Raising a Reader – 23 July 2017

Sunday 23 July 2017 we went for another library trip. This time we again let Evangeline choose the books and read it to her in the library while Mama is browsing through books to be brought home. Papa had fun reading to her about the cat, which the title escaped my memory at the moment, but it’s black and white in graphic and in every page we tried to spot the missing cat. Where’s Waldo style but in noir. Yeah, you could probably find all sort of genre in children’s book.

Evangeline is fond of a book from Happy Feet animation, about the little penguin who can dance. But the condition of the book is already tattered beyond repair. I don’t know what has the book went through from previous library member. We left the cat book and the penguin book in the library when Mama is ready. Without further ado, here’s the loot from this episode.
Elmer and the rainbow
The book by David McKee tell the story about the colourful elephant who save the day by giving out its colour to restore fading rainbow colour. I originally thought that this was another nonsense children fantasy book. But the message at the end of the story blew me away. As Elmer make the great sacrifice to restore rainbow’s colour, the other animals were wondering, will Elmer turn grey like other elephants? Spoiler alert: Elmer emerge victorious retaining its colourful shades because (quoted brutally from the book) “Some things you can give and give and give and not lose any.” like … love. This one sentence alone qualifies this book as worth to buy. This book has nice graphic, decent plot, and strong moral of the story. I would recommend this book for raising a reader.

Ollie’s Easter eggs
Okay I need to tell you a background story about these books. Back before we are introduced to this library realm, we bought our books. Yes. We bought. Since we are not exactly rich people, we source for the cheapest option and it turned out buying from Amazon is cheaper alternative, but we need to collate few orders to optimize the free shipping. Mama has her support group of Mami Mami Malang (the M cube) to do this. And one of our purchase is the book by Olivier Dunrea, Gossie the Little Gosling.

At the back cover of this book, there is a list of other characters (other ducklings/ goslings) with their respective names. Evangeline loves this Gossie book (the little gosling who loves to wear red boots). And at the end of the story, she will point to the back cover and identify all the other characters (not mentioned anywhere in the book itself). I finally realize that this is their marketing ploy when I saw one of the characters, Ollie, has a standalone books.

These two books, tell the story about Ollie, another fowl. I love their depiction of the animal doing daily activities, expressing their emotions, and their clean graphic on white background is not too overwhelming for my 2 years old. The vocabulary used is quite simple. If you want to teach your kids to read, I recommend this series. It is awesome. After the third book (I have my own Gossie, and this two Ollie), you could somehow see a pattern. And pattern is good. It let us know that if your kid like this three books, chances are the next time you see Olivier Dunrea books, it will be another success.

Home sweet home
Do you know what flap book is? If you don’t, let me explain to you about my little discovery. Normally book will be flipped page by page till the end, right? Imagine there’s a little page inside your page, that can be flipped open revealing more content. Genius. It’s like my office job filing A3 drawings to A4 files.

The book by Sarah Powell, narrates the story of little owl who travels through certain places (i.e. mountains) and when you open the flap on the mountain page, you will see mountain animals. And few other places. Evangeline loves flap book. We read it so often she can tell me what’s behind the flap before I flip it.

Taffy Saltwater’s yummy summer day
The book by Michael Paraskevas didn’t really leave impression to me. It’s colourful. About a girl (Taffy) who went to the beach, meet certain other characters, do stuffs, the end. There’s some bunny ragdolls and beach ball in the story but I can’t recall what’s the significance. Colourful and picture is cute for kids. We do not spend so much time reading this book, Evangeline does not favour this book over other options.

Five little ducklings go to school
Still remember previously we review the other Carol Roth’s book Five Little Ducklings Go to Bed? This is another book by the same author written on the same style. We expect a good feedback and it really delivers. Same style, but different theme. This time instead of going to bed, the ducklings are going to school. And the replay value factor? It’s still there. The “bug spotting” activity is back! Apparently these five little ducklings are to be differentiated by their apparels, I remember there’s another ducklings with green hat earlier in another books. I will try to evaluate this if I come across another Carol Roth’s book.

Numbers. I love numbers since I was a kid. Besides reading, I love math. What could be better way to induce this interest to my daughter than reading a book about numbers? Two is a book by Kathryn Otoshi. The characters are integer number from 0 to 9. The story revolves around the life of 2. There are some gang fight between Odd and Even. Each number is a character with different colours. I read this story to Evangeline but she just spotted and pointed at the number and shouting their respective colours. She still does not understand the storyline yet. Overall great book but maybe 2 years old is too young. The text is rhyming which on some pages felt a bit forced to fit, but good try. I will borrow this again when she’s older.

How to raise a mom
Okay now this is a fun book. This story tells children how to behave, but in different perspectives. For example, it instruct the reader to bring their mom to playdate to meet other moms. We know in fact we bring our kids to playdate. But they twist all the thing to revolve around the kids’ world. Another example is about waking up. To wake up a mom, kid need to be gentle and kiss the mom. I love how they depict this perspective and on the back cover I saw there are more of this similar book under the same author. If it’s available in library I wil snatch more of this Jean Reagan ‘s book.

Funny jokes from Japan
Funny jokes from China
I also borrow two books for myself. It’s a compilation of short funny stories. These books by Kum Fatt Chong are wordy, with few graphics on every several pages. I didn’t get to finish both books. Evangeline did flip a few to find which pages have pictures on it. It’s not a bad book. It’s a nifty collection of short jokes so I think the quality of the stories got nothing to do with the author. Overall, good read for travelling companion, but I won’t buy something I can easily browse over the internet.


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