Category Archives: Books

A Different Bookstore on Sale!

Children’s books are at least 20% off! Come with your own list of books and the friendly staff will help you find it. Here’ s a list of their branches:

The Serendra store is a bit tight so I couldn’t see all the titles but we did manage to find a new favorite:

child development

Happy Reading!


Ay Naku!

I don’t speak Tagalog to my daughter enough. It’s not my first language and my accent is “questionable.”  Luckily there’s a variety of bilingual children’s books in the market now. Among my favorites are Tahanan Books.  They recently launched, Ay Naku! by Reni Roxas, illustrated by Serj Bumatay III. It’s an amazing book that uses as little as 20 different words to tell the story of a mischievous little boy named Botbot. There’s not a single sentence in the book except for “Ay Naku” to convey fear, exasperation, disappointment, and the proverbial sigh. It’s a our new bedtime book and after two nights, she is officially charmed by Botbot. I’m counting on him to increase our vocabulary!

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How do you teach your children a second language?

Prayer Book

I couldn’t believe that time had come already. I thought it would happen when she’s older. But she seems to be catching on to popular opinion: sometimes praying is a drag.

Perhaps the more wholesome way to saying it is that sometimes it’s easy to forget about the joy of prayer. I certainly didn’t want her to fall into this trap especially when I firmly believe that she’s a home-based angel with a direct line to the The Man Upstairs.

From her behavior (running away, pretending not to hear me) I figured that our practice of prayer just meant repeating the names of each of her family members which reached new depths of  boring when she started just shouting and whispering the names for variety. So with all our extra pictures lying around, we put together a picture book of our immediate famiy with some images of Mama Mary, Jesus and angels (putting to good use those souvenir postcards from my travels) to let her know it is prayer that we’re doing.

So far so good!

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Book Ornaments

Binder clip + Ribbon = Book Ornament

I’m a big fan of book covers but we simply don’t have the space for a proper book cabinet like the one shown here . And our walls are so shabby that we can’t nail book shelves on them either. So here’s the next best thing for those of you who are in a similar predicament. Introducing the book ornament:

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The book covers brighten up the room and more importantly they spark my baby’s interest. By displaying the books by theme, she gets to focus without getting bored. Plus, the rest of her books can be kept aside (Less clutter is a happy mother!) Today we hung animals, tomorrow we’ll do Disney and the next day, perhaps parts of the body. I love that she’s starting to show interest in books she used to ignore. Perhaps some books are more appreciated as paintings.

Bedtime Books

My daughter’s favorite bedtime books are Goodnight Moon (1947) and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (1989). They’re peculiarly similar and equally sticky –

1. Every other page is colored which means the other pages are black and white.

2. There’s a lot of redundancy-

  • Goodnight Moon: Acknowledging every single thing in the room and saying good night to every single thing in the room

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  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Acknowledging that we’re going on a bear hunt and going through an area and then going back through every area when we find the bear.

3. It’s so redundant that my daughter has them memorized or at least can fill in the blanks.

4. They’re both dynamic. The reader feels like she’s moving whether she’s turning in bed to acknowledge the things in her room or going through mud, grass and snow to find a bear.

5. They both go somewhere and back — a literary 360.

Well this just may be the code to a successful children’s book.  I just may take a crack at this…Tell me,  what are you children’s favorite bed time books?

P.S. There’s a book fair in Market, Market from July 10-17.  If you want to find these classics and more, check it out!


We usually play according to functionality (books for reading, stuffed toys for feeling/pretending, shapes for stacking/building, stickers for sticking, etc).  Of course, there are recurring themes but in a different format. One day while reading an ocean book, I remembered to bring out her ocean stuffed toys so the octopus was 3D and flat. When she saw this, it was like introducing my sisters to my friends at a party for the first time. ” I knew it! You guys are the same!”

Here’s the running list of results since we started relating things 2 weeks ago:

  1. The names of the ocean animals stick: octopus, crab, fish, star fish, sea horse, shark (not just a fish anymore), and fish
  2. She recognizes the ocean animals outside the house.  Just as she was about to throw a fit in the restaurant the other day, she spotted the fish in the tank and the tsunami miraculously quelled.
  3. She wakes up one morning and digs up the tambourine decorated with ocean animals then sticks it to  her ocean book and proclaims “The same!” It’s like it came to her in a dream.

Here are some ways to get started with relating:

  1. Pick a theme. For instance, ocean animals
  2. Encourage your child to gather all her toys that have to do with the ocean like stuffed toys, magnets, stickers, books, pictures of aquariums you’ve visited.
  3. With all the ocean toys/experiences in one place, ask/show her which ones are the same. Invent a story, make a funny sound or recount your adventure to the aquarium. She can use the narrative help her make the connection. (My daughter loves it when I start with “Remember when…” I can see her trying to access the memory in her hard drive.)
  4. Mix up the toys and ask her to connect the toys again. Use your stories as clues.
  5. Have fun! She will impress you beyond words.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

A children’s book becomes a classic when the meaning evolves with the reader…

My take:

A caterpillar is born innocent, full of energy and starving for life experience.

He pursues an education. But is still hungry for more. His curiosity is insatiable.

Longing for adventures, he goes out to the world and tries different things – exploring exotic places.

After some time, the caterpillar is wiser from experience and knows what is good for him.

Comfortable with his identity, he focuses on making something out of himself.

One day, he has a vision clearer than anything he's ever seen, reaches for it and soars to great heights!

Abridged adult version:

  1. Feed yourself with knowledge and experience.
  2. Marinate on it for a while.
  3. Go for it!

Children’s version:

  1. Eat healthy food.
  2. Learn how to count.
  3. Keep track of the days of the week.
  4. Understand the stages of the butterfly.

Yoga version:  super fun!!

1. Moon: Half-moon pose (arms above the head and bend to the right then left)

2. Little Egg on a Leaf: Child Pose (sit on the knees and face down to the floor)

3. 1 Apple, 2 Pears, 3 Plums: Counting and Clapping

4. Leaf: Tree Pose (stand on one leg and bend the other with one foot on the ankle)

5. Cocoon: Hand Stand (support at the hips!)

6. Butterfly: Sitting in Butterfly Pose (feet together and knees out)

Endless gratitude to Eric Carle for his universal masterpiece.

…What books transcend age and time for you?