Children Book: The Absolutely Essential Eloise

How can you not fall in love with this naughty, chubby, straw-hair little girl, Eloise? Hilary Knight’s illustration for Eloise really brings little Eloise into life. It’s so full of character that it is impossible for other illustrator to create other Eloise. The book consist only in two tone colors, black and pink (black and blue for ‘Eloise in Paris’). The characters and the texts clustered together in all the pages, makes the reading activity a really fun one. I love Eloise!

eloise 11

eloise 5

eloise 1

eloise 2

eloise 3

eloise 6

eloise 7

eloise 8

eloise 9

eloise 12

when Eloise and Nanny visited Paris. She met Christian Dior and a dress was made especially for her!

eloise 10

eloise 4

Books: The Absolutely Essential Eloise and Eloise in Paris

Author : Kay Thompson

Drawings : Hilary Knight


Children Book: How The World Works

How the World Works. A stunning pop-up book introducing the basic science, or how we exist. I love how it explains the creation of earth, uses ‘Recipe of Life’ as its subtitle and funny headings like ‘What goes around comes around’. The popped earth, tree, factories, the space help readers to understand the concept of science interactively. I love this book and won’t let my nieces touch them. :p (until they’re in 3rd grade).

book 10



book 11

book 9

book 8

book 7

book 6

book 11



book 2

Book : How The World Works

Author : Christian Dorion

Illustrator : Beverley Young


Late at night, my boyfriend texted me. He couldn’t sleep and felt a bit down. The reason?  This:


The Dream Bike. The one thing he can’t get and also the one thing he wants the most. I don’t know a person who ever wants something so bad that it makes them stay awake until 4 am. The reason this bike is so hard to get is because this one of the rarest BMW bikes. We’ve been hunting this bike for months with no luck (which drives him crazier). Generally, my boyfriend is a happy guy. Simple things can please him and he’s easy to please. Although he’s an artist, it’s really surprising how mainstream things he likes. He doesn’t like movies that require you to think in a contemporary plot. He doesn’t like to read if the texts don’t come with illustration. He doesn’t like song that released before he was born. In short words, he’s everything I’m not.

But his obsession with this bike is anything but mainstream. Before I date him, I don’t know BMW makes motorcycle, but now, I can tell you which ones are prewar and post-war bikes, which one is BMW and which one is Norton, which ones are the rarest and which ones are commonly found. To the point that I can appreciate the beauty of an antique motorcycle. (!)

I don’t know if I have an obsession and it’s kind of bug me. I want to have something I can obsessed with and I want to feel disturbed if I can’t get my hands on it. Until I realized, I do have an obsession on something!

How The World Works

How The World Works


Children’s Book!

I have so many of them and now I understand the guilty feeling of why I keep buying this types of books when there are no children under 12 in our house. I love, love, love picture books. I spend an entire night just browsing and googling for pictures books and adding to my amazon’s cart books I want to buy.  I know names of illustrators, even the famous and already deceased ones.

My boyfriend complains how I talk about picture books too often (comes from someone who has trouble sleeping because of a bike, I completely ignore him) and I have this short list (okay, long) what books I have to add to my collection. Recently, I just add one of William Joyce’s book to my shelf. I can’t wait to take picture and write about each book I have on this blog!

things I thought I would never have said or heard, but..

I’m stressed. I feel tired all the time and barely have enough energy to compose another lesson plans. Lesson plans are dreadful, you finish one, then the other pops. It’s never-ending and nerve-wracking that sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror, I want to bash the mirror. I had a nervous break-down, crying in my boyfriend’s shoulder, smothering my snot all over his shirt, saying I need a ho-li-daaay…

Truth was, I didn’t. I was tired and at the edge that I was so sure if I had a weekend gateway with my him, I would spend the whole days irritated at him. I took days off and felt better. We drove around town in his bike, I read, blogging, sleep and buy a new Kiehl’s cream and new pants. (Who needs Komodo Island when you can buy happiness in a white jar?).

Now, watching the sky getting darker and reading some hilarious blogs, I recalled some of my funny lines in my class:

1. “Hey, you left your socks in the classroom!”

I said that, forgetting that I was running down the hall and many heads were turning as I said so. Thankfully, the socks owner’s too.

2. “Do you care about the environment? Because I don’t.”

Said by my 10 years old student during a video shoot for our green-movement events. Our class interviewed the school’s teachers and staff, asked questions about their awareness in how green they were. Frankly, the reporter felt that he needed to state his point of view about the whole thing.

3. “Why? Because your writing sucks big time.”

Said by me to a bunch of cheeky 14 years old boys. Relax, they knew I was joking, they actually laughed because of my chosen words. They were nagging because they get too many writing practices. Well, you should if you got 0.5 out of 5 for your tests.

4. “Miss, I just got my heart broken.”

Said by my student, eleven year old boy who just moved to town and his sweetheart -he thought- might have already forgotten his name. Poor chap.

5. “Hey Bunny, you misbehave!!”

Said one of my student to the other – who, matter of fact, were wearing a set of pink plastic bunny ear  in his head- I told him to be the bunny patrol, who would report back to me if he saw his friends misbehave, turned out, he was the one who was misbehaving.

6. “Well, it’s because he’s an idiot.”

I said that and I was talking about my teacher-buddy, Rob. It was his fault, he ratted me to the students. He said to them that I thought their posters (which they made it with me) were rubbish (seriously, rubbish was just too polite). When the students confronted me about it, I put my best bewildered (and offended) face and said that. Then, out of guilt, I asked whether they wanted to put the posters in the class’s wall, they looked at it, and shook their head with 100% certainty.

7. “Hey, miss, what animal has 3 legs when it’s alive and 2 when it’s dead?” / “err.. I don’t know, what is it?” / “I don’t know miss, that’s why I’m asking you.”

