Five Awesome Authors For Children

Five Awesome Authors For Children

Lately, I have been engrossed with storybooks for children and I am not talking about authors like J.K Rowling and C.S Lewis as their books are not suitable for my boy aged 3 now. I am talking about children’s authors who wrote and illustrated lovely books for ages 3 to 7 years old. These authors use our everyday things like animals and trucks and drew them out as cartoon characters in colours. They brought them to life by telling stories about them and every story lies a moral that can be easily understood for the young. Moreover, some of these stories will educate parents in term of a child’s psychology.

Cultivating reading habits for the young is important as it allows their imagination and creativity to grow. By learning how to read by themselves, they will gain confidence and speak better. This is part of the growing up phase of a child.

In this post, I will share with you five awesome authors and their books are well-kept in my boy’s collection. Why I say these authors are awesome because through their books, I understand my boy’s little world and I can create a bedtime story from nowhere. My boy will come to me and say, “Papa, tell me a story please.

Here are the books which are worthy to be collected in your child’s library too.

 

Up And Down & The Way Back Home By Oliver Jeffers

The similarity between Up And Down and The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers is the spirit of friendship. Nicely drawn in sketched-like cartoons, Up And Down is a story about a boy and a penguin, who the boy did several attempts to make the penguin fly. During a circus performance, the penguin took flight by using a cannon. While flying in the mid-air, the penguin felt lonely and hope the boy could make it on time to catch hold of it before it lands. Finally, the boy grabbed hold of the penguin, saving it from crashing.

 

Five Awesome Authors For Children

 

The Way Back Home is about a boy who found a single propeller aeroplane in his closet (a good imagination!). Like any adventurers, the boy took flight and crashed onto the Moon. In the dark space, the boy met a Martian, whom his spaceship crashed onto the Moon too. They started to fix their vehicles so that they can travel back home together. The Martian then gave the boy a walkie talkie so that they can keep in touch.

Infused with simple story plots, Oliver Jeffers delivers cute cartoon characters about friendships. The adventurous stories of the boy create a room of imagination for the child and teaches the important lesson of helping and taking care of one another.

 

Five Awesome Authors For Children

 

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Beep! Beep! Beep!” is what this little blue pickup truck always says in this book called Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. Driving around the country side, Blue will pick up all the farm animals he sees along the road. Besides the farm animals and Blue, there is another character who is very rude known as the Dump Truck.

One day, the Dump Truck got stucked in the mud. The farm animals don’t want to help it get out of the mud, but Blue offers help. Unfortunately, Blue got stucked in the mud too. The farm animals then helped to get Blue and the Dump Truck out of the mud.

This is a well-written book which every phases rhymes. The descriptive words used in this book is easy to read for children age 3 years old and above. The “Little Blue Truck” primarily teaches the child on helping people, but do not expect any rewards back. With no expectations, you can be much happier.

 

Five Awesome Authors For Children

Five Awesome Authors For Children

 

“I’m Not …” series by Jonathan Allen

The “I’m Not …” series by Jonathan Allen are a series of hardcover books about an indecisive and stubborn Little Owl. These series include “I’m Not Sleepy!”, “I’m Not Cute!” and “I’m Not Scared!”. When a child is stubborn, it is good to read these stories to them during bedtime.

When my boy doesn’t want to sleep during bedtime and only wants to play his toys, “I’m Not Sleepy!” comes in handy. This story will be told to him about a stubborn Little Owl who doesn’t want to sleep, despite he is tired. When Papa Owl starts hugging Little Owl to sleep, Little Owl then starts to realize that he is tired.

Jonathan Allen has used Mama Owl and Papa Owl as an illustration to guide Little Owl’s behavior. These book series focus on teaching the child about self realizations. The choice of easy words used sure gains a child’s reading confidence level. The thick and chunky cardboard pages made these books more durable to wear and tear.

