iPad App Review - The Berenstain Bears Living Lights Collection #2

~ Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 at 7:18 AM ~

We have some of the Berenstain Bears' story apps on my iPad and have previously reviewed "The Berenstain Bears Living Lights Collection #1", so when I saw the pitch release for this collection of the Berestain Bears stories, I decided we must review this app. Without further ado, here goes my feedback...

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* Title: The Berenstain Bears Living Lights Collection #2
* Price: $19.99
* Category: Books
* Released: July 30, 2014
* Version: 2.6
* Size: 151 MB
* Language: English
* Seller: Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
* Rated: 4+ Made for Ages 6–8
* Requirements: Requires iOS 6.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Description from the product page:

"Dive into 8 exciting Berenstain Bears Living Lights interactive storybook apps that help young readers learn how God wants them to live every day! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Enjoy The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule, The Berenstain Bears Go to Sunday School, The Berenstain Bears Hurry to Help, The Berenstain Bears and a Job Well Done, The Berenstain Bears Learn to Share, The Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors, The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game, and The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers, all in one convenient place."

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* This app is engaging and interactive and I love that we can also touch the objects in each page on the screen and the words pop out to tell you what it is!

* I like that this collection of story apps is meant to teach our children how to live their life according to God's way, to be kind even though it is not easy, the benefits of going to Sunday schools, to be helpful, to focus on the job being assigned and more.

* I think that even though you are not a Christian, you can still be able to use this book as it instills good moral values in our kiddos.

* This app is fun to read and educational as well, I also like that it is relatable to our family of 5 as well.

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You can purchase the "The Berenstain Bears Living Lights Collection #2" app from the iTunes App Store.

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I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the promo code to redeem the application for free from iTunes Store in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous iPad Apps reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My iPad App Reviews"

Buying Books Online via NoQ Store

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 8:19 AM ~

One of the perks for being a blogger is getting vouchers to redeem for books! Yay! You see, earlier this month, I was offered a voucher for me to redeem books in exchange for a short review on my blog. Without further ado, check out my review below...

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About the company:

"Founded in 2011 as the online bookstore of Times Publishing Group, NoQ store offers a brand new shopping experience for books lovers and literature aficionados, making it convenient to purchase books and other related items, without the hassle of lining up and queuing, hence the name “NoQ.” As Asia’s online bookstore, NoQ store also fronts as the digital counterpart for Times Publishing Group’s sister companies: Times The Book Shop Malaysia and Times The Book Shop Singapore. "
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You have no idea how difficult it is for me to narrow down my choices of book in order to not exceed the book voucher amount, what more with my passion for reading books and my OCD-ness of getting more educational and fun books that I can let our kiddos use with. So here they are:

  • Disney Princess Special Celebrations Storybook and Playset (ISBN:9780794423209)

  • The Cultural Revolution Cookbook: Simple Recipes from China's Countryside (ISBN:9789881998460)

  • The Magic School Bus inside the Human Body (ISBN:9780590414272)

  • Time & Money Flash Cards (ISBN:9780769667508)

  • Frozen (ISBN:9780736430517)

I don't know what is so special with 'The Magic School Bus' book but I see the reviews are pretty good on Amazon (I always rely on Amazon for customer feedbacks) but it got our 5.5 years old boy hooked and glued into me reading it for him right after he got home from his preK.

As for our almost 3 years old girl, she just loves her 'Disney Princess' book and immediately tried to take out the stickers and playset in it. I'm actually very pleased with this book despite there is no review available on NoQ and Amazon website. I took out the stand-up board pieces for her to play with, it came with a foldable hardcover piece which can be used both sides (one side is a dance hall for princesses and prince while the other side is a picnic table for you to play mealtime and stuff)

'The Cultural Revolution Cookbook: Simple Recipes from China's Countryside' is one of my favorite books so far! I am very very proud that I found this book and despite my brother-in law asking me whether I have become a communist (NO! I am most definitely not!) after seeing the title, I really love the simplicity of the recipes found in this book, as most of the recipes can be cooked with simple ingredients found in the kitchen. I mean these are dishes made during cold hard war time, those eras where food supplies are scarce and ingredients are plain and simple yet delicious. I have roughly gone through some sections in the book and just can't wait to try them out!


