Totally Cool Augmented Reality Books from Scholastics

My kids are bookworms! There’s no question about it. Aside from being bookworms, they’re also advanced readers.  One factor that contributed to this is that we kept them away from gadgets during their early years. They learned to appreciate and to love books because of this.  I’m guessing that they love smelling the pages just as I do. Ebooks may be convenient and more affordable but it cannot parallel the satisfaction we get from flipping through page after page of paperbacks.

However, when they reached school age and became exposed to games their classmates play, we eventually allowed them some gadget time – always closely monitored and timed though. 😆 They do look forward to being able to use their tablet or my phone to play games or watch videos. Old-fashioned mom though still prefers that they just stick to their paperbacks.

Most likely, Scholastic knows that many other moms have similar sentiments. This is probably why they came out with their augmented reality books – books that encourage children to read while enjoying their gadget time.

The Magic of Augmented Reality

Whoa! It’s AWESOME!!! This was the first reaction of the two kids when they first tried out the app.  It’s like VR only better!  In virtual reality, the kids play in an artificial environment; but, in augmented reality, they play in their actual environment.  It’s bringing something inanimate to life and interacting with it in real time.

It’s totally cool! It’s showing on the screen like it’s really real! Like it’s really there in real life! – Jade

If you’re still confused about what augmented reality is, just think of it as something like 4-D.  It’s like adding another dimension to a 3-D image. When you hover your phone or tablet over the page, a lifelike image pops out and becomes part of your own environment. THEN you can interact with this image by making it move around and even taking pictures together with it.

 

In the books from Scholastic, our kids’ favorite characters come to life with the power of Digital Magic.  Now that we’re hopefully all clear about what augmented reality is, let’s check the books out in the next two posts.

Click here for Transformers Robot in Disguise: Where Crown City Comes to Life.

Click here for My Little Pony: Where Equestria Comes to Life

Learning Fabumousely with Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks

Alright! I admit it. I’m guilty! – Guilty of raising would-be hoarders. At their young age of six and seven, my two kids are now budding book collectors (it’s in their blood, you know).  They’ve already started their collections of Roald Dahl, EB White, CS Lewis, and their favorite writer to-date, Geronimo Stilton.  Oh yes! I’ve got two mouse-ter-ful readers at home.

More Geronimo Stilton books from the Scholastic Sizzling Summer Sale!

More Geronimo Stilton books from the Scholastic Sizzling Summer Sale!

On our trip to the bookstore last July, my daughter Jade saw the Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks on display and asked if we could buy one (Of course, she would ask – what would you expect from a Stilton fan?!). However, we had already paid for the books she had chosen.  I promised her I’d get her one on our next trip to the bookstore.  By some piece of cheese luck, she got all six Pawbooks (and a whole set of Geronimo Stilton books!) during the Scholastic Trade Launch we attended last August.

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Mouseterful readers make fantabumouse spellers! We won the great word hunt coz of our great teamwork – I cut the letters, she pasted them. 🙂 Jade won one whole set of Geronimo Stilton books but swapped them (except for two books) with Kuya Jed who won a set of Thea Stilton books. Thank you, Kuya Jed!!!

Scholastic Trade Launch

Although the trade launch was held in far far away Powerbooks Greenbelt 4, my Jade and I endured more than an hour’s drive through metro traffic and bravely faced the monsoon rains just to see Geronimo and Thea.  We wouldn’t have missed the event for the world!

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We arrived at Powerbooks an hour early but boredom was not a problem.  We were surrounded by BOOKS!  And Jade could spend hours reading transported into her own world of imagination.

After buying a Rainbow Fairies book (also a Scholastic book!), Jade joined me in the event area and saw the Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks in my bag.  Oh yeah, I’m sure you know what happened next!

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While Jade was busy working on two of the GSA Pawbooks, I browsed the other books. I couldn’t help wishing we had such books when we were young.  My sisters and I would have greatly enjoyed working on them.  (I’ll let you in on a little secret – I answer some of the pages in the Pawbooks, too! tee-hee!)

Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks

With Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks, mouse-ter-ful readers can became fabu-mouse writers as well – just like Geronimo!

Geronimo Stilton Academy

The Vocabulary Pawbooks contain fun puzzles and activities that help readers understand word formation, build their vocabulary, and engage them in using new words they learn.

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The Comprehension Pawbooks help develop reading skills such as predicting outcomes, inferring, sequencing, recalling details, and drawing conclusions.  Fun activities in the Pawbooks engage children and motivate them to read. Structured activities develop their comprehension skills.

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This October, a new set of Grammar Pawbooks will be released. Now, that’s something to watch out for!

