SuperSavvyMoms, to the rescue!

helping moms, one at a time

What Floats? – a Baby Einstein book June 28, 2012

What is it?

What Floats? – a Baby Einstein book

What’s the price?

RM18.90

Where to buy it?

www.mybbstore.com

www.kids.net.my

www.mphonline.com

What are the special features?

  • Made of PVC with foam filling
  • Waterproof and can be crumpled up without losing its shape
  • Suitable even for newborns

Review

This was a much-loved book by my kids (you can see the yellowed stains and some pencil scribbles on it) and was one of the first books I bought for my daughter when she was about one year old. The book is made of polyurethane foam covered with PVC and has 5 pages.

The illustrations are vibrant and colourful enough for a young infant to gaze at and simple enough for a toddler to understand; the animals, the surrounding lake, forest and sea. The rhyming word i.e. words that have sounds in common, are pleasing to speak and easy on the ears of a young child. Rhymes are fun to speak in and to listen to, (just try and read one of Dr Seuss’s books and you’ll see why) and makes it easy for one to remember. Most children learned a nursery rhyme without even knowing what the words meant.

Even so, beneath the simple pictures and easy words, there are lessons to be learned. Each page shows the creatures or items that float – from the smallest bubble, an alligator, a turtle on a big log, a kitten & a puppy in a canoe and the biggest of all, the family of lions aboard a ship.

The last page leaves you with a question, that, I can guarantee, most non-genius people like myself, would Google up to find the answer. How can a heavy ship floats, and a pebble sinks?

What I like about it

I think it’s wonderful that such a simple book with rhymes can teach quite a few things, not only to children, but to the parents as well. The first question your child would ask is “What does float means?” Such a teeny tiny book, but already incorporates science into it in a subtle and fun way.

There are also some ideas printed on the back of the book that parents could apply with their own children.

The book is made of PVC with foam on the inside, so it’s waterproof. Short of cutting it up with scissors or put it on fire, the book is pretty much durable and toddler proof. Take it with you when bathing your little one and you can show him how the book itself floats.

What I don’t like about it

Can’t seem to find any.

Conclusion

A tiny book with big knowledge for curious little minds. This would make a great addition to a kid’s library or collection of bath toys.

Advertisements
 

Adventures with Dora and Diego – puzzle activity board book June 24, 2012

What is it?

Adventures with Dora and Diego – puzzle activity board book

What’s the price?

RM35.00

Where to buy it?

www.littleredreadingnook.com

What are the special features?

  • A giant puzzle activity board book with 5 small books in the shape of puzzle pieces, featuring Dora and her friends
  • The puzzle activity board book measures at 36cm x 28.5cm. The books a.k.a. the puzzle pieces are much smaller, e.g. for the Dora book, which is the biggest among the five, measures at 17cm x 12cm.

Review

At first glance, this book is simply fascinating. Even the cover of the book seems to call out to be opened; it has five windows that show the main characters i.e. Dora, her cousin Diego, Boots the monkey, Backpack who is Dora’s trusted companion and Baby Jaguar.

When you open the book, you can see several activity suggestions such as, “Can you find a spider?” and “Where is the baby parrot?” with a background picture of the jungle where Dora and her friends usually pass through during their adventures.

On the other page is the 5 little books puzzle pieces, each with a different short story, starring the character on the cover.

  • Dora’s book tells the story of how she first met Boots the monkey, who later became her best friend.
  • Diego’s book shows off Diego’s talent, which is, being able to talk to animals and how he is a great animal rescuer.
  • Boot’s book is about Boots helping Dora by bringing her song to her school, one she had left at home.
  • Backpack is somewhat a magic bag, and carries everything that Dora needs. It also carries Map, another important member of Dora’s expeditions.
  • Baby Jaguar’s book tells of his adventure saving his friend, Baby Bear who is trapped at the top of Big Mountain.

What I like about it

First of all, I really like board books as they are more durable than picture books, which my super-strong son could tear up in 2.5 seconds. Not to say that he couldn’t do some damage to board books by peeling off a picture or biting the edges, but they can stand more child abuse than a picture book.

