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Learning with ‘Today I Am…’ [Book review + Worldwide Giveaway]

August 13, 2013

I had the wonderful opportunity to expand my children’s emotional vocabulary recently using a book with drawings of fish.

Titled “Today I Am…”, the picture book is the Southeast Asian English version of the award-winning Dutch children’s book “Vrolijk” by Mies van Hout, which shows all the emotions a young child would encounter. Each double page spread is devoted to one fish showing a particular emotion, along with the word that expresses the same feeling. Mies van Hout’s drawings are characterized by strong, clear lines and radiant colours, and this school of fish has made a big splash in international waters, bagging awards and accolades aplenty.

Today I Am

Cover page of the award-winning book “Today I Am…”

I ran a couple of homelearning lessons with the book. When we first got it, we flipped to look at all the fascinating expressions of all the fish in the pages. Admiring art together was an enriching activity in itself. Subsequently, I read to each child one-to-one and identified common emotions and feelings like ‘glad’, ‘angry’, ‘shocked’ and ‘sad’ with them. We talked about things that made us feel glad, angry, shocked and sad. I listened to their stories. And it was amazing how much each of them, when given a listening ear, would say about how they felt and when they felt what they felt.


Becks doing some dramatisation here with the fish

In addition, with Ben, I also took the time to provide scenarios to explain more complex emotions like ‘confused’, ‘jealous’, ‘content’ and ‘amazed’.

Explaining Jealousy

Explaining what being jealous means

For Becks, since she loves to draw and colour, I asked her for the emotion she was feeling after we read the book and went on to “copy” the fishes on drawing paper and had her fill the white spaces with colours. She was feeling glad and happy that day, and this was what she did:

Colouring fish 1

Colouring fishies

Colouring fish 2

Happy fishies get a splash of rainbow!

She’s into drawing and colouring fishes now, thanks to the book! Another Mies van Hout in the making, perhaps!

Drawing more fish

Becks asking to draw and colour more happy fish

Today I Am...” is certainly a good resource to have in my homelearning stock and I am really glad that we received it from Fish Book Co., a publishing company passionate about providing parents and teachers with tools to develop happy, healthy children. The team at Fish Book Co. has plans to create more educational materials and original content with the school of fish found in Mies van Hout’s book, and that I can’t wait to see!

*Giveaway: I have 5 copies of “Today I Am…” to give away (and open to international readers)!*

To take part, simply LIKE Fish Book Co.’s Facebook Page and Motherkao’s Facebook Page (if you’ve not already done so), and leave me a comment here by filling in the blanks:

“Today I am __________ because ______________”

The 5 most interesting / creative entries win! Have fun!

Giveaway ends 20 August and results will be announced on 21 August on this same space. Let’s hear how you’re feeling today!

Disclosure: We received a copy of the book “Today I Am…” from Fish Book Co. All opinions here are my own.

P/S: Fish Book Co. is inviting budding artists below the age of 12 to participate in Singapore’s biggest children’s drawing competition, “Colour My Feelings”, on 28 September 2013 at 1 pm at the Rise & Shine Expo. “Colour My Feelings” is a drawing competition that encourages kids to express emotions through the use of oil pastels. Kids are invited to pick a feeling and illustrate a fish bursting with their chosen emotion. Get ready to see a wide gamut of emotions with a lively and vibrant school of expressive fish that day at the Rise & Shine Expo! More details of the competition here.

**So, who’s won the giveaway?**

I’d love to have everyone win this and would like to say a big thank you to all of you for participating and sharing with me how you feel! But I only have 5 copies of the book and am gonna give it to…

A very hungry SereneGawd’ I know how it feels to have your kids want your food! Why didn’t you eat her burger instead?

Supercalifragilisticexpialidociously-Mary Poppins-Sue Now, that’s such a bubbly happy emotion!

Ecstatic Christine who actually looked forward to spending time with monkeys – Haha, fortunately, the monkeys belong to her!

Tired Jus who’s growing a baby for the third time – And I can identify with how tiring that is!

And Drained CandyHope this book will teach Junior how to express himself instead of screaming at you, babe!

There are more giveaways on the blog coming up! Thanks for taking part, everyone!

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  • Reply Serene August 18, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    Today I am hungry because my 2 year old daughter was not interested in the painstakingly-made-organic-wagyu-beef-cheeseburger(!!) made for her and instead wolfed down my hokkien mee 🙂

  • Reply Yvonne August 16, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Today I am feeling happy because knowing about this wonderful and creative “emotion” book and trying my luck to win this giveaway 🙂

  • Reply sue August 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Today I am feeling supercalifragilisticexpialidociously-Mary Poppins-ish because my daughter had to bring her brolly along to school for Show and Tell and has left it with me now – and i don’t know, i suppose since I’m in a dress today and I’ve got an umbrella with me, well yeah- I am feeling like Mary Poppins. Haha.

    • Reply MotherKao August 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Mary Poppins! How jolly, bubbly and happy!

  • Reply Adeline August 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Today I am feeling grumpy because there’s a bug in my tummy having tons of fun by making me unhappy. (Tried to rhyme but couldn’t come up with anything better. I blame the stomach flu. :P)

    • Reply MotherKao August 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Oh no… I hope you’re feeling better!

  • Reply Christine August 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Today I am feeling ecstatic because my long weekend is coming up and I cant wait to spend it with my two little monkeys!

    • Reply MotherKao August 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Nice! Send my love to the little ones and enjoy your monkey business! 😉

  • Reply Carol August 14, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Today I am feeling youthful and perky because I am art-directing a bunch of vivacious teenagers to smile, laungh, run, hop, leap, etc. They make me feel young all over again!

    • Reply MotherKao August 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      That’s a superb feeling to have, eh? Cool much!

  • Reply Waiwai August 14, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Today I am feeling happy and loved because my hubby helped to apply Vicks for me as I’m having a bad flu.

    • Reply MotherKao August 15, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Awww, that’s such a sweet little gesture!

  • Reply Jolin August 14, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Today I am feeling tired because my baby keeps crying and doesn’t want to sleep last night. I had to stay up with him too. =(

    • Reply MotherKao August 15, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Oh no! Hang in there, Mommy!

  • Reply Jus August 14, 2013 at 4:48 AM

    Today I am tired, because I am growing a baby and feeding two others, but I am also feeling inspired to pack and organize the house because of that crazy nesting instinct!

  • Reply Candy August 14, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Today I am feeling drained because my 14 month old son is down with fever for the 2nd day and has been screaming in my face (>_<). Hope I win the book so it'll make me feel better and i could use it to teach him how to express his emotions instead of screaming and shrieking into my ears. 🙂

  • Reply meiyan August 13, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Today I am feeling lethargic because I’m having lesson ob tomorrow:(

    • Reply MotherKao August 13, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      Get some rest, babe! Hope all goes well tomorrow!

      • Reply meiyan August 14, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        Yea!!:) thkx!! Done!

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