The Wolf Series – Chinese Storybooks {Review and Giveaway}

Like most Singaporean children who grew up in an English speaking environment , Sophie had an aversion to Chinese. When she was younger, it was funny to hear her demand in exasperation for us to “speak to her in English” whenever we conversed with her in Chinese.

Things got better after we took her teacher’s advice and spoke to her purely in Chinese instead of using our rojak English and Chinese, something that is no doubt uniquely Singaporean but very much frowned upon by her native China teacher as kids tend to fall back on using English.

What really encouraged Sophie’s interest in the Chinese language was exposing her to Chinese story books. Sophie can be quite a bookworm so we read from a variety of titles and series which helped to pique her interest and also improve her Chinese vocabulary thus boosting  her confidence in the language.

And today, we want to introduce a Chinese series of books, The Wolf.

Wolf Series

The Wolf series is an international bestseller that is sold in over 20 countries. Originally from France, it has been translated into 15 languages and taught in over 650 schools. The series of The Wolf is about the adventures of a grumpy Wolf who discovers through many unfortunate mishaps the value of friendship, self-acceptance and other such values.

There are 5 books in the series and each book touches on certain themes that children of all ages can learn valuable lessons from with humour injected into these colourful illustrated pages.

One of our favourite title is The Wolf Who Wanted to Change His Colour, 想变颜色的小狼 where the Wolf got tired of his boring black fur and wanted to try out a new colour everyday.

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Through humorous experiments, his attempts to change his colour got from bad to worse and Wolf soon finds out that perhaps he should learn to accept himself as who he is.

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Another title that we enjoyed is The Wolf Who Wanted to be an Artist, 想当艺术家的小狼 where Wolf explores different aspects of the arts from singing, painting, sculpting and acting.

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Children get to learn about different occupations associated with the arts and also learn that having 三分钟热度 cannot be sustainable.

 

The Wolf series is an engaging and delightful read to encourage your kids to enjoy and love the Chinese language. We had lots of fun and laughter reading these series of book and believe that you will too :)

– – – – – – – -– – – – – –  GIVEAWAY FOR A JUGGLING MOM READERS – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

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Thanks to the kind sponsors from Wild Crane Press, 3 winners will stand to win a set of The Wolf series which contains 5 titles,  The Wolf Who Loved Himself Too Much, The Wolf Who Wanted to Change His Colour, The Wolf Who Searched for a Girlfriend, The Wolf Who Wanted to be an Artist and The Wolf Who Did Not Want to Walk Anymore.

To take part in the giveaway, do fulfill the steps on the Rafflecopter widget.

Complete all 4 steps to gain more chances :) Giveaway ends on 5 November 2014, 11:59pm. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Please note:

  • This giveaway is only open to readers residing in Singapore
  • Winner will be required to self-collect the books from lamp from Wild Crane Press (33 Ubi Avenue 3, #06-37 Vertex Tower A).

 

* A Juggling Mom received a series of The Wolf to write this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Children Learn What They Live

Childen learn what they live

The poem, Children Learn What They Live, was commonly seen in bookshops back in the 80s and 90s. As a child, I remembered seeing this on my refrigerator door, which was most likely put up by my dad who was was big on motivational quotes and posters. Though the author was unknown, I thought that the values made a lot of sense in raising up children and told myself that these are the values that I want my child to have in future.

But as I reflect on my parenting ways, I feel that I have fallen short in so many ways. Sure, I have days when I feel like an A star mum, when I’m calm and collected, with full of praise and encouragement for Sophie. When I take an interest in everything that she shares with me about her day and do all kinds of fun things with her.

But they are days, when I can be an absolute mean mum, who’s snappy and short-tempered and end up becoming Sophie’s worst critic pointing out her short-comings and making sure that she knows them loud and clear.

Just last evening, I lost for patience at her when she spelt day as bay and when her writing was floating all over the page. Instead of helping her find ways to remember her b and d, I raised my voice and scolded her for getting it wrong…AGAIN.

