The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree a simple yet meaningful story. The tree unconditionally showered its love to the “little boy” who then became a man but still a “little boy” in its eyes. When the boy was young, he simply enjoyed the company of the tree. As time passed by, the little boy grew up and the tree aged. The “little boy”started making demands to the tree, who in turn fulfilled all his demands without hesitation – the apples, the branches, and the trunks. At the end of the story, the little boy (now a old man) was tired and only wants a quiet place to rest … The selfless tree left with its stump readily obliged. The tree was happy. Doesn’t this reflective of the unconditional love parents have for their children? Parents’ love for their children is perpetual no matter how old they are. These children might be the parents of their own kids, but in the parents’ eyes, they are still “their little kids”. Parents provide for their children unconditionally, not asking for any return. Yes, that’s how parents love their children. However, parents….. we may need to pause and think, is this “no boundary” love the right way of expressing our love for our children. In the story, the little boy never appreciated what the tree had done for him. He took the tree for granted and show no empathy and gratitude for what the tree had done and sacrificed for him. While we love our children, wouldn’t it be wrong for us to just shower them with love But isn’t right for us to just shower them with love, without teaching them what they need to know ? Aren’t we doing them harm if we as parents overly protect our children – when they make mistakes, we cover for them; when they face with difficulties in life, we clear the hurdens for them; when they face a problem, we readily solve it for them? Is this type of unconditional love right? Shouldn’t we as parents teach them what they need to learn in life while showering them with our love at the same time. Gratitude, empathy, respect, integrity, honesty, perseverance are some of the values we as parents should teach the kids … This is the way, I feel, as parents should do to show their unconditional love for their children. For we love you, we want to teach you well so you can stand up straight and be proud of yourself and live your life with no regrets.

非常班级 – 月亮"亲吻"地球之Girl Girl,Go Go!

A chinese book review done by my genzkid …

非常班级 – 月亮"亲吻"地球之Girl Girl,Go Go!

作者 – 伍美珍

主人物 – 晓豆

哓豆的班有两个歌唱组合。 一个是 "E girl", 另外一个是 "帅 boy"。  "E gi r l "是他们的死对头,都叫"帅 boy"为"衰boy"。

晓豆,唐阿祺,严若琳和敏魏依是"E gi r l "的组员。  一天,敏魏依求晓豆写多一点歌,因为"帅 boy"已完成了两首歌了。在讨论该怎么办时,她们碰到了"帅boy"的两大"美男"。他们对"E girl"投来冰冷的眼神。若琳气得马上喊到:"站住!两头。。。。猪!"晓豆接着说:"他们也可以做豪猪,花猪,笨猪,白猪,野猪,等等。。。。"这可气坏了两位"美男"但"E girl"可乐得象盛开的花。这一战暂时看来是"E girl"赢了。

一天下课后,由于晓豆的父母亲要补度蜜月,她怕一个人在家,所以晓豆哀求其他"E girl"的成员去她家住一个星期。成员们回家问了各自的父母亲,都得到了他们的同意。这个天大的喜讯乐坏了晓豆和组员们。一个"无家长"的日子就快开始了。。。。一个早上,"E girl” 成员除了阿祺一起从晓豆家去学校。到了学校却怎么样都没见到阿祺。难道阿祺失踪了?要是让阿祺的家长知道了,那还得了!放学后大家都决定去找她,可一到家就见到了阿祺。大家都请她好好解释到底是怎么回事。原来当阿祺一早到学校时就被叫去校长室。校长告诉她一个好消息和坏消息。好消息就是校长决定让她们在学校的艺术节开幕之前上台演出。坏消息就是。。。"”帅boy” 也会参加演出。"若琳抢答道。阿祺因为太兴奋所以在校长的同意下去每个”E girl” 的家把这消息告诉她们的家长。

