Raising a Reader – 4 September 2017

Remember when I said we need to borrow more books to satisfy Evangeline’s insatiable thirst for new books?

We are wrong. We borrow too many books this time round and we can’t finish it on time. So we have to extend the borrowing period for some of the books. At least now we sort of know our average consumption rate for book reading. Given that there are some books life are shorter due to its low replay value, we always find a good mix that some of the books are read repetitively thus need longer borrowing time.

Wheels on the bus
A book by Jerry Smath, the pages inside are illustration to the lyrics of the famous nursery rhymes. Evangeline knows all the lyrics and sing it happily from time to time. Not a good book for bedtime story. She ends up singing the whole night and reducing our quality sleep.

Peek-a-who?
It is kind of a flap book without flap. Instead, every odd page you will have a page with cut out hole viewing partial of the next even page. You will guess the object on the next page based on what is visible on the current page. It’s rhyming too, as the object have a discernible rhyme (Boo, Who, Moo, Choo-choo). Evangeline likes this book and bring this everywhere. Thanks to the author Nina Laden for this.

That’s not my monkey
That’s not my squirrel
I’ve told you that it’s tricky to teach kids about pattern. Now texture, is entirely different ball game. How do you teach sensory on kids and the name of certain texture? Luckily the touchy-feely book series solve this problem for us. The duo author Fiona Watt and illustrator Rachel Wells have many of similar books. This time we only borrow two of them. The style of the story telling is the same. First few pages started with “That’s not my (animal), its (certain parts) are too (adjective/texture).” And on the final page it will say “That’s my (animal) confirming that the readers have found the right animal.

Pom pom gets the grumps
This panda main character in the Sophy Henn’s book is called Pompom. We previously had another book about another panda, Chengdu, a panda who could not sleep. So it’s rather amusing when I ask Evangeline to spell this character’s name (Pom Pom), partially testing her alphabet skills because POM is quite an easy letter, given we practice with Papa and Mama spelling most of the time.

“What letter is this?”
“P.”
“Good. And this?”
“O.”
“Good. And this?”
“M.”
“Excellent. What is his name?”
“Chengdu.”

Okay maybe too early. Anyway this is a book about Pompom. The grumpy panda who always said “No” to his friends. He ended up playing alone and sad because nobody is playing with him. Only when he realize how jerk he really is, he said sorry and all his friends forgive him and play together.

Goodnight Owl
I can’t recall which book is this. I’m sorry. We have too many books about good night and too many books about owls. I can’t find who the author is too. It seems that my wife read this book to Evangeline and I don’t really take a good look of this book before returning it.

Numbers: a book
Most of number books are showing the number 1 to 10. This book by John J Reiss is the rare one that have 1 to 20. After 20, it jumps every 10 (30, 40, 50, …) until 100 and the last page is 1000. It’s a good book for learning number and revision for your young readers. The illustration is simple and the overall feel of the book is friendly and not too overwhelming for kids.

Picken: mix and match the farm animal
How do you choose a book from hundreds or even thousands of books in library? I would say I choose the one that’s more interesting. In this case, Mary Murphy’s book Picken is doing a good job. It’s so unique. It is a book with spine on both ends, so you could open the left part and the right part. Each page is a half of an animal, so picken itself is a wordplay from left part of Piglet (Pi) and right part of Chicken (cken). It’s like a puzzle to match first and last part of animal, or a good start if you want to teach your kids about animal experiment on genetic mutation.

Bear and Hare go fishing
Snow!
We had another book from this series by Emily Gravett. In the previous book we borrow they are playing hide and seek around the house. In these two, they are going out for fishing together, and playing outside during snow day. In Go Fishing, bear caught many unwanted objects from the river, and on the final page they finally caught a fish alive. In Snow, they are building a snowbear instead of a snowman. It is a fun story book series with simple plot and nice illustration.

树叶钱
Shuyeqian literally means leaves money. It’s a chinese story book by 罗琳 and illustrated by 李国龙 . The story revolves around a monkey who proposed an idea to the forest community to use leaves as medium of exchange. While this sounds relevant to us in human world to use coins and bank notes as money is our common medium of exchange, it is not sustainable in forest context. The forest animals started gathering leaves instead of doing their usual activity (hunting, harvesting, etc). This makes the trees in the forest losing the leaves rapidly. Finally monkey realized his mistake after another flaw, its money is expired because all the greenback has turned into dry leaves and not acceptable as payment method. Okay I must admit this is very advanced for my daughter. The language, the storyline, and the illustrations, I think it’s meant for bigger kid. I would suggest revisit this book when the kid is older and understand more things.

吃早餐
Chī zǎocān is a simple book that narrates the story of a boy who is having breakfast. This is a simple book to learn chinese and enrich the vocabulary.

Little Owl’s night
Little Owl’s day
I always think that people who optimize to get more results are genius. Divya Srinivasan is one of them. The two books by this author are essentially telling the little owl’s journey throughout the forest. One is during the day, and one is during the night. You will see similar animals the little owl encounter. They are good bedtime story books. Evangeline did learnt few more animals from these books. I would say not many books have “moth” in their animal repertoire.

Clip-clop
This book is borrowed because its illustration caught my eyes in the library. It’s time for Evangeline to learn about storyline, so it’s good to have a book whose character she already recognize. Clip-clop by Nicola Smee is suitable for this purpose. Cat, dog, pig, and duck are riding Mr. Horse. I have high hopes on this book and who would have guessed that Evangeline shows her true potential by telling me the story after my long day at work. Basically she shows that she understand what her mother told her, what the story is all about, and when she forgot, she refer to the book pages as a cue and reference to keep her story telling on track. I couldn’t be more happier.

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