Note : This is not a sponsored post. DinoBoy's Chinese language standard is not as great as I wanted him to be nor is it as good as his English language. Since he started his primary school journey I have pushed doubly hard on introducing more Chinese story books to him and ensuring that he read much more Chinese story books than before. Since many parents have voiced out that their kids are struggling with the language, I thought I'd share the books that I exposed DinoBoy to since day one in primary school. I hope these books will help parents choose the ones that are suitable for their kids' reading level and eventually help them conquer Chinese.
You can usually find these books at the neighbourhood public library, or if you prefer to get a copy to keep you can easily find them from local bookstores or overseas online bookstores such as 当当/dangdang
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This story needs no further introduction coz all Chinese knows about the Chinese Zodiac sign but a few, me included, may not know the sequence by heart, I only know Rat, Ox, Tiger and can't get past beyond that haha~ Yupe its that bad.
For my foreign friends reading this let me share a little bit of the Chinese astrology with you. Similar to the western astrology or Horoscope, the Chinese version or Chinese Zodian or Sheng Xiao is based on a 12 year cycle hence the 12 animal signs namely Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each year cycle will be represented by each animal, and like the Horoscope, the Chinese believe that the animal ruling one's birth year will have strong influence on the personality and destiny.
So anyway, we know roughly the 12 Zodic signs and there are many versions to the ranking of the 12 animals but all of them are fun to read about. And since its a familiar story, it is not difficult to read and understand the story.
Simple story but the sentences can be quite long due to narrative words. I like that there are a few Chinese idioms that are not commonly used in our daily conversation but it is good to use in composition, such as these;
跃跃欲试 yuè yuè yù shì - be eager to have a try；itch to have a go；be itching for a chance to do；Revved up
人见人爱 rén jiàn rén ài - loved by all; cute
一声没吭 yī shēng méi kēng/一声不吭 yī shēng bù kēng - keep one's mouth shut; not a word passed one's lips.; not say a word; not utter a sound; say nothing
I also like the colorful illustrations, the animals were drawn like the traditional Chinese paper cutting such as this;
The words in this book are fairly easy to read and understand, it also describe the characteristic of the animals like the Rooster crows to wake people up, Dragon summoning the cloud and winds. DinoBoy was puzzled when the book described that the Horse is a 千里马 which he thought was Thousand Mile Horse. I explained to him that in ancient days, people used to travel on horse backs and some of the finest horses can run non stop for a far far distance and uses 千里 or thousand miles to describe the long distance they ran.
We enjoyed this book a lot and will try to find the other other titles to this series in our neighbourhood library;
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