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Showing posts from September, 2014

Giveaway: "JJ's Science Adventure: Magnets" by Aurelia Tan

Parenting on Purpose  is pleased to organise an exciting giveaway for 2 copies of "JJ's Science Adventure: Magnets", a book by local writer Aurelia Tan, retailing at S$18.90. How to Win the Giveaway: 1.  Comment   on our review on the book found here . Tell us what excites you about magnets. 2.  Join  the Parenting on Purppose blog   and LIKE  the Parenting on Purpose Facebook Page . 3.  Share  this blog post on your  Facebook Wall with the Caption  “Giveaway for JJ's Science Adventure: Magnets". Or you can just copy and paste this link. This contest will be open from now to 1 Oct 2014. Update: We have our winners! Congratulations to Grace Soo and Robert Sim who have each won a copy of "JJ's Science Adventures: Magnets" by Aurelia Tan. Could the prize winners please email us at and provide your address

Stepping Into the Science Portal - A Review of "JJ's Science Adventure: Magnets"

I must admit that when I received local writer and educator Aurelia Tan's book in the mail, it was with a mixture of anticipation and anxiety. I was excited to see what the attractively-illustrated comic had to offer; after all, it has already won the Readers' Favorite Illustration Award 2014 , which recognises books with quality illustrations. At the same time, my last foray into the topic of "Magnets" was when I was in Primary 3 (and I think it was about the same time that I decided I did not have a future in Physics - not only did I not understand the concepts taught, I wondered why on earth I had to study these things).  Well, not only did I finally garner the courage to open the book, but I finished it in one happy half hour over coffee at a cafe, and found myself looking forward to the next installation in the series! If only everything we need to know could be learned this way... I suppose it is for students just like the kind that I was tha

Pigeon at the Wheel

A review of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”, a production by the UK-based Big Wooden Horse Company. Written for local family portal Little Day Out. What do you do when a (not so) charming, (not very) agreeable, and extremely persuasive Pigeon asks you to let him drive the bus? That’s the premise of this simple play, which was based on a popular series of books by American writer Mo Willems.   But while the storyline behind the play is simple, the production is far from simplistic. Big Wooden Horse’s Artistic Director Adam Bampton-Smith drew on the original elements present in the book, but took the content one step further. For instance, Bampton-Smith added to the characters of Pigeon and Bus Driver, and there are now other figures such as the Hot Dog Man and the Truck Driver, which add to the diversity of the adult figures in the play. There is of course the very likeable character of Duckie, who won this reviewer’s heart for being wise yet simply adorable. I

Japan 2013: Kyoto Chapter 4

Crafting Tradition It was our last day in Kyoto, and we wanted to soak in all that the ancient capital had to offer. One of our guide books suggested a lovely walk, starting from the famous Kiyomizudera Temple (said to be one of the most celebrated temples in Japan), followed by a trek through the traditional craft streets of Sanenzaka and Ninenzaka, before ending off at Maruyama Park. We were glad that we decided to follow the suggested itinerary and we picked up several pieces of lovely Japanese crockery as well as delectable morsels to feast on! The delightful craft streets not too far from the temple grounds. Quite a lovely place to shop and soak in the atmosphere.  We stop for a lovely cup of tea (served of course with lovely sweets). The boys were thrilled to find a traditional playground and played to their hearts' content. A summer's lunch at one of the traditional restaurants near Maruyama Park. One of the most elegant and delicate meals I have e

Dancing the Dream

A feature story written for local family portal Little Day Out. Little Day Out chats with Ms Rosa Park, Senior Artist at the Singapore Dance Theatre,  to learn how to help children appreciate the dance; and how we as parents can empower our children to pursue their dreams. The soft classical music lingered in the background even as I made my way to the meeting  room of the Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT). Turning my attention away from the group of  young ballet dancers practising for their next performance, I smiled at the lovely lady I was  here to meet - Rosa Park, a renowned dancer with years of experience playing principal  or soloist positions in the various companies she has danced with. This has included full- length classicals such as Swan Lake , Sleeping Beauty and Romeo & Juliet . About the Dance Appreciation Series: Introduction to Ballet Classics The SDT will be reproducing excerpts of some of these famous performances in its  upcoming Dance Appreciation Serie

