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Archive for the ‘Perfect Picture Book Fridays’ Category

I’m thrilled to have my friend and read-aloud expert Suzanne do a most awesome storytelling of my latest picture book Little Mole’s Awesome Star.

I do a tiny introduction, and then get to enjoy seeing Suzanne set a whole new professional standard for home-made storytelling videos!

Suzanne, heart-loads of thanks from your story-time fan girl!

 

 

Little Mole’s Awesome Star is available in the bookstores and online at Times’ GoGuru online store.

Related Links:

Awesome Star! Little Mole surfaces in Straits Times’ 8 Reads for March

Reader’s Favourite! Little Godwit finds his way to 5 shiny stars!

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Amidst this COVID-19 climate, I’m mutedly delighted that Little Mole’s Awesome Star has received a 5-star rating from Reader’s Favourite.

Little Mole's Awesome Star F Cover

Readers’ Favourite review:

“Little Mole was eagerly waiting for his special star. He wanted to know if his special star would show him awesome stuff …

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Little Mole’s Awesome Star by Emily Lim-Leh is an adorable story that introduces children to the star-nosed mole species in a fun and interesting way.

The concept of finding one’s own place in this world and independence has been woven beautifully into the plot, making it easy for young readers to understand it.

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John Lim brings the concept, the story, and the characters to life with his wonderful illustrations. The Let’s Discuss questions and the Did You Know part about star-nosed moles makes the book perfect to use during interactive sessions in classrooms to make learning entertaining. Children, parents, and tutors need more books like this one to make learning and teaching new concepts fun, interesting, and interactive.”

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Little Mole has just surfaced in local bookstores this week. Look for my book at Kinokuniya, Times Bookstores and Popular Bookstores this weekend! Also available from Times’ online store Goguru.

Little Mole Back Cover

Related Links:

Awesome Star! Little Mole surfaces in Straits Times’ 8 Reads for March

Reader’s Favourite! Little Godwit finds his way to 5 shiny stars!

 

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Today, I’m participating in author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

My picture book read this week is a book recommended by my friend Suzanne because she thought it was so Caleb. I then asked my girlfriends to gift it to me as part of my birthday bookquet.

This book is totally Caleb, down to the humour and premise of building a robot version of himself.

A couple of years back, while in the car, Caleb told me that he wished he could replicate himself, so his replicate could go to kindergarten on his behalf, along with clearing up his toys and packing up his room.

“That’s a great idea,” I said. “I think I also want to replicate myself. One of me can go shopping. One of me can have coffee and read a book. One of me can sleep in. And One of me can take care of you.”

There was a pause in the backseat. “Mum, are you serious?”

“Of course,” I said.

“Mum! I was just joking.”

Caleb wanted to replicate his father once, so he could do multiple things with him and for him. I blogged about it here.

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Title: Can I Build Another Me?

Author & Illustrator: Shinsuke Yoshitake

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Theme: Identity, Self-awareness, self-discovery

Opening line:

“I was fed up with doing things I didn’t want to do. Homework, tidying up, helping around the house – how boring! I’d much rather have fun instead.

One day, I had a great idea. I would build another me. Then he could do everything for me!”

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Synopsis:

A boy decides to build a robot to take over doing all his homework and housework duties. But to do that, his robot wants to first know everything about him.

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Activity:

This story is really about identity and learning about oneself. After reading through the story, you can take blank sheets of paper and have your child ask the same question: Can I build another me?

