Monday, March 3, 2014

Must-Read | Bilingual My Home {我的家} Picture Story & Activity Book Set + {Giveaway}

We love books. Even when overseas, we like to browse at the local bookstores and perhaps lug back 3-4 new books home :) We're trying to raise Lil Pumpkin to be a bilingual child that's able to communicate effectively in English and Mandarin Chinese. Sometimes I'd throw in a bit of Japanese as well, just for fun :P

Books are definitely important in any learning process, and especially so when learning languages. Recently, we came across My Home {我的家}, which is a set of bilingual {English/Chinese} books written by local authors, Rayne Ngoi and Cheng Pei Yee, and illustrated by Wang Lu Bo. It comes in a set of 2 books - a picture storybook and an accompanying activity book.

A unique feature of My Home is that it is written in Singapore content. In the books, kids {and adults!} will find many items and places that they can associate with in their daily lives in this country. Since English is Lil Pumpkin's stronger language, it helps her to improve her Chinese skills. However for those parents looking to strengthen their child's English skills, these books are very useful too as equal emphasis is placed on both languages.

In the picture storybook, readers go on an adventure with Jason and his faithful dog, Blackie, through the brightly coloured pages to investigate every room in his HDB flat to find a playmate. Written in English and Chinese with hanyu pinyin, each page also contains many little flaps {some contain rather funny secrets} which can be lifted as you read to your child.

Do you find yourself speaking Chinese but mixing it with English because you didn't know how to say the words in Chinese? For example, do you know what's "community centre" or "see-saw" in Chinese? Well, we forgot and found the local content of this book very useful in teaching how to say and write the names of items and places found in a typical home and HDB neighbourhood in Singapore.

It's highly entertaining and Lil Pumpkin knows how to read some of the Chinese words herself actually {yay!!} thanks to her enrichment classes and the boy's nightly revision with her. A great book to snuggle up to in bed, we usually spend about 30mins to go through all 40 beautifully-illustrated pages. 

This bilingual activity book, also fully coloured, complements the picture book "My Home", and is written to cater to the learning of 2 to 6 years olds. It contains vocabulary practices, hanyu pinyin learning aids, picture flash cards, interactive games, DIY handicraft, stickers and more, to make the process of learning a fun and enjoyable one.

Some of the exercises are still too advanced for her since she's not able to spell or write a lot of Chinese characters yet. However, this set will still entertain her even when she's older so we'll definitely re-visit those exercises later. I'd probably laminate the flash cards and writing exercises in the book, so that they will last longer and we can use them repeatedly.

Have a look at the review vlog I did with Lil Pumpkin to see the actual picture story and activity books. Was quite fun to do one with her, although she didn't really like to sit still and let me do all the talking hahaha. If the video isn't working, see it on Youtube here

Just for my special blog readers and friends only, I have THREE My Home {我的家} Bilingual Book Sets to give away! Definitely a fun and exciting way for kids to learn English AND Chinese at home!

Giveaway Method: Random Draw

1. Be a Sakura Haruka Facebook page fan

2. Be a Read with Me Mommy Facebook page fan

3. Like & Share this Facebook photo and tag a friend. Make sure your post is public!

4. Leave me a blog comment telling me your best tip to learn Chinese + 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.

THREE random winners will be chosen. Just complete all 4 simple steps!

* Open to Singapore residents only.
* Ends Monday, 10 Mar 2014 2359hrs {Singapore time} 
* Incomplete or inappropriate entries will be deemed invalid and will not be included.
* Winners will be announced by Sunday, 16 Mar 2014 on this blog post and notified via email. Winners have 3 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 Sharon Ng, Ruby Lee and Serene Seah. Stay tuned for more blog giveaways on Sakura Haruka! Check out my current readers promos too. Thanks for your support!

P.S. Bonus Round is now open on my Facebook page here. 2 more sets to giveaway!! Ends Sat 15 Mar 14.

* Disclosure: Read with Me Mommy provided My Home Book Set for review and giveaway. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.



Jolin said...

Liked n shared.
The best tip for learning Chinese is to speak and read more.

Unknown said...

Best tip to learn Chinese is to read lots of Chinese story books and watch educational Chinese DVDs.

Amy Fang said...

Hi! Liked and shared the page in fb! :)


For us, the best way to learn Mandarin is to simply keep speaking in Mandarin! Even if hubby is not good in the language, he tries his best too, letting my little one know that everyone, anyone can learn the Chinese language! :)

Xgg Chan said...

I use flash cards to teach them to read.


Nancy Cheng said...

Reading Chinese storybooks and conversing in Chinese!

Angeline said...

The best way to learn Chinese is to embrace it in the everyday life~ Speak, listen and read Chinese; the more the exposure the more natural the tendency to pick it up. That being said, it is difficult in our family where everyone including grandparents speak English almost 100% of the time. Seems like the onus is on mommy to expose the little one to Chinese more :)

Unknown said...

I buy lots of chinese books from and leave them at easily accessible shelves. :)

Thanks for hosting this!

Jingxian said...