At the back of my head, I know it was my anxieties acting out as I was comparing her to the kids who were the same age as her who could tackle spelling with ease. So for her to even get b and d mixed up was unforgivable at that moment…

So I did a quick poll on my facebook and asked if it was a common mistake for five-year-olds and I had many who assured me that it. But one of the comment left by a friend struck me with guilt  where she said, it’s common for her six-years-old but she’s not bothered as it’s all part of growing up and they’ll eventually learn.

 

It’s a part of their growing up journey

It’s so true isn’t it. It’s just all part of their growing up and learning journey.

They will make mistakes. They are learning how things work. And bit and bit, they will get better than they were yesterday.

And as a mum, I should know that how I reacted out of anxiety caused her to doubt herself and her emotions took a huge beating from me.  But in our home, adults are not immune from apologising when we make a mistake, so I asked to lie down beside her and said sorry for hurting her feelings and promised to help her learn and be more patient.

Our children learn what they live. And how they live depends on the environment that we’re bringing them up in. The world out there is already one scary and warped up place where values are no longer valued. Don’t make the home like the world out there too. How are you shaping your child with how they live and learn today?

 

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Love you, my messy, dirty but oh so full of life darling!

Dear Sophie,

I promise to always parent you with with the best of my ability. To step into your world and understand how you view it from where you are. To slow down my pace, so that you can live your childhood the way it should be- carefree, fun and not hurrying from here to there.

I promise to nurture your sense of wonder and inquisitiveness instead of asking you to stop your questions. But please, one question at a time. I promise to not allow comparisons to determine how good you are or who you are and more importantly, to never be your critic but your greatest cheerleader in life. I promise to not give up on parenting just because there are hard and tiring days but to always remember that being your mum is one of my greatest joy.

I pray that you will live in the security of our love for you and grow up being confident of who you are so that you can shine in this world in your own unique way.

Love always,
Mummy

 

Motivational Mondays – Don’t Give Up

Don't Give Up

 

I’m fast approaching my 100th Motivational Mondays post and hope you’ve been encouraged by some of my posts as well as those shared with this linky party. I thought that for a change, I’ll switch things up and go for Motivational Mondays poster quotes. After all, don’t we all need a healthy dose of motivation when it comes to a new week to take charge and make it work.

For me, the weekend was rough and I have to remind myself that just because I’ve messed up doesn’t mean I have to throw in the towel… Sure, I’m not perfect as a mum, a wife and in many ways, I’m still trying my best to be a better person each day. And there are so many times when I mess it up with my lousy attitude, my actions or rather reactions that send a wrong signal before I can fully process what happened and it ends up being interpreted the wrong way…

Like when I snap at my hubby when I’m in a bad mood and then do the same with my daughter. Or when I allow other’s expectations of me to make me believe who I ought to be, when I should just be the best version of me.

But everyday is a new opportunity for us to undo the wrong, the mistakes and start over. So don’t beat yourself over what you should have done and look for ways to be a better you.

 

Link up for Motivational Mondays

Do link up every Monday on what motivates you to be better be it a fitness goal, parenting, marriage, etc. Share your recent posts and encourage someone. Share your recent posts and encourage someone. Don’t forget to grab my badge and include it in your post after you have linked up and leave me a comment too.

I host Motivational Monday every week and I hope that you can join me every Monday. Have a great week ahead!

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RWS S.E.A. Aquarium VIP Guided Tour

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Resorts World Sentosa has been our family’s favorite retreat whenever we are looking for a holiday right here at home. With attractions like the Universal Studio, Adventure Cove Waterpark,  S.E.A Aquarium as well as the recently added Trick Eye Museum, there is just so much to see and do.

Just last weekend, we had an amazing ocean journey where we went on an exclusive 3-hour S.E.A. Aquarium VIP Tour where we were treated to three back-of-house areas and even had a chance to feed the sea animals.

