Friday, April 11, 2014

Must-Read | Chinese-English Bilingual Books Galore from Flip for Joy + {International Giveaway}

We've always found reading to be a good way to expose Lil Pumpkin to the Chinese language and are on a look-out for good Chinese books, as you probably know. 2 days ago Lil Pumpkin's Chinese teacher praised her saying that her performance in class was "很棒 {fantastic}!". It made our hearts swell with pride and the boy was so happy he said he could cry haha #proudparents So glad that all our hard work encouraging her to learn Chinese at home has paid off.

Before Meiru contacted me to check out her online children bookstore - Flip for Joy, some of my friends have already recommended it to me because of its wide selection of Chinese books sourced from overseas, that may not be sold in Singapore... {and also because Meiru is a very endearing shop owner... but more on that later!}

A lot of their books are bestsellers and award-winning titles loved by children worldwide. They bring in the best books from all over the world {UK, US, Europe, Korea, Japan, China etc} and you can find popular childrens' titles such as Dear Zoo, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See, The Giving Tree in the bookstore. The best part is, children can now get to enjoy these classics in the Chinese language or even in both languages!

I felt like a kid in a candy store when I visited Flip for Joy the first time. So many books.. where to start? It's a good thing that it's easy to navigate in the online bookstore as they have categorised the books into 3 main categories - Flip for Fun {highly interactive}, Knowledge {insightful & rich elements of story-telling} and Love {help children love important life values}.

If you're still stuck, they also have Flip Flip Hooray Starter Packs for ages 0-3, 3-5 and 5-7 for parents who want help with selecting books. Each pack will have at least 1 book from each of the 3 categories to provide variety for hours of quality reading.

Annnnnd if you're still stuck after all this, well, Meiru will personally help you to choose books based on your child's age and interest, with no obligations to purchase. That's nice of her, don't you think? She's also very prompt in her replies. It's a lot like asking a friend for shopping advice, than getting answers from a faceless salesperson :P As an ex-JC Chinese language teacher, Meiru has high expectations when it comes to educational resources. In fact, all of Flip for Joy's books are good enough for her own child, and she'll always try reading the books with her kid before writing the sypnosis and recommendations in both Chinese and English so as to help parents choose the best for their children.

Here are 5 of Lil Pumpkin's favourites from the bookstore:

1. 我的感觉系列(7册) My Feelings {7 books}, S$39.90
This Chinese-English bilingual series helps children understand 7 different feelings encountered while growing up - fear, sadness, self-confidence, jealousy, anger, caring for others and missing loved ones, and learn how to describe them in a positive manner. Given her young age, sometimes it's hard for Lil Pumpkin to understand and express different emotions she may feel. By reading the books out loud together, we could discuss things and it helped her to open up more freely with me. I could also use the tips included in the books to help her handle the emotions better.

2. 经典名著立体书:白雪公主 Snow White Pop-up Storybook, S$14.90
The popular story of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs spring to life in this beautifully crafted pop-up book from Korea and Lil Pumpkin absolutely loves loves loves it.  So do I actually! The lovely illustrations, bright colours and pop-up pages promise a fascinating and engaging reading experience. The pop-up book is also available for The Little Mermaid, Red Riding Hood and The Ugly Duckling. I feel like collecting them all :P

3. 爸爸的亲亲 Daddy Kiss, S$13.90
This beautifully illustrated book is translated from an Australian original and tells a heart-warming story of a daughter proclaiming her love for her father. Out of all kinds of kisses, big and small, happy and sad, her favourite kiss of all is a kiss from her daddy. Such a sweet tale and I love watching the boy read it with Lil Pumpkin as throughout the story, he'll smother her with wet smooches hahaha.

4. 经典童话系列(三)(10册) Collection of Fairytales {10 books}, S$39.90
I think the charming point about this collection is the beautiful clay figurines that accompany the little ones through the captivating tales. They make the stories come even more alive! The 10 books include children classes like The Little Prince, Cinderella, Jack & The Beanstalk, Thumbelina etc. Lil Pumpkin tried her hand at making her own character figurine with play dough... not easy at all! Hanyu pinyin is also included with the Chinese text.

5. 熊宝宝的小椅子 A Chair for Baby Bear, S$6.90
This Chinese-English bilingual book is rather cute. It's a creative continuation from the popular children's classic, Goldilocks & The Three Bears. Since Goldilocks broke Baby Bear's chair, this story follows Baby Bear's search for his perfect chair. All 3 of us read in character together {Lil Pumpkin as Baby Bear, the boy as Father Bear and me as Mother Bear} and that was fun! Very interesting way of writing a story and gives me an idea to encourage Lil Pumpkin to come up with her own endings for other stories she likes :) 

Flip for Joy offers free local standard mail for all orders and free delivery by a courier to your doorstep for orders S$50 and above.

