Woods in the Books Blog — Elf Reads

Book Review: 《十二生肖的故事》 Story of the 12 Chinese Zodiac

Book Review: 《十二生肖的故事》 Story of the 12 Chinese Zodiac

Long ago, this folktale retelling begins, people had trouble remembering when they were born and how old they were. To help people remember their birth years, the Jade Emperor hit upon the idea to assign twelve animals to each year through a river-crossing race. Written and illustrated by Taiwanese author and illustrator Lai Ma, this warm and funny retelling recounts the story of the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac in simple but lively language well-suited to the playful illustrations. The heart of most retellings of this folktale lies in the conflict between the cat and the rat, where the...

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Book Review: Grandma and the Things that Stay the Same

Book Review: Grandma and the Things that Stay the Same

Every Lunar New Year, Grandma would ask the same questions, wear the same "lucky" red, cook the same "lucky" food, give the same "lucky" amount, and invite the same "lucky" lions. The year turns, the lanterns are lit, the table is laden. Food, family, and festivities: it's time for the Lunar New Year reunion dinner. But a reunion dinner celebration in the world of Grandma and the Things that Stay the Same might be quite the same as Lunar New Year in our world. From its opening pages, Grandma and the Things that Stay the Same invites readers into a...

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Interviewer: What's the best reaction you've had to your work? Jim Kay: I've had a few letters saying they couldn't get their children to read a book, but the illustrated version has finally got them reading. So I couldn't ask for more really. It's such a privilege. If you help one person engage with books, the hours, the solitude is worth it because you've hopefully helped somebody on a life of literary discovery. It might sometimes seem like a new collector's edition of the Harry Potter series is announced every year, whether it's aimed at kids who have never read...

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Book Review: The Brilliant Oil Lamp

Book Review: The Brilliant Oil Lamp

  They pass by vegetable farms and forests and finally arrive at the new housing estate. The children gasp when tall buildings come into view. The apartments are stacked on top of one another -- up to twenty stories high! The Brilliant Oil Lamp When Asha's family moves to the new HDB flats in Toa Payoh, the first thing to do is set up the altar and light the brass diya, a beautiful oil lamp in the shape of a peacock that shines as though it were gold. The third book in the series that begins with Quek Hong Shin's...

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