Japan 2013: Kyoto Chapter 3

Journey to Arashiyama - The Hozugawa Expedition When the sun arose, we began our exciting journey to the charming district of Arashiyama, famed for its meditative bamboo groves and luscious gardens. We could easily have taken a train there, but life is meant to be lived in a more exciting manner. As such, we decided to embark on an exciting two-hour river cruise down the Hozugawa River. provides some interesting history about the river. The Hozugawa River was originally employed to transport logs that were used to build many of  Kyoto  and Osaka 's famous temples and castles. During the  Edo Period  the river was cleared of obstructions so that boats carrying grain, firewood and other cargo could safely navigate it. Trains and trucks eventually made river transport obsolete, and operations ceased after several hundred years of use. However, the boats were brought back and eventually became popular as a sightseeing attraction. Taking the scenic boat ride takes

The God Of Our Messes

We have had a messy week. A small taste of what it must have been like to be Israelites in the wilderness, wandering around with our two kids in tow. Yet so grateful for our families and how they have opened up their homes for us and the boys to stay in these few nights, when the unbearable hum of electric drills and constant banging on concrete above and below have become something we had to flee from. The home upgrading scheme, this we could plan ahead for, schedule; and yet, when we finally had to execute our plans, life happened.  Though a man may plan his steps,  it is the Lord who governs them... Seeking an oasis in the deserts of life. And so it was, on Tuesday, at the end of a fulfilling session of work, that I received a call from my mother-in-law. A terrible accident with the boys,  she said. A mother's heart can get buried in an instant. It can fall from heights so high into abysses previously unknown.  Which is I suppose a good thing, as every bit of news hen

Please Help the Pigeon Fly to Singapore: A Behind the Scenes Story for “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Big Wooden Horse Company

A feature story written for local family portal Little Day Out. Little Day Out chats with Adam Bampton-Smith, Artistic Director of the Big Wooden Horse Company, to understand how he brought to life the amazing character of Pigeon, based on the popular series of books by Mo Willems. Image courtesy of I Theatre. A simple book. Simple drawings. A simple premise. But the characters are far from simple. Mo Willems’ “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” shot to instant fame when it won the Caldecott Honor for being the “most distinguished American picture book for children” in 2003. The book won accolades by educators across the country for its depiction of a pigeon, who tries numerous ways to cajole the book’s readers into letting him drive a bus. Adam Bampton-Smith, who adapted the book into a play, incorporated elements not only from the book “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!”, but also aspects of two other books, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!” and “Pigeon Find

Japan 2013: Kyoto Chapter 2

Ginkakuji - The Silver Pavilion It was mid-morning by the time we arrived at one of Kyoto's most famous sites - the grand gardens of Ginkakuji. discusses the origins of this lovely horticultural paradise: Ginkakuji (銀閣寺, Silver Pavilion) is a Zen temple along Kyoto's eastern mountains (Higashiyama). In 1482, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa built his retirement villa on the grounds of today's temple, modeling it after Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), his grandfather's retirement villa at the base of Kyoto's northern mountains (Kitayama). The villa was converted into a Zen temple after Yoshimasa's death in 1490. As the retirement villa of an art obsessed shogun, Ginkakuji became a center of contemporary culture, known as the Higashiyama Culture in contrast to the Kitayama Culture of his grandfather's times. Unlike the Kitayama Culture, which remained limited to the aristocratic circles of Kyoto, the Higashiyama Culture had a broad impact on the enti

Feasting the Senses: A Review of Sensorium 360° by the Singapore Art Museum

Everywhere in Singapore will be crowded during the quarterly school holidays. That was our assumption as we headed to the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) for its special exhibition - Sensorium 360 ° : Contemporary Art and the Sensed World . We were, thankfully, proven wrong, and apart from pockets of overseas guests and student groups, the visit was relatively peaceful. This is some information about the exhibition as provided by SAM. Sensorium 360° is an exhibition of Southeast Asian and Asian contemporary art that calls upon the complexity of the human senses, and explores how sensory experiences locate us in understanding the world and knowing the self. While the five senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell are the most commonly known, other identified senses include the ability to detect movement, pain, balance and even time. Oft taken for granted, these physiological capacities are indispensable in enabling us to apprehend the world within and without – taking in its plea