 

Five Awesome Authors For Children

Five Awesome Authors For Children

 

“When I’m Feeling …” series by Trace Moroney

Like the “I’m Not …” series, the “When I’m Feeling …” series by Trace Moroney looks deeper into handling emotions of a child such as anger, sadness, kindness and fear. Trace Moroney teaches not just children, but parents too, by illustrating stories of a bunny with “touch and feel” effects in these series. She will begin by sharing in her stories on what causes emotions, how emotions will affect us and how to control emotions.

The stories created are warm and sweet. At the end of the book, Trace Moroney will give the parents great tips on handling the child’s emotions, making things less complicated.

 

Five Awesome Authors For Children

Five Awesome Authors For Children

 

Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad by Liz Climo

Drawn in adorable comic characters with plenty of white spaces, this children’s book is about two dinosaurs, Rory and his Dad. Rory is an adventurous little dinosaur who lives on an island with his Dad. One day, Rory’s father needs some quiet time alone so Rory set off for his own adventure quests. Without Rory’s notice, his Dad is there all the time during his expeditions, hiding and building up Rory’s confidence when he met obstacles. At the end of the story, Rory was very excited and he went back home to share his stories with his “muddy and tired-looking” Dad.

As a Dad blogger, this is the best father and son book I ever read to my boy. With it’s simple story plot, this book aims to teach a child on the love of parents.

 

Five Awesome Authors For Children

Five Awesome Authors For Children

 

These are the five authors which I love as their stories are simple with adorable illustrations. If you have your favorite authors, feel free to leave your comments below. Thanks for reading.

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Pebble Time

Pebble Time

Kickstarter is an online crowd funding platform for inventors and idealists to turn their dreams into a reality. Pebble Technology is one such company who made a watch ‘smarter’ back in 2013. On March this year, Pebble Technology has released their latest smartwatch called Pebble Time with a total funding of $20.3 million. This is the highest funded project in Kickstarter so far.

Right in this small slim package, there lies the Pebble Time together with it’s USB magnetic charger. Taking out this watch, the first thing I noticed was the weight. The Pebble Time weighs just 42.5 grams and the silicon straps feel very soft, yet doesn’t feel cheap. The watch measures 9.5mm thick with a 2.5D Gorilla glass display and it has a nicely printed “Kickstarter Backer” on the back of my watch. I felt great supporting Pebble Technology’s dream.

 

Pebble Time | The Smartwatch With No Complains

 

Upon powering up the Pebble Time, I am amazed on how fast this watch boots up. With the Pebble Time app installed on my Android or iOS devices, pairing them through bluetooth together was easy. Although the Pebble Time does not have a beautiful and eye catching display, this 64-colour e-paper display plays a vital role in this smart watch capability: battery life.

 

Pebble Time | The Smartwatch With No Complains

 

Touch screen can be really cool on a smart watch these days, but buttons create simplicity. With the Pebble Time’s new interface called Timeline, it is really convenient to check back on the past and future events such as notifications, calendars, sunrise and missed calls by pressing the buttons. These buttons are also customisable such as by long pressing the button, it will execute your favorite health tracking app.

 

Pebble Time | The Smartwatch With No Complains

 

What I truly loves about the Pebble Time is the ‘always on’ screen. With a single charge, this smart watch can last me up to 7 days. This is one of the advantages of using the e-paper display. Another advantage is the great clarity under the sun.

 

Pebble Time | The Smartwatch With No Complains

 

Health and activity tracking apps like Runkeeper and Fitocracy are available for Pebble Time in their Pebble Store. There is also backward compatibility of apps for the Pebble Time, making this smartwatch a great companion.

With any USB plug that outputs 5V and 1 ampere, I can charge my Pebble Time through the use of the USB magnetic charger. The magnetic force is strong so as to ensure a good connection between the watch and the magnetic connector.

 

Pebble Time | The Smartwatch With No Complains

 

Wearing the Pebble Time on my wrist feels very comfortable because of it’s light weight and ergonomic design. When notifications such as messages and emails comes, the Pebble Time uses a strong vibration to alert me. Emojis in messages are displayed as ascii images.

