide3

Pee-Guide5

Yu Yu shares a moment with his imaginary friend, a frog print motif on the curtain that springs into secret life, just for him. Yu Yu explains to the frog what pee is, what causes someone to pee and how to pee. The story has a funny, final twist.

 

My thoughts – Peek into Peeing Guide

Yu Yu’s step-by-step guide on how to pee into a toilet bowl is perfect for little boys.

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Little Lit Book Review: My Naughty Little Sister Collection by Dorothy Edwards

 

 

My Naughty Little Sister [FC]My friend recommended I read one of her favourite childhood books, My Naughty Little Sister by British author, Dorothy Edwards. This timeless children’s classic by Edwards captures the nuances of a child under the age of five very well. You can’t help but smile at the little sister’s spunky spontaneity and charming innocence. You can find the naughty little sister in this story in every child.

Take one glance at the cover and the drawings peppered throughout, and you’ll get the hunch that this book is written eons ago. The retro pen and ink illustrations are done by multiple award-winning illustrator cum author, Shirley Hughes.

 

Story Behind the Story

My Naughty Little Sister is based on the author’s younger sister, Phyllis. Edwards conceived the stories in 1950 to keep her daughter quiet whileMy Naughty Little Sister [S] they were on a family vacation. Edwards went on to write five more books under the same series. This series sits well with independent readers between 7 and 8 years old, and pre-schoolers if their parents read to them. I bought the collection of five books – fifty-two stories – bound in a paperback from Woods in the Book for only S$24. What a steal!

 

This Book Reminds me of….

Edwards’ stories usually start off with “A long time ago, when I was a little girl, I had a little sister…” or “A long time ago, my naughty little sister….”.  This writing style reminds me of Lauren Child’s Charlie and Lola where Charlie is the narrator and describes his little sister’s antics.

 

Not So Naughty

The naughtiness of her naughty little sister is very mild compared to the wicked deeds of Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon.

My Naughty Little Sister [Inside]Her little sister comes across as an inquisitive, curious, precocious child with an independent streak. She charms the milkman, the baker, the window-cleaner and the grumpy neighbour.

Sometimes, her little sister can be spiteful when she does not have her way – Like how she tosses her older sister’s fairy doll out of the window and it lands on a muddy puddle.

 

Sometimes, her little sister can be silly and funny. One day, she has a chance to join her older sister to school. When the teacher does an attendance check, the little sister is surprised that everyone replies by saying “Present”, so she shouts out, “I want a present, I want a present!”

 

The little sister’s best moments can be very touching. When her aunt reads her a story about a poor little boy with no breakfast, dinner and supper, she becomes very pensive. At supper, she leaves her piece of buttery bread on top of the little book boy’s picture. For a normally greedy child, her unexpected thoughtful deed shows she has a kind, tender heart.

 

I thoroughly recommend My Naughty Little Sister. Read it to your children or your little sister if you have one, and watch their faces light up, or enjoy it with a cup of tea and scones. It is indeed, a very good read!

 

 

 

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