Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Review: The Adventures of Greco and Beco: The Glass House

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is holding a fun and interactive carnival called 'Build It Green', or 'BiG Day Out' carnival today and tomorrow, at Dhoby Ghaut Green! The carnival aims to raise awareness on green buildings and green living in our community through fun and games. Families with young children are welcome to join in!

Image from http://www.bigdayout.sg/

To add value to the event, BCA has also commissioned a new storybook written for children aged 4 to 8, to be launched during the carnival. “The Adventures of Greco and Beco: The Glass House” is written by Gwen Lee, a local author with architectural background. It tells the tale of sustainable living and the importance of saving water and energy for a greener future.



We were lucky to be invited by BCA to review the book and this came in really handy for us, as I am homeschooling Big Brother.

I have taught him about Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and with this book, I can extend and teach him about green buildings and built green, raise his environmental awareness as well as reinforce about social responsibilities to him! I feel it's very important that we share the right knowledge, values and habits with our children, for the world does not belongs to anyone but everyone, not just in the present, but also for the future living. Going green can be easily achieved by simple changes to make a huge impact in the environment, it also means a big savings in the run long!

When we received the book, Big Brother asked excitedly "Is it a present for me?"

When my children saw the book, both of their eyes lit up! Haha! The book is very colourful and with big wordings, making it very appealing to my young children. So it also makes it easy for me to 'sell' the ideas to them. :)

About The Book
The story started with Greco and Beco visiting their friend Nor, who lives in the greenest neighbour called Kampong Hijau. They encountered residents who were very upset with Bucky Foo, who is going to build a Glass House (a house made entirely out of glass) in their neighbourhood! Not only several trees have to be cut down to make way for the house, the house will also relies entirely on air-conditioning too! This means there will be great amount of wasted heat given out to the neighbouring homes! Greco, Beco and Nor bring Bucky Foo to travel back in time by five years, to explain the importance of green homes to him and how to build a green home.

Big Brother's Reaction
Big Brother really enjoyed the story. I am very happy that the story is very straight forward and simple to understand, making it easy for my boy to learn about the importance of building green homes, as well as how he can do his part to build green.

he really enjoyed the story

Expanding From The Book
After the story, I took the opportunity to ask him the below questions and explained to him, to further developed his understanding:
  • What does it means by 'greenest'?
  • Why we shouldn't cut down trees, what does the trees do for the environment?
  • What he thinks will happen if Bucky Foo insists on building his Glass House?
  • What is Eco-Friendly?
Big Brother pointing and naming the ways to save energies. 

We also discussed the ways to make our flat a green home by:
  • Using low toxic paint (mentioned in the book)
  • Try to rely on natural wind or fans instead of aircon (mentioned in the book) 
  • Using energy saving lights and appliances (mentioned in the book)
  • Remembering to turn off the tap after use and switch off the lights when we don't need it anymore 
  • Flush with the remaining water in their bathtub after water play, instead of them splashing and pouring it all away 
  • Wash clothes on a full load
  • Recycling the cardboard boxes, glass jars in the home 
  • Drawing on both sides of paper.

Sharing Resources on Helping Our Children Go Green

  1. In fact, I found this terrific list online on what are the '51 ways Kids can Go Green'! If you are reading this, you should print it out and share it with your little ones! I intend to ask Big Brother to check off what he achieved!
  2. 'The Green Guide for Kids' is also another great online environmental resource I referred to find ideas, information, and inspiration for kids to go green. :)


Where to Get The Book?
As for the book 'The Adventures of Greco and Beco: The Glass House', I understand from BCA that it is not intended for sale. The book will be made available to the public at public libraries and primary school libraries. If you are keen to expose your kids to Green Buildings and building a green home, you should bring them down to the 'BiG Day Out' carnival held at Dhoby Ghaut Green, until 28th June 2015! Admission is free! Find out more at http://www.bigdayout.sg

Disclaimer: We were invited by Building and Construction Authority (BCA) to review the above mentioned book. We were gifted a copy of the book for review purposes only. No other form of compensation is involved. All images and opinions are mine.

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