Pebble Technology has again made their Pebble fans happy. I love the awesome battery life, the level of comfort when wearing it and clarity under the sun. The software doesn’t feels buggy and works well with Android and iOS devices. Pebble Time serves it’s purposes very well and has a pretty neat outlook. With the price of US$199.99, it is quite a bargain for a smart watch like this.

 

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Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

As the weather in Singapore is heating up on the mid year, the durians are also heating up during this season as well. Grown in the Southeast Asia, we regard the durian as the “King of fruits”. This husk full-of-thorns fruit has a distinctive strong smell that might deter some people. Many claimed it smelled like sewage or gasoline, but for myself that is called sweet fragrance.

Together with the uncles and aunties from the same neighborhood, we took a two hours bus ride to Ledang, located near Muar. We are going to get our fingers really messy with the yellowish and marshy durian pulps. Let me call that “finger licking good”. In the bus, we entertained ourselves by playing BINGO, singing songs together and enjoying the scenery of Johor to Muar. Of course along the journey, there were stops for meals and restrooms. The tour guide also shared with us a popular folklore regarding the mountains surrounding Daerah Ledang. I will share with you about it at the end of this post.

 

Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

 

Reaching Daerah Ledang, here’s where we feast on the durians during our lunch hour. Stepping out of our bus, the weather was very hot and humid. Due to many tour buses parking along the roads, the walk way was cramp hence we have to walk on the roadside. Traffic controllers were there managing the pedestrians and vehicles.

Stepping into the Durian Buffet spot, there were plenty of banana and durian trees. I can’t imagine when someone got hit by a durian while walking under the trees. Ouch!

 

Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

 

It was very crowded and I am glad we got ourselves a large table. The uncles and aunties quickly rushed to select the durians they want when the basket of durians arrived. Some people might not like this place because you will be having the durian buffet in the plantation. No concrete floor tiles and air-condition, just sand, fans and lots of ants. Very skillful and fast, the staffs cut the durians perfectly with a medium-sized knife.

 

Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

 

With the durian husk slightly opened on our table, we started feasting on the durians. Kayden was really excited with them. He kept shouting “I want! I want!”. Unlike Mao Shan Wang, the durians had no “woah” element in them, just simply sweet and creamy. In fact, most of the best durians are already in Singapore so that the farmers can fetch a much higher selling price.

 

Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

 

There was also fried bee hoon and vegetable curry served in this place. This is a very important dish because after eating lots of durians, you might get sick of the creaminess and sweetness. Having some spiciness will make you feel much better so that you can carry on to have more durians!

 

Durian Buffet In Ledang Malaysia

 

Now, for the popular folklore called Legend of Puteri Gunung Ledang.

Back in the old days, there was a princess who resides within the mountains of Ledang. She was a beauty but it was claimed that no Man could marry her due to her extravagant marriage conditions. When the Sultan of Malacca heard about this story, he decided to try to win the heart of this beauty. The Sultan was very rich and powerful back then.

When the Sultan of Malacca met this beauty, he asked, “My lady, what can I do to marry you? I have all the riches and power you could asked for.”

The beauty then requested, “In order to get my hands for the marriage, you need to fulfill all my seven conditions to show your true love to me.”

Here are the first six conditions from the beauty:

1. A bridge made of gold for her to walk to Malacca from her home in the mountains.

2. A bridge made of silver for her to return back home in the mountains.

3. Seven barrels of virgin girls’ tears for her to bathe.

4. Seven barrels of young beetle juices from the Betel trees for her to bathe.

5. Seven trays filled with the hearts of germs.

6. Seven trays filled with the hearts of mosquitoes.

The Sultan of Malacca ordered his men to fulfilled all the first six requirements requested by this beautiful lady. When the Sultan presented all six items, the beauty was happy. Finally, here comes the last condition.

The beauty said, “I want a silver bowl of the blood of the Sultan’s young son.”

Everybody startled and the Sultan knows that he could not do that because his son will be the one who will succeed him. With great disappointment, the Sultan and his men rode down back to the palace.

