Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Review books "H" and "I"

I found many good books this week. We had a wonderful time reading them all.

A Field full of Horses

The series Read and Wonder has the best books. This book is particularly beautiful. It makes me want to be with horses. I would love to have all the Read and Wonder series on my shelf.

How Many?

Sean loves this book. He loves to count out loud as we read the pages of this book. In fact, we've borrowed this many times and this week, he picked it out by himself.

How to Hide a Crocodile?

Another great book by Ruth Heller. She is so good at using the least amount of words to convey so much meaning. Ruth Heller is definitely a keeper.

Ho for Hat!
I love the poem and the beautiful and detailed illustrations. It's a fun book to read out loud. I would definitely want to have it on my shelf.

If the dinosaurs came back

This is also another book that we have borrowed before. It's a favorite. The drawings are in black marker with just the dinosaur in a flat colour, but there's so many things happening in the pictures. It's also great that there's a page with all the names of the dinosaurs on it. It's a wonderful book to have.

In the Night Kitchen

Maurice Sendak is so imaginative. Reading this is like going through a fantastic dream. It's also a must read.

I wanna Iguana

It's a cute book. The story is told through correspondence of notes between a son and his mom. He was trying to convince his mom to let him have a baby iguana. I really like the play of words, but the drawing of the iguana is really ugly! =P

I heard Said the bird

A beautifully illustrated book about a bird telling the animals that it heard about a new one.

It's the Bear!

A follow up to 'Where's my Teddy'. Sean still finds it scary though. He's scared of the giant bear or maybe the expression of fear on Eddy's face.

Falling for Rapunzel

It's a funny twist of the Rapunzel story. It's really cute but Sean was not interested. Definitely a cute book for girls.


I love all the science series. It's short and simple but had enough photographs to capture your attention. I wish we have more of these books in the library. Maybe they are really popular and are mostly borrowed out.

Montessori Play and Learn

A great book which list out games you can do. It has a good summary about what the Montessori concept is all about. I haven't really gone through the games yet though.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book reviews : 'G' and 'H' books

This is a combination of last week's and this week's borrowing. I didn't get to scan last week's books because I was just too involved in searching for a kindergarten for Sean.

The Glerp

A really funny story about a Glerp that eats everything that crosses it's path. The animals had a wonderful time bouncing inside the Glerp until the Glerp fell sick and cough them all out.

Green Eggs and Ham

An all time favorite. A book that has been borrowed over and over again. Totally recommended!

The Greatest Show on Earth

It's about a little boy in a circus family who is surrounded by amazing people who has amazing skills. He can't do any of them yet but in the end, he did them all and became a star of the show. I love the illustrations and the story. Highly recommended.

Giggle Giggle Quack

Another funny story about how duck swap the notes that Farmer Brown gave his brother, Bob, regarding his instructions for taking care of the animals. The animals got to eat pizza, bathed in Farmer Brown's soap, and watch movies.

Geraldine the Music Mouse

A story about a mouse who found music from a piece of Parmesan cheese

Guess How Much I Love You?

A warm story about a small Nutbrown Hare and a big Nutbrown Hare describing how much they love the other. It's beautiful illustration and imaginative use of words makes this a great book that we will borrow again and again.

Harry the Dirty Dog

A favorite. Harry is a white dog with black spot who hated to take a bath. He hid the scrub and went about happily making himself as dirty as possible until he was a balck dog with white spots. When he went home, the family didn't recognize him. Eventually Harry dug up the scrub and begged them to give him a bath.

Hector Sylvester

A favorite. A hilarious story about an ostrich (I think) that was mighty and brave. He wasn't scared of snake, crocodile or lion. In fact he was fiercer than them. But he was terribly frightened of an incee wincee spider. The story ended with all the animals laughing and tickling each other.

Home Sweet Home

A favorite. Does a cat live in a kennel? Do butterflies live in a hive? Does Alive live in a coop? Do cows live in a stable? Do rabbits live in a hole? It's a predictable story but Sean love it because he knows most of it already. In fact, he would joke that a cat live in a kennel, etc. The simplicity of the story encourages young readers to attempt to read. It's recommended for begining reader.

The Halloween House

A funny book about 2 convicts on the run who stayed the night at the house where there were scary creatures of halloween. When morning came all of them vanished and the convicts ran back to their prison cell.

The Halloween House

A funny book about 2 convicts on the run who stayed the night at the house where there were scary creatures of halloween. When morning came all of them vanished and the convicts ran back to their prison cell.

The Hippo Boat

A story about a mother and a baby hippo recuing the baby animals in the zoo when the rain was so heavy that it floaded the zoo. Very cute.

Where are the Eggs?

A favorite. A simple book that shows photographs of animals and their nests and eggs. Hen, Robin, Goose, Stork, Crocodile, Sea Turtle, Butterflies and Penguin.

