Tag Archives: Book Depository

Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey is so simple, but so funny. The kids have read it a million times but they still laugh every single time. Pig is a selfish, obnoxious little pug who doesn’t like to share. Trevor the sausage dog wants to play with Pig’s toys, but the latter refuses and piles all his toys up and plonks himself on top of this little mountain of toys with drastic consequences.

makes a great photo prop too

makes a great photo prop too

thoroughly amused

thoroughly amused

The lines are short and snappy, but witty. The common saying ‘when pigs fly’ is given hilarious new meaning in this book. The expressive illustrations add to the humour of the book and the kids are always tickled by the image of pathetic Pig all mummified in bandages on the last page of the book.

Trevor and Pig

Trevor and Pig

Pig goes flying... out of the window

pride comes before a fall!

Pig the Pug teaches kids about sharing, friendship, and kindness in a very funny way without being preachy. You can watch the author Aaron Blabey read a portion of the book here. Pig the Pug is available from Book Depository for S$11.64.

Disclaimer: We received the book from Book Depository for review purposes. This review contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

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Mermaid by Cerrie Burnell & Laura Ellen Anderson

I must be a mermaid,
I have no fear of depths,
and a great fear of
shallow living.

 -Anais Nin

Mermaid (written by Cerrie Burnell and illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson) is about a little boy, Luka, and his friend, Sylvia. Luka lives by the sea and longs to learn how to swim. Sylvia is wheelchair-bound and swims beautifully. They meet by the sea, become friends, and Sylvia teaches Luka how to swim.

reading on a Vespa

reading on a Vespa

Luka dreams that Sylvia is actually a mermaid from a palace under the sea. When she becomes a new student at his school and the other children ask why she is in a wheelchair, he tells everyone that she is a mermaid.

palace under the sea

palace under the sea

As adults, we are quick to label and define a person by his disability. Luka’s friendship with Sylvia shows us that a person is so much more than her disability. To him, Sylvia is not his friend in a wheelchair; she is a mermaid who taught him how to swim. The focus is never on her disability but on her kindness and their friendship.

Mermaid

Mermaid

Growing up, the author Cerrie Burnell lamented the lack of diversity of the characters in the books she read. She was born with a right arm that ends just below the elbow and did not see any disabled characters in books that she could identify with and relate to. In an interview, she said:

We need diverse books. We need to show every child that they belong between the pages of great literature, regardless of heritage, faith, ability or financial security. That’s how you build a lifelong love of reading, and how you promote the inclusive world that I want my daughter and young readers to grow up in.

why are you in a wheelchair?

why are you in a wheelchair?

While we never find out why Sylvia is in a wheelchair or whether she really is a mermaid, the point of the book is that people come in all different shapes, sizes, and ability. The books that our children read should have a diversity of characters too and Mermaid is a rare book that will help children become more sensitive to the different types of people around them. It is available from Book Depository for S$18.16.

Disclaimer: We received the book from Book Depository for review purposes. This review contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Fabulous Pie by Gareth Edwards & Guy Parker-Rees

Fabulous Pie

Fabulous Pie

We all love a good story about the little guys outwitting a much larger one and Fabulous Pie by Gareth Edwards & Guy Parker-Rees is a fine example of such a story. A very bad bear bakes a very big pie and he needs help to fill the pie.

The mouse, the squirrel, the badger, and the otter all rush to help fill the pie with berries and such, but the very bad bear has something a lot more devious up his (proverbial) sleeves: he wants to fill his pie with the little animals and turn it into a terrible pie!

who'll help to make the feeling for my fabulous pie?

who’ll help to make the feeling for my fabulous pie?

The animals refuse to go down without a fight! They push their little feet through the bottom of the pie crust and run for their lives. The bear, in his haste to eat the animals, gets his comeuppance and slips and falls into the river, and the gentle creatures have the last laugh.

as the waved goodbye to the very bad bear

as the waved goodbye to the very bad bear

The illustrations in the books are beautiful and make you feel like warm sunshine is shining through every page of the book. The animals look very expressive and the story simply comes to life. Anya particularly loves the picture of the animals with their little feet sticking out the bottom of the pie crust with their eyes peeping out at the top.

a very bad bear baked a very big pie

a very bad bear baked a very big pie

The rhythmic lines and repetition of key phrases that encourage children to chime in, the setting in the forest, and the basic plot of the small and weak getting the better of the big and scary, remind me of the very popular children’s story, The Gruffalo. If your kids enjoy that book, they will love this story too.

Fabulous Pie is a fun and heartwarming story about how good can triumph over bad and is available from Book Depository for S$11.94.

Disclaimer: We received the book from Book Depository for review purposes. This review contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Book Review: You Have to F**king Eat by Adam Mansbach

If you are a parent with a sense of humour, you would have read the very popular Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach or maybe even listened to the narration by Samuel L. Jackson and laughed at the universal frustration felt by a parent whose child simply does not want to go to sleep.

You Have to F**king Eat

You Have to F**king Eat

You Have to F**king Eat is the very funny sequel to Go the F**k to Sleep, but this time we are dealing with kids and their myriad food issues. Kids who do not want to eat. Even if it’s food that they specifically (and loudly) asked for. Even if it’s their favourite food of all time. Kids who would rather eat some random gross thing off the floor than their own food on the table. Kids who make an incredible mess when they eat. Kids who refuse to eat during mealtime and then declare they are starving to death when it’s way too late for them to eat anything.

