Tea with Oliver by Mika Song

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: Tea with Oliver
Author: Mika Song
Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books
Text Copyright 2017 by Mika Song
No. of pages: 31 pages

About the Author & Illustrator

It’s interesting to know that this author grew up in Manila, Philippines. My wife and I lived in the Metro Manila area, too, before moving to Nashville TN. This is the author’s bio on the back flap of the book.

Mika Song grew up in Manila, Philippines. As a child she wrote letters to a mouse who lived under her mother’s desk. She lives in Brookly, New York, with her husband, daughter, and cat. This is her first book. Please visit her website at http://www.mikasongdraws.com

Story

“Tea with Oliver” is about a cat who loves tea. In the book, it shows that he just wants to have tea with someone. Philbert, the mouse, stays under the couch and wants to have tea with Oliver. Philbert writes a letter to Oliver so they could have tea together.

But the letter doesn’t reach Oliver. He sweeps it back under the couch, he thought it was a bug. Then Oliver’s cousin Lester visits him and wants to throw a party. Oliver was happy that there are people in his apartment who would like to party, and who could share a tea with him. Alas, the people at the party just wants to dance and have fun and party! Oliver offers everyone some tea but they rebuff him.

And then because of all the dancing, somebody bumps into Oliver and the teacups fall onto the floor. Everybody leaves after that and Oliver is just as sad because nobody would have tea with him, and worse, his teacups are broken.

That’s when he discovers Philbert under his couch. They have tea together and start becoming friends.

Values or Lessons

The book teaches about friendship, being in a crowd, and the importance of noticing other kids and people around us who also want to have friends. It also shows the challenge of being in a crowd but not wanting what the other people in the crowd wants to do.

Artwork

The artwork is good, I’m not a professional art critic, but the colors are a bit subdued and looks like watercolor. The texts on the page are also sparse and contributes to the mood of the story.

Fun Factor

The book seems to be targeted for introverted kids (or at least that’s how it appeared to me as an introverted adult.) It’s not funny or humorous as other books, but it can be fun in its own way. Our son likes it when we make Philbert the mouse’s voice squeaky and small.

See Fred Run by Kevin Bolger & Ben Hodson

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.

What the Book is about

“See Fred Run” is not a conventional story. It does not have a plot but rather involves Fred and the reader in a conversation about Fred being in a book. It is kind of meta. The narrator/author makes Fred do playful and silly things, which Fred has no choice about.

Fred goes through these things and complain about them. It is kind of silly and funny. But if you were Fred, you’d understand why he is frustrated and wouldn’t want to do the things that the author lets him do.

But all of these are mere backdrop against the real aims of the book, which is to introduce and teach more than 50 sight words meant to help a young reader learn. These sight words are only 1 or 2 syllables. It is too much for a 4-year old to go through all of these things all at once. My suggestion is to turn it into a game where the kid tries to spot these words and read them aloud. Continue reading

Mamasaurus 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.

Story

This book came out before Papasaurus. Both books follow the same pattern where Babysaurus is searching for one of its parents while describing the parent’s characteristics to other dinosaur kids. In the book Papasaurus, Babysaurus was playing hide-n-seek with dad. With Mamasaurus, however, it accidentally slid and fell off Mama’s back.

He got lost and asked other kids for help to find Mama. Along the way, he gets to describe his Mama’s characteristics and the other dino kids describe their own mamas.

Continue reading

Random Reflections After Turning 35

Over the weekend, I turned 35! It’s a big number! I feel like I’ve made significant progress in #Adulting. But who knows… when you were a kid, you thought that the adults knew what they were doing. Now that I am an adult, I’m not so sure… 😀

I told my wife before my birthday that if I were to die at 70 years old, then I am already in my mid-life.

At this age, birthdays are really not that a big deal. They come as just another day, only a little bit more special because loved ones remember it and they greet you (thankfully there’s Facebook and social media to remind us of each other’s birthdates).

People my age did cool stuff. But there’s a handful who STARTED something at this age. I came across this interesting website that displays “Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age.” Here’s the list of what people did when they were my age:

At age 35:

• Based on a nightmarish dream, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
• Russian ambassador Aleksandr Borosovich Kurakin introduced the practice of serving meals in courses.
• Frederic William Herschel, an English astronomer, invented the contact lens.
• American sprinter Evelyn Ashford won her final Olympic gold medal at age 35, old for a sprinter.
• Amedeo Avogadro developed Avogadro’s hypothesis.
• Law School professor Anita Hill charged that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas made indecent remarks to her.
• Margie Profet proposed a new theory of menstruation which claims that menstruation protects against infection and won a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant.
• Astronaut Buzz Aldrin achieved his life’s ambition at age 35 and wondered, what do you do after that?
• Julia Child began to learn to cook.
• Mozart stopped composing and started, well, you know.

It’s certainly an interesting list. And I know that I still have a lot of life, energy, and daredevil in me.

Continue reading

Duck, Duck, Dinosaur Perfect Pumpkin

by Kallie George, Illustrated by Oriol Vidal

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.

What the Books is about

Feather, Flap, and Spike are looking for the perfect pumpkin because… what else do you do when it is fall? Look for pumpkins of course.

Feather and Flap do a good job of looking for a perfect pumpkin. But Spike has other ideas… Whenever Feather and Flap find the perfect pumpkin, Spike squish it by jumping on it, using it as a bowling ball and juggling it. Whatever he does, he ends up squishing it, which frustrates Feather and Flap.

But in the end, Feather and Flap, and Mama makes him understand that pumpkins are for decorating for fall and Halloween. The other pumpkins that Spike squished? They’re good for a pumpkin pie! Continue reading

How to Mentally Prepare for the Move to the USA

It’s never easy to move to another country. No amount of preparation can really do justice to the life-changing move you’re about to do. Here are some ways to mentally prepare yourself and your family as you move to the USA.

Learn more about the work you are about to do.

Google is your friend. Although nursing and teaching are two of the top professions for Filipinos in the USA, there are other jobs that Filipinos do. Some are in the religious sector while others are in Information Technology. Continue reading