The Singing Mermaid by Julia Donaldson

the singing mermaid

We recently read ‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid’ to Samantha and I thought it would be good to have another story about one.

This beautiful glittery picture book is about a mermaid who sang lovely songs. One day, a circus ring master heard her wonderful singing, and offered her a job with promises of fame and fortune.. Which of course, was a lie. The singing mermaid then tries to escape the circus, with the help of her ingenious friends…

We enjoyed this book for its interesting storyline, and the vibrant illustrations helped to bring out the beautiful beach and the lively circus. The theme of betrayal was not heavily played upon in the book, and more rested on how the mermaid was trying to escape with the help of her friends.

Overall, I felt that this was a more friendly book to read to a 2 year old (compared to ‘The Little Mermaid’ which has more fighting and trickery).


Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr Seuss

ten apples up on top

This Dr Seuss book tells of how a lion, dog and tiger compete to balance the most number of apples on their heads. They then work together to balance more and more apples on their heads, while doing silly stunts like skating or drinking. When some bears start to chase them, they try to escape from the bears while keeping the apples on their heads!

Delightful, with good rhymes and poetic rhythm, this book is a great read any time in the day! Unlike many of Dr Seuss’ books, this book does not have any made-up words (that are sometimes impossible to pronounce!) inside..Parents, rejoice!

Title Cards for Shichida Flashcards

A while back I posted about a set of Shichida Flashcards from China that you can purchase from taobao. Since then I’ve had a couple of emails asking me to share my classification, and I kinda sat on them for a while..I apologise for all the super late emails!

You can download the long long list of categories here- shichida flashcard categories.

(Even if you didn’t decide to splurge the $700+ on this set, this list will still be beneficial for you to construct your own flashcard sets!)

Here’s a bit of an elaboration on how to use this with the set from China:
– Some big categories (eg. animals, flowers, fish) need to be subdivided. For example, ‘animals’ becomes ‘animals 1’, ‘animals 2’, etc. Not all can fit into 10 cards per set so some sets had +1 or -1 cards.
– There were some cards that did not fall neatly into a set. Those need to be creatively inserted into one.
– Some cards made no sense at all!!! (For example, the monday – sunday cards, the pictures make no sense.) For those, I looked at the picture and gave them a new name, and wrote the words on the back of the cards, then inserted them into a suitable category.
– As for the verbs, give up sorting them. I grouped them into ‘verbs 1’, ‘verbs 2’ shichida class they have flashcard sets like ‘words ending with ‘p”, for example. You could try that of you have plenty of time (and patience!).

I hope this post clarifies some of the questions out there!

The Please and Thank You Book by Barbara Shook Hazen and Emilie Chollat

please and thank you

This delightful book is full of poems about animals with good behavior, like saying please and thank you, knocking on doors before you enter and trying all the food on your plate. These poems are reinforced by beautifully illustrated animals, which is a plus point since Samantha loves animals so much.

As the poems are short, this book is really useful for those occasions where there is only about a minute or two to spare and I want to spend that short time doing something productive.

At two years of age, Samantha is also starting to learn about manners and social norms, so this book is a timely addition to our bookshelf!

Frozen (Big Golden Book) by Bill Scollon


Frozen hit the big screens almost a year ago and it has been immensely popular. I have yet to start Samantha on any TV (or movies) so I thought it would be nice to get her this book, so that she doesn’t miss out on the Frozen craze that has hit our small sunny island.

This book is beautifully illustrated and is a very accurate and succinct reflection of the movie. Samantha loves the book, and now we read it almost every night. She enjoys role playing the characters in the story and is now asking for the Frozen-themed items in the toys store!