Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Culture -

Emila Yu­sof’s ‘Dina’ se­ries has been steadily gath­er­ing fans since the pub­li­ca­tion of the first book, ‘My Mother’s Gar­den’, in 2010. All of the books use un­com­pli­cated lan­guage to tell sim­ple sto­ries of a happy child­hood spent ad­mir­ing the colours of a but­ter­fly or help­ing Mum to chop veg­eta­bles or Dad to feed the goats. The high­light of the se­ries is of course Yu­sof’s sweet wa­ter­colour il­lus­tra­tions of Dina and her world. We think the books would ap­peal to kids aged 4-7.

My Fa­ther’s Farm (2015)

‘My Fa­ther’s Farm’ fol­lows Dina on to her fa­ther’s farm and she takes us through all the things she likes to do there (and the things she doesn’t like, such as be­ing chased by geese). We asked Lyeana, aged 7, what she thought of the book: ‘This book is about a girl that likes to help her fa­ther in the farm. Her name is Dina. There are many an­i­mals in the farm like a cow, a goat and a rab­bit. Dina likes to feed an­i­mals. She also likes to fish in the pond. I like this book be­cause there are many colours and an­i­mals.’

My Mother’s Kitchen (2013)

Dina helps her mother cook a meal and talks about all the in­gre­di­ents that go into fish curry, bubur chacha and sam­bal petai. Naim, 6 years old, re­ally liked the book. His dad said it was ‘chal­leng­ing for him to read some of the more un­usual words such as the names of the spices, which was good to ex­pand his vo­cab­u­lary and read­ing skills. When we came across the sam­bal, he said, “Is that the spicy stuff?” and when we came across the pes­tle and mor­tar he said “I know that, Mum’s got one of those.” He could re­late to the theme of the book, which re­ally helped keep his in­ter­est to the end.’

My Mother’s Gar­den (2010)

Inspired by Yu­sof’s mem­o­ries of her mother’s gar­den, the story is an easy one about the plants and an­i­mals that fea­ture in a typ­i­cal Malaysian gar­den. But Dan­ish, 4 years old, didn’t en­joy it much. His mum com­mented that it ‘was about a gar­den and we don’t have a gar­den or take them to gar­dens much so he couldn’t re­late to it. He seemed to en­joy look­ing at the il­lus­tra­tions but maybe the book was a bit girly for him.’ We think this book is a nice first for the se­ries, if a tad psy­che­delic. Dina also looks slightly creepy in this early of­fer­ing.

Two by Two Opens 10 Sept

Dir Toby Genkel, Sean McCor­mack 2015 (US) There’s no sign of Noah, let alone Him up­stairs, in this sweet but watery kids’ car­toon about the an­i­mals who got left off the Ark. Finny and his dad are fuzzy cute Nes­tri­ans, clumsy, flat-footed, trum­pet-nosed beasts who don’t get past the Ark’s door se­cu­rity and sneak aboard with a pair of cat­like crea­tures called Grymps. For grownups watch­ing, the point is that these are an­i­mals who found them­selves on the wrong side of evo­lu­tion, which is mildly in­ter­est­ing. But nowhere near as in­ter­est­ing as the fact that the an­i­mals who make it, em­bark­ing twoby-two, are mostly par­ents and kids – which doesn’t bode well for the fu­ture of the species they’re sav­ing from the flood. There are a cou­ple of laughs. A bored voice an­nounces over the PA ‘Sail­ing time: roughly 40 days and 40 nights.’ But the film’s let’s-all-work­to­gether mes­sage is samey and bland. By far the best thing about it is the mon­keys: a sneer­ing, nose-in-the-air chim­panzee but­ler and a knuck­le­headed go­rilla hench­man. Cath Clarke

Ho­tel Transylvania 2 Opens 24 Sept

Dir Gen­ndy Tar­takovsky 2015 (US) There have been some changes at Ho­tel Transylvania. The ho­tel has opened to hu­man guests and Mavis and Johnny have had a baby, Dennis. His lack of a vam­piric na­ture both­ers Count Drac­ula and the whole

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