Annie Ho
Annie Ho

A Hong Kong mother seeks advice on helping her daughter stay asleep, having discovered from friends a wide variance in how they handle the issue, from indulgence to hiring a child therapist

Lewis Carroll’s fantastical story launched the children’s literary genre, so it’s fitting it has been celebrated in so many ways during 2015, the 150th anniversary of its first publication.


High-quality children's picture books are the building blocks to a lifelong love of reading. When I disparage commercial products in book form that are based on cartoon characters, my friends protest, insisting their children love storybook versions of their favourite animated TV series.

Parents make a mistake by giving their children classic books to read when they are too young to deal with the subject matter.

Some parents think reading is for the elite or that their own tastes in reading lack sophistication, but children who see parents enjoying reading are likelier to develop good reading habits.

Do some parents confuse their own painful feelings with their child's, thinking that the child is in more trouble than he actually is? Boundaries with Kids sets out to answer such questions.

"Play is the most efficient driver of learning for children. This is as true of their cognitive development as their physical and emotional development." These statements introduce a chapter on remembering to play in Teach Your Children Well, by child psychologist Dr Madeline Levine.

My love of reading and all that I've gained from it define me as much as my relationship and life experiences. I am confident that my children will also be shaped by the books in their lives and by the rich reading environment in which they are being raised. 

I am an advocate for parent-child reading, so my children are in the habit of bringing books to grown-ups for them to read out loud.

Leonard Marcus is a living encyclopedia of children's literature who shares his knowledge through the many books that he has written, analysing the authors and artists who have created some of the genre's greatest works. He has reviewed children's books for The Washington Post and The New York Times, judged multiple book awards and curated exhibitions.

To me, Easter is all about children's games, arts and crafts. This year's activities included making Easter bonnets, egg decorating, and countless egg hunts.

A power couple in neuroscience, professors Patricia Kuhl and Andrew Meltzoff were in Hong Kong recently to give a talk on their respective areas of expertise - emotional quotient and intelligence quotient - and the role of each in language acquisition.

I am sitting at my desk, indulging in time away from my children. After a busy December filled with social obligations, I had looked forward to spending the holidays with my daughters, including a five-day trip to Taipei.

Anthony Browne is a British children's book creator whose works are loved throughout the world. Bestowed with the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2000 and honoured as Britain's Children's Laureate in 2009, Browne is also the only author-illustrator to win the Kate Greenaway Medal twice.

When it comes to tales about accepting and celebrating oneself, no one tells it better than Chen Chih-yuan. An author-illustrator in Taiwan, Chen created an international sensation when Guji Guji was translated into English.

Yu Liqiong's A New Year's Reunion carries the distinction of being a Chinese-language picture book that won accolades before and after its translation into English.

Yet, I may not appreciate the antiquated oral stories shared in the 1800s among peasants sitting by the hearth in their family cottage. That's why I want to read Pullman's version. I love his writing, and I know that he will "tell it like it is", free of personal interpretations or modern influences.

Soups are an important part of any Chinese meal. Being Shanghainese, I grew up with two-ingredient soups that were ready to be served after one hour of boiling: chicken and shiitake mushroom; pork and carrot; tomato and egg.

March was volunteer month in my family. It started with flag day, standing outside a shopping centre in Causeway Bay, soliciting donations for the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation.

Winning one Caldecott award is reason enough to celebrate, but this year Jon Klassen took home two. His book This Is Not My Hat won the Caldecott Medal, the most prestigious US children’s book award given to illustrators, but he also won a Caldecott Honour – sort of a runner-up award – for illustrating Mac Barnett’s Extra Yarn.

A quick scan of the title pages of picture books in our home revealed that many are published by Walker Books, the leading independent publisher of children's books in Britain, or Candlewick Press, its equally successful sister company in the United States.

According to fung shui experts, the coming year is one that is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. You need to have focus and discipline to achieve your goals.

Boys have it tough when it comes to the joy of reading.

While happily belting out Christmas songs and wrapping gifts, I felt bouts of sadness from following the news in the wake of the Newtown shooting, and the inquiry into the Lamma ferry disaster.

I love the Christmas season and find comfort and joy in welcoming the same things every year, such as a fragrant fir tree in our living room and a turkey lunch at home with my family on Christmas Day.

Sibling rivalry didn't exist in our household. My two daughters had been sharing a bedroom for more than a year. They played nicely. The camera caught countless instances of the two of them in a warm embrace. I felt blessed to be a part of this. That is, until my younger daughter figured out she had been getting the short end of the stick and started to tell me. Very loudly.