{Review & Giveaway} Tibby and Duckie by Emily Lim – a tale of true friendship

Tibby and Duckie cover

We’ve been enjoying Tibby and Duckie, a heart-warming tale of friendship written by awarding-winning author Emily Lim.

We first came across Emily’s work in Just Teddy (affiliate link). It was our favourite bedtime story for a long long while as the kids just loved seeing poor confused Teddy try to disguise himself as other soft toy animals in a bid to belong to a group. He finally finds belonging in the form of a little girl who picks him out from among other soft toys to bring home.

Tibby and Duckie carries along that same theme of friendship and identity. Unlike other ducks, Duckie cannot swim. Tibby the Tiger-Bunny tries all ways and means to help Duckie swim — but nothing works.

Tibby wonders if Duckie is a swimming kind of duck and, in the end, helps his friend discover where her true strength lies, and her identity in the process.

A tale guaranteed to warm your heart all the way to your toes, and perfect for snuggling in bed with.

Tibby and Duckie

Here are some themes you can explore with your kids through the book:

– friends help us discover who we really are, and our (sometimes hidden) potential
– it is hard trying to be someone you’re not
– friends accept us for who we are
– true friendship goes both ways

And a special giveaway is now happening on our Facebook page! Hop / swim / fly over to participate and stand to win an autographed copy of Tibby and Duckie!

Hurry, contest closes 20 Dec, Sat, 11.59pm. Open to Singapore residents only.

Suitable for young ones aged 3-6 years old, Tibby and Duckie is now available in:
– Popular
– Kinokuniya
– Times Bookstores
– MPH Bookstores
– Tango Mango Books and Gifts (Tanglin Mall)
Epigram Books’ online store

*I received a copy of Tibby and Duckie for the purpose of this review. All opinions are as usual my own. 🙂

Review & Giveaway: Exploring values with The Wolf series of books

The Wolf series is all about the adventures of a grumpy and disgruntled Wolf who discovers through many unfortunate mishaps the value of friendship, self-acceptance and other such values.

Written by French author Orianne Lallemand, this series has been translated into 14 different languages around the world.

One of our favourite books in this series is The Wolf Who Wanted to Change his Colour. The kids enjoy the book because of the vibrant illustrations (which runs through all five book in the series), and because Wolf gets up to all kinds of funny business just to get a taste of how it’s like being a different colour.

Every single day, he tries something new. Such as taking an icy bath in order to turn blue…

The Wolf Who Wanted to Change His Colour

And plucking roses from gardens and covering himself with pink petals.

Vera is particularly tickled by this part because she can identify with the wolf’s dressing up to be like someone else.

Of course, in the end, Wolf learns to be content with the grey colour of his fur, which opens up the door to talk about loving ourselves just the way we are, and accepting the way that God has made us.

We also enjoyed The Wolf Who Did Not Want to Walk Anymore. A simple story, the Wolf decides one day to stop walking altogether and try out alternative means of transportation every month. He tries the mountain bike, a motorcar, a motorcyle, a train, an aeroplane, a boat and even a princess coach (that unfortunately turns into a pumpkin at midnight) and Santa’s sleigh!

Alas, he still ends up in a sorry state after travelling on each one of these transportation modes.

The wolf who did not want to walk anymore

He finally comes to realise that nothing quite beats relying on his own two feet.

Quite a good story for little pre-schoolers who like to complain after a few minutes of walking huh?

There are a total of 5 books in this series, and the other titles are The Wolf Who Loved Himself Too Much, The Wolf Who Searched for a Girlfriend, and The Wolf Who Wanted to be an Artist. You can check them out here.

Thanks to Wild Crane Press, 3 lucky blog readers will stand to win the entire Wolf series of books! If you have kids aged 3-6 years, these books would be great for them. To enter the giveaway, just follow the instructions via the rafflecopter app below. (Remember it’s mandatory to leave a comment on this post with your email address, and to like Wild Crane Press on Facebook.) Good luck! 🙂

Terms and conditions:

  • This giveaway ends on Friday, 31 Oct, 11.59pm and is open to Singapore residents only.
  • Winners will be contacted using the email provided when entering this draw and will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn.
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced.
  • Winners will have to collect the books from Wild Crane Press (33 Ubi Avenue 3, #06-37 Vertex Tower A).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway: Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages of Children

Children’s Day is coming up this week, and I’m really excited that Focus on the Family is kindly sponsoring this giveaway of a copy of The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman!

5 love languages of children

This book has been a great resource for us, and I’ve shared a few lessons I learnt from it before. (Read them here and here.)

Today, I’m going to share 3 of my favourite tips (from the book!) on how to love your child if his /her love language is acts of service.

1. Make a favourite snack when your child is having a difficult day. – JJ’s love language is acts of service, and he’s always reminding me to make him his favourite chocolate brownies whenever he’s feeling upset or just needs some reassurance.

2. Instead of telling your younger children to go to bed, pick them up and gently carry them and tuck them in their blankets.

3. Assist your child in fixing a favourite broken toy or bicycle. Simply taking the time to repair it communicates love to a child whose love language is acts of service.

I hope these give you some ideas to start this special week on a right (and loving) note.

And…It’s giveaway time!

One reader will walk away with a copy of The Five Love Languages of Children. Just enter the giveaway by following the steps in the Rafflecopter app below.

