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Can books fly? Yes, they can! (Review of Flying Books Subscription)

June 28, 2016

Those of you who have followed me from Day One would know how much I advocate reading.

Some years back, I did a series on Teaching the Kao Kids and how to raise readers (you can read the first post here, second one here & third one here). I’m also known as a mom (still!) who refuses to throw an iPad or mobile to my kids to keep them entertained. Till now, my friends whom we dine out with are pretty amazed that my kids still take out books to read while waiting for food to come. I’m really glad to have started on the right footing with the boundaries on technology and heartened that the kids have fallen head over heels with books.

I pretty much rely on book lists from these sources: flavorwire and huffingtonpost, and I try to buy books that have been recognised by the Caldecott Medal (and its respective Honor Books). The kids and I often enjoy these reads when I purchase them online from Open Trolley, Book Depository and occasionally, The Groovy Giraffe.

But getting books and replenishing our library often requires a regular exercise of me getting updates from my go-to-sources and searching for them online (plus comparing prices and wait time) and this can only mean that our collection can get quite stale if I get too busy to support their voracious reading appetites.

So boy am I glad to learn that books can fly to us if my schedules get busy and the kids want to be reading new titles.

You heard me right, books can fly to you, regularly and thoughtfully.

Flying Books is a book subscription that curates books for your little ones and sends them to your doorstep. The books are selected based on the little one’s age group and come from a carefully handpicked list of best published children’s books. The format of books vary between board books and picture books (either paperback or hardcover) and will always take into consideration of the age group of the child they are sent to.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Nicole Martins who founded Flying Books and learned that her dream of bringing stories to children to ignite their imagination was the reason for starting this business. Nicole works out of Trehaus which I co-founded, and we get excited just talking about our dream of having our children loving to read. I’ve also asked her if parents like me who buy A LOT of books for my children were a good fit for her curated subscription service, and she answered me by letting my children experience the ‘Siblings – One Time Gift Packgage‘ for myself (customised for 3 instead of 2 kids, though). I was mainly concerned about having repeats (which Nicole says would be avoided because an email would be sent out to the parents to ensure that the child will be getting a surprise in the mail and not an existing title) and that the books would be suited for my three children who were at very different reading milestones.

And what a surprise we got when we received our Flying Books delivered to us.

What's in the parcel?

What’s in the parcel?

It’s like Christmas coming early with all the prettily wrapped up presents.

Christmas came early!

Christmas came early!

After we unwrapped the books, we found a personalised letter introducing the books that the kids have received.

When I learned what the titles they received were, I instinctly knew that the selection was age-appropriate and helps in developing their reading milestones: Nat would get some texture play and a colourful story read to him; Becks could try blending words to help in her reading complete with lots of visuals; and Ben could definitely take off on his own, reading an exciting sequel to a book he’s previously read and loved.

Such details to fill the parents in on what her kids would be getting!

Such details to fill the parents in on what her kids would be getting!

Nat received Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson; Becks got Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems and Ben received the sequel to Drew Daywalt’s The Day the Crayons Quit, which was The Day the Crayons Came Home.

Flying Books (11)

Books to read, hooray!

 

Wasted no time in reading

Wasted no time in reading

The books had extremely good mileage for the entire month. The kids exchanged their books frequently and bugged various storytellers in the house to read them aloud, namely me and their father, and occasionally Ben who is great doing voices.

We thoroughly enjoyed the glitter from Sharing a Shell, particularly the littlest who was kinda obsessed with rubbing every page (never too old for some sensory experience!). We had a good time role-playing the narrator who’s tasked to not let the pigeon convince us of staying up late. And there’s nothing not to love about Oliver Jeffers’ illustrations of the flustered, whiny, frustrated crayons in Daywalt’s The Day the Crayons Came Home and we had many nights of laughter with both the quitting book and the coming home book.

We love the crayons most, definitely.

Altogether now, rubbing the glitter on the book

Altogether now, rubbing the glitter on the book

We’re thankful that Flying Books lets us experience so much reading pleasure from these titles, and I’ll be the first here to recommend this to parents with young children at various age groups (take the Siblings package!) because it saves you the trouble of handpicking books for your kids in line with their development and literacy skills. Although the subscription service currently only curates for 12 months to 6 years, I am confident that a 7 or 8 year-old can still enjoy the titles meant for a 6-year-old.

