屁屁超人 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: 屁屁超人 (pi4 pi4 chao ren2)/The Fart Superhero

ISBN: 9789866759116

Author: 林哲璋

Publisher: 親子天下

Level: Beginning Reader, Zhuyin, Fiction, Chapter book

Summary: Book 2 of the Reading123 Set.

Three short stories/chapters of the Fart Superhero. A little boy goes to a superhero school and his super power is farting so much that it makes him fly. The first story tells of a mean superintendent and their eventual duel. The second tells of a new kid who has a unique power of his own. And the third chapter tells us what happens when the two boys are shot with a “Swearing Arrow.”

Sample Pages:

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

5 Minute Book Review: I am so happy for this book because honestly, I was a little worried that Cookie Monster (~8) was going to throw in the towel on longer chapter books before he even really started. We had tried Book 1 in the Reading123 set but it had too many terms he didn’t understand. (It was about dragons and knights.)

This book, however, is set in modern times and in a school – so all things Cookie Monster is familiar with. Plus, the kid’s superpower comes from his farts. WHAT IS NOT TO LIKE?

Cookie Monster laughed out loud several times. He thought it was just ridiculous and hilarious. I made him read out loud to me because he was very intimidated by the chapter book and he felt safer and more comfortable reading out loud to me versus reading silently to himself.

I had him tackle a chapter a day (so it took three days) to build up his confidence and I’m sure after a few more times breaking down the books this way, he will be reading these by himself in no time.

We just may skip to Book 14 for the sequel to this book.

Highly recommend.

Here’s a video of him doing a cold reading of an excerpt from the book.

Did you know I wrote a book on how to teach your kids Chinese? You can get it on Amazon (affiliate link) and it’s conveniently titled, So You Want Your Kid to Learn Chinese.

It’s full of practical advice, detailed applications, and heavy amounts of snark. Find most of the answers to your questions about how you can help your kids learn and speak Chinese (as well as read).

Suck It Up, November

How is November over?

No, seriously. I blinked and Thanksgiving happened and now it’s almost December. It’s been a blur.

Anyhow, the penultimate month of sucking it up. Can’t wait to write what I’m going to do for 2018.

So, what was I up to this month? Here’s how I did on my goals:

1) Take family and personal health seriously.

What does that look like? I want to:

a) Cook at least 5 meals a week.

Yes. Still doing well on this. I am particularly pleased because when we visited my brother during Thanksgiving, my kids actually ate foods they don’t normally eat and were minimally assholish about food. This made it much easier for me to relax and enjoy the time spent with my brother’s family.

I firmly believe that me cooking so much and training them to eat food even if they think it’s gross has helped. The other contributing factor is my mother continuing to take my kids out on a weekly basis to eat lunch. She has done all the hard work of civilizing my feral children and I have reaped all the rewards.

b) Be active once a week.

Did I walk this month? I must have. But our preschool was on break so I think I did not walk as often as I used to. Plus, it’s finally gotten cold and dreary. No, thanks.

c) Wash face and brush teeth twice daily.

Still pretty regularly washing my face in the morning and slathering on the sunscreen but again, failing on the night time routine. My skin has stopped being as soft and glowy.

d) Take vitamins and supplements.

Despite buying a pill box (Amazon affiliate link) on Amazon, I have not used it. So, I have totally failed this month with the pills. It’s really because I cannot stand the smell of the omega oils pills. It smells like the prenatals I used to take and it totally makes me gag.

Suck it up, Self. This is supposed to make my bones un-hollow.

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

I have not done well with this sleep thing this month. Between staying up late several weeks in a row for writing deadlines and then staying up late to read because stupidity, I failed failed failed.

But I got in a lot of important stuff!

f) No texting while driving.

FINALLY! A win! I give myself a B+. I don’t know why I was better. Possibly because I didn’t drive for a week when I visited my brother. But also, for some reason, my FOMO didn’t act up.

2) Take my responsibilities as a grown up seriously.

It took me 90 minutes to fold 4-5 loads of laundry the other day. It made me sad. But it likely would not have taken so long if I had just folded it right away in the first place.

I hired my handyman again to fix a lot of random stuff (my kids keep providing this man so much business). I also actually cleared my house so the housecleaners could deep clean parts of my house. So, I consider that winning.

I FINALLY filled out the forms to get reimbursed from our homeschooling charter school. It’s about $2500 total between the older two kids for this semester so I’ve been an idiot for procrastinating.

