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Making Time To Read

It is pretty common to hear from working parents that they have no time to read to their kids. 

Some families shared that they found it useful to incorporate reading into their family routine. For example, simply setting aside 15-30 minutes after dinner or before bedtime and keep at it. Once the routine is set, it will be easier to make time for it. Children will grow into the routine. Over time, even without parents' prompting, kids will, out of habit, take out a book to request for a story or flip through the book by themselves.

Do also create a home library that is easily accessible by the little one so that he/she can simply flip through a book whenever he/she feels like it or pick up her own book to be read for the day.

Over time, they will grow to love books!


Have You Made Time For Chinese Story Books?

Mommies who are able to read in both English and Chinese languages could consider alternating between English and Chinese books when reading to your kids. For example, some parents read one English book, followed by a Chinese book each day, while others may choose to alternate the books every other day. In that way, kids can be exposed to both languages from young. 

The key thing is to start them young so that there are lesser chance that the kid will reject any language as they grow up.  


How to Make Best Use of the StoryBooks - The Power of Discussion (Part 1)

Most parents are aware of the benefits of reading to our children.  However, the parent-child involvement during the story-reading as well as the post-story reading discussion are just as important. 

During the reading phase, discussion could typically focus on what is happening in the story. Some kids read books without thinking, plainly accepting what was written. When reading to your kid, parents could pause and let your kid describe the pictures. Or let the child look at the pictures to guess what will happen next. Basically, let their imagination fly. 

After reading the story, discuss with your child how issues in the book may relate to everyday activities. How would the child reacts if he/she is put in the same situation, etc. Listen to his/her thoughts. If there are none, ask thought-provoking questions.

Simply put, do not rush through each book, and do not underestimate the power of discussion. Take time to enjoy and appreciate each book fully. 


How to Make Best Use of the StoryBooks – The Power of Discussion (Part 2)

In a sequel to our earlier post, we will take one of our books as an example, “Miss Rumphius” [花婆婆].

This is a book about Miss Alice Rumphius’ three promises to her Grandpa. She was able to fulfil the first two promises of travelling around the world and staying by the seaside quite easily, but found it difficult to fulfil the last promise set by grandpa– which was to make the world more beautiful.  It was only many years later that she found a way to make the world more beautiful – by planting lupins (a type of flower) in the wild.

After reading the book, parents can ask their child:-

  • Of the 3 promises that Miss Rumphius made to her Grandpa, how would you fulfil each promise differently?
  • Would you like to travel around the world? Where would you like to visit? Why?
  • If there is a place you would like to stay in, where would it be?
  • In your opinion, how would you make your world a better place to stay in?

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How to Make Best Use of the StoryBooks – The Power of Discussion (Part 3)

In this segment, we would like to share another of our picture books, “No, David!” [大卫,不可以!].This is a picture book written by author, David Shannon and the book has received Caldecott Honor Book prize in 1999. We carry the chinese translated version.

It’s a very simple book about a mischievious boy, David who always gets into trouble. David can be seen standing on a chair, reaching out to a cookie jar, getting himself muddied, running around naked, making a din with cooking pan, etc.  Throughout the book, his mother was telling him, “大卫,不可以!” “No, David!”

This book is so simple to read that parents would have no problem completing the book within a couple of minutes.

However, instead of plain reading, parents can consider adopting a slightly different approach. Let your kid observe the picture and ask him:-

  • What is David doing? [大卫在做什么?]
  • What will happen if he did this? [想一想,接下来,会发生什么事?]
  • Do you think he should be doing this? Why not?[大卫这么做对不对?为什么不对?]
  • Do you think his mommy will be angry if she caught him doing this? [你觉得大卫的妈妈会生气吗?]

Such two-way communication is very useful. It will not only help him build up his ability to express himself - by observing the pictures and articulating what he see (which will be useful for their oral exam in future), you are also encouraging your child to rationalize right from wrong, and internalizing them from a third-party point of view.

Through appropriate use of picture books, there are actually plenty of benefits the kids can reap.  

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Do you have any tips to share it with other parents? We would love to hear from you! Drop us a note at and we will be glad to include your useful tips into this section


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