Friday, August 21, 2015

Toddler's book: 好饿的小蛇 A very hungry snake by Miyanishi Tatsuya

This is a very very cute book by a Japanese author Miyanishi Tatsuya 宫西达也. If you're just starting to read to your young preschooler (as young as one year old), this is a good one. This is short but engaging. It touches on the concept of colors and shapes and also numbers. It is a very interactive book. Whenever J sees this book, he will make that 'eating' sound effect (啊呜”“咕嘟”) that I always do whenever I read for him. 

Miyanishi Tatsuya has written a lot of good books for little ones. Some of the ones I have been wanting to get include: 你永远是我的宝贝 and 你看起来好像很好吃。 Knowing that these books were originally authored in Japanese, I have always have this preconception that I wanted to get them in Chinese, so the translation doesn't run too far apart. Don't mind me. This is just me.

He is a very passionate author. Once, when being interviewed, he shared this with his readers, first, never erase whatever that you feel is imperfect, continue working on it and make it perfect; Secondly, be truthful, especially on what you're writing about (translated by myself). Here's the Chinese version: 他与学生分享了两个原则:第一,不要用橡皮擦去你认为不完美的画,要用笔在不完美之上继续创作;第二,要真诚,让笔下所有东西都与自己有一种情感关联。

One of his quotes that resonates with me is this: The recognition of the fact that the world is imperfect, is amazing. 知道了这个世界的不完美, 这本身就已经很美妙了。So let's not continue to dwell in our own or the world's imperfection, instead, let's work out something to make it perfect. 

Whenever, I think about this quote, I get reminded of the other book, which you MUST get, which is Leo Lionni's "A Color of His Own", a book that can be summed up with these few words by Lao Tzu, 

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. 

Get this book if you have an infant or a toddler. Don't worry even if he is 5 or 6. It is a book that encourages your child's imagination and curiosity to blossom.Encourage him to contribute to the story, ask him what happens next. Let him makes the sound of eating. After a few read, encourage him to retell the story or his version of the story, or get him to add a new ending. Remember, there is no right or wrong to fantasy and imagination. 

After reading this book, enjoy yourselves with the free printables that comes along with the purchase of this book. I have made time and effort to create these fun printables that would encourage active learning. Many of these printables are perfect for "one-to-one correspondence" at home. If you're new to this phrase, check this out, the concept is so fundamental that we often don't put much thought to it. One-to-one correspondence is the ability to match one object to one (corresponding) number or object. 

Example: Placing 2 stars on the mat, when recognizing the number 2 displayed in column. 

This is a foundational math skills for preschoolers, or even those in kindergartens. I place emphasis on this as many children may have started knowing numbers from rote counting (memorizing numbers by counting from 1 to 10), but this is just like singing a song, and have no meaning or sense to them. Therefore, engaging in activities with these printables encourages hands-on learning and also promote problem-solving skills. 

In addition, I create plenty of crafts and coloring activities for lil J. Recent research demonstrated that arts and crafts in early childhood benefits: 
  • Visual processing skills (eg pattern recognition, detection of sequences etc) - important skills for math and reading 
  • Fine motor skills 
  • Attention span, improves focus and working memory skills 

I now have 15 new and genuine copies of "A very hungry snake" 好饿的小蛇 in Chinese (全新正版精装版)available for sale. It's for sale in the form of "Book & Activities Pack RM35" including the following: 
  • 1 x genuine hard-copy of "A very hungry snake" 好饿的小蛇 in chinese (new) 
  • 1 x Soft copy of A very hungry snake printables (16 pages) including printables for race to 10, 20 and 30, color recognition, add, cut and paste, shape recognition, beginning letter clip cards and counting puzzle (to be emailed to you)
  • 1 x pattern roller brush + a pot of toxin-free toddler-friendly water color (any color)  
  • 1 x sheet of coiled snake coloring page + 1 pair of googly eye for your snake 
Price is not inclusive of postage. 

Painting snake with a pattern roller brush

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