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In the month of October, the S.E.A Aquarium is specially decked out in Halloween themed decor where you can spot skeleton bones and pumpkins under the sea.

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Huge spider crabs

But not to worry, they don’t appear that haunting and scary just in case you’re worried that it would give the kids nightmares. In fact, Sophie took the opportunity to dress up as Ariel the Little Mermaid which we rented from My Mini-Me, an online costume rental shop for children. If you’re looking for costumes for parties, you should definitely check them out.

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Sophie the mermaid, singing Part of your world

According to our guide, the Aquarium is also decorated during other festivals like Easter, Chinese New Year with the next change coming up for Christmas! * Yes, we’re only 9 weeks way from Christmas!*

Another program that they have for the month of October that is open to public is Spooky Seas, where kids get to embark on a fun and educational adventure to uncover the mysteries of scary looking and fearsome animals features in their adventure trail map. As they go about on their trail, they’ll also receive treats from the staff as they discover interesting facts of the marine life. Do note, this is only available on weekends.

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Trick or Treat

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Right as we entered the tunnel, we spotted a diver in a special skeletal diving suit. He even blew bubbles much to Sophie’s amusement.

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The best part about being on a guided tour is having the opportunity to ask any questions at all and being filled in with all the answers and information which you’ll never have known if you went on your own. Not only that, the guide also pointed out certain exhibits that we would have otherwise missed since the Aquarium is usually so crowded with locals and tourists.

Another noteworthy point about the guided tour was how I was re-educated by our guide. For example, you know how we always use the terms star fish and jelly fish? Well, turns out I was so wrong because fishes have gills and the correct term for them should be sea stars and sea jellys. #nowyouknow

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Moon Sea Jellies which has a distinctive four pink horseshoes shaped organ that resembles buttons

Over at the Discovery Touch Pool, we were also given privileged and exclusive access without jostling with the rest of the visitors as guests of the VIP guided tour where the Mariners shared lessons about the knobbly sea star, sea cucumber and sea urchins.

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Did you know that this is actually where the mouth of the sea star is? Yipe, means you’ve always been touching it’s bottom :P

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Sophie at one of the 12 activity stations around the aquarium

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The Leafy Sea Dragon which are master of disguise. Can you spot them?

I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen the octopus moving about before. And I guess it must be our lucky day, because not only was it active that day, it also displayed an amazing change of colour from white to red right before our eyes.  If you’ve never seen it before, go goggle it and you’ll be utterly blown away.

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Back-of-House tours
As guest of the guided tour, we had privileged access to three back-of-house tours. To keep to the exclusivity of the program, photography and videography are not allowed but you’ll be glad to know that I can share what you can expect.

Our first back-of-house tour took us to the top of the Ocean Dome, where we saw the aquarists feed the manta rays. And I was so awed to learn the mantra rays are trained to know which spot to go for their feeding by recognizing a colour-coded card that is lowered into the tank. And you thought that Dolphins are the only smart sea creatures. And and we also got to feed the other sea animals too!

Another back-of-house tour gave us the chance to see the only genuine soft and hard coral in the aquarium with the chance to learn from an aquarist on how they care for the sea creatures, breed sea jellys as well as conduct researches with the local universities.

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The coral reef where we had the chance to see from above

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But the most interactive back-of-house tour was seeing the dolphins in Dolphin Island. There are 23 dolphins housed in Dolphin Island that are cared for by a dedicated team of about 30 staff where they are taken care of 24 hours a day and given utmost care. As we walked into Dolphin Island, we witnessed their playful and sociable  personality as they swan close to us and even leapt out of the pool.

At one point, they even communicated with Sophie with high pitch calls when she stooped down to wave good bye to them before we left. She was so fascinated and exclaimed that the dolphins thought she was a real mermaid in her costume. This must be the highlight of the whole tour for Sophie.

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While we didn’t get to experience direct interactions with the dolphins, the various programs available for the Dolphin Interaction was very interesting and we’ll probably come back for one of them when Sophie meets the minimum height requirement.

