Fun vocabulary building through pictures {Review and Giveaway of Sam and Sally + My World series}

Posted by ~Summer~ on June 16, 2015

Now that Angel is turning six end of the year, she has been very interested in picking up new words and learning to spell. As if books and spelling lists are not enough, she also likes to read signboards, labels, posters and basically anything that has words on it. Obviously, I am very heartened to see that she has a thirst for knowledge and at times, as a mum, I wonder how I can help my preschooler to learn new words and build up her vocabulary.

The thing is, I don't want our sessions to become mundane or wearisome. I want the learning to be fun, exciting and hopefully something that the girl will look forward to. Yes, I'm a firm believer that learning works best through play. So when Scholastic Education, the world's largest children books publishing and distribution company, sent over a series of books targeted at children aged 4 to 7, I was really excited to see how they could spice up our learning sessions.


Sam and Sally series

If your child loves to spot hidden pictures and do colouring, then the Sam and Sally series is definitely one that I will recommend. Angel has really been into spot the differences and crossword puzzles lately, so it was natural that she fell in love with these hidden picture puzzles the first time she saw them.

Sam and Sally, with its carefully designed hidden picture puzzles, will enable the child to effectively learn vocabulary in context and improve his/her visual discrimination skill - which is the ability to identify the difference between visual things, be it images, letters or numbers. It is a skill critical to learning and also helps to develop the child's spatial intelligence.

Each book features:
• 28 thematic picture puzzles with over 200 words
• 9 two-page challenge puzzles to extend visual discrimination skills and consolidate words learnt
• A question in each puzzle for the child to think further and talk about each picture

There are three different titles in the series, namely Sam and Sally At Home, Sam and Sally Go to School and Sam and Sally Out and About. Each title is divided into units related to the theme so that the child can learn more in depth. The contents page clearly indicates the pictures contained in the book and it is easy to pick out what you want, for instance, the first thing that Angel picked in Sam and Sally At Home was the garden because she is such an animal lover.

Once you have picked a puzzle, you can now read, find and colour! A list of items is provided on every page with the corresponding pictures, all you need to do is to find them on the page and put some colour onto them. While having fun trying to spot the objects, you pick up new words and improve your ability to read and spell.

Can you spot all the items in the kitchen above? It may sound easy but I have to tell you that some of the items can be challenging to find because of the small size, or the image has been rotated or it is simply cleverly hidden. That just makes it even more interesting, right?

In every puzzle, there is also a question that encourages the child to think further. I like to take this chance to have a discussion with Angel and also ask her about some things in the picture which I feel make good educational topics.

At the end of the book, there is also a wordlist that compiles all the vocabulary learnt in the book. Isn't it quite impressive that one book alone contains over 200 words? There is also a solutions page provided in case your child is looking for answers to any puzzle that he/she might not be able to solve completely.


My World series

Next up, My World series is one that I think encourages the child to explore further and think more in depth through the use of visual stories. There are two titles in this series, namely My World of Words and My World of more Words.

In every story, there are two parts based on a before and after scenario. Part I is where the scene is set and the problem is presented. A list of illustrate key words with simple explanations and example sentences is provided. The child can make use of these words to do the find-and-label activity by writing the number representing the correct word in the correct circle. There is also a 'Talk about' section with thinking questions to encourage the child to discuss the story.

Part 2 is where the problem is resolved and there is writing exercise where the child has to identify and write the words which help to reinforce understanding. There is a second 'Talk about' section to discuss about how the story has developed. Next, there is a 'Share about' section which helps the child to relate the story to everyday life and boost his/her speaking skills.

The 'Write about' section requires the child to fill in the missing words in the passage using the vocabulary learnt in the story. Yes, there's quite a bit of writing involved! Lastly, which is also my favourite part, there is the 'My Word Bank' where your child can fill in any additional word he/she thinks is related to the story but not indicated in the word list.

The contents page provides at a glance the 18 stories with the different settings/activities. I like to let Angel choose what she would like to accomplish for the day to let her have a sense of control over her work.

The word list provided at the end of the book is sorted alphabetically and comes in handy in helping to recap all the vocabulary learnt.

Here is what Angel accomplished at the end of our first session, which took us well over 45 minutes because of all the writing and questions involved. No, I wouldn't advise doing two different stories consecutively but rather that we do one story well, answer every question and have an in-depth discussion.

Engaging and fun, I think both the Sam and Sally series and My World series will be delightful, educational books for Angel in her quest to expand vocabulary.


For those of you who might be keen to let your child try out these books too, here's a giveaway!

This giveaway is open to all readers residing in Singapore. ONE set of each series will be given away. Two different winners will be picked and the prizes will be allocated randomly. The winners will be required to self-collect their prizes from Scholastic Education office (81 Ubi Ave 4, #02-28, UB. ONE, Singapore 408830). To participate, leave a comment in this post with your name and email address. Indicate in the Rafflecopter widget that you have done so and to increase your chances of winning, you can choose to carry out the rest of the options. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: We received the Sally and Sally series and My World series from Scholastic Education for review purposes. All opinions are our own.


  1. My Tiger girl would certainly love using this set of books
    Dominique Goh
    dominiquegoh(At) gmail (dot) com

  2. Awesome giveaway!
    I will maximise the use of it by reading to my girls and share the books with their classmates as an enrichment books.

    Michelle Ng

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hopes to receive this set for my boy next week birthday.
    Ellice Chua

  5. I could like to win either sam and sally series or the world series as I could like to give it as a gift for my nieces! :) and I hope to win it!


  6. Veronica Neo -

  7. my younger boy loves reading. i hope i can win the books for him.

    Ai Ling

  8. My 2 daughters like to read fun story
    Hope to win it

  9. Julie

  10. Lilium

    Thank you for hosting!

  11. wenqi

  12. thnks for sharing

  13. Karen

  14. Thanks for this giveaway!


  15. Rina Lim

    Thanks for the giveaway . i hope to win the books for my son

  16. Hope to win these books for my preschooler so that I can teach and read to her new words as I want to help her to build up her vocabulary. My girl loves to colour and write . She can practice her writing , learn to spell new words and colour the pictures. Its a great book to occupy her when we are on the go. Thank you for this giveaway !!

    Name : Esther Kam
    Email :

  17. It is awesome. Hope to win and thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Adeline Tan

  18. Cherlyn Ma

  19. Tammy Tng Sze Pei

  20. Hope to win and thanks for the giveaway.
    Andrew Tan

  21. Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. Hoping to win for my 5year old gal as she's learning to decode and finding fun in reading!
    Stephanie Ng

  23. JingRong

  24. I totally agree with you, learning should be fun..
    Lai Siew Ling

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Farhana a rahim Great review!

  27. Farhana a rahim Great review!


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