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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Tuttle Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I’m a fan of the Asian-interest books from the publisher Tuttle. I recently had a chance to review two of their children’s titles: All About the Philippines: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for Kids and The Cambodian Dancer: Sophany’s Gift of Hope. Below, you’ll find my review of the two titles and a chance to win them, too.

All About the Philippines: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for Kids is a book by Gidget Roceles Jimenez that tells you all about the island nation. The story is mostly told through the eyes of three cousins. You learn about their families, where they live, and their traditions, all while learning about the diverse geography and population of the country. As the subtitle says, you learn through stories, songs, crafts and games, all of which help to keep the target audience of 3rd to 6th graders engaged. For instance, you can make a simple parol (straw star) and learn why they were used. You can travel to the different islands that make up the country and learn how the people and culture of each are different. And, you can learn about the history of the island and how it became an independent country. All told with great cartoon-like illustrations in a way to both inform and entertain the reader.

Overall a great book for the 8-12 year old to learn more about the country’s history and the daily life of the local residents. I think we may just have to try one of the recipes in the book. Some of the recipes are more child friendly than others, but after watching some of the kids cooking shows on TV, if you’re child is comfortable in the kitchen, can probably do them all.
The second book available in the giveaway is The Cambodian Dancer: Sophany's Gift of Hope by Daryn Reicherter. It was just published in November and is for the K-3 crowd. I classify this book more as a picture book as it typically has one to three sentences per page. It is a story with a strong message that tells of how the Khmer Rouge destroyed the arts and culture of the people of Cambodia. The message is about how one person helped restore that culture in a distant land. It is an interesting story to be told with a message that shouldn’t be forgotten but, and a big but… I’m not sure if it is right for the typical K-3 crowd. Definitely worth it if you have the cultural connection to the country. If you don’t though, the talk of when the bad men came could scare some kids. I do like the book and story, as it has a happy ending when the native dance returns to a new land. Just make sure your child is right for the full message of the book. You don’t want them worrying about bad men coming to take things away from here.


And, now for the giveaway. We're giving away both books just reviewed All About the Philippines: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for Kids and The Cambodian Dancer: Sophany’s Gift of Hope. The giveaway is open to US residents who are 18+ and ends on 12/19/15 at 11:59pm EST. Good luck and be sure to enter daily.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Java John Z's is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please see the disclosure policy for more information.


  1. Mei Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles looks like a good one.

  2. I think we'd like to see Gecko's Complaint.

  3. I would love to give the Filipino Cookbook to my daughter. Her husband is Filipino.

  4. I think The Way of Tea would be very interesting to read.

  5. I am interested in Cupcake Envy.

  6. i want to read the cambodian dancer

  7. The Complete Book of Sushi looks very interesting!