It took a long time for me to finally sit down and re-read again this Christian values children’s book entitled Happy Home 1: Coming Home written by an award winning author, Grace D. Chong.
This book was actually provided by OMF Literature Inc. for book review along with LaLa Burara (Messy LaLa). Its an imprint for Hiyas.
It’s a paper back book with 32 pages, part of a series, and each page is rich with colorful illustrations by Leo Kempis. Kudos for your work, Mr. Kempis.
Happy Home 1: Coming Home for me is a story that projects the happy, loving and secure family of Atty and Mrs. Zambrano. Their children Abi and Sam, typically joyful and healthy children, portrays the character of a well nurtured family having a comfortable lifestyle. That is, until one day, the brother and sister’s normal comfortable living was interrupted by the unexpected presence of a kin who lost his whole family to a fire in the slums. Who seemingly creates an awkward feeling between siblings and kuya Ped.
The first time I introduced this book with our daughter, the first thing she noticed was the old-rugged shoes printed in the cover. She said, “Daddy’s Shoes.” We read it together before her afternoon nap time, and since the name of the young girl is also Abby which is exactly pronounced the same as our daughter’s nickname, she easily found a connection. At her age of two years old, I noticed that her focus wasn’t so much the story line but the images printed on every pages. She can easily relate with the books with family images (She’s a visual learner). Like, when she saw Atty. Zambrano she would simply ask “Where is Daddy? Then point her finger on the image followed by “Where is Mama?” And so forth. With her doing this, I concluded that our daughter is fond of stories that talks about family, and her concept of family is quite established as having Daddy, Mama, Brother, Sister and Baby (thanks to the finger family songs).
The character that was modeled by Atty, and Mrs. Zambrano explicitly valuing love for others. To the point of cancelling their family planned night out just to give way the welcoming for Ped, a relative that was really a complete stranger. I remembered one time, our family was about to have lunch when suddenly a young boy called outside our gate, and asking for a glass of water. He was looking thirsty, sweaty, and with a strong sun smell. We decided to invite him and shared our food with him. We found out that he was the youngest among his brothers, his father was always outside working, and his mother passed away when he was only 5 years old. Since then, once in a while this young boy called outside our gate and asking for a glass of water. Giving him a glass of water doesn’t required so much effort on our part but what Zambrano’s did was greatest by offering their house, their resources, their care, their time, their family and even themselves. Amazing.
3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. -Philippians 2:3-4
I praise God for He uses this story to personally minister to me, revealing the condition of my heart. These past days, I’ve been questioning the agenda of people towards our family. In my mind I concluded they just know us if they need something from us. Those people who gave importance to us if we can offer our arms to them, but without these arms… my perception was that to them, we don’t exist. I even questioned my husband’s heart in helping others whenever he mentioned he was doing it to help the people. I said, help our family first before them. A selfish statement of mine. I thank God for this story, this made me more reminded of the good characters Ive witnessed from my husband and my previous boss. A characters that echoed, “do not let the blessings die in your own hand. Share it. Give it away, use it to give comfort to the people.” That is the love of Jesus.
To all the parents, educators, and neighboring community if you would like to learn more about the heart of caring for one another, and modeling it to the children of today… you can grab a copy of this book for only PHP 80.00 to any OMF Literature Book Shop or shop at OMF Online.
Special thanks to Mr. Chino Camacho for entrusting this book with us and the LaLa Burara (Messy LaLa). To God be the glory.
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For our dear parents and online neighbors, please feel free to share your experiences of reading books with your children, and if you have any suggestion where to outsource good board books (used and new) for kids please let us know. Hanggang sa muli. 🙂