Monday, May 04, 2015

Book Review + Giveaway: An Alphabet Zoo Phonemic Adventure by JuliaGabriel Creation

If you had followed my blog, you would have known that I have had troubles teaching my elder boy, who has Asperger syndrome(a type of autism), many stuffs from writing to learning the alphabet and also recognising the numbers! We have struggled and made small successes here and there, and this year, with courage and encouragements from my husband, we have finally withdrew Big Brother from his preschool kindergarten to homeschool him. He is turning six and will be going to primary next year, so I would like to spend more precious quality time with him, as well as focus on teaching him to read and spell, which he is struggling in. 

Last year, I had read this book review by Motherkao and won a copy of "An Alphabet Zoo" from her blog! Being an inexperienced first time parent last time, now I have also realised my mistake - the importance of introducing phonics to children since young, why? Phonics is the most basic and important skill to acquire in order to start reading!  

Learning phonics will help your children learn to read and spell. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of letters and letter combinations will help your child decode words as he reads. Knowing phonics will also help your child know which letters to use as he writes words.
- extracted from Phonics Basics

So while I am homeschooling Big Brother now, I also took out the set of Book and CD which I had won last christmas, to start Phonics awareness with Little Brother (who just turned two) early. :)  

The book is big and colourful, and themed animals which all children love. 

This book is part one of "A Learning Adventure with Rainbow Bear Series by Julia Gabriel", created since 1998, for children aged eighteen months to three years old to learn that letters and sounds convey meanings.

It is accompanied by an audio CD, where the characters in the book are brought to live, voiced by actors and teachers who use standard english. The same catchy tune is used throughout for all the 26 letters, together with an interesting an animated story for each letter, so it is easy for the little ones to catch up and sing along, rather quickly.

The book covers the most common sounds of each letters in the Alphabet and help to give the little ones a start to phonemic awareness and decoding letters into sounds with lots of songs and story telling. At the beginning of the book, Julia Gabriel herself provided a guide for parents, to use the book with suggested activities and prompt, both with and without the music CD.

Accompanied by the colourful and vivid illustrations by Kathy Creamer, the book is packed with animated characters and pleasing colours, thus making the learning of names and corresponding sounds of the letters fun by providing plenty of mini games for the child to play with, such as finding the Rainbow bear on each page, identifying the animals and objects, looking for the capital and small letters of the alphabet and many more! 

We can encourage the little ones to find the objects beginning with the key letter on each page. A list of these words is provided at the end of the book. :)

Little Brother is intrigued by the images on the book, he always flipped the book and point out objects he recognised to show us!

He also loves looking through the book on his own while I played the CD in the background. I am surprised he can recognised objected that I have never introduced to him myself! 


Sharing is loving! I have two sets of "An Alphabet Zoo" to giveaway to two lucky readers on my blog! For a chance to win, simply follow all the steps below:

  1. Follow me
    It will be nice if you can like me on my Facebook Page to be updated of my future posts. :)
  2. Leave a comment
    Leave a comment on the blog below, to share how you will/can use the book creatively to teach your children the letters or phonics!
    Please remember to include your name and email address so that I can contact you if you win. 

Terms and Conditions:

  • Strictly for Singapore only. 
  • One winner per household. 
  • Giveaway ends on Sunday, 10 May 2015, at 1159pm.
  • Winners will be picked and announced on the blog and Facebook Page

Thank you all for participating in the above giveaway! The contest is now closed. And winners have been drawn. :)

Congrats to Michelle and Alicia! :) 

More information

Book Name: An Alphabet Zoo Phonemic Adventure with Rainbow Bear 
Created by: Julia Gabriel 
Illustrated by: Kathy Creamer
Price: The book + song CD costs $29.95 and is available at bookstores, educational stores and Julia Gabriel Centre. 

An introductory reading adventure that lays the foundations for confident reading. For children 2 – 5 years old. Written by Julia Gabriel, the book set is accompanied by a songbook and CD, and includes lots of fun facts, activities and tongue twisters for children, parents and teachers. 

A learning adventure with Rainbow Bear Rainbow Bear was conceived over 25 years ago by Julia Gabriel (Founder and Director, Julia Gabriel Education) with the aim of laying the foundations for confident, articulate and expressive communication skills in the most engaging manner possible. Beautifully illustrated books, finger puppets and hand puppets, as well as music CDs and songbooks, comprise the current Rainbow Bear range. These colourful, stimulating and highly enjoyable literacy aids have been specifically designed to compliment any pre-school’s early childhood curriculum and learning strategies, as well as to create hours of fun at home for young children and their families. 