Get the grandparents to speak to them in Chinese.

Shirley said...

I let the kids watch Chinese cartoon, speak in Mandarin, and read them Chinese books. Thanks for hosting and the review.

Shirley Yong

Anonymous said...

Liked and shared in FB. For us, my husband read lots of Chinese stories book to our 4.5 yr old boy :)


Ser said...

Since young, we communicate through mandarin. This has made my elder boy to love Chinese and it has become his strongest subject in school too.

Carol Mei Mei said...

Parents to lead by example in speaking it every day with the child, in the process exposing the child to the language and getting the child to practise speaking and processing thoughts in Chinese.

Adeline said...

I'm still trying to teach Noah English, and Chinese has unfortunately been neglected. I use Chinese flash cards with him sometimes, and try to speak to him in Mandarin every now and then too.

Stacy said...

Argh Mandarin... I think I have a hate-hate relationship with it! Tried to learn a couple of times and quickly forgot and/or mixed up the characters. But my kids are going to have to learn - don't want them to be disadvantaged as I sometimes am. Worrying about speaking to their teachers next time! (Mandarin-speakers typically don't like conversing in English)

Anonymous said...

Read books and try speaking more with my kids.

Lilium Day said...

The best tip is start Chinese from young. Expose, Read, Speak, Watch in Chinese. Then again, it is never too late to learn as long as the determination is there

Robert Sim said...

I read to my boys their favourite Chinese story books and let them watch the animated versions of those stories to reinforce recall and learning of Chinese words.


Unknown said...

Forgot to add,

Email address:
FB name:
Ruby Lee

Jacquelene said...

best tip is to speak and read to them whenever u can!
Thank you for hosting!

Masshole Mommy said...

It's great that you are teaching her 2/3 languages at her young age. My kids speak English and won't learn a second language until they get into high school.

Anonymous said...

Best way is to dedicate a day jus speaking Chinese, for me it's saturday :0

Lorna Tan

Anonymous said...

Best way to learn Chinese is through songs


Anonymous said...

Best way to learn Chinese is to read books and speak the language!

Gordon Ngiam

Mummy Cher said...

For us, we try to sing songs with Aiden to introduce him to more chinese words. We try to teach him the chinese equivalent words for things he is interested in like vehicles so he learns faster.

Cheryl Tan

Debra said...

Since they were born, I try to speak Mandarin exclusively to my boys (a tall order because I am more comfortable speaking in English). We also play only Mandarin CDs in the car. They still prefer conversing in English but at least Mandarin is not a foreign language to them!


Missus Tay said...

lots of practice!

Patricia Tan said...

Reading & story telling are the good ways to learn Mandarin. :)

Patricia Tan

Susan said...

By reading and speaking in Chinese more on a daily basis.


Cherie said...

I have done all four steps! :) For me the best way to learn Chinese is through lots of hands-on and engaging activities!

daydreamer said...

Let my son read and watch his favourite characters like Dora the Explorer in Mandarin.
Meg Tan

Mommy Mommy said...

Liked & shared

Conscious & constant reading of Chinese books

Unknown said...

Engage them in mandarin conversations about their favourite food, cartoon, etc. post them letters in simple Chinese signed off by their favourite heros & encourage them to revert

joeycraftworkz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joeycraftworkz said...

For us, I explained the importance of Chinese cos her grandparents do not understand English. So she has to learn the language to speak. That's how it started.


joanna heng (fb name: cherry joanna) said...

For me, my parents r chinese speaking so we make sure that our pronounciation is clear n correct. N we will practice w my son numbers 1-10 in both chinese n english. Also like learning animals, we will teach him in both chinese n english to make sure that he dont miss out chinese language. Me n my hubby speaks bilingual to him too.

Email :

Kaye Wong said...

Read books in Chinese and speak in Chinese on daily basis.

Serene Seah said...

Be exposed to the language through storytelling , conversing and reading ! Thanks for hosting the giveaway !

preciouz said...

Best way to expose to a new language is through music. I played them chinese kid songs in the car.

Su said...

Best way to learn mandarin is through reading and speaking. Tks! :)

tanmcjanette said...

through playing little games and speaking the language :)

Enid said...

I speak to my kid in English, mandarin and teochew. I repeat every sentence in all 3 (languages/dialect). :)


Unknown said...

Liked & shared.
I am still exploring ways to improve my child's reading for both languages. Hope this book helps


Anonymous said...

Best tip to learn chinese is through engage them in speaking chinese by one parent. This takes care of oral part.

For the word recognition part print out big words that u would like your kid to learn and keep repeating everyday and before you realise they can rattle to you the words!

Thanks for organising such giveaways sure help with more resources to teach and show.


Liked and shared.

Abi Gail said...

The best tip to learn Chinese is to read the Chinese Newspaper and through Calligraphy since young, my Chinese improve a lot.

Lu Siu Ching said...

My best way to learn Chinese is through listening to Chinese song and sing along!


Unknown said...

Trying my luck again :)

Best tip to learn Chinese is to read more and speak more.

Ruby Lee