Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thinking Thursdays: Flipping for Joy!

Hello! Remember how we were trying to teach the boy Chinese? Thus far, its still been restricted to reading Chinese books and speaking to him in Chinese, and I'm glad he's slowly picking it up. Unlike English kid lit, which I find is relatively easy to source for, choosing good Chinese reads has been tough. We made several trips to Popular, but those trips yielded simple books which reminded me of the Peter and Jane series (they helped to teach the language, but they could be so boring!). 

So imagine my delight when I was contacted by Meiru, asking if I was interested in fun Chinese books! She's the owner of Flip for Joy, an online bookstore selling Chinese and bilingual books for children. Here are some of her recommendations, all of which the boys enjoyed immensely:

:: 乐乐趣猜猜看系列 (Flip for Fun): This set of 4 books were translated from a Belgian original, and the Chinese and English rhymes are catchy. Junior J literally couldn't wait to get his hands on the books, since flipping each page transformed one animal to another, and even continue to pour over the book after we were done reading!

Now what happens to the rat? Flip to find out!

:: 马桶的故事 (Flip for Knowledge): Junior J has had this love-hate relationship with the toilet, since we've been battling with constipation on and off, so this book about using the toilet was perfect.

It's a funny book that chronicles the attempts of various animals trying to use the toilet, and how toilets were meant for people instead. Its a great book to introduce if you're toilet training your child, especially if he or she loves animals. The boy was most amused at how the elephant broke the toilet bowl! 

 :: 数一数,亲了几下 (Flip for Love): This was a perfect bedtime story, about baby being put to bed, and getting showered with kisses from different family members. Junior J wasn't so keen on getting that many kisses, but baby J certainly didn't mind! It's a good book for teaching how to count, as well as different parts of the body too! 

:: 奇妙洞洞书:我会数一数 and 那是一个洞吗? (Fresh Flips: new arrivals!)
Board books are a must with baby J, since he manages to rip normal books in his eagerness to turn the pages. These are board books with a twist, as the cut-outs change with each turn of the page...  

The baby couldn't stop poking his fingers into the holes in the books, and exclaiming "洞!". Even his big brother loved the stories, and both were jostling to get their hands at the cut-outs. Really fun, if you ask me!

The boys enjoyed reading these books immensely, and even I enjoyed reading them! This came as no surprise, since all the books sold at Flip for Joy are tried and tested: Meiru is an ex-Chinese teacher, and she takes the time to search for good books and reads them with her 3 year old first. Many of the books are award winners, and come from all over the world.

The books are categorized according to three categories: Flip for Fun (books that are fun and interactive), Flip for Knowledge (insightful books with a rich element of storytelling) and Flip for Love (books that highlight values). Parents can also get starter packs that contain at least one book from each category to provide hours of good reading!

One main problem of reading Chinese to the boys is that Mama over here doesn't have a strong grasp of the language. I am rather dependent on hanyu pinyin, which restricts the books that I am able to read. I was pleasantly surprised when Meiru included the hanyu pinyin on a separate insert in those books that did not include the hanyu pinyin. No more stumbling over, and pausing to check out words for the boy! Another bonus is that delivery via local post is free, and spending more than $50 entitles you to free courier delivery.

Seeing the boys so interested in the books has encouraged me to continue in my efforts in teaching them Chinese (I admit, its even harder since they get zero Chinese exposure here!), and I'll be checking out more books from her store soon. Meanwhile, if you're interested, Flip for Joy is celebrating their first anniversary in October, and every $50 spent entitles you to receive a $5 e-gift card to use for future purchases. In addition, everyone who makes a purchase this month qualifies for the store's first anniversary lucky draw, where one winner will receive a $100 Flip for Joy e-gift card.

So start flipping, and happy reading!

PS: Do like Flip for Joy on Facebook, to be kept updated on their latest happenings and promotions, as well as benefit from the articles and teaching resources shared!

[Disclaimer: We received the books above from Flip for Joy for review purposes. All opinions are my own.]


  1. Sidetrack: Junior J's hair is way cool :)

  2. That was Awesome:)) Thanks for sharing.

  3. Adora: Hmmm, you are referring to the photo where his hair was all mussed up after the shower?

    Willyn: No worries, we really enjoyed the books!

  4. Hey, My girl's first Chinese book was 数一数,亲了几下! She loves the book so much together with all the kisses and she couldn't stop requesting for it every night until we returned the book to the library.

    I find that interesting Chinese books are not difficult to find but how to make them fun is the key. The same is for English books. I find it difficult reading English book because she is not interested in the language. I think I have to work extra hard on it, so far I am only successful with the bear hunt book.

    1. Ah, no wonder, its such a sweet story! :)

      Hmmm, could you share where you usually find your Chinese books? I guess for us its the same but its Chinese in our case. Perhaps try books on topics that she is interested in?

    2. Sorry for late reply. Had a rather stressful week. I usually will go to the library for books. I usually get those books that capture her interest such as cartoon characters. I find 宝宝自己读 is quite good, she likes the character 喜羊羊,so it‘s easier to grab her attention.
      Sometimes, I browse in bookfair for good finds.



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