Posts Tagged ‘L books’

Magic Tree House (神奇树屋)

L has begun to enjoy reading chapter books, and, along with Stuart Little and the Beverly Cleary classics, especially likes the popular Magic Tree House series, about a brother and sister in Pennsylvania who discover a tree house in the woods behind their house which transports them to any number of exotic or historical scenes, from the Age of the Dinosaurs to the ninjas of ancient Japan and even up to the moon. While searching for Christmas gift books for him, I was excited to find the whole series in English/Chinese bilingual editions at ChinaSprout. We were especially happy about this discovery because we’ve had a hard time finding quality books in Chinese for his age, available here, which are more sophisticated than the average picture book but engaging enough to keep his interest. His dad and I now take turns reading the same Magic Tree House (神奇树屋) book in English and Chinese, and he loves it. With over thirty books in the series, this should keep us busy for a while. The whole series in Chinese is available on Amazon as well.


King of All Monkeys

With a four-year-old boy in the house, we spend a lot of time talking about, dressing up as, watching, and otherwise channeling the great spirit of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. L and his Baba spend many hours telling the numerous, intricate stories from the epic Journey to the West, and the full DVD set of the CCTV animated mini-series (52 episodes), provided by an uncle in Shenzhen, is just about the only movie or TV L watches. He loves the characters: A magical, omnipotent but mischievous monkey; his traveling companions a Buddhist monk, a pig, and a white dragon horse, and all the creatures they encounter on their way to India, where they have been sent to retrieve Buddhist scriptures.

We have many books which tell stories of Sun Wukong’s adventures. L’s favorite, which has beautiful illustrations with tales adapted into short but detailed stories easily digested by four-year-olds, is published by the Shanghai Century Publishing Group (上海世纪出版集团少年儿童出版社) and is hard to find outside of China. But another favorite that is in both English and Chinese, and is more widely available here (including from Amazon) is Tang Monk Disciples Monkey King. This is part of a series by the same authors.

The CCTV-produced animated series is a rich, beautifully conceived piece of work which, with 52 episodes, provides endless entertainment. The full set can be bought on VCD through ChinaSprout. L has memorized and frequently belts out the theme songs from the series. Clips of the songs are on YouTube (see below). Read the rest of this entry »


Best Books: Translated Story Books

Some of the best Chinese books that L likes to read over and over are translated from popular English children’s books. There are more of these available than I ever imagined, and while many lose something in the translation (ie Dr. Seuss books, which for some reason are translated literally), these are among our favorites:

- Frog and the Wide World (English-Chinese), by Max Velthuijs. Frog tries to be brave on an adventure around the world, but ends up missing his friends at home. Part of a series about Frog. For those in the Bay Area, these books are also available at the Berkeley Central Library.

- The Little Bear and Frog & Toad series. The text of these sweet stories is in both English and Chinese, and some books come with a CD of the book read aloud (in English only).

- Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. This popular English story is nicely translated and also comes with both English and Chinese text. Also available from ChinaSprout.

- What Am I? (English-Chinese), part of the Who Am I? What Am I? series of riddles about common animals, vehicles, etc.