Book reviews · Education

Picture this!

26 March 2017

Dear Clarice,

You have tons of picture books which mummy started buying for you since you were born. The benefits generated from these books include your abilities to read independently (at 4!) and draw (scribble from 1 and half) from a very young age. Picture books have been lauded for being excellent vehicles to inculcate good values in children as they are non-threatening and do not preach (unlike parents, kekeke!).

Mummy attended two Chinese workshops on using picture books effectively and gained new insights on how to milk these books further, thanks to the trainers 林美琴老师 and 冯伟燕老师。They introduced me to many wonderful resources. From now onwards, I’m going to review picture books about good values.

Today, I like to start with a review of two DELIGHTFUL books I bought on how parents mean the world to their children.

These WONDERFUL books are timeless classics: Fur Meinen Super-Papa! (I Love My Super Dad) and Fur Meinen Super-Mama! (I Love My Super Mum) by German children’s book author Alexander Holzach. Thank goodness the Chinese translated editions are available already or I’ll miss these jewels.

There aren’t many books that move us easily on how children adore their fathers, which makes these picture books a gem. Holzach is able to capture the minute details in family life which cement the adoration of a child towards his father. A father’s daily acts for his child are noticed and magnified many times to the extent that he literally becomes a super hero in the child’s eyes. How cool is it, to have your child look up to you like that – it’s a mighty flattery to any parent, right? 

The illustrations are simply hilarious and adorable. Even an adult like me fell in love with it on first sight and bought the “mummy” version as well. My favourite mummy’s act in the book is the child recounting that whenever she poos and smells like trash afterwards, mummy will always clean her up and make her smells nice again. Awwwwww…such an appropriate choice act that conveys LOVE without spelling the four-letter word. I believe many moms would agree that wiping your child’s smelly backside is one of the greatest love gestures in the world 🙂

Extended Activities:

After reading and helping the child to articulate the acts of love in the book, the parent/ teacher could introduce extended activities to drive home the point of LOVE in a more playful, fun way. 

The trainer introduced the idea of 大嘴书 (literally translated to “Big-mouthed books”) , which is a DIY craft where the child makes a card with a “mouth” to speak about his feelings for his parent by penning it down or drawing in the card. Watch the video here for instructions: Card crafting 制作大嘴书. I’m sure any parent would prefer to receive this love declaration than a homogeneous commercial father’s/ mother’s day card.

On a more playful note, another activity could ask the child to express their feelingss about super granny/ grandpa/ or elder sibling through role playing, or illustrations like the author. This allows them to connect their feelings to other family members and appreciate them as well.

Stay tuned for future book reviews and fringe activities 🙂

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