Perfect First Books for Toddlers!

BUSY BUGS CLOTH BOOK for Toddlers (0-2)

Packed in a high quality box, the Busy Bugs Cloth Book is the perfect first book for toddlers. The book has an interesting collection of vibrant pictures of ladybirds, butterflies and other creepy-crawlies. This cloth book has a soft fabric touch and the bold, gripping colours and creative detail help fuel the toddler’s imagination and curiosity.

 

The award-winning FIRST 100 series

      

Younger kids would absolutely love these colourful, fascinating padded books that are filled with 100 essential words to enhance their vocabulary. The vibrant images would definitely grab their attention, making it the ideal book for toddlers and younger children.

 

HELLO BABY and BABY BASICS



These colourful, padded books are another popular series by Priddy Books. The board books come with clear easy-to-read labels of several essential words under basic categories like animals, numbers, words and colours which are perfect for toddlers to associate simple words with its relevant picture.

 

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Review: The Truth Commission by Susan Juby

“Open secrets are the heart of gossip – the things that no one is brave or clueless enough to ask. That is, except for Normandy Pale and her friends Dusk and Neil. They are juniors at Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design, and they have no fear.

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They are the Truth Commission.
But Normandy’s passion for uncovering the truth is not entirely heartfelt. The truth can be dangerous, especially when it involves her brilliant older sister, Keira, the creator of a bestselling graphic novel series, who has left college and come home under mysterious circumstances, and in complete silence. Even for a Truth Commissioner, there are some lines that cannot be crossed.” 

Susan Juby explores the pursuit of truth seeking and its upshots with her latest novel “The Truth Commission” set in Canada, which she describes as ‘creative non-fiction.’

Normandy Pale, the central figure of the story is a resolute junior at Green Pastures Academy of Art. Along with her two best friends, Dusk and Neil; they set out in search of the ‘truth’ by conducting random inquiries of the students in the Academy. However, Normandy soon realizes that her family becomes the main subject of her pursuit of truth seeking. Following a steadfast inquiry into the bizarre happenings circling around her famous older sister Keira, who is a best-selling graphic novelist, Normandy is not quite sure if she wants to know the “truth” of anything anymore.

Normandy discovers that the truth is not always clear-cut and is seldom ours to relate. As readers, we come to understand the process of coming of age and the turmoil of teenage years that forces us to be advocates of honesty and rectitude, regardless of how ugly the truth can get.

Susan Juby never fails to amaze her readers with a one-of-a-kind, comical and deeply enthralling narrative. The novel comes with a hilarious collection of footnotes and doodles that continue to capture the reader’s attention, making it the ideal page-turner. The footnotes, of course, set this novel apart from other books of realistic fiction.

21 I hope you approve of the cliff-hanger at the end of Chapter Two. It wasn’t intentional. I was just tired out and couldn’t continue. Maybe the cliff-hanger was invented by an exhausted writer.” (Page 32)

The novel is certainly a work of genius. The light-hearted tone and witty humour incorporated into the novel dismisses the otherwise melancholic subjects of Normandy’s issues of rejection and dilemma. In fact, Normandy’s character is well-defined and reliable. She faces an almost too common dilemma of facing the truth or suppressing it to avoid trouble. To quote Juby herself, “regarding the character (in concert with the theme of The Truth Commission as a whole), I’ve once again created a character who faces something with which I struggle myself and have tended to avoid. Normandy Pale is put in a position where she has to decide whether it’s worth the risk and effort to tell the truth.”

Likewise, every character in the book has their own identity which sets them apart from each other but at the same time, unites them as well.

The novel would appeal to young adults and fans of realistic fiction, mystery and comedy.  The book explores several themes such as coming of age, deception, honesty and relationships.

Rating scale: 4/5

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

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If I Stay is a novel that portrays the inevitability of events that take place in our lives and the dilemma of choosing between life and death. The story revolves around seventeen year-old Mia Hall who has an out-of-body experience, whilst in a coma following a tragic car accident that costs the lives of her parents and little brother.

For young Mia, the choice is not so clear-cut. She is torn between choosing to soldier through the recovery process and continue life with her grandparents and love of her life, Adam or join her parents and brother who have already crossed over. The haunting theme of the importance of choice as well as life and death are explored thematically in the novel. Despite the despondent themes, Forman also brings out the beautiful stories that orbit around the lives of Mia and her friends and family through a paralleled narrative style.

