This Month GrowingHearts turns 4! To mark this occasion, we have a special Giveaway to celebrate and THANK YOU for journeying with us!
This post is a review of the recent books we purchased from Maha Yu Yi Bookstore. It is located at Bras Basah Complex on the 3rd floor at the corner beside Art Friend. It has been ages since I read chinese books to my boys. It was a natural death when they entered Primary school. Busy Busy… They devoured their English books by themselves so I lost my zeal in reading mandarin books to them. I was unmotivated because I normally have to prepare in advance in order to read fluently to them by checking the dictionary for new words.
That day, I entered Maha Yu Yi Store with no expectations. Just browsing. The manager Yuen Ling left me to browse before asking my children’s age. Profile: P2 and P3. Boys. Love to read English Books. Can speak mandarin, but dislike to read mandarin books. K2 girl, likes reading and loves activity books.
She then carefully selected a few genres for me. Sherlock holmes style but no HYPY (Han Yu Pin Yin) , good values chapter books with HYPY, The diary of the wimpy kid genre and another cartoon like chapter book no HYPY. After reading them, I got A and E to choose which type they would prefer. A ended up with only the good value series and lit up when he was given the Plants vs Zombies comic books!
Why do I review Chinese book in English? It is catered for Singaporeans like me, who have been using the English language majority of our lives but now for our children’s sake, we seek to help our children develop a positive experience with learning mandarin. The encouraging experience with Yuen Ling, who is bilingual, also provided me the much-needed support to recommend books catered to my children’s interest! Another major attraction is their 20% discount on all books with a membership fee of only $8! Their prices are reasonable and with the discounts I can afford to buy more of the below series for our reading practice. Here’s our experience with the recommendations.
We bought the following books:
- 美德易拉罐 series ( Hearty Humour Series )
We started with 谁送的早餐 (no.16). This book was so interesting that my eldest son read the whole book the next morning all by himself since it has HYPY. Imagine my pleasant surprise! I read-aloud for the other 2 siblings. In the past, I used to frown on HYPY books because I did not wish my kids to rely on it to ‘read’. I had ‘read’ well with HYPY and it handicapped me from learning the actual chinese characters as a student. My goal was for them to associate the chinese characters with the sound instead of the HYPY way.
I think it was still a valid decision that I made as young children absorb everything well. However, now with their growing up, without the use of HYPY, it meant mum-me, has to do homework in order to read to them fluently as the difficulty level increases. It was this very reason that my zealousness to read aloud to my boys died tragically.
Being able to read this CHAPTER book aloud to the kids so fluently and confidently regained not only my dignity, it also re-ignited the spark to learn Chinese together with my kids! This time round, I was re-learning the beautiful descriptive phrases that gave so much emotions and drama to the story! We were captivated by the story line and the kids were engaged in my reading. The best part?
I got them to read-aloud together! I wish to re-spark the interest in chinese books for especially my boys. J was resistant initially but even he was drawn into the story and we enjoyed the humourous and heartwarming expressions of the author. I figured that being exposed to the content and descriptive language would help them improve in their learning and hopefully, in time, they will become more familiar with the higher level of expressions.
Basically, this book is about a boy who came from a broken family. His dad was not around for him and he went without breakfast for some time which caused him to faint. The below excerpt describes his situation where he had to imagine his water as milk, juice etc to curb his hunger pangs. In the midst of these, he had the most extraordinary experience – his drawer started surprising him with delectable food for breakfast! Therefore the title – Who had given him his morning breakfasts?
What I love about this book is the strong moral values imparted in the most heartwarming and endearing manner! We were all drawn to empathise with him as though we were experiencing the situation together with him. The best part is how the author skillfully weaves in nuggets of wisdom through comical instances like the below. Through this book, they saw their current life style in a new light. This expression 身在福中不知福 , became more meaningful to them. When they act up and complain about certain food, I remind them on this story and they settle down quietly acknowledging they are blessed indeed! This is something I find valuable through our read aloud sessions together. We have another common story of understanding! Lastly, what I like about this whole series – They have a set of post activity mini lessons for discussions and learning at the end of the book.