Or gift them (buy one-time packages) to a child whom you know would love to receive exciting titles on a special occasion. How’s that for a really thoughtful birthday present?

And for those who wish to make reading a lifelong habit for your kid(s), Flying Books is a good way to start. It’s all the guess work done for you, which means you don’t have to constantly check for the latest popular published titles and rifle through bookstores. Plus, I know Nicole goes to great lengths in curating only the best for your child because I watch her work passionately every day, which means that you’ll always be promised quality and awesome books!

Giveaway & Discount Code, courtesy of Flying Books

  • And just for readers of this blog, Flying Books is doing a giveaway of 3 x Flying Books Gift Package (one-time package) to be sent in July to 3 special kids!

Participate using the Rafflecopter app here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends 17 July 2016. Please note that Flying Books curate books for 12 months to 6 years only. Winners will be notified via email and information about your child’s age will be collected by Flying Books so that the age-appropriate gift package can be delivered to you.

  • Flying Books is also offering a 5% discount off the 3-month subscription plans (for both regular & siblings) in addition to the published discounted rate. Use the promo codes MOTHERKAO & MOTHERKAOSIB respectively when you check out.

~~~

Happy reading!

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr Seuss

All this blog's PR Stuff Reading fun Reviews The Kao Kids

Sleepyhead attack, here comes… [Review of ‘Meet the Wakersaur’]

June 6, 2016

Have you met the Wakersaur?

The wwwhaaat-wa-saur?

It’s a new monster in da’hood whom we’ve recently had the pleasure to meet. He apparently wakes any sleepyhead from slumber when it’s time to.

Meet the Wakersaur_sneak peek

Something like an alarm clock. Only more invasive.

Meet the Wakersaur is a light-hearted and funny children’s story about a made-up creature that’s specially “equipped” to wake sleepyhead children up in the morning. It is written by an old friend of mine from college – local author Shervin Seah – who tells me that this story was inspired by his own experiences of trying to wake his own kid up on a typical school day. As with all parents who’s got lazybones and sleepyheads, he’s ended up having to resort to a host of crazy antics from stubble-rubbing to tickling and furious kisses.

The book is also illustrated by up and coming local illustrator, Candice Phang, and contains wacky, entertaining visuals for the little ones.

Meet the Wakersaur_Cover

The Kao kids enjoyed the story and shared many laughs over the many reads they’ve had with Ben as the storyteller (since he’s able to be reading aloud well). Nat and Becks dig the idea of their brother doing voices and being the Wakersaur, and find his various versions of the Wakersaur’s  ‘Still asleep???’ extremely amusing.

Meet the Wakersaur (7)

Meet the Wakersaur (1)

But nothing beats having their father read aloud this book. There’s the part where rubbing stubbles is part of the game and my kids totally love rolling on the bed having to endure that from their dad. With Fatherkao as the storyteller, the story comes complete with tickling, snorting and startling, and a whole load of guffawing and cackling on the bed.

Meet the Wakersaur (2)

Snuggle time in bed to meet the Wakersaur

Meet the Wakersaur (4)

There’s a part about grubby nose and everyone can identify!

Meet the Wakersaur (5)

What are stubbles, Dad? the littles ask. They would soon find out!

Meet the Wakersaur promises to be an entertaining and interactive read and draws the playfulness and imagination out of children and adults alike. Quite a bit of fun to be had with this book, in my opinion – and helps in bonding too.

I know my kids and their dad did!

More details:

Meet the Wakersaur is authored by Shervin Seah and illustrated by Candice Phang. The book retails at Popular and MPH at SGD 16 and is suitable for ages  2-6.

If you’d like to meet the Wakersaur too, the blog is doing a giveaway for 5 readers! Simply participate in the giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends 20 June 2016. Get ready to meet the Wakersaur!

All this blog's PR Stuff Becks Kao Everyday fun! Homelearning fun Learning fun! Reading fun Reviews

Hide and Seek Fun with Sam & Sally [A review + a giveaway!]

June 2, 2015

I am fighting a real battle limiting screen time these days. Everywhere there’s bombardment of the message – give your child an iPad! a smartphone! more TV! – and it’s hard to win the battle in this day and age with so many educational apps to download for free and the ever present temptation to chuck them a device to keep them quiet.

I confess. I forgot my activity book for Nat one of those days we were stuck waiting to be served at HDB (yes, we’ll be moving, but that’s for another day) and I had to give him my iPhone with the Bible stories app by Olive Tree. I was fascinated myself – the interaction, the graphics, the well-designed content – and it almost made me want to buy second hand iPads just to download the app for the kids’ bedtime stories.

But then I quickly chanted my personal mothering mantra: Let’s stick to the good ol’ and I was determined to banish that thought into the abyss forever.

