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Monday, October 17, 2016

Fun At The Opera - A Bilingual English and Chinese Story Book For Kids

Fun at the Opera
by Susanna Goho-Quek
Bilingual: English/ChineseThis book is rated 4.67 on Goodreads

Have you ever been to a Chinese opera? The colourful characters with their graceful dance movements complementing the drama being played out on stage is an amazing sight to behold. Sadly, modern kids these days do not have a chance to experience these dramatic roadside shows. Sometimes you catch glimpses of it in movie theaters in short scenes which include a Chinese opera but that is it.

This book gives you a chance to introduce this form of art to children by telling it from a children's point of view. It tells the story of a family of kids preparing for an exiting night out to watch their Ah Khor (elder brother) perform at the Chinese Opera.

They wash the car, dress up in their best clothes and sit with Por Por to watch the opera. They even get to go backstage to try on the costumes. What fun! The illustrations are done in colourful watercolour, just right to depict the vividness and vibrancy of the opera.

At the end of the book, real behind the scenes photos are included to showcase an actual real life Chinese opera.

What we like about the book is the fact that it is bilingual. Our kids have to learn 2 or 3 languages in school. So any book that is bilingual or even better trilingual is a positive for us. Kids can read the English version at home when they are younger and re read them in Chinese when their Chinese vocabulary improves after starting primary school or the other way around depending on which is their first spoken language at home.

Here's a short preview of the book.

This book is currently available for our members at a discount this month together with The Castle Library and Hello Cyber Grannie. Click here for more details of this offer.  Read The Castle Library Review here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Castle Library by Hayati Hanif And Evi Shelvia

The Castle Library is a beautiful hard cover story book for kids aged 4 to 7 with colourful illustration on thick glossy paper. It tells the story of Lily, the Princess who had everything but was still bored. She could travel the world over. She even went to the moon and back but she was still bored.

One day she discovered the big old library in the castle. It was only when Princess Lily sat down to read the books in the old library that she discovered she could go on the best adventure of all, down rabbit holes and on wishing chairs that took her to amazing places. She also learned about love, friendship, courage and sacrifice.

The story ends with Princess Lily continuing with her travels and filling the Castle Library with books for all kids to enjoy.

This book highlights the joys of reading and encourages children to explore the library. Parents reading this book with kids can point out the magic of reading to spark your child's imagination. Encourage your child to open a book and start reading to go on an adventure from the comfort of your home or anywhere. Teaching your child to love books and reading is giving them a gift for life.

Watch the video below to get a peek inside the book. This book is currently on offer to our members together with  "Hello Cyber Grannie" (a story about family love) and "Fun At The Opera" (a bilingual English/Chinese storybook). All books are for kids age 4-7. The books come with One Free Set of Elephabet Flashcard by Yusof Gajah worth RM10.

Click here to participate in this offer.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Reading - The Path To UPSR Success

Did you know that 75% of the papers kids have to sit for in UPSR in SJKC are language papers and for SK students that number is over 66%?

The following are the papers kids have to sit for in their UPSR examinations.

For SK
  1. English Paper 1 (Language Paper)
  2. English Paper 2  (Language Paper)
  3. Bahasa Malaysia Pemahaman  (Language Paper)
  4. Bahasa Malaysia Penulisan  (Language Paper)
  5. Maths
  6. Science
  1. English Paper 1  (Language Paper)
  2. English Paper 2  (Language Paper)
  3. Bahasa Malaysia Pemahaman  (Language Paper)
  4. Bahasa Malaysia Penulisan  (Language Paper)
  5. Maths
  6. Science
  7. Bahasa Cina/Tamil Pemahaman  (Language Paper)
  8. Bahasa Cina/Tamil Penulisan  (Language Paper)

Although Maths and Science may be broken up into Paper 1 & 2, at the end of the day, they are counted as just one paper each whereas the language papers 1 & 2 are counted as separate papers.

This makes a whopping 4/6 language papers for SK and 6/8 language papers for SJKC/T.

What's clear about this observation is the language papers make up a large part of the UPSR examinations.

When should you start encouraging your child to read?