表演当天,帅 boy 客气的让 “E girl” 先表演。当到 “帅 boy” 时,他们每个人的手里都拿着一个装满了小布娃娃的篮子。原来他们准备了超可爱的手机链送给大家。可恶!”E girl” 们都气得说不出话来。当其中一名 “帅boy” 的成员不小心被电线绊倒时,”E girl” 们都乐得哈哈大笑.不过帅boy卖力和精彩的演出却不得不让”E girl” 们佩服。

时间过得很快,班上又要举行班会了。作为总策划员的晓豆在头痛应不应该让 “帅boy” 参加表演。如果不让他们参加,他们一定会向老师告壮她公报私仇。但如果让他们参加又有点对不起自己。晓豆最后还是让他们加入因为他们上一次的表演还真的很不赖。"帅boy"这次表演的节目是刘心武的"话堵话"。他们的演出不但精彩,有趣还非常搞笑。表演在欢乐的笑声中结束。大家都对晓豆投以欣赏的眼神。那眼神好象是对晓豆伟大的决策表示肯定。


The Singapore Kid by Jessica Alejandro

The story started off with an “uninvited guest” trying to steal from The Tay’s Home – a HDB flat in Sengkang.  Thereafter, the story suddenly changed …. with no connection to the first chapter, moved to introduce the characters of the story. Inn Kiat, the main character of the story, is a 11-year-old boy growing up in affluent Singapore.

Like most primary school children, he faces the pressure from school, Tution, expectation from parents to do well. The story gives an insight story of how a kid “grows” from a child to a pre-teenager.  The story also touches on the “jealousy” of child from an average income family when he is with his rich friend, sibling rivalry, friendship and honesty.  

It talks about the disappointment of his parents when they learnt about what Inn Kiat has done, the wise wisdom of the old grandma, the bravery of admitting ones mistake and taking responsibility and the act of “forgive and forget” of a good friend.

I was nearly in tears when I read how disappointed his parents were when they learnt what Inn Kiat has done (I can relate this well because I have a 11-year-old boy myself). I was moved when I read how the old grandma tried to use that incident to teach her grandson the value of honesty. I was amused when I read how Inn Kiat drew out his damage control list and lastly with all smiles when his best friend forgave what he had done.

Personally, I think this book is a good read though there is a bit of Singlish.  My genz kid gives it a 4 out of 5.  For children, this book instils the importance of honesty.  For parents, it allows you to understand your preteens better.    

The Diary of Amos Lee – I’m Twelve, I’m Tough, I Tweet!

Have you read the newly launched “The Diary of Amos Lee – I’m Twelve, I’m Tough, I Tweet!” If you have not, grabbed a copy quick.

Knowing that my son is the die-hard fan of The Diary of Amos Lee, I bought the book for him as his Christmas gift. And you guess it right, he thanked me profusely !

Well, he finished reading the book in a day, so have I 😉 I can see why my son likes the book so much. It’s easy to read and the diary relates very well to what’s happening around him. In the book, Amos Lee is in his last year of primary school (though my son will only be in P5 next year). The internet reality surfaced in this book (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, blogging, etc). It also touches on what friendship, relationship between siblings, and the big word – BULLY! I must give Adeline Foo a thumb-up.

As a mother of a primary school kid, it helps me to understand the “in” things and issues what primary school students are facing.  I’m encouraging you, all mothers, read The Diary of Amos Lee if you have not. It’s awesome !

Now, I’m wondering if Amos will be writing his diary now he will be in secondary school ????

PS: I read from my blog that some of you do not really like The Diary of Amos Lee. Well, personally, I think the book is a good read for young children and as an adult, I do enjoy reading it.  Individual preference, I guess 😉

Andrew Matthews – Wisdom of Words

I enjoyed the talk by Andrew Matthews during the recent Singapore Education Summit 2010.  In case you wondered who he is.  He is the international cartoonist, speaker & best-selling author of motivational and personal development books such as “Happiness Now”, “Follow Your Heart”.

This is what I’ve shared with my Genz Kid:

You can choose to be happy or misery.  Misery is a choice.  