2. 女孩帖子涂色成长故事书 ( Stickalicious Activity Book Series )
The below activity book series consists of 4 books. E wanted all 4! I stood firm and told her to choose Only 2.
I must say the illustrations are attractive with lovely stickers to get busy with. More importantly, the content of this book is not ‘childish’. In fact, I like how they write with clarity and care where we learnt many new words, lyrical phrases and idioms. It is not just a stick and paste book, there are areas that allow for creative colouring to personalise your tutu skirts and more.
It ends with a short comprehension MCQ questions.
3. 植物大战僵尸2 (Plants vs Zombies)
Yuen Ling mentioned that for those who dislike mandarin books, one way to captivate interest is through the use of comics. This series below is a hit with my boys! It is the hilarious and 欠扁 (in the kids’ lingo- ‘lame’) jokes. Boys just giggle and roar with ridiculous exclamations and showed the below to us. They are somehow motivated to read whatever they could manage in order to decipher the jokes. I thought this was a good start without HYPY and it also teaches the meaning of the words at the top right hand corner green text box in context. E.g. 分数: 95 分 差一点， = 9.5 Get the joke? ; p
A sharing the comic joke with J and he beelined for the comic when he entered the bookstore.
4. 想像力 和 我的百变浴缸
The below books are bought for my art resource collection. The illustrations on 想像力 are mesmerising and mysterious. You can take a look at a few snippets on my instagram.
我的百变浴缸 and 我的神奇马桶 illustrates how this little boy imagines all kinds of amazing possibilities a bathtub and toilet bowl can be! Creativity and humour saturate every page!
For our 4th anniversary, we are pleased to collaborate with Maha Yu Yi Book Store to host a Giveaway to THREE Readers of GrowingHearts123!
Our readers can win a choice of
Giveaway Options 1, 2 or 3.
Option 1 (A 3D Pop Up Ocean Book) :
1 海洋上下 (ages 2 and up)
This book introduces the Ocean’s Top and Bottom perspectives! The paper pop up effectively illustrates this tip of the iceberg and contrasts it with the real iceberg situation below, deep in the ocean. A classic beauty teaching about the ocean and the contrast of polluted waters vs healthy coral reefs.
Here’s a video of the whole book!
OR Option 2 (Stickalicious Activity Set)
A set of a)迟到的邀请函 and b)神秘的生日礼物 (ages 4-8)
OR Option 3 (Hearty Humour Set) :
A set of a)变色的第一名 + b)谁是小霸王 + c)谁送的早餐 (Ages 8-12)
Winners will walk away with Maha Yu Yi’s
1) 3D Pop Up Ocean Book or
2) Stickalicious Activity Set or
3) Hearty Humour Set
Steps to join giveaway:
(This is only for Singapore residents)
- Like GrowingHearts123 facebook page
- Like Maha Yu Yi facebook page
- Leave a comment on facebook post (click on this red colour fb link to comment) on why you would like to have this Giveaway and indicate which Giveaway (1/2/3) in the order of preference you wish to win. Please include your e-mail address so that we can contact you.
- Bonus Point: Share this post on your facebook (tag GrowingHearts and set it public)
- Giveaway ENDS 2359 20th NOV 2017
Note: Readers will be selected at random. The company will contact the readers directly via e-mail. Winners have to respond within 24hours upon announcement made and collect the prize at the below address by 31st Dec 2017 or forfeit the prize to another winner.
Giveaway has ENDED.
The Winners are
Option 1: Wei Li
Option 2: Tan FenXia Grace
Option 3: Chris Lee
CONGRATULATIONS! Thank You ALL for joining this giveaway!
Maha Yu Yi Store Location
Bras Basah Complex
231 Bain Street Singapore 180231(65) 6336 5222(65) 6339 7958e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: We received a copy of 海洋上下 for the purpose of this book review. The rest of the books are our personal copies. No monetary compensation was received. All reviews and opinions are 100% genuine from the blogger. This is also an effort in support of our local bookstores.
For more Chinese Learning Posts
- Our Favourite Chinese Picture Books
- Resourceful Ways to Help Children Learn Chinese (四五快读 and More)
- Chinese Learning Video Series
- Learning Chinese through a Chinese Translating App
- Chinese Copy Cat 1
- Growing In Touch with being a Chinese
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