shopping almanac of a stay home mum

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category


If I Could Live in the Library…

posted by constance

Last Friday, I brought my girls to the library in Choa Chu Kang. The library there had been closed for renovation and the Friday was when it was going to be reopened and is about 30% bigger than the previous one. It is still in the same location, in Lot One Shopping Mall but moved to one floor higher. Since it was the school holidays and I don’t think I can ever buy all the collections of Tiara Club story books, I brought the girls to borrow the ones there.

I was totally impressed with the new library. It was so big and there was so much books. I had always thought that libraries at Orchard or National Library had the most collection but apparently this one is very very impressive. There were more sitting areas, sofa seats, proper tables and chairs, lots of OPAC stations (for searching of titles) and also lots of multimedia stations. The magazine area is to die for!

The novels shelvings got me excited (all the Sidney Sheldons so welcoming) and the books where the cookbooks are made my heart beat so fast I had to breathe harder! Yes! Yes! it was wonderful just so wonderful! I could live in this library with my laptop only coming out for food and loo if I had no kids! The power points were all there so no need to worry about your battery dying out. One could surf and chat privately on your own msn of course.

Well, the kids actually had the best time too. The children’s area was amazing. There were so many books, story books for all kids’ ages. There was also an area where you can go to for reading out loud in the farthest corner so as not to disturb readers who like peace and quiet. The activity/story book room looked set for holiday activities for kids.

What is wonderful is that many of the books here are brand new! I saw many people carrying as many as 8 books/novels and they are all in ‘OH SO NEW’ mint condition. Since it is the school holidays, we can borrow double the amount of books. My girl borrowed 10 Tiara Club story books, Lea borrowed 4 for nursery level and I got 2 cookery books. Altogether we have 16 books, using just two library cards. I am just delirious!

I wanted to take pictures but not allowed to. But if you are in Singapore anytime, do visit our libraries. They are really great! There’s one in every estate.


Getting Ready for Kindergarten and First Grade

posted by constance

Guiding my eldest daughter through to Primary 1 last year was an eye opener for me. I learnt to familiarize the topics that were actually used quite universal for every school going kid in First Grade except that the questions were set differently by various schools.

I had the opportunity to look at 2 books by Cedar Valley Publishing, meant for nursery and kindergarten kids. What perfect timing as books like these are in my current agenda since my youngest girl will be starting her Kindergarten in 6 months time. I have been searching high and low not to make the same mistakes and source out the right books that will allow my 4 year old to kick start her preparation towards Kindergarten and First Grade with ease.

Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten
The cover of this book was a welcome sight for me. It had an illustration of a teacher in front of the board with chalk in her hands and showed a classroom environment. I love the feel of this book actually. It had nice rounded corners that is child friendly, and it is printed in glossy hard card finish that allows you to doodle on it with White Board Markers for use and reuse. It was just brilliant. What was welcoming was that the book was filled with colourful pages of information that covered topics like the alphabets, phonetics, colours, shapes and looking at it, it did cover the very basic part of school like money, counting, time and even learning the days in a week and the calendar.

For a parent who would like to help their child in some of the topics covered, he or she will definitely feel more confident using this book as a teaching guide and then look for other sources of example. This book is definitely highly recommended to help a child breeze through her nursery years towards Kindergarten.

Let’s Get Ready For First Grade
This book is what every parent should get for a child to get ready for First Grade. When a child enters Kindergarten, he or she will be going through topics that are planned for a First Grader. First, is to get the child acquainted with the syllabus or topics and give him or her a taste of the First Grade subjects on a very basic level. A child will learn to understand simple terms like vowels, consonants, punctuation, simple maths, health education like food groups and even a little Science. This is very important as the subjects will help to cover meanings and terms that child will likely be exposed to most of the time in First Grade and this will give him or her more confident to start solving or do more intensive problem solving work. I was pleasantly surprised that these topics are already clearly covered in the same familiar glossy book that can be wiped clean with the white board marker. This brilliant method means I can let my daughter use the book again and again as kids learn most through repeat process effectively. I believe this book is very useful for all educators and parents to pick up interesting ideas for study and play in an alternative method. The illustrations and colours are vibrant and interesting. I see a lot of potential in this useful little book that can be entertaining for use in the car during long journeys too. A must buy!


Yakuza Moon

posted by constance

yakuza-moonrs.JPGI asked my sis the other day on MSN what she’d like from Singapore. She requested me to get a book for her. I went into the internet to check out what it looked like. Then I wrote down the title and author and went to the Popular near my home. I had called someone to make sure they had the book and reserved it for me. So few nights ago, I brought my girls to Popular to pick out some presents for their friends’ birthday parties, I collected the reserved novel.

This book is basically about the life of Shoko, who was born into the wealthy family of Yakuza (triads or mafia groups in Japan). As a Yakuza kid, she was the subject of ridicule, discrimination and the brunt of the father’s violent rages at home. As the story moved on she falls into the negative aspects and influence of bad company, drug abuse and abusive relationships with men. Her life turns upside down and following the death of her parents, her attempts at suicide, she finally decides to pull together and empower herself for more control of her life.

An insider’s perspective about the closed world of the Yakuza society. An eye opener for me.