You should do this as early as you can. Get them into the habit of reading. Read to them. Read with them. Encourage them to read on their own. Inculcate the habit of reading in your child. By encouraging your child to read and nurturing a love of reading in them, you are in fact giving them a gift for life.

The love of reading opens up new worlds to readers, a world of adventure, a world of magic and a world away from what one may experience in real life. 

Start early. Once your child is in upper primary school, his homework load may be so heavy he will have little time to read. So start building that vocabulary early. Don't wait till they are in std 6 to do it. Let them enjoy reading and build up their vocabulary now.

You will find that the upper primary school teachers may ask you to encourage your child to read. Read as much as they can. Read a variety of materials. However, sadly they have little time to build a reading habit during those years due to their homework load. So start early so that they can pick up that habit while they are still young. A love for reading will stay with them for life and is the best gift for any child or even an adult.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Deepavali 2016 School Holidays

When is the school holiday for Deepavali 2016? We still get this question in our Facebook group.

Earlier in February we blogged about this on our blog on Cuti Perayaan And School Term Holidays. I guess it is too long ago so people don't really remember.

This year the Cuti Perayaan or Festive Holidays was set around 17 December 2015 by the Ministry of Education when they released the "TAKWIM PENGGAL DAN CUTI PERSEKOLAHAN TAHUN 2016 BAGI SEKOLAH KERAJAAN DAN BANTUAN KERAJAAN"

According to the circular Deepavali falls on Saturday, 29 October 2016. An extra 3 days holiday has been set as follows:

Group A Schools ( Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu)

30th Oct (Sun)
31st Oct (Mon)
1st Nov (Tue)

Group B Schools (all other states)

28th Oct (Fri)
31st Oct (Mon)
1st Nov (Tue)

Since Group A schools have their weekends on Fri and Sat and Group B schools have their weekends on Sat and Sun, that would mean that all schools will be off for 5 days from 28th Oct (Friday) to 1st Nov (Tue).

Now that you have the dates, you can plan your holiday for the festival.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

FREE Computer Programming Class for Kids & Teens

Kids & Teens from age 6 to 18 are being introduced to the amazing world of coding at the Free Trial Class conducted on everyday at KidoCode in Solaris Mont Kiara.

This is a good opportunity for you to expose your children to coding. Let your kids experience a computer programming class and equip them with computational thinking skills which they can use in the future. This free 3-hour coding class will open up their minds to the endless possibilities of technology and computer science.

Coding is no longer just for engineers and scientists. It is not something tough or boring. On the contrary, it is very exciting and unleashes creativity in students. Coding helps students to "think smart”. They will question themselves on the whats and whys in order to know what's going on. It encourages children to be creators and innovators.

When learning computer programming, kids will

• unleash their creative potential
• learn to create their own websites, apps, and games
• be innovative and become more competitive in later years
• gain confidence in creating something on their own which they can be proud of
• be able to think logically and use problem solving skills

Besides creativity and the ability to think out of the box, the Art of Coding requires knowledge in Math, Geometry, Electronics and Robotics. Your child will be given a good introduction to these concepts during the free 3-hour demo class. It will be an eye-opener and a good learning experience for them.

Computational thinking is essential in the 21st century. Recognizing this, coding will soon be introduced in our schools. You can be one step ahead by sending your kids to an enrichment class on coding. Try one out today.

Upcoming Schedule For Free Trial Class:

Oct 1 & 2 – 11am & 3pm
Oct 8 & 9 – 11am & 3pm
Oct 15 &16 – 11am & 3pm
Oct 22 &23 – 11am & 3pm
Oct 29 & 30 – 11am & 3pm

• Free Trial Class is also available on weekdays except on Mondays and Public Holidays


KidoCode @ Suite L-2-3A Solaris Mont Kiara, Jalan Solaris, Off Jalan Duta Kiara, 50480, KL
Contact: 03-6411 0968

Click here to register for the free trial class. First come first serve. Seats are limited so register early and get the best offer!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Pigeon Post: A Book About Animals For Kids

Title: Pigeon Post And Other Stories
Author: Gwen Smith
Illustrator: Lim Lay Koon
Publisher: Oyez!Books
Number Of Pages: 112
Age Group: 9-14

Many young kids are fascinated with animals and reading about tales of animals. Kids who love animals will enjoy Pigeon Post And Other Stories by author Gwen Smith.

