Sunday, October 27, 2013

Must-Read | Emily Lim Award-winning Children Picture Books + {Giveaway}

Sometimes I wonder, what makes a good children's book? Is it the beautiful illustrations? Or the the timeless  morals and values taught? Or the innovative ideas? Or the expressive words used to engage the child and catalyse their imagination??

It's hard to find a definite answer, but I think it's a balanced combination of all these factors, and all of which you can find in Emily Lim's Mustard Seed Children Books.

"Although the mustard seed is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch on its branches." - Matthew 13:32

This bible verse sums up Emily’s aspirations for her books and her writing. Although she started her writing journey with a little picture book, she hopes that her stories will serve a meaningful purpose and be read and enjoyed by many. Indeed, her 4 books {Prince Bear & Pauper Bear, The Tale of Rusty Horse, Just Teddy and Bunny Finds the Right Stuff} are filled with meaning and emotion as they are drawn from her personal experiences of coping with a rare voice disorder.

Each of the books have stunning illustrations from Neal Sharp, an illustrator and character designer for children media based in the US,  and tell warm tales of overcoming diversity and treasuring friendship, love, compassion and hope. All the things that matter in life, and that we want to our kids to understand. The stories are simple and can be easily understood by a child aged 4 like Lil Pumpkin, and even appreciated by adults like us.

I love watching the boy read to Lil Pumpkin. Have too many photos of these moments, but I'm not complaining. Every little girl loves a good snuggle in bed with her daddy and a book. I still remember when my daddy used to read in bed to me :) I hope Lil Pumpkin remembers these moments reading with us when she grow up too. It's not all about choosing good books for Lil Pumpkin to read, but it's also about family time and helping her develop a love for reading.

We got the latest reprints of Emily's books and they are compatible with the Pen Pal Whizz reading pen. Using the smart pen to tap on the book pages, a narrator can read the story to the child and book characters speak {with additional scripts which tie with the story text}. There are also bonus game questions on each page spread to reinforce key points of the story.. Lil Pumpkin loves these embedded games, and makes reading them with her even more fun!

What are the books about?

Pauper Bear, a teddy without a mouth, longs to be loved, whilst Prince Bear loves himself. Pauper Bear’s chance finally comes when a little boy brings him back and repairs him with care. Prince Bear ends up in the home of a girl who forgets about him and leaves him to be chewed up by her new puppy. The two bears meet again a year later outside the same toy shop where they first met. In this chance encounter, both experience love and friendship with new perspectives.

An old forgotten rocking horse longs to be a favourite with everyone. An old fairy grants him his wish, turning him into a real horse and a crowd favourite. The magic doesn’t last and Rusty turns back into a rocking horse, ending up as a playmate to a lonely handicapped child. When the fairy returns with a spell to make him popular forever, Rusty has to choose between that and the friendship of one child. In that moment, Rusty learns that real magic lies within his power to choose what truly matters to him.

Just Teddy, a lonely teddy bear, tries hard to fit in with the toys in a toy factory. He goes to great lengths to blend in with the polar bears, pandas and penguins to the extent of almost losing his identity. When he is mistakenly left on the wrong shelf in a toy store, he encounters a little girl who senses that he is different. Together, they stumble on a wonderful discovery about Just Teddy’s true worth.

Bunny, a floppy rabbit with flat feet, thinks he is missing out when he notices that the other toys are better stuffed than he is. He desperately searches for new stuffing but ends up making a big mess of himself. Grizzly, Dinosaur and Kangaroo, the other toys in the house, come to Bunny’s rescue repeatedly. They finally realise that the right stuff which they are helping Bunny to find is within them to give. They each give up some of their own stuffing and restore Bunny back to good shape.

You can find out more about Emily and the other books she authored from her blog. These 4 books are available at S$12 each from major bookstores like Kinokuniya, Popular, MPH and Big Bookshop or shops like Smart Alley {Centrepoint & Changi Point} and Rainbow Shop {Robertson Road}.

