‘Ghost’ of The Past

When we first heard about the word ‘ghost’ most of us would think about some eerie or transparent figures that loved to haunt people; especially on night.

Yet, a short story entitled Ghost referred to another type of ghost.

It haunts people; only that it haunts in a different way.

In the story, Leela was haunted by her pasts as she swallowed sleeping pills of various sizes with the hope that all her misery would end. Her dream of marrying her boyfriend, Cheng, displeased her parents and they forced her to marry with someone whom she didn’t know. When she thought that her love would help her on the matter, Cheng unexpectedly left her in to pursue of his study oversea. Heartbroken, Leela decided to kill herself with sleeping pills. As the drugs took effects on her body, her past memories were played in front of her, haunting her until her last breathe.

This story went quite well with Celine Dion’s song entitled It’s All Coming Back To Me Now. The song talked about a woman who was left alone after the departure of her lover. By looking at the lyric itself, we could tell just how much that the man’s absence affected the woman. She was constantly reminded about him even though they were separated for a long time.

With almost the same theme and storyline, the song and the short story suit each other well.

This kind of activity can be quite interesting to be performed in a classroom. =]


Animal Farm

The Seven Commandments of Animalism

  1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
    2.  Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
    3.  No animal shall wear clothes.
    4.  No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
    5.  No animal shall drink alcohol in excess.
    6.  No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
    7.  All animals are equal.

Imagine the world ruled by animals, and the top figure that ‘leads’ us is…

A pig.

OK, if it’s too ‘gruesome’ and disturbing for you, imagine that we’re lead by someone whom we trusted and we’re willing to give our everything for the sake of our people. Yet, in the end, our trust and sacrifice were only wasted for that so-called leader. That’s what happened to the animals in The Animal Farm by George Orwell.

It’s all started with a last speech from Old Major, a dying pig which was highly looked upon the farm of Mr. Jones. The hungry and abused animals of the farm went carried out an assault toward Mr. Jones, forcing the abusive farmer to leave the place. And so, the farm was then named as Animal Farm with Snowball as their new leader. Yet, a sly and greedy Napoleon had plans of his own and he overthrown Snowball and became the next leader. As they thought that their lives would be better, they soon learned that they’re only tools for Napoleon.

The idea of using pigs as the figures who run the farm, together with dogs as their bodyguards was quite interesting. I like the idea as cruel and individualistic leaders like Napoleon were equal with pigs. And the people who work blindly under such leaders were equal to dogs.

However, we shouldn’t forget about important characters like Boxer and Benjamin that represented people who still struggled and faithful in hopes that a better future in no longer a far fetch dream.

Comparing the story with the movie, I found that there were certain things that were changed. One of it was the absence of the character of a mare named Molly. Other than that, Benjamin seemed to be more involved with the new life in Animal Farm in the movie compared with the novel. He was always there with Boxer, whereas in the novel, it was Clover who kept advising Boxer to take care of himself. And the ending of the movie version was more resolved compared with the novel. I like the movie’s ending better because I wanted to see Napoleon received his punishment for his wrong doings. He should be punished for all the lies, corruptions and the killings he did in the name of a dream of an utopia where all animals could live peacefully.

There’s Always Messages in Songs.

“What I’ve Done” by LINKIN PARK

In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no alibi
‘Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies

So let mercy come
And wash away
What I’ve done

I’ll face myself
To cross out what i’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what i’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands of uncertainty



For what I’ve done
I start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving what I’ve done!!!


What I’ve done
Forgiving what I’ve done



Our group has selected a rejuvenating song entitled ‘What I’ve Done’ by Linkin Park. The genre of this song is alternative rock with lively ebb and flow. Basically, the song tells about one’s confession of deep regret for the damage or mistake he had done. The kind of mistake could be anything, based on how you interpret it. However, in our discussion we agreed to narrow it down to the deterioration of sense of humanity which causes a lot of damage around us. The title itself ‘What I’ve Done’ urges us; the brainy occupants of this world to contemplate over harmful actions we had done that brings the world to an abrupt halt. Our world, socially and environmentally, is falling apart because of one thing – us. Since the clip video is pretty interesting, our justification will be based on the video which portrays several potent impacts on human and nature caused by mankind.

