Siapa Alien?

>> Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This post is originally published by Hidayah in her blog One Day At A Time. Thanks, Hidayah, for the permission for me to re-publish this review. This books sound good, and I can't wait to buy one for my children. Here's her pretty blog badge. (I picked the one with books in it, of course :) )

Blog Badge

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."

— Emilie Buchwald

Hehe.. Just thought I would review this new children's book by our very own local celebrity, Wardina Safiyyah. (Thanks to Ardi for getting my kids a signed copy.)

Title: Siapa Alien?

Author: Wardina Safiyyah

Illustrator: Uneh

Price: RM 19 (MPH)

Brief synopsis

This colourful book is about an inquisitive little alien named Ali who loves to explore and learn new things.

What I liked most about the book:

I still have difficulty in finding good quality Malay books for my pre-schoolers. Most are simply English fairytales or Asian folklore translated to Malay. So it was refreshing to find a book with its own theme and an original concept. Plus there are several additional interesting features, including little notes labelled "Soalan", "Nota" and "Fakta" to make the book more interactive. The illustrations by Uneh are suitably colourful and vibrant, drawing the child into the story.

What I disliked about the book:

It's a children's book, so there is not much to dislike. My only qualm is that some of the facts are not really ones that I personally would have chosen to highlight. For example: when discussing cities, the examples given were:

"kota terbaik untuk didiami di dunia ialah Vienna, Austria. Kota tercantik terletak di Eropah seperti Paris, Venice dan Vienna"

I guess, it's good that the author tries to introduce the child to cities all over the world but for me concepts like "terbaik" and "tercantik" are relative and subjective. Perhaps a discussion on "ibu kota" (capital cities) and which cities the child would like to visit may also be an option.

Additional points

There is also a very helpful guide for parents to fully make use of the book and a very interesting Activities section at the end of the book.

Rating: 4/5

All in all a very good first effort. All the best for future endevours!

~She's right. Always dare to dream, and make the dream a reality.~
pic googled


Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Selangor

>> Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Did this bus play a role in your childhood?

It did for me! I remember being excited about the dates the bus would visit my school, and I'd spent the entire recess choosing the books to be borrowed.

For awhile, I've thought about how I've been underutilising the library facilities near my place. The nearest public library to us is in Bandar Baru Bangi, under Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Selangor (PPAS). So last Saturday, MH and I brought the kids there, motivated by the banner advertising a 'Pameran dan Jualan Buku'. The kids had a hard time pronouncing the word 'perpustakaan' though. Pustaan, puskaan - attempts by my two-and-a-half year old daughter. My four-year-old son fared better - he managed 'pustakaan'. They were so excited to go this place which their mummy has described as 'ada banyaaak buku'.

One of the objective of this visit was to register as members so that we can borrow books. We came armed with a passport-sized photo and copy of our IC. You see, many many months back, I had gone there earlier and took the forms and these were the requiremets as stated in the form. So I was pleasantly surprised when she said photo is not needed. And I also learnt that they have a photocopy machine there, so you can actually just walk in only with your original IC and you'd be able to register immediately - and borrow books immediately! That's another surprise. The form stated that it takes 5 working days to process the application, so I went not expecting to be able to borrow immediately. Boy, was I glad to be wrong. The thing is, they don't use the library card system anymore. We have to use our IC when borrowing (so that's why they no longer require a photo). I'm not sure whether I like this or not, because this means I personally have to be present everytime I want to borrow or return the books.

Membership is free. A member can borrow up to 3 books at any one time, and the books are due in 3 weeks. The penalty for late returns has increased, from 10 sen/day to 50 sen/day! Between MH and I, these are the books that we chose (well, actually I chose 5 and he chose 1 hahaha!). It's actually quite difficult to choose because they were quite a lot of interesting books. They do carry titles by Stephen King, Cecilia Ahern, Jodi Picoult, David Baldacci, Paolo Coelho, Agatha Christie, Joanna Trollope, and of course local titles by Ilham Hamdani, Abdul Latip Talib. These were just some examples. The collection is very limited of course, but I'm glad we're now able to utilise this public resource.

Members can borrow at any Selangor libraries, provided they haven't exhausted the 3-book limit. The state library in Shah Alam is open every day, but the others are closed on weekends except two Saturdays a month (week 2 and 4 - I always get confused which are those). If it were up to me, I'd arrange for all libraries to be open during weekends (not necessarily fully-staffed) and close them on 2 weekdays (say Tue-Wed?). Here are the opening hours:

Here's the link again, to check for their nearest library.


Perindu Pelangi

>> Thursday, June 10, 2010

Novel pertama tulisan Siti Munirah A. Rashid ini diterbitkan oleh Galeri Ilmu. Berikut merupakan sinopsis yang diberi dalam katalog buku Galeri Ilmu:

Akil masih terlalu mentah untuk menanggung musibah sebegitu berat. Mujurlah ada tangan yang simpati, lalu dia dibawa pergi. Belasan tahun dia hidup ceria di Guangzhou, China. Namun segalanya berubah selepas perkenalannya dengan Isador, konflik dengan Ho Man, kemelut hubungannya dengan Xiao Wei dan peristiwa tragik sewaktu kepulangan singkatnya ke Malaysia.

Jika ditanya saya, apa sebenarnya tema atau konflik utama dalam cerita ini, saya pun tidak pasti. Yang saya pasti, novel setebal 388 halaman ini membawa pembaca mengikuti kisah Akil dalam jangkamasa lebih kurang dua tahun. Tapi saya memang amat suka akan novel ini. Syabas kepada penulis muda Siti Munirah!

Ceritanya meyakinkan, plotnya menarik dan bergerak laju, garapannya kemas dan tidak meleret-leret. Latar yang dipilih iaitu negara China dan kerjaya Akil sebagai tukang masak amat membantu dalam menghidupkan cerita. Akil selaku protagonis juga amat 'real' - walaupun hampir sempurna, tetapi tidak pula sunyi dari berbuat kesalahan. Saya suka - kisah kasih-sayang yang melangkaui hubungan darah, persahabatan yang melangkaui ukhuwwah agama. Namun, ada juga beberapa bahagian yang barangkali boleh diperbaiki dan diperkemaskan supaya tiada tanda tanya dari pihak pembaca. Saya tidak sebutkan di sini, kerana ini cuma pendapat peribadi saya. Lagi pun, saya tak mahu tuliskan 'spoiler' - nanti kalian sudah tahu sebahagian daripada cerita dalam novel ini.



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