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Write down details about himself/ herself just as the main character has done according to the headers through the pages of the book:

Facts about me

My body and my face

Likes and Dislikes

Things I can do and can’t do

Can I build page

 

Related Links:

Perfect Picture Book Friday #13: It Might Be an Apple…or maybe not

Picturing Books: Birthday Bookquet, Menu Literature & Library Nibbles

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Today, I’m participating in author Susannah Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

My picture book selection is Sadako’s Cranes, a heartbreaking story of a little girl who became victim to the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I stumbled on this book on display at the Clementi Public Library and it caught my eye for two reasons:

  • I have Sadako’s Cranes in a chapter book story. This is my first time seeing the picture book version – and it is gorgeous.
  • When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, my dear, dear friend Arlene gave me a bouquet of origami paper cranes which she folded, as inspired by the story of Sadako’s Cranes. In Japan, the crane is a symbol of long life. Arlene folded 36 cranes in all – one for each month that we had known each other.

Sadako cover

Title: Sadako’s Cranes

Author & Illustrator:   Judith Loske

Publisher: Michael Neugebauer Publishing

Theme:  Death, Sadness & Hope

Opening line:

“I want to tell you the story of my friend Sadako Sasaki…”

Synopsis:

Sadako’s Cranes is based on Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese victim of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

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According to the back matter:

“On August 6, 1945, when she was two and a half, Sadako survived “Little Boy”, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima…ten years later she was diagnosed with leukemia, a result of radiation from the bomb.

She hears of a Japanese legend which says that a person who folds 1,000 cranes is granted a wish. Hoping to recover, she starts folding cranes.”

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What I loved about this book:

  1. The author skillfully wrote Sadako’s story with such sparse yet profound text which conveyed so much in a very personal and unusual way. This true story of a young child is told simply and personally, against the backdrop of a significant historical event.
  2. The accompanying illustrations are beautiful, poignant and heartbreaking. It conveys a sense of place, sadness and so much emotion.

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Activities:

  1. Use the back matter to discuss about the children who suffered the effects of the 1945 Hiroshima bombing, through Sadako’s personal story.
  2. Fold origami paper cranes as a sign of hope and peace and gift it to a loved one. Folding instructions here.

 

Related Link:

How Paper Cranes became a Symbol of Healing in Japan

Perfect Picture Book Friday #14 – Ida, Always

 

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Today, I’m participating in author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

My picture book selection is Ida, Always, a poignant story of loss and death, and it bears telling how this book picked me:

My dear, dear friend Hwee bought this book from the festival bookstore on Day 1 of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2019 last week and gave it to me (autographed by the book’s illustrator Charles Santoso who was in the festival bookstore at that time).

When Hwee gave me the book over coffee, she said, “Don’t cry. I didn’t know…until Santoso told me that it is about loss of a loved one.”

I choked up. “Thanks. I won’t cry. But I need to tell you…today is my mum’s birthday.”

Mum would have turned 71 years old but she had passed away from terminal cancer 6 months earlier.

(Postscript:

Hwee: “I asked Charles Santoso to pick his favourite book, which I planned to gift to Emily. He picked this, stopped, and said, wait, what is Emily’s background? This book is about death. Wow. I said yes, this is for Emily… “)

Ida bookcover

Title            : Ida, Always

Author        :   Caron Levis

Illustrator : Charles Santoso

Publisher   : Atheneum Simon & Shuster

Theme        :  Death, Loss, Grief

Opening line:

“Gus lived in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city. Buildings grew around him and shifted the shape of the sky. Zookeepers poked in and out. Visitors came and went.”

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Synopsis:

“Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends – inspired by a real bear friendship – and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.

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What I loved about this book:

  1. The writing is artfully crafted and the gentle illustrations complement it well. The author paints the scenes with so much emotions and colour that you feel the depth of the friendship between the bears and Gus’ loss of his best friend Ida.
  2. It addresses death and loss in a sensitive and thoughtful way.

Gus’ loss of his best friend and longtime companion Ida reminded me of my parents’ 50 year-marriage. My parents did everything together and went everywhere together. Although they were two completely different personalities, they were very much one item. But as my dad said this week- her memory lives on in our hearts.

And Gus’ story ends the same way, with his memories of Ida with him always.