First and foremost, we found that the song writer tries to make us aware the effects of the war towards human. The line ‘Cause I’ve drawn regret, From the truth, Of a thousand lies,’ shows the realization of the persona on the truth about war which had been covered by lies. The persona wants to pay back for his misfits with mercy and wash all his sins to start anew. It is shown in line, ‘So let mercy come, And wash away, What I’ve done’. The persona also admits his wrongdoings and would face whatever punishments he will get just to erase the guilt of causing wars. He wants to redeem his sins of causing the damages through wars and taking away innocent lives as shown in lines, ‘I’ll face myself, To cross out what I’ve become, Erase myself, And let go of what I’ve done’.

Looking at several scenes in the clip video, we can also say that the persona was ashamed with the used of artillery like nuclear bombs, guns and heavy tanks. The war can also corrupt the mind of youngsters and do nothing but much hatred, sufferings and damages that will took forever to heal. Even small children are trained to hold weapons and kill people. The 9/11 attack on the WTC for example was full of propaganda that no exact party could be blamed on.

Another thing that makes us think that this song is worth-listening is, through the clip video, human rights have been portrayed clearly. The Black’s equality has been denied with The White; thus leads to the arrestment by the white police. The Palestinian woman has been denied of freedom in her speech and act; thus also leads to the arrestment and being beaten by the policemen, the people has been denied in to do the demonstration and to voice out their feeling but all they got was not freedom but beaten and scolding. ‘What I’ve Done’ tells us about how marginalized group was being controlled by others and did not get their rights equally. Consequently, it leads to the war and the shed of bloods. In order to get the rights, these people; instead of stepped back and followed the order by the superior, have stepped forward and fight back in the name of human rights, equality and freedom.

Furthermore, in the video, there were some parts showing the issue on famine. The Africans are always being highlighted as the people who were affected the most especially the kids. They suffer from many diseases such as scurvy and kwashiorkor. We can see kids walking with the big tummy but they are really thin compared to other kids at their age. They face malnutrition. While those people are suffering, there are people who can still eat a lot as shown in the video. Sometimes these people are ungrateful. Although they are able to get food easily, they make themselves suffering by being anorexic.

Besides that, minor parts of this video do show another effect caused by men; natural disaster. Natural disasters come in many forms: floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and so forth but in the video, the most obvious is climate change. Humans tend to create or do things that will ease their daily lives such us air-conditioner, cut down trees for house building and excessive use of electricity without bearing in mind the consequences on climate. It is when nature comes into conflict with humans that catastrophe results. Ice melting, rising sea level, drought and forest burning are some of the phenomenon portrayed in the video. Fraught with remorse, the singer confesses his guilt to the max and apologizes for what he had done.

Lastly, another issue which is also quite prevalent in this song is pollution. From the clip video, it can be seen that modernization in the world has lead to extreme negative consequences. For instance in the video, we see heavy thick black smoke being released out of factories, polluting the air we breathe. The toxic and chemical substances will definitively cause health problems to everyone. Besides, in the video, we can see the seagull swimming in a polluted river. All this happens because of human’s ignorance towards the destruction that is happening in the world.

To conclude, this song implores listeners to ponder upon what they have done to this world and what they could do to change it. Embedded with deep messages, this song is not just an entertainment but also food for thought. Let’s make the world a better place to live in.




Everything’s Arranged & The Questions of Dowry


Is dowry fairly treated in the stories?

For this question, our group found that both stories talk about wedding’s arrangements and the conflicts that might arise in Indian culture. However, we couldn’t really agree that the issue of dowry in BOTH stories weren’t fairly treated. This is due to the fact that in Everything’s Arranged, Rukumani’s parents were wiling to pay extra for their daughter’s wedding as her educational level will be slightly lower than they’d planned. For us, it’s considered fair as it can be seen as a compensation for both parties. However, for The Question of Dowry, we all agreed that it’s not fairly treated. The groom’s family decided to indirectly end the marriage because the bride’s family couldn’t afford to fulfill the request of the groom’s family. We found that the groom’s family was not being reasonable and didn’t want to understand the situation of the bride’s family. And simply because of that, the marriage was cancelled.

