Memory Exercises: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

As I was taking time to finish my post on the iron giants, I found this video in the deep recesses of my drafts folder.  c was around two and a half years old when this video was taken.  I think this makes a good Throwback Thursday post.

Several months after this video was taken, c’s speech has improved and so was his delivery of the story.  It has improved a lot that some people who saw him in real life running his finger under the words as he “read” aloud the story actually commended him for being able to read.  It sure looks like it, but no. C was not yet really reading at two years old.  It was all memorization.  How he came to memorize the whole story was an interesting development for both of us.

To begin with, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is one of our all-time favorite stories.  He would make clay figures of a caterpillar and the food it ate.  He would draw or re-enact a scene from the story using his toys.  And of course, he would ask me to read the story to him all-through out the day.  I know many parents will agree with me that reading aloud the same thing several times a day everyday can become a wearisome task.  So at one point I thought I could do something to keep me interested in the activity.  Or rather, it was not do something.

I asked c to finish the sentences for me.  It then became like a game for us.  It was a joy for both of us when he got the word right.  As days go by I asked him to fill in more.  And day by day I am reminded how amazing children are.  Young as c may be but he was able to learn every word of his favorite story.

What started with …
RAT: In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a 
CAT: leaf!

turned to …
RAT: In the light of the 
CAT: moon
RAT: a little 
CAT: egg
RAT: lay on a
CAT: leaf

and then it became
RAT: In the light of the
CAT: moon a little egg lay on leaf

Eventually, it wasn’t I who was “reading” aloud anymore.  I would run my finger under the words and c would bring those words to life.  He has memorized the whole story – every word of it and quite expectedly every pause and intonation I do when I read the story to him.

I’m really happy how it turned out for c.  I could see how pleased he was with his accomplishment.  I was even happier upon learning later on that what we did was somewhat an application of the whole language approach to reading. I learned there are other ways to teach and learn reading.  It was not just through phonics.  The memory exercises we did have actually helped him learn to read.  c was able to recognize the words by memory and by context, and has gained confidence in reading.

Moving on from the beloved caterpillar, I attempted to do the same activity using another one of his favorites – Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  The first few pages were quite okay but with all the repetitions, I myself got confused.  Hahaha! So I replaced the book with a locally published favorite – The Moon is My Friend.  I remember c was doing fine with that story.  Unfortunately, I was not able to follow through.  I can’t remember why.  Maybe things got busy for us.  Maybe I was intimidated by the length of the story and forgot about not underestimating a child.  Maybe… One thing for sure though, this summer is a great time to bring this activity back in our daily grind!  c is already a good reader now.  He’s been reading a lot by himself.  But I am sure there are more benefits to memorizing a book.  How cool is it to know one’s favorite story by heart, right? 😉


Scholastic’s Summer 2015 Warehouse Sale

I’m on a mission to beef up the kid’s library with non-fiction books – generally about science and more particularly about the solar system. So when two mommy friends on separate occasions on the same afternoon told me that Scholastic is having a warehouse sale, I could not contain myself. I went to check it out early the next day.

Scholastic Sizzling Summer Sale
March 23 to May 2, 2015
9 am to 6 pm, Mondays to Saturdays
#70 C. Raymundo Avenue, Brgy. Rosario, Pasig City.

scholastic 2015 summer warehouse sale
Upon arriving at their warehouse, there were red tents at the driveway housing neatly arranged books in shelves. These were the books sold for 49 pesos and at 80% off. I took pictures of the shelves to remind myself of the available titles and to share as well, but the pictures were all reddish. Fortunately, Mommy Pehpot has good pictures in her blog post.

(I went back for the second time and the pictures I took of the books under the red tents are better.)


The first thing that caught my attention and my shop basket was this book:


This is a paperback around 10 inches tall and with about 40 fact-filled colored pages.  It was printed back in 1995 and Pluto was still recognized as a planet.  Out-dated info I know but there’s a load of other info in the book still considered as fact.  More importantly, I see it as another opportunity to teach c research skills.

Moving on, there were also these Usborne Young Reading Series all for 49php each:

IMG_20150328_131102 IMG_20150328_131209

The set with Aesop’s Fables are hard covers, while the set with Ulysses are paperbacks.  They are more or less the same size. Nasabi ko na ba na 49 php each sila? Masmura pa kesa Booksale! 😉 There were other titles like Rome, Napoleon, Shakespeare, Macbeth, Hamlet, A Little Princess, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. The classics are condensed and “kiddified” versions. It would have then be nice to introduce c to Shakepeare but I don’t fancy starting with two tragedies. The non-fiction titles on the other hand are not in any way condensed in information. (thumbs up!)


There were also some Magic School Bus paperbacks.  Magic School Bus is a book series which presents science through an adventure.  A lot of my mommy friends have been collecting and buying these from bargain bookshops. I never bothered about them until now that the little boy is into science.  I grabbed all the titles available  on the shelves last Saturday.  All are brand new at 49 pesos – definitely cheaper than what they’re sold for at Booksale!


