Friday, November 9, 2012

This Mama Loves Flip for Joy

As a student, I really struggled with learning Chinese. I didn't want my kids to go down the same path, so I've put in extra effort to make sure that they are exposed to the language from a young age. Nathan attends Chinese enrichment classes, we listen to nursery rhymes in mandarin, and we read Chinese story books. A few days ago, he started singing a Chinese nursery rhyme out of the blue, and I was glad that he could remember and enunciate the words. 我有一只小毛驴,我从来也不骑。。。

Speaking about Chinese story books, I have trouble choosing good Chinese story books for my boys. It is not something I can easily buy online and local bookstores didn't seem to offer much options. Added to that, I don't have a strong command of the language, so that limits my options even further.

I was delighted when I learnt about Flip for Joy. Flip for Joy is started by Meiru, who is an ex-JC Chinese teacher. She has a 3 year old son herself and she chooses fun and engaging books from all over the world, and makes them available to mums like me who are clueless when it comes to choosing Chinese books. And the best part is... she makes the effort to include han yu pin yin for people like me who are quite rusty. Here's a review of the books we've read and loved.

Nathan has a crocodile cuddly which he has held since he was a baby (see photo). He needs it to sleep, and hasn't been apart from it for a single night every since he was born. So I knew I had to get this book for him when I saw it. 鳄鱼不刷牙 is a bilingual book. Meiru took the effort to pen in the han yu pin yin for me, so I had no trouble reading it to Nathan.

Check out the han yu pin yin penned in by Meiru!

Another animal themed book we really liked is 乐乐趣猜猜看系列This is a set of 4 beautifully illustrated books. It isn't exactly a book that is bound like what we are used to, but more like a brochure with many folds. As you unfold each flap, a different animal is revealed. I love seeing the look of suspense on my boys' faces as I prepared to unfold the next flap... and then seeing how their eyes light up as a new animal is revealed. Han yu pin yin is provided on a separate Word document. This is a must get!

Some of you might be familiar with Herve Tullet's Press Here. I got this book for Nathan and we've read it many times over. He was pleasantly surprised when he saw the same book in Chinese, and now asks for 点点点 instead of Press Here! It's kinda like an old fashioned iPad (if there's such a thing).

Noah loved 9只小猫呼呼呼. I think 猫 is one of the first Chinese words he said when he first started talking. :)

Another set that Noah liked was 噼里啪啦立体玩具书. This is a set of 6 books with amazing pop-up, lift-the-flap, and pull-outs detail. They are quite sturdy and could with stand Noah's rough handling. I caught Nathan holding up the birthday cake and singing the birthday song to himself.

We also bought 奇迹小宝宝初次见面绘本系列 which I am still struggling through as this set does not come with han yu pin yin. :P

If you are looking for quality Chinese books for your children, I highly recommend that you stop by Flip for Joy. Drop them an email if you need recommendations, and I'm sure that Meiru will come up with a list of books that your kids will love!

Disclaimer: I bought some books from Flip for Joy and received a few extra books with compliments from Flip for Joy for this review. All opinions are my own.

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