I’m loving the folks at Scholastic Education because they totally understood my struggle. They’ve so kindly sent me the recently released new series of fun hidden puzzles for children, and I now have more activity books to keep my kids occupied while we wait at restaurants and during the children’s free time at home.

Sam and Sally are keeping my little Becks particularly thrilled, because colouring is her favourite thing right now. It’s making me thrilled too because I am getting her to recognise words to start her on her reading, and these books are coming in handy to help in the literacy bit. The series apparently aid in vocabulary building too since the puzzles are arranged by themes, and also help the child develop his spatial intelligence, since the reader has to be searching for the hidden items.

Here’s my little reviewer showing you how she bonds with Sam and Sally and not my iPad:

The 'Sam and Sally' Series come in a complete set of 3:

The ‘Sam and Sally’ Series come in a complete set of 3: Sam & Sally Go to School, Sam & Sally Out and About, and Sam & Sally at Home

Reading the words at the bottom of each page first...

Reading the words at the bottom of each page first…

Looking intently and pointing to each word

Looking intently and pointing to each word

Search and colour!

Search and colour!

Meeting Sam in his bedroom, and now, colouring the hidden items!

Meeting Sam in his bedroom, and now, colouring the hidden items!

I like that each book contains 28 picture puzzles and over 200 words, including a thoughtful challenge in each puzzle to encourage speaking and thinking. I like that even if I am not around to read the new vocabulary with my little girl, she is colouring on a page that’s print-rich. Most importantly, she’s exercising her ability to seek while the hidden puzzles hide, which could greatly aid in her spatial awareness.

It’s these things that my children should be investing their time in, and for their age, surely technological devices can wait.

And here’s a giveaway!

Scholastic continues to support teachers and parents as a trusted name in learning by remaining focused on encouraging children to learn to read and love to learn. The good folks are giving away ONE complete set of three Sam and Sally titles to one of Motherkao’s readers.

Simply launch the Rafflecopter app to qualify for chances in the draw:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One winner will be selected by the Rafflecopter app after the giveaway ends on 10 June 2015 12:00AM. By taking part in the draw, you are also agreeing to collection of your prize (should you win) at the Scholastic Education office at 81 Ubi Ave 4, #02-28, UB. ONE, Singapore 408830.

Let’s say yay to more reading time and less screen time for our children!

Disclosure: Motherkao received a set of Sam and Sally series for the purpose of this review and giveaway. She did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. All opinions here are her own. Of course, please feel free to differ should you believe that screentime and engagement with devices are necessary for your child. Activity books are cheaper, actually.

All this blog's PR Stuff Learning fun! Product Reviews Reading fun Reviews The Kao Kids

Hey, Mom! We’re in a storybook! [Review: Kid Hero Stories]

April 15, 2015

I’ve never really had a problem getting my children to love reading. I’ve written about how to raise a reader in earlier posts here, here and here and I’m all for surrounding my children with books, books and more books, as well as reading to them and with them.

And on some days, I think it will be really great if these kids can take a break from the animals, the prince and princesses, the good and bad little boys and girls and the magic from the books they’ve been reading (or rather the books that are read to them) and enter into a wholly different experience.

I’m talking about being in the stories they read.

Thanks to Kid Hero Stories, my children got to enjoy a totally new reading experience during the March holidays. It was an experience complete with A LOT of laughter, and it was indeed A LOT of fun. They saw themselves in the story and laughed so hard!

Ben, Becks and Nat appeared as Ben, Becks and Nat in the Kid Hero Stories, going on adventures and doing fun things.

Like going to a birthday party…

KidHeroStories 01

Playing an egg and spoon race (which gave them ideas for games, by the way!)…

KidHeroStories 02 Fishing – and catching a smelly boot (this made everyone laughed so heartily!)…

KidHeroStories 03

And being so, so smart in the stories…

KidHeroStories 04

How cool is that?

My children thoroughly enjoyed the three stories, titled The Treasure Hunt, Message in a Bottle and The Birthday Party, that were emailed to us in PDF format, which I printed and bound for the ‘storybook feel’. All I did was to allow Kid Hero Stories to grab the pictures of my smiling children from my blog, and the good folks did up the personalisation under the ‘Sibling Series’.

KidHeroStories 05

KidHeroStories 07We huddled together to read the stories together, and even acted some parts out, like shouting, “It’s a fish! Ben has caught a big shiny fish!”, which left us all in stitches at the end.

And it was a whole new level of reading for Nat, who’s now 3 and an emergent reader, pointing to letters of the alphabet and associating letters with pictures. He was most excited with the stories.

And that excitement for those personalised stories continued after storytelling time was long over.

