Paw Patrol’s Rider on Lookout

Every Tuesday, I post a photo of my son’s toys.

My wife visited a local Fred’s store a few months ago. She brought our son to the store. When he saw this particular Paw Patrol Lookout play set, he took hold of it and did not want to let go! Since we didn’t plan on buying a toy, this was not on the budget.

Our son cried loudly and threw a mini-tantrum inside the store. But my wife’s cool demeanor eventually won out and our son let it go.

The next day, I bought the play set and I kept it in my car. I planned to give it to him as a surprise 2 weeks later. When that day came, he was overjoyed. He already owns some Paw Patrol pup figures so he played with this for hours everyday for almost a month.

You can check out the Paw Patrol Lookout playset at Amazon.

How NOT to Freak Out about Moving to the USA

In February 2015, I got accepted as the top candidate for the Director-level job I applied for. It was great and felt like a leveling up of some of the things I worked on over the past 5 years.

But here’s the rub: I need to move to the United States for this position.

It was a whirlwind application process. I applied for the position toward the end of November 2014, filled up some forms, wrote an essay, and then got interviewed.

Continue reading

Moo! by David LaRochelle & Mike Wohnoutka

Every week I write about the books that we read for my son. He is currently 4 years old and loves a good book! Most of the books come from the Nashville Public Library. Although we buy a good book or two every now and then. I am not a professional book and illustration reviewer or critic, but I can write about the book, what I think about it, and how our son reacted to it.

Book Information

Title: Moo!
Author: David LaRochelle
Illustrator: Mike Wohnoutka
Published by Walker Books for Young Readers (An imprint of Bloomsbury)
Text Copyright 2013 by David LaRochelle
Illustration Copyright 2013 by Mike Wohnoutka

About the Author & Illustrator

David LaRochelle was born in Minneapolis and grew up in New Brighton, Minnesota. He served as an elementary school teacher and eventually became a children’s books author and illustrator. Check out his website at http://davidlarochelle.com/

Mike Wohnoutka started drawing when he was a kid. His high school art teacher encouraged him to pursue art as a career. He has illustrated more than 20 children’s books. Check out his website at http://mikewohnoutka.com/

Story

“Moo!” is a simple book about a cow who saw a car, rode that car over the hills, then downhill and crashed into a police car. Then it had to go back up the hills and be confronted by his farmer.

The book does not have any other dialogue except ‘Moo!” with varying amounts of the letter o. But it’s a fun read when you pronounce ‘moo’ using different intonations and taking a cue from the situations described by the illustration.

My son was laughing as we read it using different intonations and pronunciations of “Moo!” It was just a fun read.

Values

This book can help you talk about speeding in a car, bicycle or any vehicle for that matter, and the importance of being careful and mindful while riding a kid’s toy vehicle.

Caution

When you read this to your child (especially those who are 4 years old or older), though, be aware that at the end of the story, the cow says “Baaa!’ and points to a sheep

The most obvious interpretation is that the cow is passing the blame to the sheep, instead of owning up to its own mistake. After all, the cow is the one who rode the car and crashed it into the police car.

That might be a good comic relief for adults. But for kids, that might teach them something you don’t want them to learn.

Artwork

The illustrations are kid-friendly, bright, and cute. The cow, itself is drawn nicely. Wohnoutka captures well the facial expressions and reactions of the cow and the other characters in the book.

Fun Factor

Our son laughed out loud while reading this book. After a few reads, he insisted on reading the book himself (he cannot really ‘read’ yet), imitating the intonations and inflections that my wife and I used.

 

Along Came a Child…

It was an ordinary July (2012) week for me and my wife. Except that her period was delayed for two days. I didn’t want to hope too much because by that time, we had been waiting and praying for a baby to come along.

On the third day, we finally got a Pregnancy test kit and it came back with two lines! Positive! We were pregnant!

I couldn’t contain my joy and happiness. I was going to be a father. My heart swelled! I couldn’t believe how much love I was feeling–for my wife and our soon-to-be-born child. Continue reading

PAPASaurus by Stephan Lomp

Every week I write about the books that we read for my son. He is currently 4 years old and loves a good book! Most of the books come from the Nashville Public Library. Although we buy a good book or two every now and then. I am not a professional book and illustration reviewer or critic, but I can write about the book, what I think about it, and how our son reacted to it.

Book Information

Title: PapaSaurus
Author: Stephan Lomp
Illustrator: Stephan Lomp
Published by Chronicle Books San Francisco
Copyright 2017 by Stephan Lomp

About the Author

Stephan Lomp studied visual communications and has been a freelance illustrator since 1996. He started his children’s book career by illustrating books by other authors in Germany, and now both writes and illustrates his own books in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the United States. He lives with his family in Dusseldorf, Germany. Check out his website at http://www.lomp.de/

Story

The book is about Babysaurus playing hide-and-seek with his dad, Papasaurus. They are both brontosaurus. The book is a snapshot of a day in Babysaurus’ life when he had to seek his Papa, who was hiding.

Babysaurus asks other dinosaur kids if they saw his Papasaurus. Along the way, the reader gets to learn about the characteristics of other dinosaurs.

In the end, Babysaurus finds and discovers where Papasaurus hid and they get to play again with each other.

Values

As Babysaurus and the reader learns about the characters of the other dinosaurs, you can talk to your child about how people are different and unique. It can also be fun to talk about the traits and characteristics of Daddy that your child loves.

Artwork

The illustrations and colors of the characters in the book standout against the black background. The white text also helps a young reader follow the words.

Fun Factor

Our son enjoyed this book. He loved seeing how Babysaurus asked different dinosaurs where his Papasaurus was. He also pointed at the different types of dinosaurs that he can identify. He also invited me to play Hide-and-seek right after reading this book.

#WhereisCocosCar: Johannesburg

Last May, as part of my travel to the Holy Land, I decided to bring something that reminds me of my son. I asked him about it and suggested that I bring one of his toy cars. He chose one of his HotWheels: a Red Mustang. So I brought it with me and took photos of the red car in Masada, Qumran, and in almost all the places we went to.

I did not take photos of the red car in the sacred places as a sign of respect.

When I traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, he decided to send his Blue and Black Subaru HotWheels car. So that is going with me to different places. Check out all the places that Coco’s cars are traveling by following the hashtag #WhereisCocosCar on Instagram and Facebook.

The photo above was taken at the Hector Pieterson Memorial. It was the site where a young boy (Hector Pieterson) was killed as a result of the uprising of the community against apartheid in South Africa.

Here’s an excerpt from the Gauteng Tourism Authority:

The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, situated in Orlando West, Soweto, commemorates the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid and in particular the role played by the school children who took part in the Soweto protests of 1976, many of whom were shot by the apartheid police while protesting against the sub-standard of education in black schools in South Africa.

On June 16, 1976, Soweto high school students took to the streets in a peaceful protest against the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in black secondary schools. The students planned to meet at Orlando Stadium before marching to the regional offices of the Department of Bantu Education, where they intended to raise their grievances with the authorities.

They carried placards that read, “Away with Afrikaans”, “Amandla awethu” (“Power to the people”) and “Free Azania” (“Free South Africa”), and sang the hymn Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa), now the basis for the national anthem of democratic South Africa.

One of the things I realized coming from my trip to the Holy Land in June 2017, and then going to this memorial and to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, almost every place on earth has a memorial on human suffering! As humans we are very good at inflicting pain on each other. Every continent, almost every country has an oppressed, marginalized sector.

Hopefully, when Coco grows up, he’ll learn about these incidents in history and learn to respect people whoever and wherever they are.