No. you came  to the wrong class, buddy, Care of Magical Creatures  is in room no. 5. This is Muggle Studies.

English. To scrap or not to scrap.

I was in the teacher’s room with my other colleagues when David, an Australian who’s been working here for almost ten years, showed me a column from Jakarta Post. Ministry of Education to Scrap English from Schools. I had heard of it before and wasn’t sure how to react. The other were giving comments of how absurd it was (it is) and how decisions that the ministry have made somehow seemed ignorant to what young people need (didn’t sound so strange -this is Indonesia ministry of Ed we’re talking about).

I googled and found an article about the infamous new rule the minister is about to apply to every schools in Indonesia (I doubt that private schools will join in). He said the main reason was that young students, grade 1 to 3 don’t need to be exposed to English when they are actually still struggling to learn their first language, he also said that students need to understand the philosophy of our first language before rushed into English.

I myself, had formal education on English at school when I was in the third grade. I didn’t see it affect me today, or whether it would be better if I had it earlier. Of course, I had extra education from TBI when I was eleven until my college year, I must say English at school wasn’t really helpful. But I was lucky, not everybody can afford that education and had to relay to schools.

But is it true that a young student need not be rushed into new language? Is it bad for their development? So I did another quick research. Here what I found from

Myths surrounding bilingualism.  There are many myths associated with bilingualism.•  Myth: delays in language are caused by learning a second language.This is not true. Like any other child, a child who is bilingual can have language delays, but learning a second language neither increases nor decreases the chances of having a language delay. •  Myth: it is easier to learn a second language if you stop using your first or home language and concentrate on the new language.The truth is that the stronger the first language is, the easier it is to learn a second language.•  Myth: parents should stop using the first or home language when the child begins speaking a second language such as English.In fact, the best way for families to support children learning English is to maintain the child’s first language at home.Parents don’t have to talk in English to help their child learn English. It is more important that parents use the language that they can use best and are the most comfortable speaking. When they do this they can provide models of grammatically correct sentences and access to a wide vocabulary. Parents should therefore continue to use their first language to talk to their child about everyday activities such as shopping, and share poems, stories, songs, books and games. It can also help if parents use the name of the language (for example, Mandarin or Cantonese), when speaking in this language to their child.

So I found that yes, some students might have difficulties coping with two language in their development process, but it is not the source of language delays. Furthermore, there are some benefits in learning two languages in early age, as quoted from

Benefits of Bilingualism Many research studies cite the cognitive-linguistic benefits of being a fluent bilingual speaker. Experts have found that children who are fluent bilinguals actually outperform monolingual speakers on tests of metalinguistic skill.In addition, as our world shrinks and business becomes increasingly international, children who are fluent bilingual speakers are potentially a tremendously valuable resource for the U.S. economy. Most Americans are currently monolingual speakers of English, and are finding more and more that it would be highly advantageous to their professional lives if they spoke a second language.

Interesting point of view, I wonder when the minister talked about our first language philosophy that should be mastered by the students before they actually start learning English (which, by the way, what is it?), did he think about our economy in future time?

I have students in third or fourth grade that speak fluent English, it amazed Rob, a teacher who shares the class with me. I think by the time they’re in my age, they’re gonna be able to give orations or speeches in perfect English. Which, I also realized, our president is not able to do. But on his account,  he might understand the philosophy behind Bahasa Indonesia.

No, no, no. No English for you, kiddos. The cow stays ‘sapi’ until you’re in 4th grade!

a little help from my friends

four years ago, my sister began teaching these kids, they are orphans/fatherless child from a poor family near my neighborhood.  Two years ago I filled in cause she had a job in another city (now she’s back though), and I can not say that teaching kids was my longlife dream, or even said that I like it. But they are not children that can afford education, let alone an english course. I was soooo nervous the first time I teach them, because I can not handle children, I’m not good with them.

But the first time I met them, I instantly know that I’m going to love this job. I know that without proper education they are going to be left out in the competition, what make me concern, their school doesn’t help much with it. 6th grade student cannot pronounce english words correctly, that is bad.

So I decided to help more than just teach every sunday morning, I’m raising money for them, so I can buy a textbook, pay for their school fees, their uniform and their shoes, their stationary and school bags, last week I bought them lots of bilingual story books to help them with their vocab and pronounciation.

all of this can not be happening without help from my friends, who kind enough to donate their money to help them. Me and my sister are proud to say that they show progress in english.

My mom (who concerned with their nutrients, because they seldom eat breakfast) made a breakfast for them everytime we teach. They love it, and this food attract more and more kids to come. (yay, mom!).

But, still, we NEED your help more and more and more.

These kids maybe don’t have much options for their future, but by helping them, their option is getting wider and wider. I always encourage them to have dreams, shoot for the stars, don’t say ‘impossible’. They’re bright and smart and nice kids, my family and friends are doing everything possible so that money won’t be in their way.

I really hope you will join us. 🙂

their new story books

their new story books

smiley shark, the very lazy ladybird, ben is sick, the princess secrets,

and maybe, a library full of books for you to read. (someday, I promise)

with kids from my neighborhood

with kid from my neighborhood

be nice, be smart.

and dream BIG.

the colorful story book

the colorful story book

dear friends, I hope you know

you brought these colorful windows to their world.

noodles and meatballs

noodles and meatballs

after the exhausting reading time (I know you guys work hard to say ‘ben is sick and her mother is calling doctor stephen’),

enjoy your noodles and meatballs, add some spicy sauce if you guys feels like it.

and come next sunday morning.

photos taken on a warm sunday morning

from our garage that filled with children laughter, screams, shouts and more and more laughs.