Just for my special blog readers and friends only, I have TWO Autographed Children Book Sets by Emily Lim {worth S$24 each} to give away! Like our books, all are compatible with the Pen Pal Whizz reading pen. 1 winner will be chosen for each set which comes with 2 books, and you can choose either Set A or Set B:

Giveaway Method: Random Draw

1. Be a Sakura Haruka Facebook page fan

2. Be a JLB Educational Technology Facebook page fan

3. Share this post link on your Facebook wall and tag our pages. Make sure your post is public so we can view it!

4. Leave me a blog comment telling me which set you want to win {Set A or Set B} + 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, leave a comment for the other answers then contact me at sakuraharuka {at} live {dot} com.

TWO random winners will be chosen, one for each set of books . Just complete all 4 simple steps!

* Open to Singapore residents only.
* Ends Monday, 11 Nov 2013 2359hrs {Singapore time} 
* Incomplete or inappropriate entries will be deemed invalid and will not be included.
* Winners will be announced by Sunday, 17 Nov 2013 on this blog post and notified via email. Winners have 5 days to reply, or the prize 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 yAnn and Jacquelene Pang. Stay tuned for more blog giveaways on Sakura Haruka! Check out my current readers promos too. Thanks for your support!

* Disclosure: JLB Educational Technology & Emily Lim provided the books for review and giveaway. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.



Lilium Day said...

Set A!
Thanks for hosting!

Philly Carter said...

Set A please.
FB: Philly Carter

Joanna Heng said...

Set B pls
FB name: Cherry Joanna

Debra said...

Set B please (coz we have the Prince and Pauper Bear already)! We like her books and would love to read more!

FB: olimomok


Jolin Lim said...


Would like to get Set A if i win..
FB name : Jolin Moonzdestiny
Email :


Carol Mei Mei said...

Would love to win Set A please.

Carol Mei Mei said...

Forgot to leave my FB name: Carol Lim Mei Mei (cmeilim)


Robert Sim said...

Will be great to have Set B!

Robert Sim

Unknown said...

I would love to win Set A, please!

Adeline @ GrowingwiththeTans said...

Set B please!
Adeline /

Teo Yee Long said...

Set A
Yee Long Teo

chongwah said...

Set A

Chan Chong Wah

Joanne Lew-Peterson said...

Set A
Fb: Joanne Lew-Peterson

Thank you ;)

yAnn said...

Set A please!

Anonymous said...

Set A!

FB Account - Cherie Lim

cherieladie @ msn . com

Thanks for the giveaway!

coyz said...

Teddies! =P. Set B please.

Lu Siu Ching said...

I would like to win Set B Please,
FB account: Lu Siu Ching
email :

Angie S. said...

We have the book, 'Just Teddy' and it really touches our hearts when we read it.

We would love to win Set B.

FB: PrincessDanaDiaries
Email: angelinesim(at)yahoo(dot)com

Thanks for running this giveaway.

Gina Tan said...

Set A
FB Name: Gina Tan

Anonymous said...

Set A pls!

FB name: Jacquelene Pang

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Set A
FB name: Jaime Chan

Anonymous said...

Set B pls
FB: Evelyn Hu

Unknown said...

I would love to win Set B as we've read The tale of rusty horse and love it!

FB: iris kuah

Winnie Lam said...

Would love to win set B.
FB Winnie Lam

Vicky said...

Liked, shared, and tagged :)
Would love set B please.

FB: Vicky Winoto (


Ashmika said...


Loved the books. SeT B for my Girls..Thanks for the Giveaways.

FB..Ash Jain


Grace said...

These books look great!
I love the boys' reading time with Papa. You can see the bond just getting stronger!

An Apel a Day said...

I just love reading time. The illustrations in children's books are so fun! They need to make more adult books with fun pictures throughout.

SARINA LIM said...


Abi Gail said...

Gotta Win Set A For my Girl!
FB Name: Abi Gail

Jeslyn Gwee said...

Set B
FB: Jeslyn Gwee

Thanks for the great giveaway! :)

Anonymous said...

Set B
Sharon Chen

Yean Yean said...

Set B
Yean Yean

Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Set B
Liang Jingxian


Liza said...

I would like to win Set B please!!

FB name:

Anonymous said...

Set A
Cynthia Lau

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win Set B please!

Ai-Lin Chung

Grace said...

Set B for my princess. :) thank you!!
Grace Lim

Jade Almazan said...

Set B please.
Jade Almazan