How would you teach values like self-acceptance, humility and friendship to kids?
Preaching is one way, but whether they will remember and keep it close to their hearts is another matter altogether. The other way is through a series of books, better yet if it involves the hilarious adventures of a wolf who lands himself in all sorts of sticky situations.
The Wolf is a series of five books about the adventures of a grumpy but kind-hearted Wolf who discovers through many unfortunate mishaps the value of friendship, self-acceptance and other such values. Written by French author Orianne Lallemand, this series has been translated into 14 different languages around the world.
One of our favourite books in this series is The Wolf Who Wanted To Change His Colour.
The monkies' curiosity was piqued from its first page when they read that the Wolf is fed up with his boring black fur, and decides to try out a new colour each day until he finds one that he likes. Well, I know how it is all going to end - with hilarious results obviously. In the end, the Wolf learns to be content with his black fur which imparts the lesson of loving ourselves just the way we are to the monkies.
They also enjoyed The Wolf Who Loved Himself Too Much which had the Wolf trying to win a competition by being as nasty as possible. Predictably, he soon finds himself in trouble and without a single friend to help him out which goes to show that having humility goes a long way.
The monkies love the books' vibrant illustrations and childlike humour in the Wolf’s adventures which are a breeze to read through as well. You can check out the rest of the other titles in the series HERE.
For a book that boasts a more local flavour and targeted at children aged between 2 and 6, My Home will be a great choice. It comes as a picture book and activity book set, with the the picture book being the only one in Singapore with bilingual English-Chinese content and lift-the-flap games! The activity book has stickers, DIY activities and revision exercises based on the contents of the picture book.
If you ask me, it is definitely not easy to find a kid's book that has English words and Chinese characters, AND Hanyu Pinyin all on the same page... something that proved to be a huge help for the monkies. For Ale, she took special interest in lifting the flaps within the book, which is a great tool to get younger children started on Mandarin books.
Set in a HDB flat, the story depicts everyday family life in Singapore which the monkies can readily identify with. The accompanying Activity Book for includes games, handicrafts, vocabulary exercises... and STICKERS! Tell me, which child can say no to stickers?
Complementing the Picture Book, this bilingual activity book is also set in the Singaporean context with familiar environments being depicted in the book to help children to learn new vocabulary terms with ease. The English-Chinese content was a huge help to the monkies as they are encouraged to read and write in both English and Chinese.
So I guess the sight of all three of them crowding around a Mandarin book probably says it all.
The Wolf series and My Home set are available at all MPH, Times and Kinokuniya bookstores. Or you can purchase your books online from Wild Crane Press too. The Wolf series is going for $60 for 5 books (or $12.95 per book) while the My Home Picture Book & Activity Book are retailing for $25.
For more information, visit www.wildcranepress.com.