Now I’m not one to curse and swear freely (except in my head), and definitely not at my kids, but the incredible frustration I feel with the three of them during mealtimes is so accurately depicted in this book. I’m sure there are people with children who are perfect angels at mealtimes, eating everything on their plate (including the vegetables) and not dropping a single crumb. But I personally don’t know any kids like that, to be honest, so I strongly recommend this book to all my mummy/ daddy friends out there.

Getting a kid to eat what she is supposed to at the right time can be unbelievably difficult but this book will inject a much-needed dose of humour into the experience and let you know that you are not alone. You Have to F**king Eat is available from Book Depository at S$17.40. Get this for yourself or for a friend who needs a new perspective and a good laugh. But make sure you keep the book out of sight and out of reach of the little ones!

Disclaimer: We received the book from Book Depository for review purposes. This review contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Goodnight Sleepy Babies by Janet Bingham & Sebastien Braun

Goodnight Sleepy Babies

Goodnight Sleepy Babies

When the kids have been running around the entire day and have had way too much fun and excitement, they find it hard to wind down and get ready for bed and can spend quite a bit of time just tossing and turning before they finally fall asleep.

A cozy little bedtime story always helps, and Goodnight Sleepy Babies by Janet Bingham and Sebastien Braun is a particularly good one to read when it’s time for little ones to sleep. The gentle rhymes help to calm the kids down and the adorable illustrations of sleepy baby animals snuggling close to their mummy will set the mood for bedtime. My favourite is the one of a cuddly panda cub yawning in mummy panda’s arms.

time for bed

time for bed

Daddy can't resist changing some of the words

Daddy can’t resist changing some of the words

even wallabies need to sleep

even wallabies need to sleep

From the monkeys in the rainforest and the songbirds in their treetop nests to penguins on the ice and otters in the sea, sleepy baby animals are nodding off to dreamland and will encourage your baby to do the same. Goodnight Sleepy Babies is the perfect book to help the little ones wind down at bedtime and it is available from Book Depository for S$12.40. It will be a great book to read to a kid who has just made the transition to his/ her own bed.

Disclaimer: We received the book from Book Depository for review purposes. This review contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Book Review: Don’t Chew the Royal Shoe by Kate Leake

If you are mildly obsessed with the Royal Family like I am, or have a dog who simply can’t stop chomping on your shoes, you will love Don’t Chew the Royal Shoe by Kate Leake. Chips (short for Lord Chippington Marmaduke Fluffy Toes) is one of the Royal dogs, but unlike the Queen’s beloved corgis who are always on their best behaviour, Chips just can’t help chewing on the Royal Shoes!

Don't Chew the Royal Shoe

Don’t Chew the Royal Shoe

Every morning, Chip sneaks off with a Royal Shoe, and hides it in the garden so he can chew on it to his heart’s content. He eventually makes his way through all the Royal Shoes, even the Prince’s cute little baby booties. Of course, this drives the Queen quite mad, especially when she discovers that she had no matching shoes to wear to the Royal Garden Party!

Chip’s unrelenting chewing habit gets him into a lot of trouble with the Queen, but he redeems himself nicely by the end of the book. A greedy burglar sneaking into Royal Jewel Room late at night gives himself away when he trips nosily over the squeaky Royal Chewing Toys while trying to get his boots back from Chips.

Don’t Chew the Royal Shoe is very funny and children will enjoy looking at the splendid illustrations. You can spend loads of time just admiring all the different interesting details to be found on every page. Anya enjoys looking at the different Royal Shoes (her favourite is the Princess’s glass slipper!) and is very amused by the comical sight of all the people in the Palace standing around with only one shoe on. A lighthearted and heartwarming read, Don’t Chew the Royal Shoe is available from Book Depository for S$12.47.

Disclaimer: We received the book from Book Depository for review purposes. This review contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Book Review: Abracazebra by Helen Docherty & Thomas Docherty

Abracazebra

Abracazebra

In Yawnalot, a sleepy old place
Where everyone knew each other’s face,
Life went by in its usual way;
Day after day… after day… after day.

So begins Abracazebra, a book by husband-and-wife team Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty. Nothing ever happens in Yawnalot, until Abracazebra shows up one magical day. She brings so much colour and life to Yawnalot with her fantastic show, and almost all the animals (especially the little ones) adore her. All except for Goat, who is jealous of the attention being taken away from him.

The animals like Abracazebra so much that they want her to stay with them in Yawnalot, but Goat does not like the idea at all. He starts spreading rumours that the zebra could not be trusted because she had stripes and none of the other animals had stripes. The animals are slowly influenced by Goat and eventually, Abracazebra is forced to leave Yawnalot.

inside

inside

There is a happy ending though, and through the story of Abracazebra, children learn about the harmful nature of jealousy and spreading rumours, and the importance of celebrating diversity. There is also a lesson on being willing to admit when you have done something wrong and making up for your mistake.

Abracazebra is an engaging and beautifully-illustrated children’s book. But it is so much more than just that. The story of Abracazebra and the animals of Yawnalot can be used to start meaningful conversations about friendship, peer pressure, bullying and empathy. Abracazebra addresses the serious issue of accepting differences in a light-hearted and accessible way and is available from Book Depository for S$12.10.

For those of you who like having activities to accompany the book, you can download a ‘Spot the Difference’ activity sheet, a colouring picture, or a DIY Abracazebra mask from the author’s website.

Disclaimer: We received the book from Book Depository for review purposes. This review contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.