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.

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.

Suck It Up, September

How is September over?

Every month, I am surprised that it’s time for this post. And every month, I’m astonished at just how mediocre I am at keeping up on the things I want to do (except the cooking part). Can you imagine how bad I would be if I didn’t make them a priority and keep track of it?

I guess that’s a lesson in and of itself.

Anyhow, without further ado, here’s what I wanted to work on this year:

1) Take family and personal health seriously.

What does that look like? I want to:

a) Cook at least 5 meals a week.

As always, I’m doing well in this. Not because I enjoy it, but because I know it costs an arm and a leg to eat out with all my tiny humans. My kids complain that they prefer the weekends when Hapa Papa prepares them boxed mac and cheese (they FINALLY like it!), nuggets, and frozen pizza. I don’t let them eat that during the week because I know Hapa Papa is stuck with the kids for large swathes of time and that’s what he knows how to make.

I still can’t believe that we used to eat that stuff almost every other day. And now, I make lunch and dinner almost every day and it’s reasonable tasty and nutritious. We do eat leftovers now, too because I have finally managed to make larger serving sizes. However, the kids also complain mightily about that, too.

Too bad, kiddos. If we have food leftover, you’re going to eat it.

Oh, wait. Just realized that we have more leftovers now because Hapa Papa brings me dinner from his work every week night. Ha! I guess I haven’t improved as much as I thought!

b) Be active once a week.

I have started walking Glow Worm to and from preschool at least once a week so I guess that’s technically being active. WHOOO!

c) Wash face and brush teeth twice daily.

Sigh. I am slipping. I’m pretty good about washing my face in the morning and slathering on the sunscreen, but I’m getting less and less consistent with washing my face at night. But this is a good reminder to do so again.

d) Take vitamins and supplements.

I have been slacking on this, too. Really, it’s because one of the supplements I take uses the casings that smell like prenatal vitamins and it’s AWFUL. It makes me want to barf and my hand smells like it for hours afterwards and it’s really awful.

The rest of the stuff is fine, but I just can’t get past the smell of the one that is disgusting.

But I am exhausted and not feeling energized so I know I need to take my supplements more often. Plus, HOLLOW BONES.

e) Go to sleep when the kids sleep 4x a week.

I did okay on this. What happens now is that I am really energized to write and do blog stuff or stay up reading, and that kills several nights in a row until I’m so exhausted that I collapse when I put Sasquatch to sleep.

So, meh.

f) No texting while driving.

Meh. I am better but not great. WHY IS IT SO HARD???

2) Take my responsibilities as a grown up seriously.

I’ve done okay on this. Although now that I think about it, I definitely could do better. I am behind on a few things.

My English books in my office.

HOWEVER, I did move the bookshelves from our closets into the new office and moved all my English books there. I also had Guavarama come and reorganize my Chinese book shelves now that Fleur brought over a lot of my books that she was storing for me as Bebe was making her way through them.

Plus, my kids destroyed some parts of our house and I called the handyman the same day and he came to fix it! And he’s the one who moved my shelves from the closets to the office and bolted them to the wall. I also finally remembered to add a window screen to the kids’ room.

My Chinese books finally sorted again! Fleur still has a bunch of my books but we left some space for them.

Oooh! And I finally bought better sheets and a duvet and duvet covers and washed them! Yay to no more microfiber sheets for the full bed because it traps heat and Gamera keeps getting headaches.

I also angry purged and the kids’ toys and finally lugged the 6+ garbage bags of clothes to the donation center. I even semi-sorted my kitchen table.

Hmmm. I guess I adulted more than I thought. WHOOOO!

3) Write.

I did really well on this again although I always wish for more time despite my not maximizing it. Plus, I got lots of ideas churning around in my head that I’m excited about.

Now, I just have to write even more.

Alright, that’s it for me this month. How are you doing on your resolutions? Is 2017 living up to what you thought it would be?