Also, also? I WAS NOT A DICK WHEN VISITING MY BROTHER.

We all know that I’m usually an asshole so I am very pleased that I was not. I was a decent human being.

Therapy works.

I think I may go out and buy a lottery ticket. Oh, wait. Therapy has not yet made me lose all sense of math.

Oh, and I even remembered to buy Christmas presents for my kids’ teachers ahead of time this year instead of during their last class before break. WIN!

3) Write.

I did awesome again this month. Now, it may not seem so because I didn’t actually post that much, but I did do a lot of writing. As I mentioned last month, I booked several paid gigs so I wrote those.

I also submitted speaker proposals to two conferences and got TWO speaking gigs at Type A 2018! I am moderating a panel on How to be a Dope Facebook Group Admin with Brittany Minor of Clumps of Mascara and Michelle D. Johnson Garrett of Divas with a Purpose. Then, I am also speaking on How to Unleash Your Creativity Through the Delicate Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

Now, I just have to combat Impostor Syndrome and tell myself that I deserve these things and I am qualified to be there! I will find out from the second conference this week to see if I got those.

Truthfully, though I am beyond excited to get the speaker gigs, I am MOST pleased about actually applying. I was nervous but then I decided that if I don’t ask, the answer will always be, “No.”

I want more YES in my life.

I also worked and edited my first paid piece in the online magazine, Hold the Line. I actually received the nicest REJECTION letter from their editor. Well, I suppose it technically it was not a rejection because she suggested I rework the piece until it was less sucky, but I could have taken it as a rejection and stopped, versus putting in the work to make it better.

I am grateful to Dots, who helped me IMMEASURABLY with the second draft. I am also amazed at how much a professional editor can change a word or two to make me sound intelligent! It is so cool!

I can’t wait to tell you guys when it publishes. It’s a paid magazine, but it’s so worth it. That way, they can pay their writers which is quite a rarity in the online space. Especially for a new magazine.

I am super excited to tell you folks about my next year’s goals so look out for it soon. How have you been doing for your new year resolutions? Still going strong? One more month to go! Don’t write off 2017 just yet. There is still time.

Let me know in the comments.

小紅嘴鳥的奇幻飛行 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: 小紅嘴鳥的奇幻飛行 (xiao3 hong2 zui3 niao3 de5 qi2 huan4 fei hang2)/The Red Beak Bird’s Imaginary Flight

ISBN: 9789869292061

Author/Illustrator: Agathe Demois/Vincent Godeau

Publisher: 親子天下

Level: Beginning Reader, Zhuyin, Fiction, Picture book

Summary: Translated from the French original.

Every year, all the birds in the world gather at a special tree to meet. This story follows a bird with a red beak as it flies half way around the world to get to the meeting place. Each page talks about what the bird sees on the way there.

Sample Pages: 

If you notice where the magnifying glass is, the man is naked underneath his clothes and the picture reveals his penis.

This picture reveals the butt of the monkey.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

5 Minute Book Review: Such a fantastic and super cool book. Glow Worm (4) loved it immediately and would look at it daily when we bought it last year in Taiwan. My older two kids, ~8 and ~6, also find the book fascinating and love looking at the incredibly detailed illustrations.

The reason it’s so cool is because it comes with a red “magnifying” glass. It doesn’t really magnify anything, but it does color everything red. Because all the illustrations are in red or blue ink, when you put the magnifying glass over the drawings, since the magnifying glass is red, the red illustrations disappear, revealing the blue ones.

In fact, this feature of the book is so fun and exciting that I didn’t even read the book to the kids until recently. They never wanted to hear the story – just wanted to look at the illustrations and see what the magnifying glass uncovered.

Be forewarned, there are two semi-questionable pictures in the book. One is that there is an illustration of a penis (I included it in the sample pages) and the other is an illustration of a monkey’s butt. I don’t particularly care about either of them, but my kids are particularly fascinated by them.

Also, it’s really hard for me to read the blue print. You could say, read them through the red magnifying glass. And then I would laugh at you because there is no way I’d be able to pry it out of Glow Worm’s hands.

Highly recommend.

Here’s is a video of Glow Worm and I flipping through the book.

Did you guys know I wrote a book about how to teach your kids Chinese? It’s chock full of useful tips, an action plan, and more snark than your typical how-to. (affiliate link) Please check it out, share, and buy.