There are a lot of things you could talk about in the book and the suggestions are helpful to start things off. You can talk about colours, animals and flowers, without even using the small books. Then you take out the little books, and you can see more questions such as “Where is Dora?” and “Where is Boots?” so the child could put them back one by one.

What I don’t like about it

Nothing!

Conclusion

At RM35, this book is a steal. A must have!

 

Elmo Goes to the Zoo – pop up book June 14, 2012

Filed under: Books for Kids - to show kids that reading is fun — zil_aziz @ 10:10 AM
Tags: , ,

What is it?

Elmo Goes to the Zoo – pop up book

What’s the price?

RM15.00

Where to buy it?

www.littleredreadingnook.com

What are the special features?

  • Features the much loveable Elmo & his best friend Zoe on a trip to the zoo
  • Handy toddler size at 18cm x 12.5cm
  • Brightly coloured illustrations

Review

The book starts off with Elmo and Zoe at the entrance of the zoo, with Elmo’s parents in the background waving goodbye. Elmo and Zoe go on to see monkeys, lions and sea lions.

There was a statement at the back of the book that says “Recommended for children 36 months +” but I think that younger children would enjoy the little book too, provided that parents read it aloud to them. Being a pop-up book, the book has 4 pages and shows only several animals, which definitely, does not cover even 10% of real animals at a zoo.

But then again, this book shows the perspective and excitement of a child when visiting a zoo. Try to look at it from a child’s eyes – the delight and wonder at seeing real, live animals that before this, can only be seen on TV, having a favourite animal that holds a special place in your heart and watching a live animal show.

I have to admit, of all the Sesame Street characters, Elmo is a popular favourite for many children (including myself, a child at heart). Kermit Love, who is one of the designer of the Muppets and Sesame Street together with Jim Henson, said it simply, “Elmo is popular because Elmo is red.” I think that could be one of the reasons, along with Elmo’s perpetually happy face, his unique voice and his reference to himself in the third person (he says “Elmo loves the zoo” instead of “I love the zoo”).

You can read more about Elmo here.

What I like about it

Elmo is the major star of the book – I think people would be a little bit reluctant to pick up this book if it’s Ernie and Bert going to the zoo. My kids don’t watch Sesame Street, but they definitely know Elmo by sight, along with the blue Cookie Monster. Even with the bright colours of the illustrations, red little Elmo still stands out from the crowd.

What I don’t like about it

Like I mentioned previously, the book only has 4 pages in total, which is so short, you would finish reading it in less than 2 minutes. Granted, you can point out the animals, colours and other things in one page, but you’d still finish it in about 5 minutes. It’d be nice to have more pages, say about 10, but that would definitely drive up the price of the book.

Conclusion

It’s a very simple book, but Elmo’s fans would definitely love it. Buy it if you’re Elmo’s fan.

 

Asian Parenting Today June 4, 2012

Filed under: Books for moms - to enrich a mom's knowledge — zil_aziz @ 12:00 AM
Tags: ,

What’s the title of the book?

Asian Parenting Today

Who’s the author of the book?

Co-authored by Jennnifer Hor, Ho Ai Ling & Jocelyn Oo

Who are the authors?

All three co-authors are registered nurses and midwives with experiences in nursing and midwifery in UK, Australia and Malaysia. They also specialize in and support breastfeeding mothers, and provide advice on parenting, women’s health, child’s health and wellbeing, among many other parenting matters.

What’s the price?

RM39.90

Where to buy it?

http://www.mphonline.com

http://www.kinokuniya.com/my

http://www.thebabyloft.com

http://www.littlewhiz.com

http://www.onebabyworld.com

What are the key highlights of the book?