 I took the opportunity to teach my Genz Kid that life is never fair.  You can choice to happy with what you have or misery with what you don’t have.  MISERY is a choice!

You are happier when you accomplished something. 

I asked my Genz Kid whether he felt good after obtaining good results for his mid year results, knowing that he had tried his best and put in his best effort.  He said yes!

Life is a circle of continuous challenges.  

My Genz Kid was bothered that his friend was not finding time to do the project they were supposed to complete during the June school holiday.  I told him that a person grows up when they faces challenges in life.  It’s when you know how to overcome these challenges that you find yourself wiser.  When you thought you have overcome one challenge, before you could rest your feet, you find yourself facing another challenge and this will go on and on ….  AND again, you can choice to face these challenges positively with an open heart or miserably.

Ability + Attitude + Strategy = SUCCESS

I told my Genz Kid that a person could be very smart, but without the right attitude and strategy, he can never be successful.  He may not be the smartest person in his class but if he learn from the mistakes and take failure positively, and with the right strategy, he will be successful.

Fun is when you are involved and participated, not watch

I asked my Genz Kid which is more fun, to watch your friend playing a scoccer game or you participate in the game.  He told me “PARTICIPATE”.  Yes, participate even if you are not the best in the game or even you have lost the game.  The more important thing is you have fun and enjoyed the game!

That’s all I have to share today.  If you have not read his book, I would urge you to read one.  I believe you will feel as enlighten as I do! 

And guess what, I’m going to get his “Being a Happy Tenn” for my Genz Kid.  Although he is not a teenage yet, I believe he will benefit a lot from the book.

Official website :

Also on facebook

And this is from Andrew’s “Happiness Now”…. ENJOY!


Book Review – The Diary of Amos Lee

Have you read “The Diary of Amos Lee” written by Adeline Foo? I brought the 1st book “The Diary of Amos Lee: I Sit, I Write, I Flush! for my son during his December school holiday last year. He enjoyed the book so much that he finished reading the book within a day. He said he couldn’t stop reading it once he started reading the same. I suppose the book must be entertainingly as I could hear his laughter while he was reading it. He said it was one of the best books he had read.

Last Sunday, my son was expected to write a journal as homework and he used the book as a reference. I read his master piece and gees, it was pretty interesting and humorous that I can’t stop giggling while reading it. Even Genz Dad thinks that the journal was written very creatively. As a result, in a spur of moment yesterday evening, I got him the 2nd book – The Diary of Amos Lee: Girls, Guts & Glory! As expected, he finished ¾ of the book last night and I bet he would finish the whole book today.

Here’s the extracts of the book review from the official website of The Diary of Amos Lee (

The Diary of Amos Lee: I Sit, I Write, I Flush!

This diary began as Mum’s New Year resolution to get me to write. She told me to write when I am doing my big business. “Five to eight minutes max!” she said. “I don’t want you to develop piles!” And so my writing in the bathroom began. My entries started with the boring old stuff… then Mum got this new job as a writer and, following her around, I got to do fun stuff, like ogle at deformed frogs, see into the future with a fortune-telling parrot and wow at a life-sized F1 car made of chocolate! That’s how I got more interesting things to write about. Plus, I had to deal with an EVIL bully who was tormenting me at school… thank goodness for my best friends, Alvin and Anthony, we rallied against the bully and got through this year with lots of adventures and good fun!

The Diary of Amos Lee: Girls, Guts & Glory!

The story of Amos continues. He is still writing his diary in the toilet, but he has found a way to hide it from Mum’s prying eyes. Amos joins the school’s swim team and learns about hunger, not the sort to make you want to eat food, but the drive to excel and win medals in competitions! The themes in Book 2 touch on family, friendship and loyalty. Lessons are also drawn from Olympic legends like Michael Phelps, Carl Lewis and Sebastian Coe, in inspiring legions of young athletes to be the best in both studies and sports. Amos seeks his Olympic dream, in this second installation.

Parents, if you are trying to cultivate good reading habits of your children, try these books.