Set against the backdrop of familiar kampung scenes, these poignant animal tales speaks of love for animals. 
I like that the focus of these books are on our very own local country charm. In the main story, the writer and her mother are rescued by their homing pigeon during a landslide. 

Other stories are about how a little girl and her kind neighbour looks after a baby tupai they found during a storm, runaway chickens when a lorry carrying chicken crates hits a pothole, children finding new homes for kittens in their school PTA Open Day Project and a boy being attacked by wasps during a picnic at the waterfalls. 

All these 6 delightful animal stories are featured in the book under the following titles. 
  1. Pigeon Post
  2. Storm Damage
  3. A Ride On A Monster
  4. Rainbow Kittens
  5. Chickens
  6. The Dangerous Smell Of Nangka

Each story is about 15-25 pages. Just right for a beginner reader. Accompanying illustrations by Lim Lay Koon are spot on and complement the stories perfectly.

This book is currently on offer to our members. Check out the offer here.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Free Printable Final Exams Planner Calendar For September and October 2016

Final Exams are just around the corner with some starting from as early as end September and the majority of schools having theirs in mid October. With that in mind, I have done a free printable final exams calendar for revising, studying and planning.

You can use this calendar to teach your kids to organize their time well. By now, many schools would have distributed the exam dates and syllabus. Get your child to record the dates which they will sit for their Math, Science, Languages and other test papers. Then work backwards to help them plan their study time. Once you have recorded the dates, you will find that you have very few weekends left before the Final Exams!

This Final Exams Calendar is available for free download for our members. The file is in pdf format and has two pages, one for the month of September and another for the month of October 2016. You can print either one or both pages if the dates run from September to October. Both have cute graphics from Microsoft Publisher software and an exam or studying inspirational quote for kids at the top of the calendar. I have purposely selected the Calendar with the biggest box available for each day/date so you have more space to write stuff.

Enjoy! Or perhaps I should say "Don't Stress!" Click on any of the images below to sign in to our members only page to download this free Final Exams Calendar for September and October 2016.

Reward your child for studying hard. You can participate in our September book deal. The deal ends at the end of the month and books will arrive around mid October, just right after the exams.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Nanobots And Other Stories - A Book Review

Title: The Nanobots And Other Stories
Author: Golda Mowe
Illustrator: Lim Lay Koon
Publisher: Oyez!Books
Number Of Pages: 110
Age Group: 9-14

This book is made out of ten sci-fi stories, for example:
  • A Red Giant 
  • The River Of Poison
  • The Little Blue Bacteria
  • The Nanobots
  • And more...
The Nanobots And Other Stories is an exciting science fiction storybook. After each story there is a page of  interesting and useful science facts. Children who want to be scientists when they grow up will not be able to put this book down once they start reading it. 

In 'The Nanobots', Malanjum, a young boy who was a slave to an alien found some silver liquid that he thought was a toy. When he found out that the liquid were many nanobots which destroys metal, he decides to use it to regain freedom.

In 'A Red Giant'5 billion years from now, the sun had grown too hot for all living things to grow. Even though all water on earth had dried up and there were no food left, Hoklai, a determined father to two children did not give up searching for food and water. One morning, a spaceship as big as a bus landed in front of them. Was this a light at the end of the tunnel or was it another big threat for them?

'The Container of Grass' is a story of air pollution which destroyed the Ozone Layer. People, plants and animals started to die. People even had to wear black protective suits when they went out. Since plants could not be grown easily anymore, ordinary people could only eat pellets. Since Shabad's children were interested in plants, he decided to plant some grass seeds in a biodome together with his family. They did not know that the grass seeds were going to change their fate tremendously.

I think these stories are useful and interesting for people aged 9-14. These stories has many moral values and remind readers to take care of the environment.

This review was written by a 12 year old reader. Just like the Master & Apprentice, this book on technology and science fiction has local character names like Rashid, Kumari, Mei Ling etc and mentions local places like the Kuala Lumpur Cultural Centre. 

The Nanobots and Other Stories is currently on offer for members on our platform. Click here to participate in this deal.

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