In the end, since we had to choose only one stand, we decided to say that the dowry was not fairly treated in both stories. Ironically, we’re quite speechless when the class began to question our stand as we couldn’t really support our stand for Everything’s Arranged. In the end, we said that we’d discuss about it and prayed that it would be soon forgotten once we’re back on our seats.

Mona Lisa Smile


Katherine Ann Watson has accepted a position teaching art history at the prestigious Wellesley College. Watson is a very modern woman, particularly for the 1950s, and has a passion not only for art but for her students. For the most part, the students all seem to be biding their time, waiting to find the right man to marry. The students are all very bright and Watson feels they are not reaching their potential. Altough a strong bond is formed between teacher and student, Watson’s views are incompatible with the dominant culture of the college.

“She’s smiling. Is she happy? She looks happy. So, what does it matter?”

Betty Warren

What do you think of the movie in term of entertainment value?

For those who don’t like to watch movies with drama and settings in the 50’s, they’d definitely say that it’s totally boring. But for me, I found that the story is quite interesting, as it focuses on a lot of issues that are quite popular in that era. Feminisms, tradition and gender stereotype were the main focus in the movie. Yet, predictable storyline made me think that the story could be better. Another thing that disappoints me was the ending. I mean, the flow of the story was already flat (not in a boring way if you ask me) so I was hoping that the story will have an ending with something more memorable and daring. Overall, with the storyline where typical school teacher tries to be untypical; the students then love her; everyone is happy with what they did and achieved— I’m going to say that the story is only okay.

How does it affect you as you are taking B.Ed TESL course now?

Brilliant students are scary— period!

I always pray that such situation will never happen to me. And if the God decided to test me with such challenge, I wish that they’ll at least respect me as their teacher and are willing to share their knowledge with me rather than ‘attacking’ me with their brilliance.

And no matter how brilliant my students will be in the future, I must remind myself that I am the teacher, and shouldn’t let them know how I feel, especially if I feel insecure towards them. I need to learn how to be very patient and try to teach my students with different approaches. Just because they’re bright students it doesn’t mean that they know everything, right?

How does it affect you if you relate the story in the movie to the teachers whom you know in the past?

I once had a teacher (a.k.a ustazah) who taught me Islamic Studies who was quite timid even to students. Like Katherine, this ustazah of mine was new in teaching, and when some of my classmates refused to listen her, she didn’t really know how to handle us and was very upset. I even heard that she cried because of it. When I think back about it, I was like, “u-uh. Now I know the feeling of my ustazah when I was young.”

Karma will haunt me, definitely.

Thankfully, we all learned to accept her and by the end of the year, we and the ustazah were in a good term. No, the ustazah didn’t do anything extraordinary (maybe some extra prayers to open our hearts to her). She was being very patient with us. I guess what really happened between us was that we’re trying to adjust with the sudden changes in our lives. The ustazah wasn’t really confident with herself while my friends and I were being…er…immature teenagers who couldn’t accept her as our new homeroom teacher.

So teachers, don’t bow to your students! (p/s: You can bow with them though.)

God blessed her for being a very patient person.

What kind of practical/theoretical lesson you learned after viewing this movie?

From humanistic point of view, I would say that many of teachers and adults in the story failed to see the students as human being. They were only interested in following the tradition and follow the rules set by the society. It’s kind of irony though, seeing the brilliant girls in the story ended up being good housewives even though they’re educated people. Katherine, however, was a maverick; doing things that not many women in her era dared to do. She pursued her dream; she encouraged her students to go beyond what is expected from them and went against the society’s expectation. That’s one of the best lessons students could have learned from a teacher. As human, the students have his or her own dream to pursue.  And they have feelings, not dolls that can be treated like empty shells.

Katherine taught her students with information that’s not in the textbook or the syllabus, showing us there are many things that students can learn even though the teacher doesn’t follow the syllabus. I like Katherine’s idea of taking the students outside of the class as it’s a good way to change the mood of the students and get them engage better in the learning process.

