Book Review: The Special Bear

  1. The Special Bear

by Gabrielle Yang

ARMOUR Publishing Pvt Ltd

An impressive front cover illustration of the book

A “catchy” front cover illustration of the book

For those of you looking for something extraordinary to share with your little readers this holiday season, do try the book – The Special Bear.  Written by Gabrielle Yang, this book shoots straight to the readers’ hearts and will open their minds to the understanding that not everything good needs to be pretty and perfect.

Not your usual tale about beautiful princesses and heroines, The Special Bear is the story of a Teddy Bear who was created by the Toy maker to be a bit different than all the other Teddy bears before him.  Since he was different, he had always thought of himself as the ugliest bear in the world, and has always been treated terribly by all the other toys in the shop.


Because of this, he has always been sad and lonely. But unbeknownst to him, his special purpose would be revealed, when one day, a beautiful lady arrives into the toy shop.


This book is a soulful read for kids (and even grown-ups), providing a lot of insights regarding the reality faced by children, and everyone else, who are called to be a bit different due to their physical appearances.  It reinforces our young readers with the values of Kindness, Courage, Self-appreciation and Friendship.  And furthermore, emphasizes that it truly does not matter what you look on the outside as long as you’re beautiful on the inside.

Sof describe this book as "comforting"

Sof described this book as “comforting”

The book has colorful and vivid drawings on each page wonderfully illustrating the story, and it even includes some activities at the end of the book for our dear little readers.

Ethan was impressed by the colorful illustration from cover to cover

Ethan was impressed by the colorful illustration from cover to cover

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The Special Bear not only has one of the most interesting stories that I’ve seen in a while, but it would also help your children grow and understand to appreciate people for who they are inside and not just for their physical appearances or differences.

My youngest boy giving you his thoughts about the book 🙂

Handy helpers!



Giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance .”

-Marty Rossmann, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota


At home, we tend to do all the chores and shoo our children away to their rooms. We are more focus on finishing our housework rather than asking for their help. They are becoming less empathetic as they grow, and not responsive to others’ needs. They are lacking self-reliance and not acting responsibly with the task that they should be doing at their age.

They are missing something.


Let them have it and let them learn from it.

We have come up with a “feel-good” training/motivational video for your soon-to-be handy helpers 🙂

Please watch and share, thank you.

Bible Stories – 2 It Looks Good

After creating the light, the oceans and the seas, the sun and the moon… much more great things are bound to happen on earth. God made the animals. Have you ever wonder what would happen if there’s not a single  animal here on earth? I’m curious of my children’s answer to this.

I would like to share with you this video and hope that it reaches the people who are interested in learning about the stories from the Bible. Most especially how life in this world begins.

This video was based on The Children’s Bible Story Book retold by Anne de Graaf.

Please click the link to watch

click here! – Bible Stories –


Image credits goes to:


Bible Stories – 1 God Makes Everything

Hi guys!

Since it’s a school holiday here in Singapore and there’s not much to do at home, Sofie and I thought of creating this video.

It is entitled “God Makes Everything” from the Bible Story Book that was retold by Anne de Graaf.

Please feel free to share and comment, my daughter and I will appreciate it a lot 🙂

Thanks in advance!


Click here to watch the video – God Makes Everything by Sofie and Sofie’s mom



image credits:

Watch Sofie’s World : Cyber Wellness campaign


Who else is taking charge for a safer and more responsible use of the internet? It’s about time that children as early as 5 years old should be involved and understand the risks of being exposed in the cyberspace. This video was inspired by the Cyber Wellness project of Yumin Primary School. Credit goes to all the teachers behind this good deed.

Kindly share this video to your children and talk about the possible risks that they should be aware of whenever they are online.

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Watch Ethan’s World on You Tube – How To Take Care Of Your Lego


My son came up with these simple ways on how to take care of his lego pieces. We would like to share this video with you. Please click the link below 🙂


If you have some tips on how to organize your legos, please share it with us!


Thanks to our sponsors:

Lola D, Lola and Daduds, Tito Kevin,  Tito Joshua and Tita Rizeth, Tita Bia, Tito JC, Tita Rochelle and of course, Dad. We love you guys.

Watch Zacki’s World in YouTube

Initially he thought that the dragon egg is real

Initially he thought that the dragon egg was real


Hi guys!

While the merry makings are happening all around, I would like to invite you all to watch my son’s YouTube debut – Zacki’s World.

Aside from being a “Dragon Riders of Berk” fan, he was also inspired by A LOT of toy review videos he was watching in YouTube.

Months ago, while we were having our usual “window shopping” at Toys ‘R Us, he came across some dragon eggs. He was wondering if it were real and he might have a real pet dragon inside.

Not to spoil you guys, I do not recommend this 10-dollar toy to your children.

But shooting this video, and seeing my excited kiddo patiently waiting for the egg to “hatch” was kinda worth it. Not bad for a four-year-old.

Hopefully we can do another video soon 🙂 Please click the link to watch. Thanks a lot!

Zacki’s World


thanks to Kuya and Ate for accompanying Zack during the “unboxing” of the toy


Teaching your children how to read: starting with ‘AT’ sound

Please click to watch the video


What is your method in teaching your child how to read?

Was he a graduate of the “Brainy Baby” learning dvds,

or was self-taught, often seen playing a reading application in your iPAD,

or was an avid fan of the “Word World” episodes in Disney Junior during his toddler years?

My children were all of the above.

Apart from these modern teaching aids, I thought that it would be great if my children would remember me as the one who first taught them how to read. And so I said to myself, instead of giving them toys and SGDs, why not pamper them with ABCs and 123s? All of them can read now and I was proud of what I have accomplished.

Credit goes to Ms. Neo of PCF Tampines East 261 for honing Ethan’s reading skills. I’ve learned a tip from her school which I would like to share with you.

  1. Teach them the vowel sounds first (A E I O U)
  2. Teach them the consonant sounds (B C D F G H J K L M N P Q R S T V W X Y Z)
  3. (here’s her tip:) Now if he already mastered all the sound in the alphabet, teach him the “AT” reading technique
  4. When he already can identify the “AT” sound, try to make him read a few three letter words that ends with “AT”

Here are my examples-






Please click here to watch Zack’s video of the  “AT” reading technique

Practice this tried and tested tip with your child. He will find reading a lot more easier. And by the time he mastered reading the “AT” combinations, he won’t be afraid to try reading the other sound combinations.

When your child can already read at a normal phase, encourage him to read a book, guide him if you have time, read along with him and play word games with him.

Here are some activities during the YUMIN Primary School’s reading carnival that you might want to try and improvise at home –

word games courtesy of CIVICA

word games courtesy of CIVICA @ Yumin Primary School


Ethan with Danica, playing one of the word games courtesy of CIVICA

Ethan with Danica, playing one of the word games courtesy of CIVICA @ Yumin Primary School


Here’s our own version of word hunt, I made use of an old paper with grid and write down some letters in each boxes-  (words and names)

word games - one of the ways to ease their boredom during the rainy days

one of the ways to ease their boredom during the rainy days


I was often told by my mom that “if a child loves reading, half of the battle has already won.” That’s true. It makes learning easier if your child loves to read.

And one more thing:

Thousands of teaching aids are now available everywhere.

Let’s make use of it.

How about you, do you have any reading tips that you what to share with us? We appreciate your comment!

This article was inspired by the Reading Carnival program sponsored annually by Yumin Primary School facilitated by CIVICA Library Solutions and Yumin’s Parents-Partners group.