Herbert’s First Halloween by Cynthia Rylang & Steven Henry

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: Herbert’s First Halloween
Author: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator: Steven Henry
Published by Chronicle Books San Francisco
Text Copyright 2017 by Cynthia Rylant
Illustration Copyright 2017 by Steven Henry 
No. of pages: 29

About the Author & Illustrator

from the back flap jacket: Cynthia Rylant is the author of more than 100 books for young people, including the beloved Henry and Mudge and Mr. Putter & Tabby series. Her novel Missing May received the Newberry Medal. She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Visit her at http://CynthiaRylant.com.

Steven Henry (formerly Steven D’Amico) has illustrated several children’s books, including the award-winning Ella the Elephant series and It’s Raining Bats & Frogs. He lives in West Seattle, Washington, with his wife, daughter, and a cat named Wini. For more information, visit http://StevenHenry.net. 

Story

Herbert’s First Halloween tells the story of how Herbert, a pig, and his father prepared for Halloween. Herbert’s father shows Halloween photos from his own childhood to encourage Herbert and prepare him for his first.

After asking if he can be a cowboy like his dad, he decides to dress up as a tiger, instead. His father took his measurements then prepared his costume. Father pig sewed Herbert’s tiger costume. Herbert practiced his roar. When the last day of October arrived, he and his father went around the neighborhood and gathered candy while meeting a lot of other kids in costume.

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You’re an OFW Now, So What’s Next?

Many Filipinos consider the United States as the “Land of Milk and Honey,” and that if you had the chance to go there, your life will never be the same. If you just get there, you will be swimming in dollars and you can lift yourself and your family out of poverty.

Some Filipinos may have found that to be true. And even for those who do struggle, life in the USA tends to be more comfortable than life in the Philippines. The good thing about working and living in the US is that you earn dollars. And if you convert your money to Philippine Pesos, you’d get a lot! If you had $1,000, that would be equal to around PhP50,000, depending on the exchange rate.

Alas, you earn in dollars, you also spend in US dollars. And if you’re not careful, you also get into the consumeristic, materialistic lifestyle of most Americans.

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Visiting Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg is a beautiful city. Its O.R. Tambo airport is one of the biggest hubs in the continent of Africa with flights to and from major airports around the world. South Africa is also home to beautiful wildlife.

Johannesburg, and the whole country of South Africa, has a difficult past. Apartheid, or institutional racism, has made life difficult for many Black South Africans. It ended only in 1991, which is pretty recent.

Amid this tumultuous history, heroes rose and helped pave the way for peace and reconciliation. Nobel Peace Prize awardee Nelson Mandela is easily the most recognizable name from this era.

I visited Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg sometime in July 2017. It was a chilly, rainy morning. We bought our tickets. We waited for the guide and took the tour of the facility.

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Apply for a US Social Security Number: Guide for Non-Resident Aliens

Transitioning to another country for work is difficult. There are just too many variables that we need to consider. Getting an apartment to live in, government-mandated memberships and regulations, plus buying a car, and settling down again. On top of that, I am also considered as a non-resident alien worker. That’s because I am not a citizen, and not a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) in the country.

Thankfully, our organization agreed to sponsor a house-hunting trip for me and my wife. Last April, Cha and I found ourselves in Nashville, Tennessee to look for an apartment, and for me to apply for the services I need to start working.

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Frank the Seven-Legged Spider

Every week I write about the books that we read for my son. He is currently 4 years old and loves a good book! 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

Frank the Seven-Legged Spider tells the story of Frank, a spider who is happily doing whatever Spider’s do. But one day, he woke up missing one of his legs. Spiders are supposed to have 8 legs. Now that he only has 7, what is he? Is he still a spider? His friends weren’t even sure.

So Frank sets out to look for his missing leg. He searched far and wide and practiced moving around with only 7 legs. Then he found a group of ants who tells her about one of them who lost her antenna. But she eventually became their queen.

He then rediscovers other things and activities that any spider could do like make webs and move around. Knowing that he is still a spider, he goes back to his spider friends and resumes his jolly, happy spider self. Continue reading

Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster by 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: Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster 
Author & Illustrator: Mike Wohnoutka
Published by: Holiday House
Copyright 2014 by Mike Wohnoutka

About the Author & Illustrator

Mike Wohnoutka has illustrated many books for children, including Moo! You can check out his website at http://mikewohnoutka.com.

Story

“Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster” by Mike Wohnoutka is a simple story about a dog who is looking for someone to play with. It encounters different possible playmates but they are either busy, lazy, mean, boring, or preoccupied.

Then it set its eyes on a big green monster reading a book on a bench. At first the monster refuses to play and appeared to be mean. But the dog persists. Eventually, the big green monster plays with the dog and they both have fun together. Finally, the big green monster wanted to go home but the dog thought it wanted to race. They both get to the house and rest.

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How Much of Your Possessions Should You Bring to the USA?

You’ve been accepted for a job in the USA, you applied for and got your visa. You let go of many things that you own in the Philippines, now it’s time to pack your bag or boxes as you travel to the United States.

How much stuff can you bring?

Most airlines traveling to the USA will allow you to check two big bags or boxes that weigh up to 50lb or 23 kg. You are also entitled to bring 2 carryon bags. That sounds like a lot, but it really is not, especially if you are a family of three or more going to the USA.

Excess baggage fees are expensive! If your bag or box weighs more than 50lb or 23 kg, you will pay $75 or more! If you are bringing more than two checked bags, the third box will cost $200 or more! If you’re willing to pay that amount, I won’t argue with you.

How much stuff SHOULD you bring?

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6 Crazy Things I Did as a New Father

Before our son was born, my wife and I watched some movies about babies and parenthood. I particularly remember the movie “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”

One particular scene cracked me up. It’s when Gary Cooper (played by Ben Falcone) panicked and kept pacing and looking for his car key inside the house. Finally, his wife, Wendy (played by Elizabeth Banks), who was in the throes of labor, threw a magazine or a booklet at him. That helped him get his wits back.

I sympathize with Gary Cooper. When you’re a new father, you face a lot of changes in life, and you may panic for quite a bit.

Here are 6 crazy things I did as a new father. Some of these are pretty silly, some had happened because of accidents and mistakes, but almost all of it was probably because I was clueless and nervous. Or downright afraid of the prospect of taking care of a small human being.

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How to Apply for a South African Tourist Visa in New York City

My responsibilities at work require that I travel to South Africa this year and next year. I’ve been to Johannesburg twice now and I will be there again next year. As a Filipino residing in the USA, I need to apply for a visa. I’m writing about my experience in applying for a visa to help anyone who needs to.

Who need a visa to go to South Africa?

If you are a US citizen, you don’t need a visa to go to South Africa. The South African Government has established some relationships with other countries, which led to visa-free arrangements.  Continue reading