Book Series that we love (Chapter books): My Blade Quest

We’ve recently been introduced to yet another homegrown Singaporean author, Don Bosco, and his Super Cool chapter book series – My Blade Quest!

These adventure books are definitely good for readers who need to gain confidence in moving away from picture books, and are looking to slowly expand their vocabulary. Each chapter is only 3-4 pages long, and will not appear intimidating even though the illustrations are few and far between. This makes them perfect for primary schoolers who are not yet confident readers, but don’t want to be caught reading ‘kiddy books’ during the silent reading time in class!

The stories are funny and exciting, with a smattering of pop culture elements to capture the attention of our technology and media savvy kids. The main characters Jay and Shu, heirs to the Blade Quest card game empire, are intrepid and intelligent…and I really like the fact that they have a loving sibling relationship!

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A quick read before bedtime

I introduced this series to 9 year old J, and he was glad to have something fun to read to unwind during the hectic end-of-year exam period. The series has 9 year old J’s stamp of approval and he has since re-read the books several times.

J says – If you are looking for an in-between mystery and adventure book series that is more challenging than Geronimo Stilton and less silly than Captain Underpants, then these books are good for you. I enjoy imagining Jay and Shu going all over the world to find treasures and meet new friends. And I wish I had a Blade Quest Card Game!

Little E is just beginning to start reading chapter books, so I’ll be reading My Blade Quest with her during school holidays and hopefully this will help her to read more independently!

Bonus For Owls Well Readers: If you are looking for a great gift idea for a special little person in your life, the fine folk over at Armour Publishing have kindly offered an exclusive discount code for all Owls Well Readers! Hooray!  Just enter the code OWLS17 at checkout to enjoy 20% off any purchase of My Blade Quest Series (Books 1 – 4). (Discount code is valid from 17 Nov to 8 Dec 2017).

Buyer’s note: I received a set of My Blade Quest books from Armour Publishing for this review. If you would like to get the books for a little adventurer in your life, you can find My Blade Quest and other books by local authors here. Don’t forget to use the discount code!

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Book Series that we love (Chapter books): Extraordinary Losers

Over here at Owls Well, we have a soft spot for homegrown Singaporean authors and I am so glad to tell you all about the Extraordinary Losers chapter book series by Jessica Alejandro! These are good entry-level chapter books for encouraging reluctant readers who are looking to graduate from Early Reader books but need some pictures to break up the wall of words.

This book series follows the adventures of four primary school kids, Darryl De, Janice, Mundi and Clandestino, each of whom are considered class misfits for various shallow physical reasons (e.g. too ugly, too messy, too fat, too Indian etc). However, they also have incredible hidden talents that are overlooked by their peers who often underestimate their abilities. Fuelled by courage and junk food, the four kids find themselves banding together to solve mysteries within their school and find their self-worth, whilst dealing with the problems of class bullies, cyber-predators and of course, the all-encompassing villain of Primary School life, the dreaded PSLE!

I really appreciate the straightforward way that the book deals with bullying and being unique, encouraging the reader to look for the extraordinary gifts that lie within themselves instead of striving for conformity.

Right now, there are four books in the series (you can check out the titles in the picture above), and they are pretty engaging to read. The book also features funny illustrations by artist Cherryn Yap, as well as the occasional hand-scrawled cheeky poem by the book’s main POV character, Darryl De.

I have been told that the book series has gotten so popular that our local kid’s channel, Okto, is now looking to cast actors and actresses for an ExLosers TV series!

Open auditions are this Sunday 3rd July 2016 from 11am -6pm (registration closes at 4pm), so if you’ve got a budding thespian on your hands (or if you know one), do bring them along to the Suntec Convention Centre Level 3 Concourse.

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A extraspecial surprise for Owls Well Readers: The fine folk over at Bubbly Books have kindly agreed to sponsor a giveaway of the full set of Extraordinary Losers books by Jessica Alejandro to ONE lucky Owls Well reader! Thanks Bubbly Books!

