Unlike our Tokyo vacation of 2016, our itinerary for our Taiwan trip was rather vague and open-to-change. We figured that, since the boys were not coming along, we had more freedom to flex and make up plans along the way. I had gotten some recommendations from friends on places to visit, since it was my first time to Taiwan, and hubby had only ever been there on business trips before. Thanks to their suggestions, and the invaluable GoogleMaps, we managed to navigate ourselves around the city pretty smoothly for first-timers. 😉
After exactly THREE weeks of sorting and throwing and giving away and organising, I’m proud and happy to say that we are just about hitting the home stretch on getting our home all tidied up! Read more
During our decluttering exercise these past few weeks, one of the hardest categories of items to sort through was our boys’ extensive collection of books. Our family loves books, and we have been holding on to quite a few books from the boys’ baby years due to sentimental reasons, but it was finally time to let go of some of them.
Over the years, we have fine-tuned our senses to better suss out which books the boys will truly enjoy, and which books only look appealing to us as adults but don’t really spark their interest. (Parents, you know what I mean right?) Well, it was time to say goodbye to those books too. Which means that their bookshelves are looking more sparse and organised at the moment, and only filled with treasures that they really love.
So when we were asked by Owl Readers Club if we would be keen to join their book-lovers community, we felt ready and confident to sign up, knowing that we have gained precious experience in discerning which books our boys will like to read. And new books for the holidays are always a great idea! But we were pleasantly surprised to find that we didn’t just gain a few more titles for our bookshelves – because this is more than just your average online bookstore…
We spied this book at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) at the National Library back in June, and were attracted by its cover. The Little Singapore Book was available for pre-order at the time. Two weeks ago, our copy finally dropped in our mailbox, and we had a wonderful few days unpacking its contents page by page. David, especially, was captivated by the beautiful illustrations and interesting anecdotes of Singapore’s history.
When it comes to waking up in the morning, most people tend to fall into one of these two categories – the ones who bounce out of bed, bursting with energy to face the day ahead, and the ones who roll over, and sleepily whine “Five more minutes please…”
Hubby and I, we tend to fall into that second category. Our boys on the other hand… let’s just say we have hardly any need for alarm clocks in this household. You can imagine why this is very good on weekdays, but not so helpful on weekends…
Even so, we were tickled pink by the story Meet the Wakesaur, written by my friend Sherwin Seah and illustrated by Candice Phang. The story revolves around an adorable purple dino-like creature that’s specially equipped to wake sleepyheads up in the morning. Sherwin is himself a father to a 5yo boy, and this story was inspired by his own experiences trying to wake his son up for school! Personally, I think that’s super sweet 🙂
For the past two years, the boys and I have been following The Adventures of Squirky the Alien, a dear little blue alien who goes looking for his birth parents after finding out that he was adopted. Squirky’s journey has taken him across the galaxy, and he has met several charming characters along the way, all who have shaped his journey in some way or other.
At the end of the last book How Do You Get To The Garden Galaxy, Squirky was faced with the dilemma of continuing his search at the expense of never seeing his adoptive family again, and he finally made the heart-wrenching choice to return to Earth…
During my rounds to deliver the Easter kits before our Japan trip, I met the lovely Meiru of Flip for Joy, who very kindly gifted the boys with a whole bagful of Chinese books for us to review. I was floored by her generosity and the boys, needless to say, were very happy to receive their loot.
The arrival of these books was very timely, as we had been reminded by the boys’ kindy teachers to read to them more Chinese books during the holidays. A trip to the library did not yield us much “fruit” in the area of Chinese books. We found it quite a challenge to find appropriate books in the children’s section – most of the books we found were either too wordy or just pictures, and we only found a couple that had a nice mix of text and illustrations. But these books from Flip for Joy are right up our (the boys’) alley!
Meiru had asked me what kind of topics the boys are interested in [Ans: Dinosaurs, animals, construction, vehicles], and then thoughtfully handpicked these titles from her stock for them. She even asked me if I wanted purely Chinese books, Chinese-English books or books with hanyu pinyin. Right from the get-go, I felt warmed by how much of a personal touch and heart she brings to this homegrown business.