Activities:

  1. Sit down with your child and write a thank you card to the loved one whom the child has lost. List down the things that you are both grateful to that loved one for.
  2. Look through family albums together and encourage your child to verbalise his/her thoughts about the loved one whom he/she has lost.

 

Resources:

https://childmind.org/article/helping-children-deal-grief/

https://www.caredimensions.org/grief-support/childrens/childrens-grief-resources.cfm

 

Related Links:

God Knows Leh #32 – Is Mum the Word in Finding Good Grief after Death?

Inside Out Kid #10: Mum, Grandma is already in Heaven!

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Today, I’m participating in author Susannah Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

My picture book read this week is a gorgeous picture book I came across at the gallery shop at National Gallery Singapore.

Book cover

Title: It might be an Apple

Author & Illustrator: Shinsuke Yoshitake

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Theme: Imagination, Possibilities

Opening line:

“One day, I came home from school.

Hey, what’s that?

On the table, there was an apple.

But wait a minute. It might not be an apple at all…”

 

Synopsis:

There is none on the back cover or inside page. The story simply takes flight with great imagination!

My 8-year old is at a stage where he prefers early chapter books. But he absolutely loves this picture book as he finds every page hilarious. We enjoyed reading aloud together the different forms the apple could take.

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Activity:

This story is about imagination and possibilities.

So, create your own page of what this apple might actually be!

 

Related links:

Perfect Picture Book Friday #12: Sarah Dreams up a New Life & Invention

Perfect Picture Books Friday #11: Sending Balloons and Rice from Heaven

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Today, I’m participating in author Susannah Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

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Title: Sweet Dreams Sarah

Author: Vivian Kirkfield

Illustrator: Chris Ewald

Publisher: Creston Books

Ages: 4-8 years old

Themes: Dreams, Aspirations, Perseverance

Opening: 

“Before the Civil War, Sarah obeyed her owner.

Hurry Up

              Eyes down.

                          Don’t speak.

Slaves were property – like a cow or a plow or cotton growing in the master’s fields.”

 

Why I like this book:

This is such a weighty topic and so difficult to write. Yet the author has been able to tell slave-turned inventor Sarah E. Goode’s story so simply and beautifully. Sarah’s story of how she turned her dreams into reality is written with a very strong storytelling voice and lyrical tone befitting the ‘dreams’ theme.

 

The author has also included interesting back matter explaining what a patent is, some facts on Sarah’s line and a list of black women inventors and their inventions.

My 8-year-old was most fascinated by this page and read through the entire list. True to form, he of course liked the 1991 invention that measures the temperature of urine sample without touching it!

 

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 Activities/Resources:

  1. Think of 1 thing that you would like to invent to make a difference in the world.
  2. Draw your invention!

Read the author interview on how Vivian wrote Sweet Dreams Sarah.

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Today, I’m participating in author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books Friday!

RicefromHeaven cover

Title: Rice from Heaven

Author: Tina Cho

Illustrator: Keum Jin Song

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Ages: 4-8 years old

Themes: Kindness & Courage

 

Opening:

“Out in the countryside, across a bridge, to an island blanketed with rice fields, Appa and I ride. We reach a place where mountains become a wall. A wall so high, no one dares to climb.”

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Why I like this book:

Rice from Heaven is based on an inspiring true story of a secret mission to float rice balloons across the border from South Korea to North Korea. Tina Cho has managed to take on a difficult topic and written it in an accessible way for young children to understand through brave young Yoori, who helps her father and other volunteers in this mission.

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Read the story behind the story in the interview with author Tina Cho here.

 

 Activities/Resources:

Make a plastic bag balloon and attach a card with:

(a) a prayer or words of encouragement for the children of North Korea OR

(b) a drawing of an item that you would like to send to a North Korean child.

You never know how far your prayers and thoughts can carry!

(a) Hope balloon (b) Drawing an item (craft idea by Laura Baker Mun)

Related Link:

Picturing A Book #2- Secret Mission of Balloons and Rice from Heaven

 

 

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