So, where’s the beauty now? She is still residing among the mountains.

 

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Apple Watch

Apple Watch

Like Samsung and Sony, many other high tech companies around the globe has probably introduced their smart watches before Apple did. It all started back in September 2014 after the “One More Thing …” presentation by CEO Tim Cook, he has showcased the next chapter of Apple’s story: the Apple Watch.

Before the Apple Watch is officially released for sale, there were already many mixed reviews of this smart watch across the Internet. Most of the comments I have read were “Apple Watch is like any other Android smart watches”, “I bet the battery life is lousy”, “let’s wait for Apple Watch 2″ and “smart watch industry will not make big.” With the Apple Watch listed as the Top 25 Best Inventions by Time in 2014, there are definitely reasons why Apple did it again.

Released in Singapore on the 26 June 2015, my wife has bought me the Apple Watch Sport as a gift and it was delivered onto my door steps on the 1 July 2015. I couldn’t wait to open up the long brown carton box.

 

Apple Watch

 

Regardless of any Apple products, unboxing them makes you feel special. The Apple Watch is enclosed in a sleek white plastic box with the engravement of Apple’s iconic logo on it. Opening up, the first impression that caught my eyes was that curved and glossy watch face. On my first touch, the 42mm watch face doesn’t looks huge and it has a totally premium feel. Now, on a closer look of the Apple Watch Sport.

 

Apple Watch

 

The Watch screen is just beautiful as the colours are vibrant and sharp. With the capability of Force Touch on the watch face, it added an extra interactions with the watch. Probably the most iconic for the Apple Watch is the digital crown. Despite the touch screen capability, the digital crown makes expanding, pinching and scrolling much easier. Pressing the digital crown will lead me to access my apps, while the power button allow me to access my favorite contacts.

On the back of the Apple Watch, there are a magnetic charging port, the heart rate sensor and two buttons to allow the changing of straps easily by depressing them. Included in the box is a USB wall plug, magnetic charging cable and a small silicone watch strap for small wrist wearers. Apple has also redesigned the USB wall plug, making the three pins retractable.

 

Apple Watch

Apple Watch

Apple Watch

 

The Watch app is included in the iOS 8.3 update and pairing with the Apple Watch was really easy. In a minute, all my important things like contacts, reminders and calendar events are synced into this small and smart wearable device.

Since it is designed by Apple, it works seamlessly with my iPhone. I can use the Watch app to customise my Watch such as arranging the icons on the home screen, pressure levels of hepatic touch and install apps such as SG NextBus, Instagram and WeatherLah into my Apple Watch. The Watch also discreetly measures my heart rate, monitor my daily activities and send them into my iPhone’s Health app.

 

Apple Watch

Apple Watch

 

With Apple claiming that the battery life could last up to 18 hours, I personally feel it could last up to 22 to 26 hours. I am looking at Apple Watch more than just any ordinary smart watch that just pings notifications. It is a personal assistant which will keep me posted on my upcoming schedules, making sure I am in good health and keep me off from taking out my phone from the pocket.

Apple Watch is on sale now in selected Apple Retail Stores and Apple Online Shop from SRP S$518. It comes with 38mm and 42mm watch screen and categorised into Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

 

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Celebrating Father’s Day At The Marmalade Pantry

Celebrating Father’s Day At The Marmalade Pantry

Right on Father’s Day, my wife decided to give me a lunch treat in The Marmalade Pantry located on the ground floor of Oasia Hotel. Serving meals at 10:30am, this restaurant’s ambience looks like a nice spot to chill out after a hard day’s work. Standing at the entrance, the staffs attended to us promptly and made us feel welcome to this dimly lighted modern bistro restaurant.

At a glance of The Marmalade Pantry’s food menu, it has quite a large spread of choices. They served pastas, sandwiches and other meat related mains. Well, it seems to me that this restaurant is very much focused on their pastries like tarts, cupcakes and cookies because of the wide varieties of selection. On the price tags of the food, a decent main of carbonara is priced at $25 and a Mexican Chicken Salad is priced at $22. Their cupcakes are all priced at $4.90 while a slice of cake is priced at $9. As for the taste, wait till I have ordered my Father Day’s lunch.

