Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Box Thursday + Giveaway: 动物狂欢节 and 从头到脚 Chinese story books

Book Box Thursday (BBT) has katen a long two-month hiatus. Life has been extremely busy with work and kids (what’s new) and piano practice. Yes! Piano practice. My exam is just around the corner, and I’m gearing up for it. More on that in another post.

So BBT is back today with a bang and a clang and a crazy party involving crazy animals… in Chinese. We haven’t reviewed really reviewed a Chinese book in BBT. We’ve shared about our Chinese home learning activities, but as for books, I only briefly explored it when the Chinese journey with EV started, here (till today, both kids still love those books I shared)

So I’m really excited to be sharing two titles today: 动物狂欢节 and 从头到脚.

When we got the books, I didn’t make any special efforts to announce them to the kids. I simply placed it on our bookshelf, and I swear (not in front of them, of course. Hee…), kids just have a knack for noticing new stuff. Within the day, EV came and asked, looking quite innocently, ‘Mummy, what is this?’.

That night, we read both books, three times. EV and AA both liked them, and here’s why.


Flip animals 5

Flip animals 6

The animals of the animal kingdom are invited for a crazy costume party, and each animal has to go as an animal other than itself. The whole book is about how these various animals dress up as another animal, and then how that animal in turn dress up as yet another animal, and so on. For example, the lion becomes an elephant, the elephant becomes a parrot, the parrot becomes a turtle and the turtle becomes, can you believe it, little red riding hood (not exactly an animal, but it is a crazy animal party after all).

Flip animals 7

Flip animals 8

Or how about a bear becoming a snail, a snail becoming a tiger, a tiger becoming a sheep, a sheep becoming a porcupine, the porcupine becoming a sausage dog. It goes on and on and on. It’s fun and crazy and of course, the way the animals transform themselves into animals one doesn’t expect is rather hilarious, such as a zebra becoming a mouse which becomes a flamingo which becomes a giraffe which becomes a caterpillar. It’s quite creative to see how the animals ‘think out of the box’ to become the craziest animal they can think of.

Flip animals 9

Flip animals 10

Flip animals 11

The illustrations in 动物狂欢节 are simple, with only the picture of the animal and the corresponding text on each page. It’s not distracting and helps kids under 5 to focus on the story.

Flip animals 12

Our verdict
Why does EV and AA like it? I think it’s because the story tells them it is OK to be crazy and wacky and nonsensical. It’s important that they know that, in my opinion. As they grow up and are increasingly exposed to the reality of life, it is even more crucial for them to be able to have fun and be crazy amidst the sanity. Like Robin Williams said, ‘You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.’


Flip animals 1

That moment of madness continues with 从头到脚. It’s typically ‘Eric Carle’ with its art work, repetition and focus on a singular concept - that of body movements. It features different animals in doing different movements, such as turning the head, thumping the chest or bending forward, and asking different children if he or she can do that action, and the child saying they can. It’s nice to see animals and children interacting with each other.

Flip animals 2

Flip animals 3

In the book, and given children’s general affinity for animals, it’s no surprise that EV and AA took to the story rather easily. They added their own fun to the story telling by imitating the animals themselves too. Even if they didn’t get some poses exactly right, they got to move their bodies.

Flip animals 4

Our verdict
While moving their bodies, EV and AA got a little wacky at times, laughing at themselves at their silly moves. The icing was getting mummy to be silly and wacky too. So this book really managed to get us all reading and moving and laughing and having a great time. So story time turned out to be quite an active and animated one. Now it’s just a matter of getting DaddySay to join us..

We have a copy of each 动物狂欢节 and 从头到脚 to give away, sponsored by the kind folks at Flip for Joy. Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter. Most are optional, but do give you more chances. Good luck!

Terms and conditions:
- Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
- Giveaways are open to Singapore residents only.
- This giveaway starts on 21 August and ends on 4 September (inclusive) at midnight.
- Winners will be announced on this post and my Facebook page by 9 September.
- Winners will be notified by email, through the email provided in the blog comments.
- Winners must confirm by reply email, within three days. Otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice, at the organisers' sole discretion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were provided with one copy each of  动物狂欢节 and 从头到脚 for review purposes and one copy each of 动物狂欢节 and 从头到脚 for giveaway purposes. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and images are our own.


Thank you for reading. If you like this post, please do connect with me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, so I can share our fun adventures, thoughts and exploits with you. 


  1. I love the illustrations of both books! 从头到脚 has a very Eric Carle vibe!

    Ruth thepacifierdiaries @

  2. I love the humour in the story, so cute! Thank you for the giveaway!


  3. I love how silly and wacky the books are. My boy will definitely love this book and we can try to do the actions together.


  4. I love it that the animals became another animal. I can imagine my kids laughing away!

    Name: Serene Leow
    FB Name: Ace Serene

  5. Easy to read, captivating and cute animal graphics!


  6. I love the graphics and illustrations of the book.
    Dominiquegoh(At) gmail(dot)com

  7. Love the cute graphics. Adeline

  8. Colourful illustration & beautifully worded
    Li Peng

  9. I love the colourful illustrations.

    Thank you.


  10. I love the wacky story lines and the colourful illustrations.


  11. I hope to win either book because we love the colourful and humourous illustrations! Thank you!
    Carol Lim

  12. Eric Carle is one of our fav authors, and the other book, though a new title to me, looks like it will make a fun read too! So winning either book will be just as great!

  13. I like the funny illustrations!

  14. The storybook, 从头到脚, presents an opportunity to teach my child the various body parts in Mandarin.
    动物狂欢节 looks like a fun read to share with my child.
    -Yu Meiyi (

  15. Hope to win either of these books! Entertaining read!
    Gordon Ngiam

  16. 2 interesting books with beautiful illustrations. like the story plot too. easy enough for young kids to understand.


  17. Colourful illustrations!

    Cynthia Lau

  18. Which kid doesnt like books with animal..jaime chan

  19. my 3 YO boy loves animal books! Am hoping to make him read/speak more Chinese/Mandarin.
    Love the cute graphics and illustrations!

    Yvonne Nia

  20. Love the illustrations
    Teo Yee Long

  21. Both books are very suitable for my younger girl. She will love the drawings
    Joeanne Shim

  22. Loved Eric Carle's books and the colourful illustration !

    Valerie Tan

  23. Love Eric Carle's books. Very suitable for young children
    Teo Chin Long

  24. Children always love Eric Carle's books. Hope to win them
    Teo Han Choo

  25. I like the illustrations of both books :)

  26. The illustrations is very cute and attractive to kids! Love to get these books to get my nephew started on Chinese!


  27. Love the fun and simple illustrations. Hope to win either book for my daughter.


  28. The books are engaging and a good way to teach my boy Chinese.

    Li Li


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