To take part in this giveaway please complete the following:

  1. Leave me a comment below telling me about an extraordinary talent that you have (or your child has) that is often overlooked or underappreciated or how you personally dealt with bullying in school – don’t forget to include your email address! (If you would like to send me the email address privately, leave a comment for the other answers, then email me at 4owlswell [at] gmail [dot] com)
  2. For extra entries, share this post on any social media platform and leave a comment below with the link!

(This giveaway is open to anyone with a Singapore mailing address and closes on 15 July 2016. Winners will be picked via Random.org.)

Buyer’s note: I received a set of the Extraordinary Losers books from Bubbly Books for this review. If you’d like to get the books for an extraordinary kid in your like, you can find Extraordinary Losers and other books by local authors here.

For more news and information about the Extraordinary Losers books, check out their Facebook page here.

Fun Family Projects: We’re Going on a Gag Reel!

Well, as with all movies nowadays, with all the extra footage from J’s ‘We’re Going On a Bear Hunt’ school project, we decided to put together a silly little gag reel with all the bloopers, deleted and extended scenes!

Fun Family Projects: Behind the scenes of We’re Going On a Bear Hunt

You may have seen our video from last week, ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ that was part of J’s kindergarten project! It was J’s first time having to be in charge of making the video and he learned so much about each stage of movie-making from story to film.

We also put together a ‘Behind the Scenes’ video so that J could share the whole creative process with his classmates and teachers.

Enjoy!

Fun Family Projects: We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (A Movie!)

Last year, J’s mid-year school project was all about ‘Showtime’ and he had the idea to make a mini-movie based on one of our favourite children’s books – We’re Going On a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen.

This was an awesome project that the whole family got involved in, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves making it.

Happy watching!

P.S. If you’re wondering where we are in the video – it was all filmed on location during our holiday in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

 

 

Dear Mummy: Little gifts from little hands

J and Little E are generally quite affectionate children and they aren’t afraid to be demonstrative. I am frequently showered with hugs and kisses, and one of the joys of my day is being greeted at the school gate by bright eyes and smiling faces.

It always amazes me how much the children think about me when we are apart. I always imagine that kids are so busy at school with their friends that they don’t have a spare moment to think about their parents. However, I could not be further from the truth…and here is the evidence:

Dear Mummy, These are for you

Dear Mummy, these are for you. Love J and Little E

All the above are little gifts from J and Little E, and all done when they have been out and about without me.

First is a little drawing on the back of an envelope done by Little E whilst she was out with the Aged Ps, accompanied by a bracelet of blue jewel beads that she made in school. The drawing is a portrait of my pregnant self, of course, complete with tiny baby in the womb!

Next is a bunch of tulips which J brought home for me after a recent visit to Tulipmania at Gardens by the Bay. Apparently, the gardeners were giving away stalks of tulips to whomever wanted them and J insisted on taking a few home for me, because the tulips are pretty and “Mummy likes pretty things”.

Last is a Mother’s Day card prepared by Little E in school. This turned out to be (bizarrely) a collaborative art piece between J and Little E, because Little E claims to have consulted J about the colour scheme of the flowers. She says that the purple flower is from herself, and the yellow flower is from J.

Thank you, children, for thinking of me. I love you too.


 

ingspirations-blogComing up next on the “Dear Mummy” Blog Train is Ing, who shares her parenting journey as a mom of 3 on her blog, Ingspirations. Find out what her kids wrote to her on Mother’s Day.

This post is part of the ‘Dear Mummy’ blog train hosted by Mamawearpapashirt

Click on the badge below to go to read what other kiddos have to say to their beloved mummies!

 

Slowing Down

Hi Readers,

It’s been a while since I last had to do a reader announcement but as both Debs and I are currently overbusy, we will be taking a short hiatus on the blog, then moving to a new Tuesday-Thursday posting schedule.

In the meantime, however, Debs is super busy with the kids and school and I have currently retreated into the study caves where nothing is done except the study of statistics and the eating of food.

Owls Well should return shortly, but you should feel free to check out the many lovely links that we have on the sidebar for you to enjoy!

Thanks Bunches,

A Becky Lee