KidHeroStories 08

Takes reading to a whole new level, and boy, am I glad the littlest is also sharing his siblings’ love for books and for reading.

This is such a brilliant idea to get children to start reading, and continue reading!

More details:

Kid Hero Stories create fun, interesting and affordable collectible stories that kids look forward to receiving and reading. The subscription service of FOUR adventure eBooks starts from USD 7.90 per month. You can also order these eBooks as gifts for friends and family. More details of the types of books and rates on their website here. Or connect with them via their FB Page or Pinterest.

***

P/S: The stories can be viewed on a laptop or iPad because they are sent as soft copies. This mother here happens to be one of those who is strict on screen time and prefers the traditional way of reading, which includes feeling paper.

Disclosure: We were given three stories by the folks at Kid Hero Stories which in turn gave us a really precious afternoon together. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions here are my own.

Learning fun! Reading fun The Kao Kids

The Kao Kids and the Purple Crayon

January 16, 2015

If you’ve not read Harold and the Purple Crayon with your kids, you absolutely must.

Just last year, I embarked on a quest to buy – and read (of course!) – every single book found in this list called ’50 Books Every Parent Should Read to their Child’. Believe you me, I (crazily) ordered every single title found in this list from Amazon, and have been clocking in bedtime story hours ever since with these lovely children stories.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson is one of them, and one of our favourites.

HPPC_1

I managed to find some creative lesson ideas from this website for the book, and conducted 3 different activities for Ben, Becks and Nat for one of our homelearning lessons with the book.

Ben (5 years old, going 6)

HPPC_2

HPPC_9

For Ben, I downloaded the Harold Lined Writing Paper from Starts at Eight, and got him to copy his favourite phrases from the book. I also did up a quick questionnaire for him to get him to contribute some free responses. I got him to talk to me about what he wished to see Harold draw, and it was fun to explore his world of dragons, mummies and monsters.

His activity concluded with drawing anything he liked from the book. I encouraged him to copy what Harold drew following the lines and shapes that he sees.

HPPC_8

Becks (4 years, going on 5)

For Becks, I printed the Harold Colouring Sheets from the same website but I asked her questions about the imagination versus the real. I know this is a book that takes our imagination to the farthest, which is altogether so lighthearted and enjoyable, but I got down to asking Becks questions to check if she could differentiate between fictitious and actual. I read somewhere that while it is developmentally normal for toddlers to have difficulties grasping the difference between real and make-believe, it should get pretty obvious for an older child.

HPPC_6

HPPC_7

Her task was to give me everything coloured the way she feels they should be coloured, and I was glad I got to see red apples and green trees. Everything was fine except she gave me a purple moon. Hmm. I’m sure some Harold is also in this girl, and I’m happy she loves to imagine too.

Nat (2 years, going on 3)

Lesson was short and simple for the littlest one: find the purple from our colour pencil and crayon stash, and colour away!

HPPC_4

HPPC_5

And colour he did!

It was a fruitful session of seeing purple, and enjoying one of our favourite reads this way!

HPPC_3

Going Out! Reading fun The Kao Kids

We met the Gruffalo!

October 25, 2014

We’ve not read Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo yet, simply because I know my kids are terrified of monsters. I know it’s a clever story, and I know it’s a story about a clever mouse more than anything else, really. But I don’t intend to have my kids worry about a terrifying creature while I’m reading them the story, so our favourite Julia Donaldson books for now are The Snail and the Whale and Room on a Broom.

Yet I couldn’t say no to the organisers of KidsFest 2015 when they invited the Kao kids for an interactive story-telling session of The Gruffalo, and to meet and greet him last week.

Because?

Because I haven’t really been able to carve out time to read to them these days, and mom guilt dictates that I bring them to the Volvo showroom for an afternoon of storytelling and fun.

And met the Gruffalo we did.

He wasn’t scary at all. To Ben, at least. He loved the story, and knew that at the end of it all, it’s Mouse who’s the hero in the book.

So the Gruffalo was this friendly creature who would pose for a picture with us whenever we requested!

So the Gruffalo was this friendly creature who would pose for a picture with us whenever we requested!

Becks was somewhat terrified and was unwilling to go near the “creature”. Nat was taking his nap when the story started so he missed seeing the Gruffalo-man. Till now, he thinks we’ve met “The Buffalo”.

I’ll just leave it as that till the younger ones are ready to handle a little bit more monstrous fun in their lives, and make it up with candy floss if they were frightened a wee bit by this encounter.

Candy floss happiness at the Volvo Showroom last Saturday

Candy floss happiness at the Volvo Showroom last Saturday

