Friday, March 6, 2009

Paddington’s ABC, 123 Colours and Opposites

Browsing through the Popular bookstore one afternoon, I was delighted to find this set of 4 books in a cute, cardboard suitcase.
 I've never read the Paddington Bear series (until I had a child) but was immediately attracted by the bear in his big, floppy hat. Although the suitcase was a bit scuffed and dog-eared, the hardcover books inside were intact.

Most importantly, the knowledge in the books is protected :-) I've seen MANY, MANY preschool books on the ABC, 123, Colors and Opposites but Michael Bond and John Lobban present them in an interesting, fun and relevant way which makes this set one of the toddler's favourites until now.
Each book has 1-2 pages specifically dedicated to only one letter, number, colour or opposite and the illustrations are active, vivid yet simple (and detailed) enough to hold on to the toddler's or preschooler's interest.

Also, a simple activity for the child to reinforce what he or she has just learned is found at the end of every book.

ABC and 123- The twenty six letters of the alphabet are presented in the order of Paddington bear "spends a busy day" e.g. A - apple, B - boots, C - camera, D - ducks, E - egg, F - fence (peeping through his irate neighbour's fence!). My Chinese mum didn't like "G for Ghost" at all because the Chinese really, really prefer to keep the dead away from those who are alive.

"123" follows Paddington to the beach, to an aquarium or doing fun stuff like holding a cluster of balloons or colouring with crayons on a giant piece of paper. Fun!!!

The "Colours" book is an ingenious book because colours are presented in a storyline form i.e. Paddington starts off with white sheets, a red bedspread and then goes about other housework and redecorating his house that are tied to other colours.

Also, I love how the concept of mixing colours is shown. For example, Paddington's white sheets turned pink because he'd mixed them with a a red bedspread LOL

In the end, the child gets to see the entire house in all its colourful glory (albeit gawdy) and refresh their memory by identifying the colourful paw prints and shades of the rainbow.

Opposites is another great book, which is how my son learned opposites so quickly. Again, each concept is related to a child's world:
  • "on" and "off" a swing,
  • "big" and "small" hats,
  • "neat" and "messy" kitchens during a baking session,
  • "happy" and "sad" faces from Paddington's drawing and
  • "straight" and "crooked" from a man's mowing and Paddington's mowing respectively.
For the price of RM35.90 (RM9.00 each), it's a really valuable set, which I'd love to sell if I ever opened a children's bookstore!

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