蠟筆小黑Book Review

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Title: 蠟筆小黑 (La4 bi3 xiao3 hei)/The Little Black Crayon

ISBN: 9789862168820

Author/Illustrator: 中屋美和

Publisher: 小天下

Level: Beginning Reader, Zhuyin, Fiction, Picture book

Summary: This is a Chinese translation of a Japanese series.

A little black crayon is sad because all the other colors are drawing and won’t let him contribute. But when the other crayons get in an argument, Mr. Mechanical Pencil comes up with a solution that has the little black crayon coming to the rescue.

Sample Pages:

 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

5 Minute Review: Glow Worm (4) loves this book. (He loves this whole series.) The plot has a great moral, the crayons are super cute, and the illustrations are imaginative and delightful.

I got this book last summer but only finally took it out in August (because I’m lazy, ok?) and so my older two kids never saw it until recently. They both seemed interested and Gamera (~6) even read it by herself. Cookie Monster (~8) was lazy and just glanced at the pictures, but he did enjoy listening to me read the book to Glow Worm.

Personally, I enjoyed the book and the illustrations and I was happy to read it several times to Glow Worm.

I highly recommend the book and the whole three book series.

Dreaming of Who I Could Be

Every now and then, when I escape to the world at large without my children, I get a brief moment of disconnect. A blurry few seconds of a bad ass life accompanied by the thumping bass of the radio.

I imagine myself strutting.

Usually in a cropped, black leather moto jacket. With epaulets. The epaulets are important.

Then Reality crashes in and I remember that I hate jackets. I mean, I love ogling them and thinking about being the type of person who rocks awesome jackets as I also rock awesome boots and perhaps ride a motorcycle.

Imagine. Me. All sleek and sexy lines.

But I hate jackets.

I hate how they constrict my shoulders. I hate taking them on and off. The changing of temperatures. The putting of the jacket somewhere. The remembering to take the jacket home with you.

I own a lot of jackets but I never wear them.

It’s a good thing I live in a very temperate part of California.

Also? I’m terrified of motorcycles.

Anyhow. What was I saying before my tangent on jackets?

Ah, yes. This glimpse of a life that never was, that possibly could be, but probably won’t.

Here’s the thing. It isn’t the jacket or the boots or the makeup or the hair.

It’s the SWAG.

I have lost my swag.

Actually, did I ever really have it? Was there ever a time where I just felt like a BAMF and walked into a room feeling like I owned it and everyone should bow before my awesomeness?

I cannot ever recall feeling this way.

Maybe on my wedding day because if you don’t feel like a BAMF on your wedding day, I suppose that’s a sad thing.

Come to think of it, BAMF is the wrong descriptor for how I felt on my wedding day. I stand corrected.

This lack of BAMF-ness makes me sad. Because why shouldn’t I feel like I’m a badass? Why am I always walking around feeling like I’m an impostor?

I’m not saying I should walk around acting like an entitled prat, but you know, there must be some sort of socially acceptable in-between state, right? It shouldn’t be either feel like you don’t belong or feel like you’re better than everybody.

Do men go through this?

Is this something uniquely given to women?

I’m sure there are millions of articles on this subject. I probably have read most of them.

The problem is thus: I feel such a disconnect from who I really am and who I wish I could be. And on top of that, I feel bad because a lot of who I wish I could be would be attainable if only I put in the work. But I don’t want to put in the work!

So, I guess I don’t really want to be that person.

This is the hard part: to sift through all the things I think I want to get to the parts I really do want. And then to decide whether or not I want it badly enough to put in the work. And then when I do put in the work, to not get discouraged by the discomfort of actually working.

There are way too many steps in this.

And who is to say that what I think I want will make me happy? Or happier than what I am now?

But I suppose, if I never give it a shot, I will never know. And that the FOMO will perhaps eat me up inside, full of regret and resentment.

I guess it’s time to stretch and grow and all that other good cliché stuff. Who’s with me?

愛唱歌的青蛙 Book Review

Like my reviews? Want more tips and advice on how to teach your kids Chinese? Want someone to just give you an Action Plan that you can follow? Check out my book (affiliate link), So You Want Your Kid to Learn Chinese.

Title: 愛唱歌的青蛙 (Ai4 chang4 ge de5 qing wa)/The Frog Who Likes to Sing

ISBN: 9789575709235

Author/Illustrator: 加古里子

Publisher: 台灣東方

Level: Beginning Reader, Zhuyin, Fiction, Chapter book

Summary: A singing frog is very poor and trying to make more money. His friend is in the hospital. He tries all to do all sorts of silly things to make money and ends up turning in a bunch of criminals for reward money. He uses that money to help himself and other poor people. When he goes back to visit his friend, she is better.

Keep in mind, I did not read this book personally and am relying on Cookie Monster’s (~8) mediocre sum up of what he read.

Sample Pages:

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

5 Minute Review: Part of the Ferris Wheel set, we borrowed this from PharmGirl. I have the first five books in the set, but I never bothered buying more because I kept thinking that we had enough early chapter books. However, I was wrong but I’m glad I live close enough to PharmGirl so I can steal borrow her set.

Cookie Monster read the book in under an hour and he seemed to like it enough. I don’t know how much he understood about what was going on because he was very reluctant to summarize to me, but he did think it was amusing and was able to give me a bare bones summary.

Having not read it myself (and quite frankly, I’m not going to because EFFORT), I cannot exactly say it’s good or bad but hey. My kid liked it enough. It’s not amazing. It’s not horrible. The illustrations were interesting enough. And it was good practice for him.