Fun, Entertaining, and Engaging.  This is what sets the Pawbooks apart from other workbooks.  Admit it, most English workbooks are booooring.  You just have pages and pages filled with words and nothing else.  Well, Pawbooks have the same quirky illustrations and witty humor as Geronimo and Thea Stilton books.  These make learning English a lot more fun.

Learning English will become as enjoyable as chewing off a large chunk of cheese!

When Jade first saw the Pawbooks, she just wanted to see what was inside. As she was browsing through the pages, she saw an excerpt from The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid – one of the books we brought with us for the book signing.  Her eyes lit up as she exclaimed “Ohhh! I know this. It’s from the Cheese Pyramid!” After this discovery, she asked for a pencil and started working on that Pawbook.

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Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks are targeted for kids age 8 to 13 who want to develop their literacy skills.  Although my kids are just age 6 & 7, they still love working on the Pawbooks.  When I asked Jakei, my 6-year-old son, if the Pawbooks were easy to answer, he said they were not easy BUT he still likes answering the exercises.

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A few days after the launch, Jade had to stay at home for a few days due to colds and cough. The GSA Pawbooks kept her busy. She even worked on them while nebulizing. 😉

Geronimo Stilton Pawbooks are very affordable at only P299 each (that’s the price in NBS).  Really a small amount to pay for learning. Oh and if you want pawsome online games and activities, check out the Geronimo Stilton page in Scholastic.com where you – oh, okay, your kids – can create your their own Geronimo Stilton comic book.

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So, she received two sets of GSA Pawbooks, won a set of new Stilton books, and won GCs to Mind Museum. BUT, this has got to be the highlight of her day – MEETING THEA STILTON!!!

One final thing, Geronimo and Thea Stilton will be at the Manila International Book Fair on September 20. You can have your Stilton books stamped by the siblings on that day. Yey! 🙂

geronimo stilton at mibf

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For more information on the Geronimo Stilton Academy: Pawbooks, visit Scholastic’s website at www.scholastic.asia or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ScholasticAsia

Mad Dash at the Scholastic Sizzling Summer Sale

SATURDATE. Nah! More like SATURATED. It definitely was a looooong Saturday for us.  Piano lessons, drum lessons, a much-delayed appointment with the wedding photographer for the final layout of our wedding album, a trip to the dentist – and, yes, we still managed to squeeze in a mad dash to the Scholastic Sizzling Summer Sale.

It literally was a mad dash.  I told the kids to just get all the Magic School Bus books they didn’t have yet and get some Geronimo Stilton books.  I saw a Klutz Galaxy activity book and grabbed that one too before heading off to the cashier.  I could spend hours in a bookstore and spend an entire day in a book sale but we had a couple more errands to run so we really had to go.  We were there for less than 30 minutes and managed to grab only these:

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Hubby took pictures of the warehouse while the kids and I were choosing books.  The pics can give you an idea of what to expect at the warehouse.

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Booths outside are where you’ll find the lowest priced books – we got Magic School Bus books at 49 pesos each!

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Most books here are at 25% off. Harry Potter books were at 40% off when we dropped by.

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Check out the Grolier table!!! If you don’t have Fun Thinkers or Logico yet, now is the best time to buy them. 🙂

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I definitely want to go back and scour each and every shelf for good finds.  Good thing the sale runs until May 24 so I still have lots of time to visit the warehouse again.  If you’re going there too, you may want to avoid going at noontime when the heat can become unbearable.  For directions on how to get there, check my previous post out. 🙂

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Kids couldn’t put the new books down! These pictures were taken around 5 hours after our mad dash.

Kid Recommended Mom Approved Movies Based On Books

The kids’ summer lessons won’t be starting until mid-April, so we’ve been bonding over movies (lots of ’em) the past couple of weeks. Since we’re also book lovers, we’ve been watching several movies that are based on novels we love. Here’s our list of Kid-Recommended Mom-Approved Movies Based on Books:

Chronicles of Narnia

Since 2005, Walden Media has released three film adaptations of the Chronicles of Narnia.  This is a series of seven novels written by C.S. Lewis.  We have a collection of the entire series and have already read the Magician’s Nephew, The Horse and His Boy, and The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe.  Their familiarity with the characters and the stories are partly why the kids love the movies. Only three novels have been adapted into movies though:  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian (Jade’s fave), and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Jakei’s fave).

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The stories revolve around the Pevensie children and their adventures in Narnia – a world created by Aslan, a powerful and wise lion. There’s fantasy, adventure, mythical creatures, captivating scenes – just what every child wants in a movie!

Bridge to Terabithia

Being one of my favorite books, Bridge to Terabithia was among the very first chapter books I read to my two little ones.  They love the book but they love the movie even more.  Jade says that the movie is “really good” and she loves “the wild imagination of Leslie and Jesse.” Jakei likes “the boy because he is good”.