If I Stay is primarily a young-adult fiction novel that is certainly laced with a gripping storyline that talks about the power of love, the importance of family and most of all, the inevitability of making choices.

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Series books 8-10 year olds love to buzz about

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Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton (AKA Elisabetta Dami)

The fa-mouse mouse who runs a newspaper in New Mouse City. He loves to write adventure stories with colourful designer font and captivating images. These whisker-licking-good-tales are fa-mouse-ly funny. That’s a promise!

The latest titles in the Geronimo Stilton adventure series are at Chapters now and are selling very fast. While browsing don’t forget to look up the ‘Geronimo Stilton Academy: Comprehension  Pawbook series 1-3’, a sure way to guide your budding reader into comprehension activities with the same books he/she will enjoy reading. Makes teaching and learning English so much more fun. Other latest additions are Geronimo Stilton Cavemice series and Geronimo Stilton Spacemice Series. In the Cavemice series children will meet Geronimo’s ancestors who run the stone newspaper in a prehistoric village. In the brand new Spacemice series set in outer space readers will meet a Geronimo of a parallel universe Geronimo Stiltonix. His adventures are for those who are up to an out of this world adventure.

For Thea Stilton Fans we have her latest adventure stories packed with mystery set in Greece and Ecuador, and again this is a fast selling item.

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 Read Geronimo’s blog here.

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My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara

This is a series worth making a splash about. Guaranteed to get even the most reluctant of readers engaged.  These stories will certainly strike a chord with boys as they feature a mad scientist, a computer hacker and a zombie. The themes in the series are of friendship and loyalty.

The second book in the series takes on a more mature theme of losing a best friend; as even best of friends sometimes move on to other friendships and interests. Many children in this age group will identify with this and come to realise that true friends never really stay away for too long.

To browse a first chapter and to see images click here

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Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey 

School Library Journal recommends this series “for every downtrodden fun-seeking kid who never wanted to read a book.” The Educational Book and Media Association comments that it “celebrates the triumph of the good-hearted.” Booklist recommends the series because it “combines empowerment and empathy with age-appropriate humour and action.” Publishers Weekly mentions it as “Subversively hilarious”.

I would like to warn you that along with ‘To kill a mocking’, ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ (J.D. Salinger), ‘Harry Potter’ (J.K. Rowling), ‘Of mice and Men’ (J. Steinbeck) and Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ this series too is on the list of ‘Banned Books’. If you are a parent who is willing to let your child explore, despite this label, then let him/her dive right into this series and have a hilarious time at least for a while.

This series has been around for a while, and I have been with kids who have loved this series and have still grown up to be non-subversive fine young people. As a parent one of the best things you can do with books such as these is to read the books yourself and decide on its age and content appropriateness for your children.

We now have the first Captain Underpants adventure like we’ve never seen it before — in FULL COLOR!

Fourth-grade class clowns George Beard and Harold Hutchins have created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school — and now they’re going to bring him to life! Meet Captain Underpants! His true identity is SO secret, even HE doesn’t know who he is!

This special edition includes an all-new sixteen-page bonus section that will reveal the origin of Captain Underpants!

We also currently have Captain Underpants in boxed sets as one is almost always not enough.

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Disaster strike

Disaster Strikes by Marlane Kennedy

This is a compact series of just four books, for kids who like action and adventure. The stories are set in real life situations i.e. an earthquake, a tornado, a blizzard and a volcanic eruption. Readers will learn how ordinary kids face extraordinary situations. These action packed tales of a group of courageous kids include scientific information and additional details at the back of the books. This is a five star rated series.

Reviews 

“Full of action and realistic friend dynamics, the story moves briskly. First in a new series of disaster stories, this holds strong appeal for both girls and boys and features a diverse cast of characters. A rare find in transitional chapter books, this one also works for older, struggling readers thanks to its real-life survival element.”  — Booklist

Earthquake Shock

It had seemed like the perfect California day. But as Joey Flores walked home from the skate park with his friends, the ground began to tremble, and Joey knew they were headed for trouble….

The earthquake that followed devastated their neighbourhood, collapsing a nearby overpass with Joey and Fiona on one side and Kevin and Dylan on the other. Now Joey and his friends must rescue each other, endure the aftershocks, and find a new way home as the earth cracks beneath their feet.

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