Book: Maisy’s Plane and Maisy’s Tractor

Some people grew up watching Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse, my kids grew up watching and reading Maisy. Not so sure how many of you actually know of this mouse.

I learned about Maisy as it was one of the recommended books for young children. I borrowed Maisy from the library and chance upon a Maisy DVD when I was shopping at Popular one day, it complimented what we were reading, so I allowed the kids to watch it once they are above 1 y.o.

I think the kids love the simple drawing and storyline of Maisy. Even my elder two (7 y.o and 6 y.o) can watch Maisy with the littlest (2 y.o.) now and still enjoy it. There are many Maisy books in the library. Today, we are sharing two of the books meant for younger kids. There are other ranges for slightly older pre-schoolers, which I hope to share in the future.

Maisy Plane - Cover
The pilot driving the aeroplane is (of course) Maisy, guess where is she going?

In “Maisy’s Plane”, Maisy is driving her aeroplane to Eddie’s (another main character) birthday party. But the emphasis on the book is definitely about transportation.

Maisy Plane - Parts
This page exposes the kid to related vocab like ‘Engine’, ‘Vroom’ and ‘Propellers’.

At this age, the kids probably wouldn’t understand what each part of the vehicle is for, but we can still expose them to the vocab and do simple explanation.

Maisy Plane - Different Vehicles
If you notice, the different characters came in different types of transport.

As you can see, the exposure on transportation is gently worked into something the kids know and can identify with, i.e. birthday party. Although there is not much words, again, there is a lot to discuss in the drawings. The littlest love to point to the different objects and name them (including the small gingerbread man), this also trains their observation skills.

If you have a child that loves transportation or you wish to expose your young kids to transportation, consider reading this book.

Maisy Tractor
Maisy is now working on a tractor.

This book is not really about the tractor, but what Maisy does in the farm using the tractor.

Maisy Tractor - Cow
Maisy milking the cow in the farm.

Well, if you are bringing your young kids to farm trips (near or far), can consider reading this book before the trip, to get the kids excited about farm as well as letting them learn more about the work of farmers.

Maisy Tractor - Numeracy
This book also have exposure on numeracy as Maisy counted her sheep.

Both books are available from the public library:

  • Library: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Central, Cheng San, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Geylang, Jurong, Jurong West, Queenstown, Serangoon, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Woodlands
  • Call Number: English COU-[BA]
  • Location: Junior Lending Picture Book
Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Melbourne 2014: Churchill Island Heritage Farm

When people talked about visiting Australia, farm stay are kind of like a must. So initially when we decide to visit Melbourne we also thought of doing a farm stay. Especially when the boy loves animals. Unfortunately, due to procrastination, we didn’t manage to find a farm stay, so we decided that at the least we should have a farm visit.

So during the planning, we came across Churchill Island Heritage Farm which is in Phillip Island and a short drive from other attractions. We were also very fortunate to be offered a package pricing when we bought the Penguin Parade tickets.

We went out early that day, but we didn’t check out the activities happening on the farm before hand, so we were there too early. The farming activities only happened in the afternoon! Which was why we ended at Panny’s Chocolate Factory. Fortunately, the drive was short and we manage to have our lunch over at the Churchill Island Cafe. Just to mention, the view at the cafe is nice and the food is decent. Price wise definitely not cheap, but is an option if you don’t want to drive out.

The interesting souvenir store at the farm that is beside their cafe.

After we had our fill, it’s about time to start exploring the farm. It is quite a big place to explore, but we were rushing for the activities, hence we didn’t have time to look at the gardens, what a pity.

Zai milking the cow.

The first activity we manage to catch is cow milking. And yes, we get to “hands on”. The boy was a little apprehensive at first, but he manage to pluck some courage and tried it. I asked him how it was after he finished. He told me it felt warm. He was referring to the milk coming out of the cow.

Sheep waiting to be sheared.
Sheep waiting to be sheared.

After another mad rush to the sheep shearing area, well a short 1 minute walk actually, we arrived and saw a crowd already gathered there. The farmer was explaining something, unfortunately we were a little too far to hear. Chubby mange to let Zai sit on his shoulder to watch. While I join the uninterested Loi in some photo taking.

Wagon with no horse, but kept Loi entertained for a while.

There were also some free roaming animals which can entertain the kids in between the activities.

Free roaming animals at the farm.