Look at Paws and Claws

A favorite. A book about the hands, paws, claws, and flippers, and what they are used for. Bery interesting.

Your Child's Growing Mind by Jane M. Healy

A must to read by every parents. It gives me a very good understanding about the mind of a child.

Part 1: Brain Development and Learning
Part 2: Foundations of Learning
Part 3: Learning applied

Gorf's Pond

A story about a tadpole who thought he was a fish. He was scared when he started losing his tail and growing limbs. Finally a new frog who came into his small pond told him that he was a frog.

Growing Frogs

About a little girl getting some frog eggs from a pond and watching them grow to be a frog, and then put them back into the pond.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

A cute way of rewriting this classic story. Goldilocks is written as a naughty little girl who doesn't listen to her mother. Despite being told not to take the short cut, she went against her mother's advice and found the bears' house.

How Far Will a Rubber Band Stretch?

An interesting story about how a little boy attached a rubber band and stretched it. He cycled out of his house, took a bus, went on a plane ride, on a train, on a boat, across the ocean, across the desert, to the moon, and then BOING, he was back in his bed. An interesting book that stretches the imagination.


A story about a mother hushing all the animals because her baby is asleep.

Here are the Brick Street Boys

A story about boys playing football.

How Do Bear Sleep?

A poem about what would bears do when they sleep. Sean did not like it, but maybe it's because it's not age appropriate yet.

Sounds All Around

A book that tells us what makes sounds.

A collection of Pingu's story. Pingu is a naughty penguin who likes to play tricks on others.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Book reviews : 'E' and 'F' books

The thing about borrowing books from the library is, you don't know what you'll get until you bring them home and read them. For last week's books, I can only give a 5 star rating to one book which really impresses me.

Think of an Eel

It's a beautifully illustrated book about where eel eggs hatch (in Sargasso Sea), and how they look like as little eel and how they grow as they travel to the rivers where they stay in adulthood. And what they do when it's time to reproduce, i.e. swim back all the way to Sargasso to breed and die. I think this is one book that we'll borrow again when Sean is slightly older. The books from the series of 'Read and Wonder' are amazing.

Each Peach Pear Plum

It has a clever word rhyme which incorporates many nursery story characters. Sean enjoyed looking for each character in the illustration.

Eating the Alphabet

A good list of fruits and vegetable from A to Z. The illustrations are colorful, but I wish they are more realistic because some of the less common fruits and vegetables are not clearly drawn.

Ernest and Celestine

An warm story about the love of an adult for a child.

Emil the Eagle

A funny story about an eagle who is near-sighted and a fly that has no wings.

Ellie's Growl

Beautiful illustrations, but I'm not so good at making animal sounds so I was not able to fully animate the story as well as it could be.

The Flea's sneeze

A cute book about all the animals in the barn sleeping but not the flea who was having a cold. The flea finally sneezed and woke all the animals up. The story ended up with everyone sleeping, except the hog.

A Flea in the ear

A beautifully illustrated story between a dog and a fox. The fox told the dog who was having a flea problem to dunk himself in the pond. The flea made an agreement with the dog that if he does not drown them, they'll hop off him and never bother him again. Of course when the dog came back, the fox has gotten away with all the chicken in his charge. The dog then tricked the fox about juicy ducks in the pond, and the flea that were from the dog leap on to the fox's back.

Frightened Fred

A cute story about a cat who had a long list of fears and how he finally got over them.

Fifty Red Nightcaps

A story about a boy and 49 monkeys who stole the red nightcaps he was bringing to the market to sell. He tried climbing after them but they were better climbers. He tried bribing them with fruits but they had more fruits on the trees. Finally he got angry and throw his nightcap on to the ground, and so did the monkeys.

The Kissing Hand

A story about a mummy raccoon soothing her child's fear about beginning school. She kisses his palm and told him that he has her love with her all day and whenever he misses her, he just have to put his palm on to his cheek to feel her love.

(Not an 'E' or 'F' book, but I wanted to check it out because it's about starting school. It's great that the library has it, but it's not something to collect.)

You can teach your child intelligence

It's about getting parents to understand what it means by intelligence, i.e. confidence and the ability to think on your feet. It's actually geared towards parents whose children are having problems at school, and changing trying to correct the mistakes we make as parents. It's an old book but it still has some valid suggestion if I ever have problems with Sean when he's older. The book is more about children above 7 years old. For younger kids, the author suggest her other book - How to be a Gifted parent. But I haven't seen it in the library yet.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Recipe: Chocolate Playdough

Chocolate Playdoh Recipe

Mix together:

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 cup salt

2 tsp. cream of tartar

Make sure you combine these ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed together. Then add 1 1/2 T. cooking oil and 1 cup boiling water. Mix and knead until you have a nice smooth ball of dough.