What I love about NoQ Store?

  • The prices are significantly much cheaper than other websites I frequently use to buy from.

  • There are more than 14 million titles, spanning across genres like Children's, Educational, Parenting, Fiction, Cookbooks and many, many more.

  • Various ways to make payment securely such as through your credit cards and PayPal.

  • Free shipping for orders above RM50 (for West Malaysia) or above RM120 (for East Malaysia).

  • Online assistance via the chat widget.
  • I like that there is a mini window popping out with the summarised version of the book as you hover over the titles, I can quickly glanced through the books.

  • The books you ordered will be delivered within 7 - 14 working days after order is placed.


My personal recommendations on the website:

  • To also use customer reviews from Amazon (currently the customer reviews are from Goodreads.com)

  • To include more data for city in the drop-down list as my city was not listed in the selection field. Luckily I am able to get immediate assistance from the online chat widget and got my issues solved promptly.


This website will definitely be one of my favorite online stores now!

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You can find out more from http://www.noqstore.asia/

FYI, NoQ Store has graciously offered my blog readers an exclusive 15% discount on all purchases when they use code FTMUMMY upon checkout.
Please take note that the discount code is valid from now until 30 November 2014.

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Do note that I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the voucher to redeem books of my choice in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

Book Review - A New Friend for Sally

~ Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 11:30 PM ~

When I received the invitation to review this book, I never expected I would have to print out the book myself before going through them with our kiddos. Often, I get PDF copy of books that I reviewed (sometimes I prefer PDF as it is expensive to mail the paperback version to me in Malaysia) but there are times when I insisted to have the paperback version as well - this would normally be for books that I can use for our kiddos as I want them to flip and work through the book together.

But for this book, it is a first unique experience as the author is hoping to fund the production of the book through Kickstarter project. Since I can't request for a paperback version, I decided to print out the book myself and laminate it using our recently bought laminator machine. Why laminate when we can read it on our iPad or PC? The book is full of beautiful illustrations and I think it has a potential to be reuse again and again in future, hence the decision to print it out myself.

Title: A New Friend for Sally
Author: David Tang, Lora Lee (Illustrator)

Publisher: Tiny Robot Books (Independent book)
Paperback:  20 pages

Description from the product page:
"The tale of a lonely farm girl who really wants a pony, but instead her dad gets her a chicken... an animal it turns out that she's absolutely terrified of! A New Friend for Sally is a heartwarming story about unlikely friendships with the valuable lesson of not judging a book by its cover. This children's book is for kids aged 6-9."

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Firstly, the illustration is very very nice. I love the details drawn and reading this book together with our 5 years old boy and 2.5 years old girl is just a wonderful delight! I think the colors would be much more intense if it is printed from a higher spec printer but since I printed it from our home printer, well, that is good enough for us as it is.

As our 5 years started his pre-K this year, I decided to read through word by word on each page (instead of summarizing the story and telling a simpler version based on his understanding which I previously do), stopping from time to time when there are words I think he may not hear before and then explaining to him what the words meant.

I can see our kiddos being very interested in this book, since this is kinda the first time they go through a book with different layout and feel. As I flipped through the laminated pages, I make use of the opportunity to play hide-and-seek with them as well, asking them from time to time to look for certain objects and animals in the pages.

I use the opportunity from this book to teach our kiddos to:

- Not throw tantrum when things doesn't go your way. Just because whatever you wished for doesn't materialise, it doesn't mean the end of the world. We should pick up ourselves and move on and make the best of what we have.

- Be brave and face your fears. Just like Sally, even though she is terrified of her new pet chicken, things worked out in the end and they became the best-est of friends.

- Not judge a book by its cover. We should not be influenced by first impressions or our false sense of security.


In summary, it is a very fun book on friendship with educational values which can be instilled in our children. I can definitely see this book being read over and over and over again. Highly recommended and I hope this book will be marketed soon!!

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You can find more info on this book at http://www.tinyrobotbooks.com/.

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I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a PDF copy of the book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"