Just for my special blog readers and friends only, I have TWO S$30 Flip for Joy Bookstore Gift Cards to give away! You can buy any books of your choice with it and since prices start from S$6.90, you can probably get a good deal from this :)

International Giveaway Method: Random Draw

1. Be a Sakura Haruka Facebook page fan

2. Be a Flip for Joy 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 encourage kids to read + FB name you used to like the pages + 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. Just complete all 4 simple steps!

* Open to readers worldwide. Non-Singapore residents may enter too.
* Ends Monday, 21 Apr 2014 2359hrs {Singapore time} 
* Incomplete or inappropriate entries will be deemed invalid and will not be included.
* Winners will be announced by Sunday, 27 Apr 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.
* Book prices are inclusive of only local shipping costs. For overseas deliveries, customers would have to pay shipping costs based on SingPost rates.

UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. The winners are Audrey Soo and Zoe Teo. Stay tuned for more blog giveaways on Sakura Haruka! Check out my current readers promos too. Thanks for your support!

* Disclosure: Flip for Joy provided books for review and gift cards giveaway. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.



Anonymous said...


I knew it was very difficuly to ask our kids to read Chinese book. My gals if can choose, they will choose to read English book. Because they dunno how to read some Chinese word. They found very boring. But I told them, we are Chinese. We must know how to speck Chinese and read Chinese. I will try to find those Chinese books with HYPY (han yu pin yin). I think is more easy for them to read. I will also try to read together with them. Sometime they will act as a mummy to read story book for me. Here are my tip to encourage my kids to read more Chinese book. Hope can win the gift card to buy more Chinese books for them. Thank you!

FB name: KaRen Ong

Margaret Bok said...

I will put a book at a place which he will notice it easily with a little bear on top of the book. He will take the bear together with the book and start reading on his own ^_^

Margaret Bok

Cª+he®iNe said...

The best way to teach them is by example. Be their role model, and they will naturally take to reading :)

Catherine Ng

Evilicious said...

Read with them, slowly build the interests in them.. Correct book is important too :)


Jolin said...

I will read together with my son. Using exaggerated actions or voice tones will catch his attention and makes reading fun.
Jolin Poon

jasz said...

Read with them and play the characters in the book we read.

Jasmin Ho

Irene Fock said...

I would allow my son to choose his own book to read, be if Chinese or English, because I felt that's the best way to inculate reading habits and get to love reading. Every month, he will go to book store to buy the books he wants to read. :)

FB name: Irene Fock

Mamamie said...

The best way to encourage them to read is to read with them and try to find the type of genre they are interested in.
FB: Amie Chen

Adeline @ GrowingwiththeTans said...

I read with Noah ever since he was a little baby, and I think that really helps. When we go to the library, I let him pick his own books, and we will sit together to read them. :)

Adeline Tan

Unknown said...

I bought a whole lot of quality mandarin books, but them within easy reach and try my best to read one book a night! :)

lilbluebottle (at) gmail

Ting said...

I read to my boy every night till he enjoys it so much now he will demand me to read to him.

preciouz said...

By reading aloud every nite before bedtime
Jaime Chan

An Apel a Day said...

This sounds interesting.

Sakura Haruka Facebook page fan - Alissa Spiehs-Apel

An Apel a Day said...

Like Flip for Joy's FB page. Alissa Spiehs-Apel

An Apel a Day said...

I think routine is important. We try and read each night before bed. It doesn't always happen, but happens a lot.

Alissa Spiehs-Apel
alissa4illustration AT hotmail DOT Com

mail4rosey said...

I think it would be awesome to have Snow White as a flip book! We read every night before bed.

Dragonfly said...

We had a bedtime routine to read max. 3 books which my boy can choose. I do not restrict Chinese or English books which in a way, he will pick a Chinese book some times. Read with loud actions so he won't get bored. Now he's older, I will pick up a word randomly and ask him to read it to me. On weekly basis, Going library and listen to other's people storytelling also helps. Of course, allow the kid to choose books that are of interest to him/her.

FB name :Evelyn Ng

Grace said...

Oh, wow! What an amazing range of books! I wish we had "Dear Zoo" in Indonesian. My boys would love that!

joanna heng said...

I will read to my son everyday. Also to explain to him in both chinese n english and also to imitate the voices of a man, a woman, baby n even animals in order to make my son keep his attention on the book.