~~~

KidsFest is happening from 21 January 2015 to March 2015 (check schedule here), and tickets are on sale now from Sistic.

Expect an exciting festival for the whole family where compelling characters from stories are brought to life on stage as world-class theatre folks come to Singapore to bring world-class theatre to our young ones! I hear the Princess and her Pea, the Snail and the Whale, Hugless Douglas will all be coming. The Tiger‘s also coming for Tea, and so are the Ville Victorians and the Barmy Brits from Horrible Histories, together with some dinosaurs from Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo, as well as the Gruffalo himself!

Back for the 4th year: world-class theatre for the young ones Image source: http://www.kidsfest.com.sg/the-shows/

Back for the 4th year: world-class theatre for the young ones
Image source: http://www.kidsfest.com.sg/the-shows/

It’s going to be an exciting KidsFest next year!

Becks Kao Ben Kao Homelearning fun Learning fun! Milestones and growing up Reading fun

Stories, they wrote

September 29, 2014

I’m raising some junior novelists, I tell you. Ever since this became a possibility:

Dotted font_stories-1

This treasure trove of a website called Teachers Pay Teachers is a wonderful repository of resources, many of which are free. Register an account, and search for “free dotted font”. Download whichever dotted font (with lines, without lines, etc) you fancy, and wa la! The kids can start their exciting writing journey.

My kids take turns to consult their “publisher” once they have a story in their head. They take turns to sit next to her and “write” their stories orally with her.

As a publishing consultant, which is me, by the way, I find teachable moments to help them learn about plot, settings, introduction, conclusion, climax and all the various elements of a good narrative as they dictate their story.

Sometimes they get carried away. I let them talk out loud still, and allow them to imagine. When they are done, I turn on the laptop and then type the gist of their stories out in simple, grammatically correct sentences which are easy to understand.

I  launch the dotted font, type away with the junior author standing next to me, include some relevant pictures from colouring printables, print them out and get them to trace their stories, like this:

Dotted font_stories-2

Dotted font_stories-3

They are now proud authors of their own story booklets!

Becks Kao Homelearning fun Learning fun! Milestones and growing up Reading fun

A different approach to reading for her royal miss

September 27, 2014

My little girl has turned 4 and you know what that means.

It means I’m starting to panic. I haven’t been spending much time with her and teaching her to read.

It’s like that with motherhood, isn’t it? You become exceedingly enthused with the first child, and with that enthusiasm you carry a big sack full of expectations which you pile on your firstborn, and when your firstborn meets your expectations and exceeds them, you breathe a huge sigh of relief and fall into the trap of thinking that the rest of the kids will naturally hit those learning milestones because the first one did it.

Well, at least I lived in that cloud for a while.

Ben and Becks are one academic year apart (18 months to be exact) and because I have finally gotten Ben to be reading and writing on his own, I had thought that I would be breathing a whole lot easier since Ben can now start impressing Becks with his much sought-after reading ability and maybe spurring her to start exploring books on her own.

But no, this little girl would much prefer to be writing gibberish notes and drawing and singing to her bolster – which is totally adorable still – that she’s not impressed much that Korkor has learned to read – from readers to subtitles to signs on the road and labels on food packaging. She now conveniently makes Korkor read for her and to her.

Oh, her royal highness.

What I get on a daily basis: my little girl stuffs notes in an envelope for me. Her gibberish is cute - she uses all the letters she knows to write to form words only she can decode

What I get on a daily basis: my little girl stuffs notes in an envelope for me. Her gibberish is cute – she uses all the letters she knows to write to form words only she can decode!

