/bɪ ə gʊd gɜ:l/ n. moniker of she who blogs here [also known as, bie]; adj. personal awesome advice to all female kiddos

meet the fam #thechennies

meet the fam #thechennies



Children's Day came and went, and we got ourselves a pleasant surprise. Because the girls won this cool book from an IG competition!

Posing with their book(s)!

Yay to winning 老虎来喝下午茶! 
(Source: http://www.thetigerwhocametotealive.com/)

Before letting you in on where this book is from, here's a little (long) backstory...

Let's face it. 老娘 here is hopeless at Mandarin. In primary school, I chalked up a miserly 20 upon 100 for my Chinese test and got a thrashing by the dad. My grades continued straddling between the Cs and when I had to retake my AO Chinese, I completely gave up and relied on my birthday luck. As if I was in the mood to study idioms and all on my birdzday while the rest of my friends were celebrating?!?!?!?! I was one of the few left in the school who had to retake the dreaded exam because everyone else had scored at least B3. Needless to say, I flunked. A big fat D7. [Dear Bielet and Bieny, please do not follow this horrid sloth of a mother. A word of (very wise) advice: Always study hard.]

Surprisingly, after I entered uni and no longer had to cram all the Chinese yadayada for grades, I started enjoying Chinese songs and shows. Thanks, 周杰伦 and 王仁甫 (of 5566) and 賀軍翔. I still recall I was watching the Taiwanese variety show (完全娛樂) that 仁甫 was hosting when my then-boyfriend broke up with me. Gee, maybe that's why he called it quits. HAHAHAHA. But that's besides the point.


(Source: omg.sg)

During Bielet's first meet-the-teachers session, her Chinese teacher put it across (gently) that my daughter's Mother Tongue linguistic skills were lacking. Wanting. I then explained in my halting Chinese that mine was rather weak. I think she got the point once she realised I couldn't string my phrases together. !!!!!! But anyways, I decided I should get my act together and put more effort in Bielet's Chinese learning. I youtubed songs and started singing them to her, bought DVDs (digital and hardcopy flashcard series), CDs (loads of happy children singing) and basic picture books (those sort where you have pictures of animals and their accompanying Chinese characters). But somehow, it didn't seem to work and she seemed more sian of MT than ever. By pure chance, mummy blogger Ai Sakura did a post on how to learn Chinese language tips and I realised I just needed to press on. Because Bielet didn't pick up English overnight either, right?

It was also through Ai that I learnt of Flip For Joy, an online bookstore which carries a delightful selection of Chinese books for children. Bielet had really enjoyed the 这本书吃了我的狗 storybook I got her from Taiwan (loooooooooooove Eslite, btw) so I was hard pressed to find a book which was just as good - read: easy to follow, not too long and with charming illustrations.

The picture books I got the girls from Taiwan. We've been reading 这本书吃了我的狗 quite regularly and it leaves us in stitches everytime! It's translated from Richard Byrne's This Book Just Ate My Dog! The other two books are a little more advanced (both for the girls and me) so we're waiting a wee while more.

Super chuffed then, that Flip For Joy fit the bill. I got in touch with them for recommendations before I put in my first order, because as mentioned, my Mandarin really CMI......... Meiru very kindly gave me a whole list of books for my consideration - including some with hanyu pinyin and others with English translations - and after a hard time choosing, I finally narrowed them down to three starter sets and one 点点点. I was really pleased with the quality of the reads. In particular, Bielet loved the 点点点 book because it matched our bedspread at that time. LOL. No, seriously, she really liked it because of the interactive element of pressing the dots and seeing how they morphed from page to page.

Another translated book, this one is Herve Tullet's Press Here.

As part of Flip For Joy's 3rd birthday this October, they are having a 10% storewide promo (discount code: flipfliphooray) and pledging $10 per order to benefit a couple of children charities under the "50 for 50" charity movement. Talk about shopping for good! Oh, and I just read that each customer gets a chance at their lucky draw too. Check out their titles here. The book that we won was from their first giveaway - 老虎来喝下午茶 is a lovable book about a famished tiger who drops in for tea at Sophie's house and wipes out all the food (no, that doesn't include gobbling Sophie). It's a Chinese translation of the much loved classic The Tiger Who Came For Tea by Judith Kerr (interesting nugget from wiki: the tale is thought to be a reference to her dark childhood, growing up under the Third Reich. Ah, children's stories are never as innocent as we think, huh?)

And in case you were wondering: No, the book offerings aren't just classics translated into Chinese. These are probably more popular because children who are already familiar with the English version can relate better or are less averse to the Chinese edition (my opinion). There are original Mandarin titles, as well as story books translated from popular Japanese, Korean, German etc titles. Quite interesting to have a repertoire from children authors all round the world, eh?

Thank you for picking us, Flip For Joy! 

And of course, this bookaholic mummy decided to add in a new order of books.

Our final order!

Bielet was showing her papa the book we won when he returned home from work, and she added, "Thanks, Mama, for buying all the books." ZX turned to me and asked, in an alarmed tone, "How many books did you buy? "All the books" makes me very nervous." Yes. I actually forgot I put in an order for these and got the girls another two new books (albeit English ones) that afternoon as a Children's Day treat. Gulp. I need to join a Bookaholic Anonymous sesh soon. But before that, I hope we're on the way to better Chinese language at home!


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