Anya loves books but didn’t like Chinese very much until we started her on Chinese enrichment lessons last year. I wanted to get her some exciting Chinese books to kindle her interest in the language and also to get Adam started, so I was very happy to learn about Flip for Joy 乐翻天.
Flip for Joy is an online children’s bookstore based in Singapore and it’s a dream come true for parents looking for good Chinese books for their children. Flip for Joy was started by Meiru, an ex-JC Chinese language teacher and a fellow mummy of a 3-year-old. She searches for and selects books that are fun and engaging and reads the books with her son before writing the synopses and recommendations.
I emailed her asking for recommendations and she got back to me with a very comprehensive list of books suitable for Anya and Adam. There were so many interesting and fun books on the list and I was tempted to buy them all!
噼里啪啦立体玩具书 (6册) is a set of 6 adorable pop-up books translated from Japanese. The illustrations are so colourful and the books are very engaging with the cleverly-crafted pop-ups/ pull-outs/ lift-the-flaps elements. The first time we read the books, we were going WOW! each time we turned the page. The books are a good size for little hands!
大大小小的书 is a set of 6 books in different shapes and sizes. These hardy bilingual board books help the little ones to develop spatial awareness in a creative way. Adam loves these books for the eye-catching, colourful illustrations. He enjoys flipping through them, pointing at the pictures and peeping through the 有洞的东西 book. They are tough and I don’t have to worry about him tearing them. The smaller books are perfect for throwing into a bag to keep him entertained when we’re on the go.
乐乐趣猜猜看系列（4册) is a set of 4 bilingual books translated from the Belgium original. I love how one animal amazingly transforms into another with a simple flip of the page. Anya loves this series and likes flipping back and forth from one page to another to see how the animal transforms. The four books encourage children to use their imagination and to think creatively.
点点和多多系列一(5册) is a set of 5 books translated from the popular UK ‘Dot and Dash’ series. The books feature adorable animal characters and their many adventures. I received 点点多多：大变身 and 点点多多：忙碌的交通工具 for review. The animals play dress-up in 点点多多：大变身 and the costumes have different textures, providing an interactive experience for the young reader. 点点多多：忙碌的交通工具 is full of busy little vehicles and is perfect for kids who love all things with wheels.
奇妙洞洞书：那是一个洞吗? is another book that both Anya and Adam enjoy. It’s translated from Italian and follows a curious cat as he checks out the different holes around him and realises that a hole is not just a hole. This book engages the imagination and inspires children to look at the world around them in exciting new ways.
我的第一次经历 (6册) is a set of 6 books translated from the Usborne ‘First Experiences’ series. I received 看牙医 and 坐飞机 for review. 看牙医 would have been so useful before Anya’s first trip to the dentist and I’ll definitely look at it with Adam before he goes for his.
Anya has declared that she doesn’t like planes because they are noisy so 坐飞机 will come in handy when we’re preparing for our holiday in June. It’s easy for children to relate to the situations found in the books, and the illustrations and stickers are very appealing. The other titles in the series are 去上学, 搬家, 我有了一个小妹妹 and 去医院.
奇迹小宝宝初次见面绘本系列 (11册) is a set of 11 books translated from Japanese and is specially designed for children between 0 and 3 years of age. The repetitive and sometimes onomatopoeic words encourage children to read along. Children learn about animals, colours, shapes, movement, and also pick up concepts like push and pull, heavy and light. The illustrations are so incredibly cute and irresistible!
大卫，不可以 is a book of few words but every kid will be able to relate to the antics the little boy in the story gets up to (and the subsequent punishment he receives). It is translated from the award-winning ‘No, David!’, a 1998 Caldecott Honour Book and winner of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book. Anya loves the book because she can easily see herself in David and she empathises with how he has to sit on a ‘thinking chair’ because of his mischievous behaviour.
鳄鱼不刷牙 Crocodiles Don’t Brush Their Teeth is a useful bilingual book that encourages good habits and manners. Children are seen brushing teeth, combing their hair, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, which are all things that the animals do not do. I usually read this once through in Chinese before Adrian does a second reading in English. Comes in handy when I need to persuade Anya to brush her teeth, go to bed, etc.
“Crocodiles don’t brush their teeth! Eew, that’s gross! Are you a crocodile?? No? Then go and brush your teeth!”
莉迪亚.莫恩科绘本（4册) is a set of 4 books by UK author Lydia Monks. I received 啊——蜘蛛！and 咿哦！别吵了！for review and they are so funny! 啊——蜘蛛！is about a spider who becomes a household pet (with hilarious results) and we read it three times the day we got it. We’ve been reading both books before bedtime every single night. Anya loves the colourful illustrations and enjoys asking questions about all the little details in the pictures.
月亮的味道 is a whimsical book by Michael Grejniec about a group of animals who wants to know what the moon tastes like. It highlights the importance of teamwork and of not underestimating the smallest members in the group. I love how the illustrations of the book look so wonderfully textured and they are appear to be made by watercolour on papier maché. We have been reading this book every night as well.
The books available on Flip for Joy 乐翻天 are placed into three categories: Flip for FUN, Flip for KNOWLEDGE and Flip for LOVE. If you don’t know where to start, there are also Flip Flip Hooray Starter Packs for various age groups and each pack will have at least 1 book from each category. Many of the books are translated from award-winning titles from all over the world, such as books by Eric Carle and Shel Silverstein, and include popular titles from Usborne and Scholastic.
There is free local standard mail for all orders and free courier delivery for orders $50 and above.
And now… a giveaway!
Flip for Joy 乐翻天 is giving away a $30 e-gift card (valid for 6 months) to one special reader. To qualify, simply do the following by 6 Feb 2013:
1. Like both the ‘In the Wee Hours’ Facebook page and Flip for Joy 乐翻天 Facebook page.
2. Leave a comment telling me which Flip for Joy book reviewed here has caught your eye and why.
3. Leave your name and email address so I can contact you if you’re the lucky one! :) The winner will be chosen randomly.
Disclaimer: I bought some of the books (and I’m planning to buy lots more!!) and received some with compliments from Flip for Joy 乐翻天 for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Results of the giveaway!