Name Joanna Heng
Facebook name: Cherry Joanna

Carol Mei Mei said...

Best tip is to display lots of books of all levels freely in open bookshelves for kids to be able to take a few books to read any time of the day. it has worked for my one year old!

zoe said...

My girl loves to read, and I enjoy reading to her too. I help my daughter to cultivate a love for reading by making story-telling highly-interactive, and reading with animated tones according to the storyline. She loves it this way! =)

Name: Zoe Teo
Facebook name: Zoe Teo

Ker Min said...

Read to kids and choose books that they can relate to. My girls loved Topsy and Tim Ladybird series.

Name: Ker Min
Facebook name: Ker Min

Sweetheart Rachael said...

Through songs and movement!

Name: Cynthia Lau
FB name: Cynthia Lau

Robert Sim said...

I read to my boys every night before they sleep. It is now part of their bedtime routine.

Robert Sim

Cybele @ BlahBlah said...

What an awesome way to learn a language x

Jasmine Sia said...

I have books which are easily accessible by my boys so that they enjoy the presence of books. I read to them in a dramatised manner and sometimes we act out parts of the storyline :)

Mommy Mommy said...

Play pretend. I am the student DS is the teacher. He enjoys this learning process.

FB name Li Pang
Will email u me email add privately

Jingxian said...

Make it a habit to read before sleep everyday.


Mum's calling said...

Leaving books within reach and almost everywhere is how I encourage them to reach for it, more often than anything else. fb name: Ka-Ren Chen

ling said...

Shu Ling
We started organising his books and flashcards on shelves which he can reach easily. I chose books that have simple and contrasting pictures as a start, then I will describe the pictures first and move on to the story-telling when he is older and has a bit more patience.

Debs G @ Owls Well said...

I like books with beautiful illustrations and an engaging storyline, and my kids seem to appreciate these too.

Debs G (Owls Well)
4owlswell at gmail dot com

Ser said...

We started with easy to read books to boost my boy's confident level on reading. After which we get him books with characters that he like, eg: dinos, dragons.
Serene Leow

Delphine said...

Read with them every night!

Delphine Tan

Kaye Wong said...

Read with them, especially before bedtime :-)

Kaye Wong

p/s: will email you my email address, thanks :-)

Unknown said...

Bring them to library and read with them regularly
Yee Long Teo

JingRong said...

i make it a habit to read daily to my kids before bedtime. and to make it more enjoyable, read with tone & expressions :)

FB: JingRong Loh

Unknown said...

Read to them every night
Teo Chin Long

Unknown said...

We share stories everyday... I try to encourage my son to read by reading to him and pointing to him words that he should know, and waiting for him to read it out for me :)


Audrey Soo (FB name)

Shirley said...

Read to them afew times for each book. I look out for simple fonts (not something like cursive style u know what I mean?). Bigger font size helps child to self read too.

Shirley Yong

Unknown said...


Awesome..I am reading to my daughter from very young to develop her interest towards stories..When I am busy with my work, I ask her to explore the story book..It started with looking at the pictures ..slowly slowly she started reading 3-4 letters word & feel proud to tell me ...Now she started reading stories to her little sister ...I don't know chinese so she feels great to tell us chinese characters & about stories..being our teacher

FB..Ashmika Jain

Unknown said...

Have a reading routine since young

Name: Phyllis Tan

Felicia said...

I will start with those book that will interest her and from there start to build up her reading interest.

Name: Felicia Lai

tanjboy said...

starting them young and doing it daily has worked :-)

Name: Tan Jeng Beng


Anonymous said...

Start reading to them since birth and read books to them daily.

Linda Wong

Unknown said...

Daily reading and sometimes repeating their favorite stories will help children imto be independent readers.

Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

Yeo Keng Seng

Al said...

I read to my infant every evening. Hope that this will cultivate her interest in reading storybooks.

FB: Al Yu

Unknown said...

Read to them as they are young and later on, read with them, and subsequently they can read to you!
Joeanne Shim

Anonymous said...

Read to them since they were babies and bring them to library very often.

Leong Yee Ming

Anonymous said...

I read to them since they were babies everyday and also bring them to library to borrow many books.
Khor Lee Ling

Anonymous said...

Read with them early, often and for Chinese, with lots of hands-on interaction, drama and even singing

Finally Mama

Anonymous said...

Role playing is a great way to encourage them to read and then act out.
Alan Tan

Anonymous said...

Let them choose the book they interested and read together; role playing when reading the book to them too.


ivy said...

reading starts as young as babies...introduce them colours,naming items and objects etc..gradual add in storyline n eventually reading the story to them when they are toddler.
Ivy Loh(