And so I am going to back to the basics again, this time round with my middle child.

Becks is not a flashcard kinda girl, and if you were to approach with books and nothing else, she might only just give you five minutes of her attention. So I tried this with her, and she loved it.

First, a simple reader which would help her in decoding simple words.

Teaching Becks to read_1

Then a highlighter and a jotter book to get her to trace the words and blending the sounds out loud.

Teaching Becks to read_2

Teaching Becks to read_3

Followed by many rounds of a simple ‘find the word’ game:

Can you point to ‘sat? Now point to ‘mat’? Which is ‘cat’? Good finding, now let’s draw a cat and label it!

Teaching Becks to read_4

Wa la, and now she likes to be doing reading and tracing with me! She’s a pen and paper kind of girl, so a nice clean jotter book, a pink or purple pencil (preferably of the princess kind) and lots of encouragement would pretty much hook her in. I’ve to be prepared to let one jotter book go after every session though. This girl used up the remaining pages in the book to continue writing her stories and notes in gibberish after each session, but at least we’ve done some reading, tracing and drawing with it first!

All this blog's PR Stuff Ben Kao Learning fun! Milestones and growing up Reading fun

Rainbow Bear’s Dinosaur Discovery by Julia Gabriel [Book Review + Giveaway]

May 29, 2014

Ben is now 5 and can read small chunks of text to entertain and educate himself. This makes me a happy mother because I can pass him a book and he’s pretty much engaged, which frees me to handle the other two who frequently need my attention.

If you pass him a book that interests him, that is.

A while ago, Julia Gabriel Education sent us this:

JGE_Dinosaur Discovery Book and CD Set

Rainbow Bear’s Dinosaur Discovery Book and CD set retails at SGD29.95

No surprise there who jumped for joy.

I very much left Ben on his own with the book while playing the audio. The book and CD set did three wonderful things for Ben. First, it reinforced whatever he’s learned for phonics at kindergarten; second it allowed him to read along with the CD and figure out challenging dinosaur names on his own without my help; and third, the beautifully illustrated book let him do a picture search for things relating to the various blends and digraphs on each page, which is something he enjoys very much.

JGE_Dinosaur Discovery_Ben reading 1

Listening attentively…

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

And while the younger ones could only be engaged for only a few minutes with their shorter attention span, this boy sat in the living room for quite a while enjoying the story.

He loves picture hunts and this is keeping him really focused

He loves picture hunts and this is keeping him really focused

The book got him excited about dinosaurs again. It even has fun facts about the 24 prehistoric animals mentioned in the pages (and I actually thought the names were all made up but I was so wrong!) – which is really good fuel for his imagination and value-adds to his reading. The audio is also great for reinforcing the correct pronunciation with the dinosaurs teaching him the most common sound of each digraph and blend.

If your kids love dinosaurs and are learning how to read, this book and CD set is a good resource to have as they journey towards fluent reading. Plus, the songs and tongue twisters are funny too!

And I have THREE sets of this to give away!

Julia Gabriel Education is giving away THREE sets of Rainbow Bear’s Dinosaur Discovery book + CD set to three of Motherkao’s readers, so you and your child can meet ’em all too!

To qualify for the random draw, simply do the following:

1) Leave me a comment here telling me who you’d like to win this for and what’s his/her favourite dinosaur 

2) LIKE Motherkao’s FB page if you haven’t done so

Remember to leave your name and email address! Giveaway closes on 5 June 2014.

And… WE HAVE OUR WINNERS!

Congrats to Joey, Ooy Yoan and Evan! We’ll be in touch, and I think some little ones would be really excited to meet the friendly dinosaurs in the book!

Dinosaur Discovery Winners

Disclosure: We were given the Dinosaur Discovery Book and CD Set from Julia Gabriel Education. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions here are our own.

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To NoQ for more books

February 27, 2014

We’ve been given credits to shop online … for books again!

Yipeedeedoo!

The Kao kids and I have been really thrilled these days – like who’s going to say no to more books? Hurhurhur.

This time, we’ve been given the opportunity to shop here:

NoQ boasts of having 14 million titles at up to 50% off

The NoQ Store (= No Queue, as in, don’t have to queue, no need to queue) is part of the Times Publishing Group, one of the most reputable names in publishing, printing, distribution and retail in the Asia-Pacific. At NoQ, we are talking about browsing at an online book store with millions of titles at really low prices. I couldn’t wait to as I was told to expect a solid variety of books from the Children’s Section spanning across different genres ranging from fiction to education and general knowledge.

