Friday, July 31, 2015

Book set of the month: Folk & Fairy Tale Easy Readers (Scholastic)

This month, Little One choose to have this set of readers for bed time story. There are 15 stories to choose  from including the popular "Cinderella", "The Gingerbread Man" and " The Three Little Pigs" .  There are also folktales which I have not heard before such as "The Stone Soup", "The Nightingale" and "The Spider and the Beehive".

Each story  is 16 pages long with illustrations, They are graded in levels of difficulty from 'E-I', 
("E" being the simplest while "I "being the hardest). 

What I like about this set is they are relatively short and perfect for bedtime story especially when I am tired. Either the girl or I would  one pick book and I would read for her. Sometimes, she would read to me instead. When we are both not tired. We would read 1 or 2 books to each other.

I particularly love the folktales which teaches moral and values. One particular one is the story "The Spider and the Beehive" which teaches one not to be greedy and to be nice to people.

If you intend to get some readers for your pre-schoolers. This set is suitable for kindergarten children.
I've got mine in Popular sometime ago. It is not in stock now. You may want to get from Amazon or Scholastic. 

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PS: This is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Secrets of Sime Road

Are you into history? Does HIS-STORY (That is what I used to call history) bore you? Below is a short story I wrote. The story is inspired by one of the tours organised by the brownies, named as Battlefield Tour by Jon Cooper. The story incorporated part of the trail I experienced. If you do read it, tell me your thoughts. 

"Dad, can I not go to SICC?" yawned Ben.

It was one of the mornings, Ben was going with his family to Singapore Island Country Club. His father, Mr Low is a businessman, a member of the Club, often invites his business associates to the Club for a game of golf. Initially, Ben enjoy visiting the place as it is vast and full of greenery. There are so many things to engage in. He used to love playing in the play room but now he had outgrown it. Occasionally, he plays bowling with his father or swims with his mother. But really, both are not his passion. If possible, he would rather not go to the Club. He would rather watch shows on television.

"No, your uncle and his family are meeting us there. Shawn would be there too!" replied Dad.

Ben dashed up to dress himself upon hearing Shawn's name. He is his favorite cousin. Shawn, two years older than him, is regarded as a smart and sensible young lad. He has a young sister, Emily , who is nine years old.

Mr Low drove the family to the Singapore Island Country Club located at Sime Road. Ben recognised the place as soon as he saw Chinese tombs located on the left of Sime Road. A large, flat golf field appeared on the right.

As Mr Low drove into the carpark of the Country Club, they saw Shawn and his family alighting from their car.

" Hey, bro! A game of golf?" Ben's father called out.

The men left for the golf game while the women and the children went to swim. For Ben, swimming with Shawn and Emily is totally a different thing from swimming with mommy. After an hour of fun, the women and children bathed and decided to have breakfast at a nearby cafe.

" How's Ben doing?" asked Shawn's mom. The smell of bacon, sausages and omelettes filled the air.

"Well, still the same. I had enrolled to Berries. I hope that would improve his Chinese proficiency. Oh yeah! Shawn will be having his PSLE this year isn't it?"

Conversations such as these bored Ben. He decided to gobbled down his breakfast and probably excused himself from the scene.

"Shawn, shall we go exploring the place after this? We are too old for Playroom." whispered Ben into the ear of Shawn.

Maybe he was not soft enough for Emily heard him. "I wanna go too!" Startled, Ben glanced at the women but they were deep in their conversations.

"I guess it should be ok. Let's just ask our moms later." replied Shawn.

"Gor, I wanna go too!" insisted Emily.

"OK. We'll include you in." said Shawn, patting his sister's head fondly.

After breakfast, Shawn sought permission and promised to take care of the rest of the children. They wandered around the compound.

"Shall we explore outside? I know there is a pillbox just outside SICC !" exclaimed Shawn.

"Pillbox? What's that?" asked Emily and Ben in unison.

"Remember Labrador Park? Daddy brought us there to take a look at mangroves. We stumbled upon one of the pillboxes at the playground?" replied Shawn.

"Isn't that a machine gun post?" enquired Emily.

"It's the same thing. You'll see what I meant when we explore. " said Shawn excitedly, walking faster towards the entrance.

The pillbox is near the security barrier of the Club with a plague in front of it. Shawn approached the plaque excitedly. He is very interested in history ever since he explored the Labrador battery with his father. Ben went straight into the pillbox while Emily cried in dismay that she did not want to go in. Shawn pacified her and led her inside the pillbox.

"Bang! Bang! Bang! So this is what it is like to be a soldier in the past guarding here. This pillbox is rather spacious." Ben was already pretending to shoot using his invisible machine gun.

"Shall we go back now?" asked Emily.

"I believe there are more World War 2 relics here, just like Labrador. I am interested to seek them out. Are you?" replied Shawn. Ben agreed enthusiastically. Realising she was the odd one out, Emily agreed reluctantly.

The children started exploring down the road. Although there was not much traffic , Shawn had the common sense to remind the children to walk on the side of the road and keeping an eye on the traffic.

" Oh! Look at those Black and White houses! " Emily started to appreciate the beauty of the place. Many are marked "Private Property". Further down the road, the children spied some monkeys. They were wandering on the field but quickly scattered away when the children approached.

"Monkeys! Did you see that?" exclaimed Ben. He enjoys being on an adventure with Shawn.

"I thought they appear only in the zoo!" laughed Emily.

Suddenly, Emily squealed in delight, "Flowers!" and dashed in the direction of a row of garden arches which were overgrown with vines. There were plenty of brightly coloured orange and purple flowers at the side of the arches. Shawn and Ben chased after her. She stopped right in front of the arches and started to admire, her eyes wide with excitement. " This is really my kind of Secret Garden!" and danced a little dance. She took a step and started to walk through the arches wondering what is beyond that.

The garden at Sime Road
When I post on my personal facebook account, I was asked where it was from.
"Wooooahh!!!" a unison of voices broke out behind the children.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Night scenes in the City

A replica of the lighthouse on Fort Canning lights up the night sky

Awesome view from the top of the hill.

View from National Gallery - Former Supreme Court
View at Fullerton Heritage Precinct is not to be missed

The newly constructed Jubilee Bridge
Wonder Full show at Marina Bay Sands added beauty to the Marina Bay

Attempting light play using camera

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