When it comes to one of a child's greatest learning milestones, learning to read is probably one of them. And our job as parents would be to keep them supplied with appealing titles that make them want to read more. But as I found out, it isn't always easy to find the appropriate books that carry a good mix of pictures and easy-to-read stories with controlled vocabulary.
And even then, most of the stories are set amid a foreign context, making it a challenge for my monkies to identify with some of the places or events described in the books. Unless of course, the books are localised... with stories set in Singapore, along with some of the more familiar sights and landmarks that our children can recognise.
The 'Timmy & Tammy' series is a new series of books for preschoolers, written by Ruth Wan-Lau - a writer and editor of children’s books for 15 years - and illustrated by Eliz Ong. Published by Armour Publishing, the books comes under the 'Let Me Read' series which offers a guided approach in helping preschoolers learn how to read.
And read, or tried to, was what Ale did when she first saw the books.
Admittedly, the first thing that caught her attention was the illustrations on the front cover of the books. Even though she isn't able to make out the titles yet, she was able to tell which Singapore place a particular book is all about. Inside, the familiarity factor inched up a notch when she could excitedly point out to me some of the places that she has been to... like the giant eco-tree in the Children's Library at the National Library.
Ale is at the stage of learning to decode words and make sense of them so I was happy to see that most of the words used in the Level 1 of the Timmy & Tammy series were simple yet repetitive at the same time. We had the books for close to 2 weeks now and since then, she has requested to read 'Timmy & Tammy at the National Library' for so many times that she has it partially memorized almost word for word!
Another fave of hers is 'Timmy & Tammy at the Food Court' where she was happy to see her favourite food featured among the pages. It's also my fave, as it teaches some important lessons too - because nothing beats like having Timmy & Tammy learning the lesson of deferring the order of drinks after they are done eating.
As the child grows increasingly confident with reading, parents can introduce the 'Level 2' series which consist of longer words and sentences. All these, with stories still set in Singapore.
Of course, one of the other strength of the books is the illustrations are so marvelously drawn! The details in the drawings tell a rich story in themselves, with interesting and detailed scenes that will capture the attention of both child and parent alike - and offering a sense of familiarity at the same time.
Wonderfully engaging for repeat reading, the 'Timmy & Tammy' books are books that I will not mind reading together with Ale over and over again, who never ever seem to get tired of spotting the familiar sights of the Library, Food Court, MRT, Singapore Flyer and Fire Station.
Timmy & Tammy Series (Set 1) is retailing for $36.92 (5 books) at major book stores. Or you can purchase your copies fuss-free via online HERE!
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