 

Celebrating Father's Day At Marmalade Pantry

Celebrating Father's Day At Marmalade Pantry

 

Instead of going for my usual coffee treat, I am having something healthier this time round. With the power to heal and detox, the Vitamin Booster ($9.50) is an iced cold glass of freshly squeezed apples, beetroots and carrots. This refreshing drink tasted very much earthly with a sweet aftertaste.

The purplish coloured drink is my Berries Smoothie ($10.50). Combined with strawberries and raspberries, having this drink was like tasting a fruity yoghurt ice-cream. I almost forgot, bananas are added too. Totally yummy!

 

Celebrating Father's Day At Marmalade Pantry

 

Served with chucks of lobster meat marinated with mayo and tobiko, the Miso Lobster ($34) is actually a burger style meal. The overall taste of this burger was good, just that the lobster meat was slightly saltish. This sesame burger sat well above my shoestring fries and having it with your hands could get messy.

 

Celebrating Father's Day At Marmalade Pantry

 

The caramelised apple sauce was a perfect sweet companion for the Pork Chop ($38). Finely grinded, the mashed potatoes spread across my plate was creamy smooth. The first slice of the pork chop in my mouth was tender and juicy, but the inner portion of the pork chop looked undercooked due to the pinkish colour of the meat. Despite one of the staff told me it is normal, I decided to skip it.

 

Celebrating Father's Day At Marmalade Pantry

 

The food prices are quite steep as the food portion wasn’t generous. When I have asked the staff regarding the pinkish look of my pork chop, she wasn’t confident with her answer. On the bright side, the Miso Lobsters and my beverages were still good.

 

Address of my visit
The Marmalade Pantry
Oasia Hotel
8 Sinaran Drive
#01-02/04
Singapore 307470

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Saturday to Sunday: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm

Telephone: 6664 0348
Website: http://www.themarmaladepantry.com.sg

 

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DIY Home Gardening Activity

DIY Home Gardening Activity

Home gardening is a simple way to let our children understand the nature’s way of life. From a single seed to a full grown plant, we can teach our children about growing up, the importance of nutrients and learning to care for each other. Since gardening can be a low cost activity, every family can have fun doing it right at their doorsteps. Now, let me share with you my DIY home gardening journal on Father’s Day, Sunday.

Heading down to our local supermarket NTUC Fairprice, I have purchased a large pack of healthy soil, a pack of hot pepper (or chili padi) seeds and a pack of sunflower seeds. During my previous home gardening experience early this year, I bought a small pack of soil which cost me $2 from a gardening store. After three weeks, I got tons crawling maggots running in the soil. This time round, I bought a $7 soil which comes with fertilizers and pesticides. This makes it very convenient and easy for a gardening noob like me.

My gardening ingredients bought from NTUC Fairprice cost me less than $10. As for the flower pots, I have decided to reuse the large sized plastic cups from KOI. This is because their cups are tough, comes with clear marking and it’s transparency allows me to take a peek at the roots and the presence of water.

 

Planting Hot Peppers And Sunflowers At Home

Planting Hot Peppers And Sunflowers At Home

 

With my flower pots half-filled with soil, two seeds of the same type are placed in each flower pots. Clean water is then poured gently into the soil, making the soil moist and comfortable for the seeds. With the help of Mummy, Kayden had used the black marker to label down the names of the seeds in each flower pots.

 

Planting Hot Peppers And Sunflowers At Home

Planting Hot Peppers And Sunflowers At Home

Planting Hot Peppers And Sunflowers At Home

Planting Hot Peppers And Sunflowers At Home

 

Using cable ties, I tied up the flower pots onto the railings so that the seeds can have adequate amount of sunshine. Now, we have to wait four to six weeks before the seeds starts to germinate.

 

Planting Hot Peppers And Sunflowers At Home

 

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