Two books I found interesting but were not able to make the budget cut were these two: Continue reading

33rd Manila International Book Fair


It’s the first day today. I used to go on the first day for the past years, but I came to a decision not to go this time. And probably not at all for the duration of this year’s fair.

I did plan on grabbing only a few books.
1. some worn out Adarna books sold at 10-50 pesos that sell like pancakes, and thus the reason I go on the first hours of the first day
2. Bee Polite – a follow-up of Bee Safe will be launched at the fair
3. The Power of the Praying Parent that may be sold at a discounted price at the OMFLit booth
4. UP Diksyonaryong Filipino and check other titles from university publishing houses
5. some books to start our collection of locally published but non-Adarna and Hiyas/OMFLit children’s books. Continue reading

Book Review: Si Langgam at Si Tipaklong ni Virgilio S. Almario

Now I know why the version of the ant and grasshopper fable by Virgilio S. Almario and published by Adarna House is well recommended by some parents. This book is currently in LC’s activity corner and his most chosen book among the lot so I thought of giving it a review.

Si Langgam at Si Tipaklong. Muling isinilaysay ni Virgilio S. Almario. Iginuhit ni Renato Gamos. Inilimbag ng Adarna House

Si Langgam at Si Tipaklong. Muling isinilaysay ni Virgilio S. Almario. Iginuhit ni Renato Gamos. Inilimbag ng Adarna House

It starts out just like the other ant and grasshopper stories by describing the two characters.

Ito si masipag na Langgam.

Si Langgam at Si Tipaklong ni Virgilio S. Almario mula sa Adarna House

Ito naman si makulit na Tipaklong.

Si Langgam at Si Tipaklong ni Virgilio S. Almario mula sa Adarna House

Then it rains. That’s when the story takes a different twist.

Continue reading

Making Room for Reading

I have purged Little CAT’s book collection. It may be contradictory for the purpose, but I did it to get LC back to reading again and to reading new books.

When LC was born, I envisioned him growing up to love reading and learning. So at 5 months old we started reading him books regularly. We read to him several times and at anytime of the day. We read to him animatedly, with voice intonations, hand gestures and that kind of pizzaz. He embraced and loved the experience. A lot of times he’d wake up, pick a book by our bedside and demands to be read to even if Hubby and I were still sleeping. Afternoons would come past with us reading books the whole while. Evenings were a struggle between reading the same book for the nth time and finally sleeping. It was me and hubby who used to give up from all the reading. I blogged once about our “reading marathons” here.

Seeing how LC has come to love reading was very encouraging for us. So from 3 books gifted to him since he was born, his collection grew.

Book collection by the bedside

And grew.

As LC collection of books grew, we moved them to their own proper place.

And grew even more.

This was LC’s corner when we were newly settled in our apartment. Books occupied most of the bookshelves lain on their sides and stacked upon the other.

There are more of his books in a separate storage, but the ones in these pictures are the ones he has ready access. Most of the books stored were books he has outgrown and books reserved when he’s old enough to appreciate them.

I have to admit that for a time, I was already hoarding. One apparent instance was when I came home from last year’s Manila International Book Fair.

The mere sight and feel of books gave me pleasure. There’s also a part of me that felt I was in some sort of the-child-with-the-biggest-personal-library competition. I felt having a lot of books will prove something. Something like, “Look here! My very young child is sooo into books.” Or something like, “Baseline for a young book reader? That will be my son.”

Well, modesty aside it could have been true for us in the beginning. BUT unfortunately, it came to a point when it was all just for a show.

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Mga Araw Sa Talipapa

with our very own Little Marketman! Talipapa Boy to be exact. 🙂

Little Cat tags along whenever I go to the nearby talipapa (small wet market in my vocabulary) for fresh produce. He has no choice but to come along actually ;P I’m pretty sure he enjoys the “practical life exposure” since we usually pass by our neighborhood McDo for a dose of ice cream.

What I’m not sure with this activity is if he has related it to Araw sa PalengkeIt was one of the books we got from Adarna last Manila International Book Fair.  I got the book for the very reason that I wanted a book accompaniment to our talipapa trips.

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First Libros Festival of Filipinas Heritage Library

First Libros Festival at Filipinas Heritage Library

Filipinas Heritage Library celebrates National Book Month with its Libros Festival.   The festivities will be from Thursday to Saturday this week, 24-26 November 2011, at the library’s courtyard in Ayala Triangle, Makati.

Below are the details and lined-up events lifted straight from their website.  The seminar by Dr. Isagani Cruz on How To Write A Book sure looks interesting, and its free! 🙂 Adarna House, OMF Lit, Scholastics, Illustrador ng Kabataan and among others will be joining the festivities.

Continue reading