Disclaimer: I was invited to do a review on a book that I won last year, and to conduct a giveaway for my readers. No other form of compensation is involved. All images and opinions are my own, unless otherwise indicated. 

If you enjoy reading this post, please like me on my Facebook Page as it's where i connect with my readers. I will be very delighted if you can also add me on my newly set up social media accounts - Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.


  1. This is for my going to be 2 year old boy. He love to listen to me reading . His favourite book is Maisy and friends.

  2. I will play the CD to my 1 yr old & 3yr old so that we can singalong to the songs in our car ride out. Can use the rainbow bear to add on actions to attract their attention :)

    Theresa Tay

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. My little one is starting to take an interest in books and this book would be an interesting platform for us to introduce phonics to her through song and dance. Thanks!


  5. My girl, Emmalyn, loves books, animals, songs and dance! So it's definitely a great tool to teach her.

  6. I would love to read the book to my 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son. My daughter can't read on her own yet but she is interested in books, so hopefully learning phonics will help her.

  7. There's only one alphabet and it comprises 26 letters...not alphabets..geez

  8. We have lots of book but not one that teaches phonics. So this will come in useful for my almost 3 years old to sound out words for herself.

  9. My 2 year old girl has not attended any enrichment classes unlike her older bro.. who started phonics classes at 20mths. It will be good to win this set for me to start teaching her phonics at home! Will be great to play music to her.. and have her older bro play tutor with her as well since he is very well versed with his phonics now at Primary 1!

    Name : Alicia Wee
    Email :

  10. My son loves books n music..n this combination would be great...
    I'm considering homeschooling and these books would be a great start to that.. I hv a 7mo and a coming 3yo and hv recently just thought of starting phonics w him..hehe.. Nice coincidence...
    These would definately come in handy w my current afternoons w him..n mei2 can listen in too...
    creating activities fr scratch is tough!!
    Glad i stumbled upon your blog...

    Name: simon sandra

  11. I will let my boys listen to the CD while reading the book and prepare some printouts of the letters for them to trace with their fingers.


  12. My son just turned 2 last month. He loves music! Having printed educational material accompanied with a CD is a great way to introduce learning and making it fun! What greater way to learn than to mix it with something you are interested in - music and knowledge. I can imagine him being all excited about this new learning style!

    Marie Lee

  13. Will play the cd and let my 2yr old son learn the sound of the letters.

    Can play i-spy game with my older boys to see if we can identify other words in the pictures which begins with the same sound.

    Connie ow

  14. Will play the cd and let my 2yr old son learn the sound of the letters.

    Can play i-spy game with my older boys to see if we can identify other words in the pictures which begins with the same sound.

    Connie ow

  15. I am homeschooling my 3 year old boy and while he is able to recognise letters and sight read, we have not touched on phonics. Winning this would be awesome to introduce him to phonics so that he can also learn to read by sounding out the letters when he comes across new words. We have an alphabet three (where we paste the alphabet which we have learned through various activities in our Letter of the Week curriculum) and it would be great to revisit this with the book where phonics will be involved.

    Ezeikel Ibrahim

  16. My 2 year old twins would love it! Younger twin loves reading..the book will be good to introduce phonics to him. Older twin has speech delay and am hoping that the book could help him.


  17. I'm a first time mum and I felt so lost when it comes to educating my little boy of 18 months. So glad to read about this. Instead of watching tv, I'm going to persuade the grandparents to get him to start phonics! The whole family is going to be using this as a tool! Grateful to hear about this book and CD. Even if I don't get it I would love to buy it.

    WAN Ping

  18. I'll play the CD for my 2 boys (5yo and 15mo). They love to sing. I'll ask big brother to read the book to his younger brother so that both kids will learn. The big brother will learn to read and practice his phonics. The younger brother will be able to listen and try to verbalise. Reading the book together can hopefully help them to bond as siblings. Would be great if we could receive the book and cd. :) Thank you.

    Lydia LEE

  19. I will play the CD and read the book to my girl. I will prepare some individual letter cards and ask my girl to look for the letter on a page. On top of it, I will also prepare some picture cards that corresponds to that letter I'm introducing that day, as an extension of the learning session.




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