Lean On Me

Lean on Me

Joe Clark kicked out problematic students.


An extraordinary situation calls for an extraordinary solution. At strife-torn Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, that solution had a name: Principal “Crazy Joe” Clark. With a bullhorn in one hand and a baseball bat in the other, he slammed the door on losers at Eastside. Brought in as a last resort to stop the state government from taking control of the school, Clark chained the doors shut to keep troublemakers OUT and achievers IN. Parents fought him. Teachers resented him. Even his own boss doubted him. But lots of kids loved him. Clark turned Eastside around, appearing on the cover of “Time Magazine” and becoming a national symbol of tough-love education. “If you don’t succeed in life,” Clark tells his students, “don’t blame your backgrounds. Don’t blame the Establishment. Blame YOURSELVES.” His message is simple: Don’t lean on excuses, drugs, crime, or anger. LEAN ON ME…and learn.

(Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097722/plotsummary)

.:Memorable Quotes:.

“They say one bad apple spoils a bunch. Well what about three hundred? Rotten to the core!”- Joe Clark.

“Self-respect permeates every aspect of your existence. If you don’t have respect for yourself, you’re not gonna get it from anyone else.”- Joe Clark.

“The problem with teenagers today is you don’t know nothing. The problem with being a teenager is you *think* you know better than those who have been down that road you’re traveling.”- Joe Clark.

“This is an institution of learning, ladies and gentlemen. If you can’t control it, how can you teach? Discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm!”- Joe Clark.

“If you treat the students like animals, that’s exactly how they’ll behave!” –Joe Clark.


1. What do you think of the movie in term of entertainment value?

The movie is quite interesting as the issues mentioned in the movie are quite relevant with issues faced by the society nowadays, especially on teenagers. It’s also interesting as it was based on true story, where the Spartan-like-principal “Crazy Joe” Clark dealt with the problems when he was assigned to be the principal in Eastside High School. Since this was the first movie about teacher who used extreme approaches in dealing with students that I’ve watched, I found that the movie was very entertaining. Overall, I love the story as it was presented in a brilliant and enjoyable way, though the storyline was somehow predictable. And another thing that caught my attention was memorable and inspiring quotes throughout the movie.


2. How does it affect you as you are taking B.Ed TESL course now?

Every time I saw the delinquents in the movie tried their best to be smart-ass by being disrespectful to the teacher and other students, I knew that I need to prepare myself for the worst case scenarios when I start my job as a teacher. Teenagers are naïve and fragile, and they always think that they know everything (been there, done that). So I need to find suitable ways to teach my students.


3. How does it affect you if you relate the story in the movie to the teachers whom you know in the past?

Honestly, I didn’t really encounter a teacher like that in my school years. I had a few teachers who were ferocious, but hey, at least they didn’t bring bullhorn to school. And I also had teachers who were as enthusiastic as Mr. Larry. So how does it affect me? I’m thankful that my teachers did a pretty good job in shaping me to be who I am now without having to resort to extreme measures like Joe Clark.

4. What kind of practical/theoretical lesson you learned after viewing this movie?

I need to know and learn the right way to approach problematic a.k.a ‘mentally challenged’ students like in the movie. Though educators aren’t supposed to use violence towards students, I think some harsh approaches are needed in dealing with students. It’s not that I’m voting for violence against problematic students. Punishments are to be avoided, but when it’s really out of control, teachers need to act. Treat them like human, and they’ll behave like human. Plus, in educating students, I need to realize that the responsibility in teaching students isn’t solely depends on a person (teacher). In fact, without the help from the parents, teachers, the schools’ staffs, society and the students themselves, positive outcome can’t be achieved. What’s important? Team work. =)

~ http://www.joeclarkspeaker.com/biography.htm

Society’s treatment can influence one’s decision.

Stories: ‘The Merry Maid’ & ‘The Great Injustice’

At first we thought that we wanted to present about mother’s love as we find that the main characters in both stories advocate genuine love towards their children, but the way they show their love is different due to several factors. However, after discussing about it for hours, we finally decided to discuss about the issue of society in influencing the decision made by both characters. We all agreed that the society has a very strong authority in influencing the decision for both Ah Nya and Lakshmi.