Next was the whip cracking activity. Basically they showcase how they can use the whip to make crackling sound. It was not easy as they did got some visitors to try it out. And well this didn’t catch Zai attention either. Instead, he was more interested in this handsome horse near it.

Horse at he whip cracking area.
Horse at he whip cracking area.

The last activity was working dogs. Where the farmer dog whisperer explain to us how he train the dog to work in the farm and explains from which age can a dog be trained. It was definitely more interesting then the whip cracking.

The sheep that the dog has to chase back to the pen.

We were suppose to walk back to the front area where the visitor center is after the activities. But Zai wanted to see the animals a little longer, so we went back to the horse and we saw someone feeding the horse with hay. Zai tried to pick up some hay that has fallen on the floor to feed, but was too scared as the hay was too little.

Fortunately we venture further and saw a barn. We went in and sneak out some hay and the boy was happily feeding the horse away. 

When we run out of hay, the boy reluctantly left and we make our way back to the front area. And much to the boy delight, they were having a proper feeding session there. The boy manage to feed an apple to the horse and even got to brush the horse hair. It certainly was a very good experience for the boy.

All in all, I think the farm is still worth a visit for city kids like us. There were hands on experience and the huge area can definitely let the kids dispense their energy, especially after visiting the chocolate factory.

Linking up to:

Travel Tuesday Bumble Bee Mum

Book Review: What the ladybird heard

At the beginning of the year, I brought home a catalog for this year KidsFest and asked the boy to choose the shows he wanted to watch. I thought he would choose “We Are Going on a Bear Hunt” which is a story he is familiar with. However, he “studied” the posters and told me he wanted to watch “What the ladybird heard”.

Although we have read a few of Julia Donaldson book, we have never read this book before. But since the boy insisted, we went along. And we were glad that the boy made a terrific choice. The show was really good as they make “everyday things” into the farm animals. Both the kids enjoyed the show so much that they kept singing the songs from the play after that. I manage to find a promo video of the show on Youtube.

Last week when we visited the library, we finally manage to get our hands on one copy!

"What the ladybird heard" board book version for emergent reader.
“What the ladybird heard” board book version.

The story talks about a farm that has a hen, a goose, a duck, a horse, a hog, a sheep, a dog, two cats, a fine prize cow and a ladybird that says never a word. One day two men decides to come and steal the fine prize cow. The ladybird overheard their plan, and she came out with a brilliant plan to stop the men from stealing the cow.

Here is what we like about the book:

  • The kids loves the “sound” the animals make. It helps that the play converted it into a catchy song.
    And the cow says "Moo Moo Moo" The kids sings along when we reach pages with the animal sounds.
    And the cow says “Moo Moo Moo”
    The kids sings along when we reach pages with the animal sounds.
  • They also love looking for the ladybird throughout the book. She can be quite difficult to find in some pages.
    "Ladybird, ladybird, where are you?" Can you spot the ladybird in this page?
    “Ladybird, ladybird, where are you?”
    Can you spot the ladybird in this page?
  • I like that the book teaches the sound the animals make (although both my kids are too old for that) and directions, e.g. left, right, round the pond which is what we are teaching Zai (4 y.o) now.
  • We also love the bright and colorful drawings. And if you look at the details, you can have some funny discussion with the kids. Like Zai noticed the “poo poo” on the ground which he later observed that the bad men stepped on. We exaggerated that part, and had a fun time doing some pretend play.

On a side note, while in Australia, we kept singing this song when we see the farm animals and its poo poo. One day, Zai decided to change the lyrics to:
“And the cow says ‘poo poo poo’, and the hen says ‘poo poo poo’, ‘poo’ says the goose, ‘poo’ says the duck, ‘poo’ says the horse riding over the mud. ‘Poo’ says the hog, ‘Poo’ says the sheep, ‘Poo’ says the dog who’s falling asleep. One cat ‘poo’ while the other one ‘poo poo’. And the ladybird says… ‘Ha Ha Ha Ha’”.

If you want some fun reading time with your toddler, you can consider reading this book with them. The details of the book are as follows:

  • Author: Julia Donaldson
  • Illustrator: Lydia Monks
  • Call Number: English DON

Have you read this book before? Share with us what are your thoughts on the book. Or you have any other book that you think is suitable for Zai and Loi (2.5 y.o.), share with me here too!

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