I agreed most readily, when approached by author Linn Shekinah, to review her recently launched bilingual book, “Star Anise, Superstar!”.
Apart from our love for good picture books, I was also keen to support a Singaporean writer, and encourage the writing of more children’s books set in an Asian context.
The book came with a very sweet hand-written dedication by the author to my two little girls, I really appreciated the personal touch, and K had fun reading it!
I thought it was great that the book came with a set of activities behind, including a snake and ladder game template, a word matching sheet and a word puzzle.
|Glimpses of the text and illustrations|
The book is quite long, and so was more suitable for 5 year old K rather than 3 year old B. She read the English text on every page, and I read the Mandarin text. You can see us at it in my Instagram video “@littlebluebottle”. 🙂
The storyline was simple and incorporated an important life lesson, very much applicable to our children at this age.
Many a time, they seek attention, and would love to shine in the midst of the crowd, or their class. I thought it was wonderful that I could show K how trying to ‘be a star’ by singing louder or playing as many instruments as you can, in the context of a performance, isn’t quite how one achieves stardom or popularity.
Poor little Star Anise learnt it the hard way. By the end of the story, there is redemption, and in a most heroic way. Star Anise also gets to star in her own ice-cream dish (how unique!) and all’s well that ends well.
The protaganist, with her fatal flaw, remains extremely likeable, possibly because all of us can see a bit of ourselves in her yearning for recognition and success?
In any case, when we were on holiday, I was thrilled when I saw this dish at the breakfast buffet. I knew I had to bring K’s attention to it, and take a photo of it to accompany this blog post.
Doesn’t the star anise look simply gorgeous and such a great feature of this dish? The deep yellow chunks are peaches, and beyond the taste, I thought the star anise added so much to this fruit serving, visually.
After reading this book and exploring the activities with L, I learnt quite a lot of trivia about the Star Anise spice, and many mandarin names of the other spices! I love how I am constantly being educated alongside my children.
So, if you’d like to get a copy of this for yourself and your friends, head straight on to Flip for Joy, helmed by a very sweet and helpful mumpreneur, who stocks an impressive selection of Mandarin books, and is most well-known for joyfully supplying hanyupinyin sheets alongside the books she sells, should you require them.
Now for the giveaway! Two copies of “Star Anise, Superstar!” are up for grabs. Enter as below, and results will be announced in about a week! All the best.