alien mr wuffles

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner – Children’s Book Recommendation #7

We hardly encounter wordless picture books for children, but when we do, it is so excitingly challenging! Wordless books are boundless in terms of possibilities depending on the readers and the audiences.

wordless books mr wuffles


When recommending or reviewing wordless books, it is best NOT to define the story in one or two synopses as it will be limiting the different interpretations and possibilities. On another side, wordless books are so “opened” even the young children can tell their versions of the story following the pictures, can name each and every character according to their interpretations and can put the familiar vocabularies in the right context following the pictures in each page. It can even be told in different languages, not necessarily in English.

mr wuffles david wiesner

“Mr. Wuffles” is so special NOT ONLY because it is a nearly-wordless book, but also because it is a sci-fi children’s picturebook. It features a cat, extraterrestrial beings and bugs in a single storyline. It is also packed with adventures and actions. It involves the concepts of trouble-shooting, cooperation, universal language and gesture of friendships.

mr wuffles

science fiction for children mr wuffles

Because it is (nearly) wordless, it sparks creativity and imagination in terms of storytelling. The story can be pitched differently depending on whether the story is read to younger or older children.

The readers can name the extraterrestrial character as ‘Mr. Alien,’ ‘Greenie’, ‘The Explorer’ or even ‘K-meleon the Alien’ to make it rhyme. Mr. Wuffles is the name of the cat in the book, but of course, the reader has that “room” to give the cat another pet-name and includes it as a part of the story in his/her version of narrative.

friendship mr wuffles

Children are introduced to dialogues within the story in the form of speech bubbles. There are different ways of depicting the different languages spoken. The ‘human language’ is written in alphabets, while the ‘extraterrestrial language’ is written in shape-based symbols and the ‘bug language’ is written in dot-based markings.

speech bubbles mr wuffles

In terms of illustration, the lines used to draw the pictures are clear and the colours used are vibrant. The format is slightly different from the usual children’s picture book as some pages are drawn in comic strips.

aliens bugs mr wuffles

Happy reading,

Capella Preschool Team


the paper doll julia donaldson

The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb – Children’s Book Recommendation #6

We surely have lost something or someone we loved in our life. This experience of loss is beautifully depicted in this storybook. The story approaches this delicate subject of loss in a relatable and profound way.

Meet Ticky, Tacky, Jackie the Backie, Jim with two noses and Jo with the bow. They were the beloved paper dolls handmade by the girl in the story and her mother. The girl and the paper dolls spent much time together playing and experiencing a string of adventures in the land of imagination until at one point in the story, the paper dolls were gone for good.

paper doll rebecca cobb

The opening line, “There was once a girl who had tiger slippers and a ceiling with stars on it and a butterfly hairslide which she kept losing and two goldfish and a nice mother who helped her to make some paper dolls.” opens the story with a subtle hint of sentimentality. From there on, the story flows evocatively but then a very real pair of scissors threatens…

The Imaginative Play with the Paper Dolls

It is so inspiring to the readers to see how the girl had so much fun playing with simple paper dolls. She used her imagination to play with the paper dolls animatedly, such as dancing, jumping, singing, hopping in the garden, chatting with the ladybird, sniffing flowers and laying down in the forest of grass together.

paper doll adventure

She created various stories whereby they needed to run away from a big dinosaur or danced with the animals in the farmyard. Another exhilarating adventure of them exploring the house during breakfast time whereby they danced round the honey and kicked crumbs and explored an island and were chased by the crocodile.

The book actually opens up possibilities for the readers to explore and discuss different ways to play using their very own favourite toy or other simple toys.

The Favourite Objects

Everybody has their very own favourite objects.

the paper doll julia donaldson

This book can be a very good invitation to have children to be aware of the objects around them. It also encourages a sense of belonging to those objects by getting them to share what and why they like that particular item(s). Like the girl in the story, a favourite thing can be as simple as a pair of tiger slippers, a set of stars-mobile, a hairpin, or it can be a “bigger” thing like a pet or even a special person.

The Boy with a Pair of Scissors

Here comes the boy with a pair of scissors whom the authors do not elaborate on his motive or the consequences after using the scissors to destroy the girl’s belonging. This can be a very good opportunity to open up a discussion with the children on different possible reasons why the boy did what he did and also, analyze the different consequences of his doing.

snip snip paper dolls

The Loss

The readers are confronted with a moving moment of farewell where the paper dolls are cut up but this doesn’t stop them from existing. There are still Ticky and Tacky and Jackie the Backie and Jim with two noses and Jo with the Bow. They still exist, in a very special way, even though all of them are nothing but paper snow by the end of the story.

