Why Q; NoQ!

What kind of books do you prefer your children to read?

Don’t worry, I am not here to discuss the latest National Library Board removing the “penguin books” saga. Enough said on that topic I think.

I remembered as a first-time Mom, I was at a loss of what books to start my baby on.

I read that black and white books are great – I went to find some. I read that red and white and black books are even better – I scouted some too!

And then through trial and error, I found great collections of books in our National libraries catered towards the babies and junior pre-schoolers!

Honestly, I am quite bias. I select books for my young readers based on first looks, first impression and what I want to expose them to. And also what interest them at that moment of time. It could be “Meow Meow” (for Eizac) or Maps (for Xi En).

Without the luxury of time, I normally have to scan through titles of books as fast as possible while keeping an eye on a restless boy (Xi En) or getting Eizac not to blow loud big bubbles in the library! I only have one goal in mind – dash into library, borrowed suitable books as fast as possible before we get chased out for being too destructive or noisy. My boys just cannot sit still to read. The library is just another huge playground to them!

There are some books which I won’t borrow: namely – boring ones which I think are passé, horror or ghostly ones ‘cos I don’t want to scare myself or them and lastly books on snakes, creepy crawlies, insects or the likes. The last category is because of a personal phobia which I am not prepared to overcome….eekksss…..

For Eizac, I will choose a variety of board books which cover “ABCs”, numbers, patterns, peek-a-boo, shapes etc. I go for the newer ones with the idea that they should be less saliva-cladded!

For Xi En, his reading skills had progressed over time. After his “baby days”, I started on simple stories which he can relate to eg. Elmo and Sesame Street, Cailou, Thomas the train, Spot and etc. Now, he went on to “Readers Series” which comes in “Levels”. He is between Levels 2 to 3 at the moment for most Early Readers books. Some tips on selecting books for your toddlers: Go with titles they might know e.g. TImmy Time, Olivia, Peppa Pig, Ni Hao Kai Lan  and some latest cartoons series such as Doc Mcstuffins and Holly and the Magic Kingdom. With familiar characters surfacing on books, they will be attracted to read and find out more! Those books with a series are attractive to Xi En too. Examples The Berenstain Bears, Curious George, Babar and etc. Chinese ones will be 桃树 (Tao Shu) and the SHAPES series.

Slowly, Xi En started on non-fiction books when he is 4 years old. He ventured into his favourite topic – Maps and then Space, the Universe and could distinguish Jupiter from Neptune. Now he is on volcanoes, bodies and earthquakes.

It is heartening to see Xi En enjoying his books and I hope Eizac follows through too.

If you are not free head to the libraries or your child wants to build a home collection, one good option is to purchase them online! Besides the overseas online bookstores, now we have one on home ground!

NoQ (i.e. No Queue!!) Asia is the e-commerce arm of Times Publishing. With a database of more than 14 million titles, there is something for everyone. There do seem to be a stronger emphasize on children books. You will notice that most of their best sellers are children books. There are so many choices that we had to narrow down to choosing a few of Xi En’s favourite series and some notable best sellers which he has yet to read.

My verdict from using this website is:

  • Books are in affordable price ranges. Selected good discounts for some books. Note that prices are before 7% GST which you will see at checkout. There are periodic promotions which further discounts to apply too. Check online for promo codes before purchases.
  • Useful readers reviews from goodreads.com but troublesome to click on the reviews section as it will populate to another screen. Quite a tedious process to check the reviews in the end.
  • Huge variety; high probability to find your child’s favourite reads.
  • Low spend quantum of S$25 to qualify for free delivery. But my key grouse is that the delivery takes a really long time! It took almost 3 weeks for our books to arrive! So do budget in the time you need the books.

With the closure of many brick and motor bookstores, it is great that Times Publishing turn to setting up an online portal. Honestly, I do miss flipping through books and browsing them before a purchase but an online mode for busy parents is a good alternative. Tip: If you have time to head to the local library occasionally, check out different books first so you can make a quick decision if you want to buy them online. If your last trip to the library is your own schooling days, do drop by – it has changed! Smile You can get a library card made for your baby the day he/she is born!


Currently NoQ is running a promo of 20% discount for 3 days only (valid till Sat 19th July midnight) . Use code GSS2014 at checkout. More details on their website.

If you missed the above, you can use this exclusive promo code to enjoy 15% off all purchases. Just enter “EVESPIRATION” upon check out. Valid from now till 31st August 2014. Go shopping now on http://www.noqstore.asia !

Happy Reading!

N.B: We were kindly provided with store credits from NoQ Asia for purpose of this review. All other photos and opinions remain my own.