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Friday Flips #54: Selected “Sam, Sebbie, and Di-Di-Di” Books

We’ve been reading so many great books by local authors recently that I decided to review them in our weekly Friday Flips series. Starting this week, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite reads by local authors, so do show your support for local talent by purchasing their books, okay?

I purchased three of the “Sam, Sebbie, and Di-Di-Di” books a while ago, and Noah recently picked them out of his bookshelf again, so I guess he really likes them. He goes through phases, where he will ask to read certain books over and over again, before moving on to other titles, then goes back to the same books again. He chooses the books on his own, because we think it is important that he is interested in them, and our role is to provide him with a wide variety of books, and to read to him, of course.

Our three “Sam, Sebbie, and Di-Di-Di” books


I like that the three Sam, Sebbie, and Di-Di-Di books we have are based on local attractions, because we can read the books before and after we visit the places. The books help Noah to recall what he saw there, and in the case of Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: The Lion Dance, helped to dispel some of the fear he felt when he first saw a lion dance. The only problem we have now is that he keeps asking us to bring him to the S.E.A. Aquarium and the Night Safari!

Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: At the Night Safari brings us to the Night Safari, where the children learn about nocturnal animals. The family goes on a tram ride and come across a really sleepy giraffe blocking the tram’s path. The different animals try to wake it up, but it is the children who save the day by asking it politely to move out of the way. I thought that was a pretty good lesson in itself, as sometimes, all we have to do is ask.

Noah enjoyed pointing out the different animals, and mimicking the sounds they make. C recently brought him on a father-son date to the Night Safari, so Noah likes reading this book, and telling me about the animals he saw with daddy.

Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: At the Night Safari




Our other “Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di” book based on a tourist attraction is Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: At the S.E.A. Aquarium , and Noah has been bugging us endlessly to bring him there again. We’ve visited a few similar aquariums, the most recent being the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World, but to him, it’s not the same.

In the book, Di-Di-Di goes missing, and his older siblings go around asking the different sea creatures if they’ve seen their brother. They soon learn that Di-Di-Di has dived into the large tank, and find him keeping the large manta ray company, because the manta ray was lonely. All three children end up playing with the manta ray, and after watching them, the smaller fish in the tank are eager to be friends with the manta ray.

The story subtly teaches children to be kind to those who are lonely, and to not judge someone by his/her appearance. The three children took time to befriend and spend time with the lonely manta ray, showing others that the manta ray was harmless despite his large size. It’s definitely a good lesson for young readers, though I hope they don’t pick up on the running away bit!

Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: At the S.E.A. Aquarium




In Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: The Lion Dance, the children are joined by their youngest sibling, Xandy, who wonders if lions can really dance. The four siblings soon discover that the lion in the lion dance isn’t actually a real lion, and even perform as the dancing lion by accident. This is a good book to read in preparation for Chinese New Year, since lion dances are common during that period, and particularly good for younger children who may never have encountered a lion dance before. It won’t prepare them for the loud music, but at least they’ll be aware that the lions aren’t real, and therefore aren’t scary.

Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: The Lion Dance




We like the illustrations in the books, particularly the extra details in the first two books. I do think that some of the rhymes are a tad forced, and feel that the stories can be better told without having to ensure that the lines rhyme. But perhaps that’s just me, because Noah didn’t seem to have any issues with the stories at all. He still enjoys reading these three books, and despite having read them umpteen times, still likes pointing out the same details in the pictures that he particularly likes, and can recite some of the lines from memory.

Happy reading!

I’m planning on getting the other “Sam, Sebbie, and Di-Di-Di” books, since Noah seems to enjoy these three, and I do like having the complete series of whichever books we have, so I guess it’s time to go shopping soon!

PS. From now till 31 May 2016, Popular Bookstore is having a 20% discount off the following titles: Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: At the Night Safari Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: The Lion Dance Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di: Sebbie’s First Day at School The Amazing Sarong (Read our review HERE) Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill *Terms and conditions apply, so do check with the staff at Popular Bookstore if you have any questions.

Check out the previous Friday Flips posts HERE. I’ve also created a photo album on Facebook with some other good reads, and will be updating it whenever I come across more books that we enjoy. Do pop by for a look HERE.


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