Book Review & Giveaway: JJ’s Science Adventure (Magnets)

When Aurelia, a former local primary school teacher, approached me to review her book – JJ’s Science Adventure – I was actually taken aback by her view about our local education system. She felt that “our education system has degraded” and  many parents “cry over their kids’ lack of motivation to study”. As such, she took a plunge to create a Science comic book that present Science in an entertaining and yet educational manner.

Now that Xi En is finishing up with Kindergarten 1, I am slowly getting a preview of the looming pressure and difficulties that our children will be going through once they enter formal education. It is just so different from my days. Yes, there were exams to pass and Science concepts to grasp when I was in school too. But it just seemed like the standards had been ‘upgraded” and our children are expected to learn ahead of the system. Honestly, I am not looking forward to primary school (for them).

And so, it piqué my interest when Aurelia email me snippets of her comic book on Magnets. This is the first of a series to come whereby she continues to develop more science comic books which are tailored for kids according to MOE syllabus. The general story line is about 2 main characters – Joyce and Jonathon – entering into adventures while being hampered by Mr Sinister & his minions. Aurelia’s next series will be based on the concepts of Heat & Light.

I was curious to see if Xi En might be drawn to the Science concepts when it’s introduced in a comic form. It is encouraging that lately, he had also been able to self read and enjoys non-fiction, general knowledge books.

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The verdict:

He read cover to cover the day after we received the book in the mail. It was interesting enough for him to re-read it a few times.

He was drawn to the colourful illustrations and the comic format.

He laughed at some of the jokes.

He was curious about some of the Magnet concepts introduced and asked for them to be explained.

He could understand the simpler concepts such as there are 2 different sides of a magnet and that each of the 2 sides could repel or attract (This was reinforced with magnetic toys).

He couldn’t understand some concepts such as “magnetic field”  and “how to magnetize a rod”.

He was curious about the “Did you know” section at the end about MagLev train and MRI (additional bonus pages) and asked questions on them although he didn’t fully understand.

My personal take on the book is that it is a colorful read for preschoolers (5 to 6 years old) based on illustrations. But to get the best out of it, parents will need to sit by and explain the concepts or conduct “science experiments” to explain how it all works in simple words and actions. It is a good, curious start to exploration in Science for the young ones and worth it for parents to spend some time going through it together with them. This will be ideal for Primary 1 to 3 (7 to 9 years old) as they should be able to read more independently and yet the comic format will likely still be able to command attention. As for Primary 4 to 6 (10 to 12 years old), I think it will be more of a revision.

JJ Science Adventure retails at S$18.90 and you can buy them here at Harvest Edutainment. For more information, do check out their website here.

And of course, good things must share!

Thanks to Harvest Edutainment, we have 3 books here as a giveaway to encourage the exploration of Science!

Please enter using the Rafflecopter here. This giveaway is open to residents based in Singapore and limited to 1 winner per household. Giveaway ends on 11th November 2014, 12am.

Winners will be announced on Claude Dambreville Facebook page and on updated on this blog post too.

All the best! 🙂

P.S: A fellow mommy blogger (Ing) who is a former teacher also shared her review on this book and hosting a giveaway too at her blog (Inspirations). Check out her viewpoints here.

Updates: 13th Nov 2014

And the winners are:

Jess Koh

Cynthia Lau

Fang Wenli

Congratulations and thank you everyone for the participation! 🙂

N.B: We were gifted with a complimentary copy of the above mentioned book for review purposes; no further compensation were received. All opinions remain writer’s own.

Book Review–“Today I am” & a Worldwide Giveaway!

We received a “fishy” book recently from the Fish Book Co for a book review. Thankfully it’s not “smelly” and lasted through the postman. 🙂

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In fact, I am pleasantly surprised with this 52 pages of brightly illustrated  fishy tale entitled -Today I Am”. There are a total of 20 emotions expressed by vividly drawn fishes. Each doubled page opens out to 1 emotion and 1 fish drawn to express that emotion. The author had definitely thought through and carefully choose the appropriate colors and expressions to bring out each emotion.

For example:

“Sad” is watered down with teary streaky strokes and a “blue” (literally) fish:

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“Today I Am” ‘s target audience is aged 2-7 years old toddlers. At 4 years old, Xi En is learning to spell, recognize words and be in (sometimes out of) tune with his emotions. We read through this book together and he is curious about some of the words which he had never came across – eg, “CURIOUS”. He asked me what is “PROUD”; “CONTENT” and even “JEALOUS”! I found it tough to explain some of these profound emotions with words and thus mimicking the fishes’ expressions helped a lot!

Xi En trying hard with “PROUD”:

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We also have a go with the easier ones such as “HAPPY”; “FURIOUS” and “SHOCKED”. I totally love how the author – Miles Van Hout – managed to bring life into the book through simple one-word per page drawings. These hand-drawn pictorial on black background caught Xi En’s attention too. He enjoyed tracing each word and learn spelling along the way too.

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His favourite of all the pages is (don’t you just love the little one plucking up courage to be in a dark sea of unknown):

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My brave boy; just like your Christian name “Ethen” – be strong, courageous and brave!

This book is a keeper for us. Not one which you can read for ages but definitely one of educational value which parents can expound further with their children.

If you are keen to get hold of one, you can swing by the Rise & Shine Expo 2013 at Suntec City Convention Centre from 27th to 29th Sept 2013 to catch the fishes’ debut public appearance. Retail price (before GST) is S$20.

And now the good news – GIVEAWAY TIME:

Fish Book Co is kindly hosting a worldwide giveaway form 5 readers of this blog! To be eligible for a random draw, just share with us: “Today I Am ___(an emotion)___”. Do remember to put in your name and email address so we can contact the winners!  Fish Book Co will be mailing these colorful books to 5 lucky winners. Giveaway will end on 25th August 2013 2359hrs (Singapore time).

Fish Book Co is also on Facebook. Do like their page for more splashy fishy updates.

“Today I Am” is an award-wining book and was first published in the Netherlands. It has since been translated to many languages. Singapore-based Fish Book Co holds the book’s rights to Southeast Asia and has plans to translate “Today I Am” into Chinese, Bahasa, Thai, Viet and other languages for distribution throughout the region. It’s also available as an eBook app in Apple Store for Ipads.

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary “Today I Am” book as part of a book review. No other monetary compensation had been received. Opinions and photos are author’s own.

Updates:

Announcing the winners for this giveaway! Sorry it’s delayed due to a busy schedule!

And the winners randomly drawn by my son are:

1) Robert Sim

2) Rena Tan

3) Citra

4) Kristie

5) Samantha Ding

Congratulations! Fish Book Co will be in touch to send the books to you! 🙂 Happy reading to your kids!