Friday, August 16, 2013

Must-Read | "Today I Am" by Mies Van Hout + {International Giveaway}

We've been exploring a new book lately. I say "explore" because with reading, you can live many lives and travel through time & space with your imagination :) Today I Am is the Southeast Asian English version of the award-winning Dutch children’s book Vrolijk by Mies van Hout.

First published in June 2011 in the Netherlands, Vrolijk has since garnered numerous accolades, including being nominated for the prestigious Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis {German Children’s Literature Award} 2013. It has since been translated into many languages including German, Italian and French and will also be translated into other Asian languages such as Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Mandarin, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

Filled with vivid crayon drawings of dazzling fish, Today I Am shows 20 common emotions a young child encounters. Each double page spread is devoted to one fish showing a particular emotion, along with its name in lettering that expresses the same feeling.

Reading it with Lil Pumpkin made me explore the myriad different feelings we take for granted sometimes. Sometimes people ask "how are you today?" and we answer with a simple "good". But life is more than feeling good, or not feeling enough to give a deeper answer.

I feel that the book encouraged Lil Pumpkin to learn more about her different feelings and increased her vocabulary in expressing her emotions. With each word paired with an easy-to-understand example of that emotion, it allowed us to talk about different situations where she could have felt that way, and how we can cope with that emotion, especially if it was a negative one, so that she remains in control rather than overwhelmed.

Emotional awareness is important in the development of happy and healthy children, and all emotions should be equally embraced. Being able to accurately recognise and understand emotions can help the kids in self-motivation, guide thinking processes and enhance relationships with others.

Even though there isn't much text in this book, a picture speaks a thousand words and just talking about the different fishes with different expressions provided a rich experience between me and my girl. This hard-cover book is currently at major bookstores, and suitable for kids aged 2-10 years old... although I think adults will find it a joy to read too :) 

Just for my special blog readers and friends, I have FIVE "Today I Am" children's book {worth S$20 each} to give away! It's an international giveaway so if you are living outside of Singapore, feel free to enter too!

International Giveaway Method: Random Draw

1. Be a Sakura Haruka Facebook page fan

2. Share this post link on your Facebook wall and tag my page. Make sure your post is public so I can view it!

3. Leave me a blog comment telling me your favourite fish + name of your FB account that you used to like the page + email add. For those unsure of how to comment, choose "Name/URL" option then add your name and comment. If you prefer to send me your email add privately, please contact me at sakuraharuka {at} live {dot} com.

FIVE random winners will be chosen. Just complete all 3 simple steps!

* Open to readers worldwide. Non-Singapore residents may enter too.
* Ends Sunday, 1 Sep 2013 2359hrs {Singapore time} 
* Incomplete or inappropriate entries will be deemed invalid and will not be included.
* All winners will be announced on Thursday, 5 Sep 2013 on this blog post and notified via email. Winners have 5 days to reply, or the prizes will be redrawn.
* Sakura Haruka is not responsible for any prizes lost, damaged or misplaced in the mail.

UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. The winners are Stacy, Alissa, Lilium Day, Brandi Yee and Ashmika. Stay tuned for more blog giveaways on Sakura Haruka! Check out my current readers promos too. Thanks for your support!

* Disclosure: Fish Book Co provided the Today I Am children's book for review and giveaway. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

 photo vanish-o2-fabric-stain-removal-singapore-giveaway_zps79554f59.jpg



Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me said...

I think I've successfully completed all the steps above. Let me know if I haven't. I liked and shared you with my personal account Renee Wilson and my email address is

My favourite fish is the two black fish at my daughter's daycare (Fins and Chips) because they brighten her day.
Thanks :)

Caroline said...

Beautiful drawings! I like the clownfish

FB: Caroline ALee

Stacy said...

OK I THINK I have done the necessary. Couldn't figure out how to 'share' for the longest time haha. I don't normally have access to FB at work so am not FB-savvy.

I have an aquarium at home and I love fish! OK must-pick-one... the panda cory. Coz it's super cute!

My FB page is Stacy Ong, email is

Serene Leow said...

FB name: Serene Leow

Favourite fish:
Nemo as it's tiny and brightly coloured.Just get a cherry mode seeing them.

J-Mei said...

i like flower horn fish or 花罗汉鱼 because it look special.

FB:kien mei

Kylie Purtell said...

Looks amazing! I know Punky would love looking at those fish, and especially the bright colours on each page.

My fave fish is flathead, because not only is it fun to catch but it's delicious to eat! What can I say, my only interest when it comes to fish is generally if it tastes good, sorry!

Kylie Purtell said...

Oops, forgot to add, my facebook name is Kylie Purtell (

Grace said...

Oh, what a great book!
Favourite fish? Can't go past a clownfish! I remember seeing one for the first time when I went diving in Okinawa. I was bubbling with excitement.
I'll post this on my FB Blog page (WithSomeGraceBlog)
And my email addy is:

Unknown said...

Beautiful book!! I bet my kids would love it :) My favourite fish...hmmm...I really like the clown fish! I've completed all of the entries and shared on my Facebook page Yee Wittle Things. My email is

Thanks for the great giveaway Ai!! :)

Ashmika said...


My daughet love Fishes. Her favourite is Nemo & the Koi fish..This is for you my dear :)

Facebook Id..ashmika jain

Thanks for the wonderful blog & nice giveaways.

An Apel a Day said...

A great book!

I'm a fan of your FB page.

Alissa Spiehs-Apel
alissa4illustration AT hotmail DOT COM

An Apel a Day said...

My favorite fish: angel fish

Alissa Spiehs-Apel
alissa4illustration AT hotmail DOT COM

An Apel a Day said...


alissa4illustration AT hotmail DOT COM

Robert Sim said...

I like clownfish.

Carol Mei Mei said...

I like angelfish.

Anonymous said...

This is definitely a beautiful book to attract my kiddies attention and impart them with the different 20 emotions.
I love angelfish while my elder boy loves clownfish
It will definitely be nice to be awarded with this book.
My FB name is Ann Liew Lim

Theresa Mahoney said...

What a really nice book! It's great for kids to be able to pick up a book and explore emotions like this. I love the vivid colors used to. That helps keep the children engaged in the book even more!

EssentiallyJess said...

Gorgeous fish pics. I think these books can be so important for kids to understand how they feel sometimes

Anonymous said...

Evelyn Lim

Lilium said...

Guppy!!! Always been fascinated since young.
FB id: Lilium Day

Christine Lim said...

Favourite fish: Clownfish
FB ID: Christine Lim

Lisa Wood said...

What a great book!! My favorite fish is "Nemo" fish, his colours make me happy :)
Shared on my facebook page "New Life on the Road" and liked your page!
My email address is

Unknown said...

My daughter is obsessed with Flounder fish. I really think she thinks they can really talk. Lovely book and illustrations.

Annaleis Topham

Christine said...

I love tetra fish - exotic and beautiful.

FB: The Wanderer's Journal

Finally! A worldwide giveaway from you... I have been waiting for one haha.

An Apel a Day said...

I got the book today! Thank you!