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In this movie, the life of Jesse Aarons is transformed when he becomes friends with Leslie Burke.  Together they create a magical forest kingdom and call it Terabithia. My kids can totally relate to both Jesse and Leslie as they also have wild imaginations and often create their own make-believe kingdoms.

City of Ember

This science fiction film starring Bill Murray is based on a 2003 novel by Jeanne DuPrau.  The story is set centuries from today in a dying underground city called Ember.  With power and  supplies including food about to run out and the city’s structure about to collapse,  two young adults find a way out.  Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow bravely stand against a corrupt mayor and face various obstacles in their quest for a safe way out of Ember.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If my memory serves me right, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the very first chapter book that Jade managed to read on her own.  Since that first Roald Dahl book, she has read half a dozen more of his fantasticilicious stories.  Well, it’s no surprise that she and her brother love the movie adaptation of the Chocolate Factory.

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The film version that my kids saw was the one starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.  I’d still love for them to watch Gene Wilder’s version of Willy Wonka though. 🙂

 

Wizard of Oz

Now who doesn’t know this wonderful novel written by L.Frank Baum? It may have been written a century ago but it still remains popular generation after generation.  Proof of this is the many adaptations, both on stage and in the widescreen, that have sprung from the story.

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After watching Judy Garland as Dorothy, you may want to watch the Disney adaptation Oz the Great and Powerful.

Oz the Great and Powerful

The story is set 20 years before the original story of the Wizard of Oz. In this adaptation, we learn how Oscar Diggs (portrayed by the dashing James Franco) came to be the Wizard of Oz.  We also find out that the Wicked Witch of the West wasn’t so wicked before.

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Michelle Williams who plays Glinda the Good Witch of the South also plays the role of Annie who would eventually become the mother of Dorothy Gale.  Now, I’m hoping they would do a re-make of the Wizard of Oz.  Just imagine how amazing the visual effects would be with all the technology available now.

These are just the ones we have recently watched.  Among those that the kids have already seen and loved are the Harry Potter series (strictly parental guidance though as the kids have plenty of questions about the characters and the events), Alice in Wonderland, Forrest Gump (strictly parental guidance also and you may want to skip some scenes involving Jenny), and Matilda. I’m sure there are plenty more but my memory fails me. 😛

Then there are also those that we have yet to see but are definitely in my list: Oliver TwistCharlotte’s WebThe Jungle BookTo Kill A Mockingbird, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, James and the Giant Peach.

How about you and your kids?  What movies do you love and recommend? Would love to read about your mom approved movies, too.

Hot News!!! The SCHOLASTIC SIZZLING SUMMER SALE IS ON!

SUMMER’S HERE! For many, summer’s the perfect time to catch up on family bonding and go on vacations.  Some make summer more productive by enrolling their children in various sports or art programs.  As for us, we’re doing both and a whole lot more.

The little kids will be enrolled in Voice and Drums lessons this April until early May. We also have a couple of trips lined up. Then, we’re planning on developing their entrepreneurial skills by putting up a summer snack stand. Of course, we’ll also be taking advantage of the school break by catching up on our book lists this year.  Which is why we’re not letting THE SCHOLASTIC SIZZLING SUMMER SALE end without scoring some new titles!

scholastic sizzling summer sale

This much-awaited sale started last week, March 23, and will run until May 24.  That’s still a long time from now, but the earlier you go, the more chances you have of hauling good finds.  My BFF who lives near the warehouse already bought her first haul of books last week.  She’s always superduper thoughtful and buys interesting books for us as well.  Can’t wait to get our hands on the new Magic School Bus books she got for us!

Purchase 2,000 pesos worth of books and you also get a free bundle of books worth 1,000 pesos.  Books are offered at up to 80% discount so 2,000 pesos would get you dozens of books already! There’s a wide selection of picture books, fiction and nonfiction books, popular series, references, inspirational, arts and crafts, and interactive products so everyone in the family can get their pick.

The SCHOLASTIC SIZZLING SUMMER SALE is open daily from 9am to 6pm, except on Sundays and holidays.  In observance of the Holy Week, they will be open only until noon on April 1.  Regular schedule will resume on April 6.

Summer’s really the best time to catch up on reading so make sure you have new exciting books to enjoy this vacation!

How To Get There?

If you’re bringing your own car, just follow the map shown above. From Ortigas Extension, turn right at C.Raymundo Ave. The Scholastic Warehouse is at the left side.  There are banners outside the warehouse so you won’t miss it.

Via Public Transport, take a bus or jeep going to Ortigas Extension (there’s a jeep terminal on the side of Robinson’s Galleria), get off C. Raymundo, and take a tricycle going to the warehouse.

Bring sturdy ecobags so you can carry your stash with ease.