The Great Injustice The Merry Maid
Society Perception –          Abortion doesn’t come up to be the first choice for Ah Nya. 

–          She gathers her courage to tell her parents about the pregnancy.

–          She plans to stay with her uncle at farm until the baby is born.

–          She finally decided to abort the baby for the sake of saving the baby from further humiliation and harsh treatment from the society.

“He wouldn’t have been accepted by society as an equal cause he would have been born a bastard!” –Ah Nya.


–          Lakshmi ran away from home and her society. Therefore, she doesn’t have to think about negative perception from the society. 

–          She left her baby, Savitri in front of Johan’s doorstep with a hope that there will be a bright future for the baby.

“She wanted this child to have a proper home, a temporary refuge.”












Other female character’s support










Support from the spouse.

–          Ah Nya is just a daughter of a mee seller. 

–          She’s well educated, but she fails to make a wise decision due to society’s pressure.

–          She doesn’t see things from a broader perspective. She can actually go to another place where people don’t know her and start a new life with her baby.

–          Pessimistic. She lets her emotion take over her rational thinking.


–          Ah Soh defends Ah Nya despite her big mistake.

–          She gives emotional supports and confidence to Ah Nya.

“Everyone make mistakes. What done is done. You men always say that you should have sexual experience before marriage.”

–          Unlike the father, her mother is willing to look after the baby.

“I’ll look after you and the baby.”

–          Steven’s irresponsibility deters Ah Nya’s spirit in keeping the baby.

–          Lakshmi’s studied until Form 6; she’s good at calculus, and has a good command in English. 

–          She makes a wise decision, where she observed the house before leaving her baby there.

“The house doesn’t seem to have any children around and Lakshmi thought the couple would give the abandoned child a wonderful welcome.”

–          She looks on things optimistically, and hopes for a better future for her baby.

–          Datin nurtures Sakinah (Savitri) well despite her unknown background; whether she’s born out of wedlock or she’s just being abandoned.

–          She sees the girl as a blessing; she was pregnant after they adopted Savitri.

–          She treats her well and not bias. She treats her like she treats her real daughters.





–          Shanmugam wants to take care of Lakshmi and the baby, but he was arrested.

–          His support makes Lakshmi keeps the baby, though in the end, Lakshmi is forced to leave her baby under Johan’s care.

Akeelah and The Bee

The story.

Last week, we watched Akeelah and The Bee, a story about a girl whose life changed by a spelling bee competition. As the title suggest, the main character of the story is Akeelah, an 11-year-old girl participated in the Scripps National Spelling Bee after she was encouraged by her English teacher, her headmaster, Mr. Welch, and a professor named Dr. Joshua Larabee. She never made an error in spelling and had a high respect of her deceased father who also had an interest in spelling like her. Despite her talent in spelling, she was a lonely girl who never seemed to be able to mingle with other students in the school but her best friend. When she entered the spelling bee competition for her school, her view and attitude about the world began to change. She met with other interesting people who have the same talent like her, including Javier Mendez and Dylan Chiu. Her coach, Dr Larabee, who had his own interesting way of coaching her in spelling, was the most influential person in changing her perspective towards people. At the final stage of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Akeelah competed with Dylan and purposely misspelled the word “xanthosis”, thinking that the boy had to win or he’d be severely punished by his father. In the end, the two rival share the title and became friends. Akeelah says the word ‘love’ means the most to her. It is what she received from her friends and community when she needed it most – and Akeelah no longer feels like a freak or an outsider because she’s a bright kid.

1. What do you think of the movie in term of entertainment value?

It’s an interesting movie, and it managed to entertain the audience successfully. Who would have guess that a spelling bee competition could change the life of a little girl? Though at certain parts of the movie had too many dialogues, the audience would surely found that the movie was entertaining as a whole. I would say that Javier won the audience’s heart by being the most funny and gentleman character throughout the movie. Other than that, the support given by people in Akeelah’s life in memorizing 5000 words was also entertaining. The rival between Akeelah and Dylan at the climax of the movie managed to keep the audience restless.