Indeed, a farewell is never easy and what we love about this storybook is how it invites a further discussion about coping with changes and loss. Children move schools, graduate, constantly have to say goodbye to relatives, teachers, and friends. In some cases, they need to deal with the concept of death at such a young age. With this storybook, they can now depend on their memories to keep their loved ones and beloved objects alive in their hearts.

reading the paper dolls

“We’re not gone. Oh no no no!”

Happy Reading,

Capella Preschool Team


More of our children’s book recommendations:


A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni – Children’s Book Recommendation #5

Parrots are green. Goldfish are red. Elephants are gray. Pigs are pink. What about our protagonist in this story, this little chameleon? Why can’t he just remain the same colour at all times? What is his true colour?

He keeps on changing colours as he moves around. He wants to have a color of his own so badly. Being dismal that he doesn’t have a colour of his own, the little chameleon searched for an answer to his problem.

A color of his own storybook 

A Classic Favourite

‘A Color of His Own’ is simple in message and storyline. It is a recommended book to read to the children when introducing them to the concepts of colour, chameleons as an animal, characteristics of different animals, animal adaptation in its environment, friendships and even seasons.

With the white backgrounds and watercolour-styled of illustrations, the book brings that subtleness, yet powerful impression of the story. It depicts the emotions of the story using the right amount of vibrancy, dullness, and white-space that the reader can connect with.

The simplistic language used to convey the problems, emotions, and importance of friendship makes it easy to follow even for the young ones. It holds so much potentials topics for the older ones to look into and discuss with.

Leo Lionni chameleon

Identity and Individuality

The lonely chameleon discovers he does not have a colour of his own, unlike other animals. This makes him different from everyone else and feels like he does not fit in.

Finding his identity and a place where he feels belonged are the highlight of the story. It is not easy and is taking some times until the chameleon understands that it is okay to be different and instead of despising, he embraces that.


Problem Solving, Failure and Friendship

There is a train of problems presented in the story. It started with the chameleon feeling upset about the fact that he is changing colours all the time following the objects around him. He uses his thinking hat and decides to stay on a leaf so he can stay green forever. However, when the leaf changes colour, the chameleon again is challenged with the unsolved problem.

He eventually finds it very lonely as no one is there to relate to.

children storybook chameleon children storybook reccomendation

When he meets the other chameleon, who was older and wiser, he shares his sorrow and gets a piece of advice to keep the constant despite the changing-colours. This friend helps him accept that they would never have a colour of their own and they remain side by side together.

The story portrays a happy, fairy-tale-like ending where they live happily ever after.

Leo Lionni a color of his own

Indeed, happiness and contentment set in when one accepts who they are and experiences a sense of belonging 🙂

Do check out our children’s book recommendation which covers a story by Peter H. Reynolds: Happy Dreamers.


Happy Reading,


Capella Preschool Team

it may be an apple

It Might Be An Apple by Shinsuke Yoshitake – Children’s Book Reccomendation #4

The story begins with an ordinary boy and an ordinary red apple on the table. It then follows the child’s humorous, enthusiastically imaginative train of thought through all the things an apple might be if it is not, in fact, an apple.

It might be an apple shinsuke yoshitake

Distrusting the apple’s physical appearance, the possibilities of what it may be, if it is not an apple, are just endless. It is huge fun to read this book with the children.

reading it might be an apple

The Dramatic Plot

A boy comes home from his school and sees an apple on the table. The story goes progressively when the boy thinks that it MAY NOT be an apple at all. So what is it? Maybe it’s a planet from outer space with tiny aliens on board? Perhaps it wants a cool hairstyle? Does it feel scared, or snore at night? Speculations continue through to a climax that the apple may be a trap, a secret signal or may even turn him into a giant.

giant red apple

The story concludes with the boy eating the apple. Guess what happens after that?

Different Types of Possibilities

The author explores perspectives in extending the possibilities, maybe it is a read fish which curl up into a ball or half apple and half orange depending on where you look at it from. He also inspires the readers to imagine if perhaps there is something inside the apple, like machineries, jellies or babies.

red apple be a fishmachinery apple

It also can be things that can grow, perhaps like a quirky apple house that grows bigger as he waters it. It can also imaginably be something living with feelings, wishes, and needs.

red apple house red apple planet

The Presentation of the Story

It is fascinating when there are different ways of presenting the ideas in this one storybook. “It Might be an Apple” uses comic strips, mind-map, journaling and listing beside the normal way of positioning the text and illustration.

comic apple it may be an apple journaling apple

The sentences are presented in straight horizontal lines, curvy lines and even circles.

circle text apple


Happy Reading,


Capella Preschool Team

Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds – Children’s Book Recommendation #3

Reading this book is like getting a reminder to unleash our dreams and inspire imaginations. To dream is to think and to create. It is okay to be a dreamer, voice it out and impact the world!