At the end of the three-hour guided tour, we left with a greater appreciation of the dedication of the team who work tirelessly in S.E.A. Aquarium. This was undoubtedly a fascinating and educational tour that the the young and old will enjoy.

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RWS S.E.A. Aquarium VIP Guided Tour

Price: S$88/adult and S$68/child {4-12 years old}, discounts available for annual pass holders
Duration: Approximately 3 hours
Tour times: Starts from 9am daily, approximately 2-3 tours/day
For reservation, call +65 65776077 or email rwstours@rwsentosa.com.

Tour Entitlements:

  • Priority access to S.E.A. Aquarium
  • 1-Day Pass to S.E.A. Aquarium
  • 1 VIP lanyard
  • 1 session to participate in marine animal feeding
  • 1 complimentary group photograph
  • A S$10 meal voucher for use at Fish and Crab Shack / Ocean Restaurant / The Bay Restaurantd
  • Dolphin Island back-of-house tour

Tour Information:

  • Tours are non-exclusive and will accommodate a minimum of 2 guests to a maximum of 10 guests for a duration of approximately 3 hours.
  • Tour departs daily from 9am at S.E.A. Aquarium Guest Services Counter; please enquire with VIP Tour Reservations for available timing.
  • Reservations are required and must be made at least 48 hours in advance.
  • Tours are in English; please check with Tour Reservations on the availability of other languages.
  • No photography and videography is allowed during the back-of-house tour.

 

To read about other attractions at RWS Sentosa Singapore, do check out our review of Trick Eye Museum Singapore.

 

* A Juggling Mom was invited to S.E.A. Aquarium for the VIP Guided Tour to write this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Daiso Craft Idea – Shadow Box Decoration

Last week, I shared this craft idea where it received more than 100 likes. Surely something this well-liked deserves to be up on the blog for future reference.

Diaso Craft Ideas 00

The idea is simply a shadow box that I bought from Daiso, a Japanese concept shop where everything is S$2 flat. It’s my shopping heaven because everything seems like a bargain and to me, a great find from Daiso deserves to be shared. It’s my kinda heaven and my hubby’s nightmare…In fact when I tell Sophie I’m going to my favourite shop, she’ll ask, “Is it Daiso?”

Back to my Daiso craft… I picked up this wooden shadow box from the Chinatown outlet. And before I go further, I must add that this wooden box is such a steal at a mere $2 because if you were to buy a similar one from Spotlight, or any of the local craft shops, it would easily cost $6-8.

What I did with the shadow box was to cover the base with a piece of background paper. Here I used a craft paper with a horse design since the theme was My Little Pony. Next I stuck a photo to the base of the box and added two of Sophie’s My Little Pony figurines with blue tack (These were from MacDonalds Happy Meal by the way).

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To jazz up the rest of the box, I also added one of my Project Life cards with foam dots to give it more dimension. And since I have a signature doily style when I scrapbook, I included one of it behind the photo for a nice dainty hint of lace.

To top it all off, I cut out a mason jar from one of my pattern paper as an embellishment and made a washi tape banner (because everything looks nicer with washi tape).


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My Little Pony theme shadow box

So there you have it a personalized shadow box. This can be doubled up as a display for your child’s  favourite toy like what Justina did here or simply a photoframe. In fact I’ve even seen how someone used a few of these shadow boxes and turned them into a doll house for her daughert’s lalalooopsy dolls. There are plenty of shadow box ideas on Pinterest, which by the way, you can follow my board here.

But the best part – I only spent $2 on this craft project. How awesome right? Perhaps I should consider having a new segment on the blog for Daiso craft ideas. What do you think. If you’ll like to have more craft ideas from items you can buy from Daiso, do give this post a like.

If you do pop into any Daiso and see these shadow boxes, do share the outlets that still carry them as they are no longer found in the outlets that I’ve been too.

 

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