** Remember to leave your email address when commenting on this post!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & conditions:
– Contest ends 5 Oct, Sunday, 11:59pm
– Open to Singapore residents only
– The prize has to be picked up from Focus on the Family’s office at 9 Bishan Place #08-03 Junction 8 Office Tower
Singapore 579837. Mailing is possible at an additional charge of $2.
– The winner will be notified by email. If he/she does not reply within 3 days, we reserve the right to re-select a winner.

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed. Thanks for participating, everyone!

The love / discipline sandwich – Lessons from The Five Love Languages of Children

I learnt something important after re-reading The Five Love Languages of Children (affiliate link) over the weekend.

On the subject of discipline, the author emphasises the importance of contextualising discipline in love. That is, when the child is receiving correction and consequences of his behaviour, he needs to know he is first of all loved by his parents, and also that this discipline /correction is part of that love.

That is, “We love you, that’s why we need to correct you.”

One useful method that Chapman advocates is to sandwich the discipline with love, using your child’s main love language.

So for instance for Vera, quality time and physical affection are important to her, so before I mete out a discipline or consequence, I can give her a hug or hold her hand. Then after the discipline, spend a few minutes with her instead of rushing off. Or I could actually sit her on my lap throughout the whole time. This way, she knows that I am not withholding my love from her, even when I need to address the wrong she’s done.

5 love languages of children

Another tip I learnt from the book is to refrain from using a form of discipline that is directly related to your child’s main love language. So if words of affirmation is important to your child, avoid using harsh words on her. As Chapman states, “Critical words can be painful to any child, but to this child, they will be emotionally devastating.” And if quality time is his thing, don’t discipline by removing that quality time you were scheduled to spend with him.

Now does this mean that if your child’s primary love language is touch, you should avoid spanking? I think for the most part, the answer is yes. And if you do need to use such a form of discipline, try your best to be measured in the spanking, for instance, setting a limit to the number of spanks that matches the level of misbehaviour. And when the discipline has been meted out, remember to hold your child close and reassure him or her of your love.

Reading the chapter turned on a light bulb for me. I’ve been rather stretched of late and I haven’t realised how curt and harsh I can be when disciplining the kids. I’ve been task-oriented, moving the kids through a long list of to-dos, and feeling frustrated when they don’t comply promptly. I’ve (conveniently) forgotten the love part of discipline, and am feeling a little bummed for allowing stress to steal our joy away.

But I guess it’s never too late to start on a clean slate. And I’m glad to have re-read the book just at this point in time when I needed a reminder. I hope you find this helpful too.

This is Little Lessons #19. Little Lessons linky runs on the blog every Thursday. Do grab our badge and link up your little parenting lessons / learning activities below!

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Little Lessons – Learning to respect nature with Maxilla

Maxilla cover pageWe recently received a copy of Maxilla, a book written by Lianne Ong and inspired by her son’s personal experience. Reuben finds a caterpillar in the school garden and brings it home, hoping to see it grow into a butterfly. He wanted to keep the butterfly as a pet but as he does his research on what kind of caterpillar Maxilla is, he realises that this kind of caterpillar needs to find its own food in the wild or else it would die.

So despite his own desire to keep Maxilla, Reuben learns that loving it means he had to set it free.




Now the value about loving and respecting wildlife reminded me of a post I penned a year ago about a simple weekend we had outdoors. In it, I mentioned that daddy caught a butterfly and we taught Vera the importance of setting it free.

Maxilla is a simple story. The book is beautifully illustrated and clearly written. The moral behind the story shines through too, which I thought was especially relevant since caring for nature and its inhabitants is something we may not experience every day living in Singapore. I’m no entomologist or botanist, but I do love being outdoors enjoying nature’s gifts of sunshine and greenery (minus the mozzie bites!) So I especially enjoy books like Maxilla that help in teaching children that nature has a timeless place in our lives.

I also thought that the extra pages at the end of the book showing the life cycle of a caterpillar was a thoughtful gesture, and adds another perspective (Maxilla’s) to the story.


Here are some questions that could make good conversation starters, as you explore the book with your child:

  1. How do you think Reuben felt when he set Maxilla free in the garden?
  2. Do you think he made the right decision to let Maxilla return to where she came from? What would you have done if you were in his shoes?
  3. If you were a caterpillar, how would you feel if you were kept in a box like Maxilla was?

If your child is around 3 – 5 years old, he’ll probably enjoy this book being read aloud. But just a word of caution; if your child is an emerging reader, he may find the font a bit distracting. (Some of the letters stick together, or look thicker than the others.) I would suggest going slow or sitting beside your child to help him along.

A nice follow-up activity idea would be to rear your very own caterpillar into a butterfly! (You may want to watch a video of how we set our butterfly free!)

If you’d like to meet the author, Lianne will be at MPH Bookstores, Parkway Parade at 1pm – 2pm on 15 March 2014 (Sat) and Woodlands Regional Library at 12 – 1pm on 21 March 2014 (Fri).

~~~ Giveaway ~~~

We have a copy of Maxilla to give away. To enter, just do the following:
1) Like our Facebook page
2) Leave a comment on this Facebook post (Answer the question: What is the name of Reuben’s caterpillar?)

That’s it. Giveaway ends 12 March, at 12 noon. The winner will be announced on this post, and contacted via email. Good luck guys!

This is week 16 of the Little Lessons series, which runs on the blog every Thursday. Do grab our badge and link up your little lessons / learning activities below!


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