Bear in Sunshine by Stella Blackstone

The Bear titles published by Barefoot Books is one of my favourite series. In Bear in Sunshine, bear enjoys different fun-filled activities in the various seasons. From singing in the rain to painting when it gets misty, each page opens a wide range of topics to discuss with children. 

My son LOVES balls. Anything that’s round is a ball to him. The first thing he spotted on the cover page was bear carrying a ball. Using the ball as an object of interest, I’ll ask him to point out the ball to me in the book. The bear series is fantastic for playing I-Spy with little children. There is always something to spot in these vibrantly illustrated pages. 

This is also a good book to introduce little readers to the four seasons and weather changes. It offers lots of room for discussion on what your little one might like to do on a rainy day or a windy autumn day. 


A Visit to Ah Ma by Xiao Kuang (小邝)


Bilingualism is definitely something we strive for in our family. I grew up speaking both English and Mandarin in Singapore. I do not believe that exposing a child to more than one language slows his speech development or causes any sort of confusion that messes their little brilliant minds up. In today’s shrinking world, knowing a second language will come in as an asset in the future. However, exposing Theo to Mandarin also means giving him an insight to Chinese culture and half his roots. 

One of our tasks in Singapore whilst we’re on holiday is to get excellent Chinese materials for Theo. I’m fortunate that Singapore is a heaven for looking for great books. At Kinokuniya Book Store, we found him A Visit to Ah Ma, a Chinese book with local context and Pin Yin.

An imaginative boy, who clearly loves his grandmother a lot, dreams of visiting her. He pretends to be a skilled doubler decker bus driver. His journey to his grandmother’s is full of adventures as traffic lights and zebra crossings come to live. 

The illustrations depicted in the book of those of scenes in Singapore – Marina Bay Sands, the Esplanade, Singapore Flyer, HDB flats and so on.

This is such a great book for Theo who will be turning one next month. Apart from exposing him to Mandarin, I’ll be able to point out landmarks in Singapore to him and talk about them.