Are You A Cow? by Sandra Boynton

are you a cow

This simple board book teaches children about animals by asking them, page by page, if they are those animals. The pictures are drawn in a somewhat silly, comical manner, like all of Sandra Boynton’s books.

Although Samantha is starting to get an appetite for much longer books, she loves having a good laugh reading this book, seeing the animals and answering ‘No!’ to every question. My only issue with this book is that it is a tad short – it ends so quickly after it starts.


Stop Saying These Things to Your Kids!

I went for a early childhood conference recently and was introduced to this article written by Shelly Phillips a little more than a year ago – ’10 Things to Stop Saying to Your Kids (and What to Say Instead)’. While I acknowledge that every child is different and there is no ‘one size fits all’ parenting style or technique of handling difficult situations, her suggestions are really very sound.

Here’s a short snippet of her post-

“Good job!”

The biggest problem with this statement is that it’s often said repeatedly and for things a child hasn’t really put any effort into. This teaches children that anything is a “good job” when mom and dad say so (and only when mom and dad say so).

Instead try, “You really tried hard on that!” By focusing on a child’s effort, we’re teaching her that the effort is more important than the results. This teaches children to be more persistent when they’re attempting a difficult task and to see failure as just another step toward success.

For the other 9 things to stop saying to your child, check out the link above.

It’s really hard to remember and stop saying all 10 things at once. A good suggestion will be to write yourself a reminder card for every one of these 10 Things to Stop Saying, and carry one different card with you every week to serve as a reminder. This way, after 10 weeks, you should have internalised all 10 things!

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans


This is a story translated from French. It tells of a little girl called Madeline who lives in a boarding house and what happened one night when she woke up crying.

The book has an interesting style, being composed of monochrome and coloured sketches with a few lines of rhymed text at the bottom. Samantha did not experience love at first sight with this book, but after a few readings, she warmed up to it. As she loves animals, she especially adores the page with the tiger in the zoo (it probably reminds her of the tiger who came to tea). She also likes the page with the rabbit on the ceiling!

Overall, it is a nice read, and it has certainly become one of Samantha’s favourite books.

The Natural Miracle Cure for Nappy Rashes

Samantha had a 2-week episode of diarrhoea recently and she developed a sore rash around the anus due to excessive watery bowel movement. We tried heaps of different sorts of diaper rash cream but they all didn’t seem to help at all!

So we consulted one of our friends who works as a paediatrician and we were told that in a local children’s intensive care unit, there is a ‘special concoction’ that is used for children who had very bad nappy rashes. We tried it and her rash disappeared overnight! (and no more pain!)

Only 2 ingredients are needed for this fantastic recipe and best of all, it is completely natural! Here’s the recipe for everyone-

Ingredients needed:

  • Egg
  • Corn starch


  •  break the egg and separate the white from the yolk. Discard the yolk (or use it to make egg tarts, if you wish).
  • mix a tablespoon of cornstarch into the egg white.
  • smear the egg white corn starch mixture onto the rash and let it air dry.

**Caution – DO NOT use this if your child has an egg allergy or has not eaten eggs before! The consequence of an allergic reaction can be severe and life threatening!!

(Yes, I was a bit doubtful before trying this strange concoction. However, a quick Google search for ‘egg white corn starch nappy rash’, resulted in a surprising number of websites with people claiming its efficacy, plus we was getting desperate, so we gave it a shot.)

Zog by Julia Donaldson


This Julia Donaldson book is, in my opinion, for the slightly more advanced toddler. For one, there is more text per page than her other baby/toddler friendly books. The font is also smaller and less friendly.

The story is quite interesting though (for me, at least). It tells of Zog the dragon attending dragon school, learning how to fly, roar, breath fire and kidnap princesses. He is extremely accident-prone, getting himself all sorts of bumps and cuts. Luckily he meets this young girl who helps him out each time. On his final lesson he kidnaps this girl (well, she went to live with the dragons voluntarily, so it isn’t a real kidnap). To make things more interesting, a knight comes to rescue the girl from Zog. I won’t spoil the rest of the story, you’ll have to read the book to find out what was the outcome of the battle..

Samantha did not warm up to the story right away, but after a few readings, she got more interested. Unfortunately, I don’t think this book will reach her top ten favourite books..