2. How does it affect you as you are taking B.Ed TESL course now?

Honestly, I need to think of some sort of plans to make my students interested in spelling and leaning new words. I mean, it’s not that I want them to memorize words to that extent (like in the movie), but judging by the current trends of using short forms in texting among people these days, I think that I need to make them realize the important of the right spelling. Therefore, I’m planning to allocate some time in my class for a spelling activity.

3. How does it affect you if you relate the story in the movie to the teachers whom you know in the past?

Dr Larabee is a very strict, yet he’s also a person who treats Akeelah in a proper manner. Though he was very persistent in coaching Akeelah in memorizing the words, he tried not to give too many pressure to the girl. He understood the girl’s situation and didn’t push her beyond her limit. I think teachers (or teacher to be like me) should have this kind of attitude in teaching the students. Bear in mind that the students are human too and have the problems of their own. Therefore, finding the right ways of approaching students are very essential. If I compared it with my previous teachers, there are quite a number of my teachers who are enthusiastic in teaching, but not like Dr Larabee. Teachers in my school during my school time were trying to finish the national syllabus and trying to prepare us for the upcoming exams. However, there are some of them who allocated some time to have private talks with students who didn’t score well in examination.

4. What kind of practical/theoretical lesson you learned after viewing this movie?

In teaching students, we have to put ourselves in their shoes. Like Dr Larabee, though he was using drilling method, he also treated Akeelah as a human. He taught her in the environment that she could enjoy and didn’t give too much pressure to the girl. He didn’t scold her whenever she made mistakes. Let’s compare Dr Larabee’s method with Mr Chiu’s method. Even though Dylan managed to memorize all the words, he was unhappy and lived in very stressful life. Unlike Akeelah and Javier, the boy found no enjoyment in the competition. So when the boy finally smiled at the end of the movie, I couldn’t control myself from smiling too. In short, we should always remember that we’re not only teaching school students, but also humans that have feelings and problems of their own.


My Favourite Childhood Story

I was exposed with a lot of fairy tales when I was young. Most of them were filled with princesses, evil step mothers, evil step sisters and evil witches. When I think back about it, it’s like reading a collection of stories of the league of nice princesses versus the league of evil women. Other stories had small but intelligent animals as the main character and defeated larger animals that tried to bully them. I was also exposed with local old folks stories like Sang Kancil and Puteri Gunung Ledang. But one story that really caught my attention until now is the story entitled The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

The story is pretty simple. It’s about a bored shepherd boy who entertained himself by tricking nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock of sheep. When they came to his rescue, they found that the alarm was false and that they had wasted their time for nothing. The boy did it twice, and when villagers came to the rescue, he would laugh at them, thus making the villagers mad at him. When the boy was actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers didn’t believe his cries for help and the wolf ate the flock. The moral of the story, even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed. A liar can lie once, twice, but when the truth is revealed, people will never believed in him or her.

Still can’t remember the story? Here’s The Muppet version of it. Though it was a different version from the one I like, it’s still very funny, interesting and very suitable for children.

I really like the story as it’s different from the short stories that I read during that time. By lying, the main character lost his flock of sheep and also the trust from the villagers. It didn’t have a typical happy ending which really affected me in the sense that it shows that lying is wrong and people will not believed in liars. Though there are some versions where the villagers forgive him and accept his apology, I like the version where the boy learned his lesson through the hardest way. Some people might say, “Oh, come on, there were no PSP, Playstation, facebook, twitter or handphone that time. Think about it from the perspective of the poor boy! He needed an entertainment!” But the boy lied twice, and I think the boy had crossed the line. He needs to know that no matter what the reason is, lying is wrong, and unfortunately for him, he learned it through the hardest (and I think the most traumatized) way.

The boy was portrayed as a simple boy who was doing nothing much but taking care of his flock of sheep. We all know that a young and healthy boy like him would easily bored by looking at the sheep all day long without doing anything. So the boy thought that he wanted to do something interesting enough to kill his boredom. That’s the main reason for him to play a prank on the villagers; though his naughty act cost him greatly. The villages were portrayed accordingly; working on their crops everyday and tried to save the boy when they thought that a real wolf was attacking the boy’s sheep. Their reaction toward the boy was also understandable, as nobody could really believe in a person who had lied twice to them.