  • The book is divided into 5 sections; sections 1 to 4 are categorized by age of baby in months e.g. Section 1: 0-3 months. Section 5 is like “Other issues” covering keeping the baby safe, recipes & local nursery rhymes.
  • There are plenty of FAQ’s throughout the book, in between paragraphs that are related to the paragraph itself, instead of dumping one long FAQ at the end of the section.
  • As the name suggests, the authors addresses many questions and myths regarding to Asian superstitions (some quite outrageous and ridiculous) such as shaving a baby’s head after birth will encourage ‘abundant hair growth’, formula fed babies that pass greenish-yellow stools means that the baby has been ‘frightened’ and binding the baby’s tummy to keep the ‘wind’ out.

Review

The book is quite extensive, so I think the best way to summarize the main contents is in bullet points.

The 0-3 month’s section takes up half the book, and might as well – it tells the basics of baby care.

  • Breastfeeding – benefits to mom & baby, preparation, standard breastfeeding positions, complications & diet for mom, milk expression & how to stockpile expressed breast milk (EBM), schedules of when to breastfeed, when to pump & when to feed EBM to baby, storing & thawing EBM. Following all this are several pages of FAQ’s related to breastfeeding specifically, and lots of practical tips.
  • Formula feeding – how to choose formula milk, how to prepare formula, complete with step-by-step illustration; travelling checklist and a list of do’s and don’ts.
  • Clothing & bathtime – noting that most Asian countries have tropical climate, it recommends light weight fabric for day and slightly warmer fabric for nights. Onwards to preparation for outings with baby, cloth vs. disposable diapers
  • Sleep – baby’s sleeping positions and no of hours of sleep according to age, appropriate bedding and room temperature, establishing a bedtime routine, swaddling and co-sleeping. The FAQ’s give lots of practical tips on avoiding over-tiredness and establishing a routine from the start. It even touches a bit on the usage of sarongs or hammocks, which are quite popular with Malaysians.
  • Healthcare & interaction – it includes screening tests, immunizations, common sicknesses and infections, interacting with baby, baby massages (I like this one!), floor time & tummy time.

All other sections are shorter as they follow as the baby grows, therefore highlighting changes in feeding & sleep patterns, more activity and social interactions as baby becomes mobile and able to move around i.e. crawling & walking. The main topics are also major milestones in baby’s first year such as:

  • Teething – how to care for baby’s new teeth when they appear, brushing teeth, teething discomforts
  • Feeding habits – longer interval between feeds, increase or decrease in the quantity of milk consumed, which are also related to baby’s weight gain
  • Introduction to solid foods – types of food recommended, foods to avoid (at least in the beginning), how to prepare homemade baby food, feeding schedule between milk & solids, even sample recipes to try to feed baby
  • Home safety & baby proofing

The 10-12 months section where baby will be nearing the first birthday emphasizes a lot on:

  • Healthy eating – types of food that are now safe to feed baby, food & recipe suggestions, sample feeding schedule & menu
  • Health – dental care & immunizations
  • Physical, social & interaction skill – a super crawler or beginner walker, ability to speak a few simple words, building self-esteem & independence, talking, reading & playtime.

At the end of each section, there is a checklist provided to gauge baby’s growth & progress for the 3-months period.

What I like about it

The book is very comprehensive. I think it’s safe to say that, if you buy this book, you won’t need any other parenting book. In fact, this is the only one I’ve ever owned to date. As it was written and published by locals, the image of the book looks very simplistic; this mirrors the low price of the book, compared to many other imported parenting books.

The language is straightforward and easy to understand. It also lives up to the name, by tailoring to Asian situations and conditions; it considers the tropical climate of most Asian countries, the culture and superstitions of local people, local ingredients in recipes and even local nursery rhymes in different languages. This tailoring is also apparent in the FAQ’s, where there are questions on some cultural beliefs that I’ve never known existed.

The line spacing between words is wider, so the words don’t look like they’re cramping the page i.e. plenty of white space which improves readability.

What I don’t like about it

The font colour is not black, but something bluish or light turquoise, which looks fine on white background. However, the FAQ’s and illustration boxes use this bluish background, with the font colour in white, which sometimes can put a strain on the eyes while reading.

Conclusion

Considering the wealth of knowledge in this little book, the price is very affordable and good value-for-money investment. If you’re thinking of buying just one parenting book, make it this one.