The opportunity to shop and review NoQ came at a perfect time –  we’ve just finished reading the entire Mr Men Collection, and are at the point of doing repeats. I’ve also been searching high and low for the complete Little Miss Complete Collection so we don’t have to do repeats of Mr Men at tuck-ins. The kids are such huge fans of Roger Hargreaves’ characters that they can’t get past one night without meeting one of them for their bedtime story. I went to the major bookstores to hunt for the Little Miss box set but the search was usually futile at the heartland malls. I did, however, find the complete set at the Popular bookstore at Bras Basah and of course, online at Amazon, but the prices were so ridiculous I could feel my pockets burning up before I could even place an order.

The kids love Mr Men and want one every night

The kids love Mr Men and can’t wait to meet one every night

So.

What better way than to put NoQ to the test.

If you have Little Miss at a bargain, I’d be very impressed, NoQ.

So I went to NoQ, clicked on BooksSpecial FeatureBox Sets for Kids and crossed my fingers.

Found it! Cheaper by 40 bucks!

Found it! Cheaper by so much!

Yipeedeedoo! *doing the happy dance*

I would have loved to add to my shopping cart the Peter Rabbit Library, Dear Zoo Library, Guess How Much I Love You Library, Magic School Bus Box Set which I found under Special Features / Box Sets for Kids – if only there wasn’t a budget constraint! These are wonderful classics to be introducing to the kids, and ugh! Guess I would have to save up some more for those!

There was indeed a dizzying array of books at NoQ to look at and within each genre and section you would find a couple of sub-categories that would certainly make any book lover hyperventilate at the sheer number of available titles to choose from. Having to navigate around can be pretty daunting given the extensively huge number of titles, not to mention so many bargain books to check out for as low as SGD$3. NoQ also highlights their bestsellers on the right sidebar so you know what everyone else is buying, as well as shout out their latest promotional offers big and loud right on its home page.

My only complaint was that the prices can sometimes be adjusted upwards instead of down. You kinda expect prices to be slashed more often than they are increased like all other book stores – but I found the Little Miss Complete Collection to have experienced a price hike after I ordered mine at SGD$87.21. It’s now going for $142.03, which is great news for me who ordered but probably not that great a bargain for someone else searching high and low for the same thing and not wanting to leave a hole in the pocket. I actually wrote in to ask them why, and the folks at NoQ say that because they draw their prices directly from suppliers, book prices at NoQ get adjusted automatically when suppliers adjust prices on their end.

Bummer. It’s not so nice to see something on your wishlist get more expensive the next day, eh. I was so very fortunate indeed to have gotten the Little Miss Complete Collection at 50% off. Just glad I clicked on it fast and paid up when it was such a bargain.

That said, you can wait for their promotional offers like storewide discounts or check out the Bargain Section periodically to get the best book deals. Afterall, if you look at the deals they offer, most books are slashed to almost half their original price. For their wide selection of books of every genre in book-dom, and for letting me find the Little Miss people my kids have been wanting so much to meet at bedtime – and at a steal – I am still going to be adding NoQ to my list of favourite haunts to hang out online.

Just for Motherkao’s readers!

If you like what you see at NoQ and are going to be buying some books, get 15% off all purchases made via the NoQ Store website and Mobile App by entering the promotional code “Motherkao” under the “Voucher & Promotion Code” tab during checkout.

This promotion is valid till 30 April 2014 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers and discounts. Only one voucher code per transaction and not applicable to shipping and tax charges.

And I’m giving away one $20 gift voucher on the blog, courtesy of NoQ Store!

If you’d like to win a $20 NoQ gift voucher, simple leave me a comment here telling me what’s one thing you like to have from NoQ Store. Do also remember to leave your email address so the folks at NoQ can email you if you win.

Giveaway ends 6 March 2014.

And the winner is…

NoQ Winner

Congrats, Tiffany! I hope Jamie Oliver would give you lots of inspiration to create healthy quick meals for your family!

Disclosure: The kind folks from NoQ gave us $60 worth of credits to shop. Topping up the balance for the box set from pocket of mine. All opinions here are also mine. 

UPDATE as of 2015: NoQ has since closed down and ceased operations.