Overall, this story is one of the best ways to show children that lying is very bad, and the consequence of it can be very bad. It teaches children not to lie, as nobody believes in liars. Maybe the version that I like is not very suitable for children, but the nicer version will suits very well with them.

Children Story: ‘Edwina the Emu’ & ‘Gruffalo’.

Edwina the Emu by Sheena Knowles.

The Synopsis.

Edwina the Emu is a story about a female emu and her spouse, Edward. One day Edwina announces that they will have ten baby emus in their lives. Yes, TEN baby emus. While waiting for their eggs to hatch, Edwina decided that she will find a job to support the expenses of raising the babies. Every time she attempts on a job, people will ends up shocked with her looks and screams “Eeek!”; making Edwina changes her job. After attempting a few jobs, Edwina realizes that her real responsibility lies in taking care of her babies with Edward. Interesting enough, she named her youngest baby with a name “Eeek”.

What I think about it.

For me, the story is interesting for children, where it uses simple sentences and we can find rhymes in each paragraph. Another thing is about the bird itself. I mean, just how many times can you see a bird, especially as big as emu walking around in the human world looking for a job? Not only that, the emu can communicate with human and works for them, until they realize that the emu is…well, an emu! Where many children stories uses typical characters such as cats, mouse, and dogs in their stories, the story is also unique as it uses emu, an uncommon animal that can only be found in Australia.

Edwina can be seen as a very positive character. As parents, Edwina and Edward shared their responsibilities. When her spouse whines upon hearing about the babies, she volunteered herself to look for a job, while Edward takes care of their eggs. This shows that Edwina does not complain much in taking her responsibility in taking care of the family. Moreover, she does not easily give up whenever the employers refused to hire her. Instead, she feels very positive and looks for other jobs that suit her. This also shows that the emu is very confident about herself. Indirectly, this will encourage children to appreciate themselves and be positive in life.


Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.


And thus, the mouse meets the gruffalo.

The Synopsis

Gruffalo is a story about an intelligent little brown mouse. He claims that he is invited for a tea at the gruffalo’s house to prevent himself from being eaten by a fox, an owl and a snake. With a convincing description about the gruffalo, the three predators believed him and canceled their plan to eat the mouse. To his surprise, Gruffalo actually exist in the wood, and wants to eat him. Using the same trick that he did to the three predators, he makes the gruffalo thinks that the animals are scared of the brown mouse. When the mouse said that his favourite food is gruffalo, the gruffalo ran away from him.

What I think about it.

The title itself is unique and interesting. Even I, a 22 years old was attracted with the name when I first saw the title. Gruffalo…is it the combination with the word giraffe and buffalo? How does it look like? And so, children will be curious to read the story. With a small mouse as the main character, children can relate the mouse with them. Small body and being treated as if he does not know how to defend himself, children will put themselves in the mouse’s shoes. It teaches that size does not matter and the most important thing is to think wisely. Like many other children story books, the story has a lot of rhymes and repetition throughout the story.  It has a good plot twist where the fictional gruffalo really exist and tries to eat the small mouse.  Indirectly, it exposes students with the food chain in the wood. Owl, snake and fox are among mouse’s common predators. See the teaching of science through children’s story book?

By being smart, the small mouse teaches children to be calm and think smartly whenever they face problems. This teaches children to be critical and creative in their thinking, especially in crucial times. From other point of view, I also see that it shows that the small mouse is using deceptions and lies throughout the story. After thinking about this for some times, at least it shows how life really is. People lie, and there will always people who fall into the lies without knowing the truth until they die. But that is not the author’s intention; as I mentioned earlier, the story teaches children to be critical and creative in their thinking. Quite frankly, reading the story reminds me of the story of Sang Kancil that Mom used to tell me when I was young. Both have an intelligent mind to save themselves from being eaten by their natural predator. And children love to see the main character such as the little mouse wins against all the predators.

Overall, the story is really suitable for children.