N has been really into insects for a while now and will read almost any insect-related book, so our dear friend from Flip for Joy (a local online Chinese bookstore with carefully curated Chinese books) cleverly sent us 蚯蚓的日记，苍蝇的日记，and 蜘蛛的日记. N actually read the English versions of these three books back when he was in Jakarta, but he was more than happy to have me read the Chinese versions to him.
The books don’t come with hanyu pinyin, so before I read them to N, I had to do a bit of “homework” by reading through the books and writing down the hanyu pinyin and definitions of some of the more challenging words/phrases. (Disclaimer: the words aren’t actually difficult, just that my Chinese standard isn’t very high. Heh.) I found myself giggling as I read the stories, as they were really quite funny!
In 蚯蚓的日记, there are many funny diary entries, but we laughed the hardest when we read about how the worm told his sister that no matter how much time she spends looking at her reflection, her face will always look exactly like her butt. (My kids laugh a lot whenever there’s any mention of butts in books or shows.)
The fly in 苍蝇的日记 is the only female in the trio, and I liked that she has dreams of becoming a superhero. She is proud of her “superhero talents” like being the world’s strongest flying insect, being able to fly head-down, and being able to look in many different directions at the same time, but her friend, the spider, teased her by reminding her that superheroes use their hands to do great things, while she uses hers to eat manure. Later on, her friend, the worm, tells her that the world needs all kinds of superheroes, and she feels encouraged to pursue her dream. How wonderful that a book about a fly can also be used to motivate children to dream boldly!
Being a spider can be really interesting, as the spider in 蜘蛛的日记 shows us. He has a love-hate relationship with the fly, but I liked how he went to look for the daddy long-legs which teased the fly and hurt her feelings. He demonstrates what good friends should be like, never mind that he was intimidated by the large daddy long-legs and ended up giving him his food.
N and I can’t decide which of the three books we like best, because they’re all very entertaining. The stories are told from the perspectives of the young insects, and I liked how the books each featured the other two insects as well, because the three of them are friends. These delightful stories showcased the unique traits of each insect, while touching on the relationships between the insects. I also liked that the “problems” faced by the young insects are similar to what human children will experience, like how the fly feared being different from her classmates on the first day of school, or how some insects are naturally more talented in certain areas than others.
GIVEAWAY! We have a copy each of 蚯蚓的日记，苍蝇的日记，and 蜘蛛的日记 to be given away to THREE readers of Growing with the Tans! To participate, please visit our Instagram page. Terms and conditions apply.
Terms and Conditions: This giveaway will end on Friday, 6th September 2019, at 2359h, and is open to readers with a Singapore mailing address only. The winner will be contacted via the particulars provided when entering this giveaway, and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be selected. All incomplete entries will be disqualified, and all entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsor, please note that all fake Instagram accounts (accounts set up purely to take part in contests, with no or very few real posts), will be disqualified.