Happy Dreamer also highlights individuality. We can be a different type of dreamers, dreaming of different sorts of things and that is OK!

The story started with this boy feeling discouraged as he was constantly told to sit still, be quiet, pay attention and focus. Despite being told so, nobody could “box” his mind… his dreams.

When the mind takes flight, he transforms it into different dreams of shapes and sizes. It encourages dreamers to dream in their quiet ways, their loud ways, and their imaginative ways.


Read this book with the children and encourage them to share their dreams with us. Let them shine, soar and celebrate all the different ways we think, learn, read, write, dream, and create. No dream is a bad one so what kind of dreamer are you?

Do check out our children’s book recommendation which covers a story by Quentin Blake: Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets


Happy Dreaming,

Capella Preschool Team

Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets by Quentin Blake – Children’s Book Recommendation #2

Meet Angelina Sprocket… She is one of the most eccentric and quirky character whom I ever encountered so far!


She lives next door whose appearance is very distinctive with her amusing purple long coat full of pockets. She is a personality whose happiness and magic are very infectious to the people around her. To make a guess, I’m pretty sure that she is either a teacher, a magician, an entertainer, an inventor or everything of those. Such a happy and generous soul.


Her pockets galore!

She could pull out almost all the objects we could think, including hankies, umbrellas, towels, pan, pots, boats, skate boards even a kitchen sink. How amazing!

Not just those objects, she could keep animals in her pockets. It could come handy when it’s needed. The readers will meet the mice, the ducks, an alligator even a special lovely green-pink-polka dotty-elephants. Who says that elephant must be grey? At least not the one from Angelica’s pocket!

If you are hungry, she could offer ice-creams, puddings, cheese… you name it!


angelina sprocket pockets book review

You and your children would be WOW-ed with all the surprises coming out from her pockets. It is definitely a loud book that will trigger lots of laughters. You could list out the objects coming out from her pockets together with your children. You can even think, imagine and brainstorm of what else do you think Angelica has in her pockets.

There are some lines which include onomatopoeia, such as PAH-HEE, HAR_HUR, BEEP BEEP. You can definitely add on more of the object sounds as the story progresses.

Happy Reading with your child(ern)!

Do check out our children’s book recommendation which covers a story by Oliver Jeffers: Once Upon an Alphabet.

once upon the alphabet review recommendation letter w

Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers – Children’s Book Recommendation #1

It is believed that stories, made of words and words, made of letters. Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers depicts the concept of short stories, made of words, made of the letters and FOR all the letters.

This children’s book reminds me a lot of the quote by the famous American Poet, Muriel Rukeyser, “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” this book is indeed a quirky and curious alphabet book for children (and adults) that consists of short tales of experiences from each letter, from A to Z. Do not expect the cliche of “A is for apple” kind of description or fable!

The way the stories are presented is so BRILLIANT for some reasons:

#1 The Diverse Protagonists

There are so many different protagonists introduced on each page of this book, each with their own peculiarities. It covers protagonists with different occupations, from the Astronaut to the guard to the king to the lumberjack, as well as the inventors and the nun.

An object can be a protagonist too, such as the cup, the robot, the typewriter, the parsnip and the cucumber.

Some animals including the octopus, the owl, the monkey and the yak who are facing their own “issues”.

There is a splash of creativity too as Whiraffe (mixture of a whisk and a giraffe) and yeti (folkloric ape-like creature) get a part to be protagonists too in this book.

My favourite is the detective duo of Octopus and Owl who love searching for problems to solve.

#2 Whimsical Stories

How amusing it is if we can really find a door made of jelly for the fear of us forgetting to bring the key?

Imagine a regular cucumber who aspires to be a sea cucumber with its own struggles or staying in a house which was halved by the lightning.

What about a story of two guys by the name of Bernard and Bob who are constantly feuding and when Bob decided to burn the bridge, he did it from the wrong side?

All the stories are indeed short and simple but inventive.

#3 Some Stories are Related and Presented with a Twist

A guy named Edmund who is an astronaut whose fear of heights makes his high-flying profession a struggle, there is a revelation for him  at the end of the book. His story does not finish on the letter ‘A’ part only.

Let some characters surprise you on other parts of the book, when they show up again to help the protagonist on that particular letter’s story or simply be the “extras” in the story.

#4 Words Which are Uncommonly Used in Children’s Book

How many times do we find the words ‘enigma’,’vanquished’, ‘molecule’, ‘incognito’, ‘yeti’, ‘sea cucumber’, ‘rusty robot’ or ‘ingenious’ in children story book?

#5 The illustrations

Most importantly, the illustrations in this story book are so “Jeffers”, handsome and catchy!


Hope you and your child find a joy in reading this book too. Check our our next children’s book recommendation, Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets by Quentin Blake.


Happy reading,

Capella Preschool Team