Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I LOVE to learn other languages!
HEY! Be sure to read down to the bottom of this post. I am reviewing a second book and giving away a copy!
My First Book of Chinese Words
by Faye-Lynn Wu
Illustrated by Aya Padron
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Tuttle Publishing on February 12, 2013
Theme/Topic- Chinese Language / ABCs
Opening and Synopsis-
“A is for ài,
a word that means love,
like the gentle hugs
that wrap us like the
soft wings of a dove.”
Synopsis – In this ABC book, each letter of the alphabet has a Chinese word to go with it. Each word is written in Chinese characters (simple and traditional) and there is a simple rhyme in English to tell the meaning of the Chinese word.
Why I liked this book-
I love studying foreign languages and I think picture books are a great way to begin to learn other languages. I even wrote a newspaper article about the benefits of bilingual picture books (check it out HERE). I really like this particular picture book because it is in a language that isn’t typically in the picture books I see in stores. I also think it was done very well. I like the illustrations (even the end pages were pretty). Check out one of the interior pages –
I like that there is not only the rhyme on the pages, but the word is written in traditional and simple Chinese writing. There are also little notes on the pages explaining some of the meaning or cultural traditions shown in the illustrations of story. There is a pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book that is very helpful.
Activities and Resources-
Tuttle Publishing provided this pronunciation video so you can hear how the words are supposed to sound! Check it out and learn some Chinese! -
Education.com has a whole series of worksheets to learn Chinese characters for different words. Check it out HERE.
Tuttle publishing has other Asian My First Words books (My First Book of Japanese Words, My First Book of Korean Words, My First Book of Tagalog Words). Check them out HERE.
Here’s another activity! Learn about another Chinese tradition with my next review and even better – WIN a copy of Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles
Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles
by Shan-Shan Chen
Illustrated by Heidi Goodman
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Tuttle Publishing on August 26, 2014)
Summary – (from inside jacket) “Mei-Mei is Chinese—but not Mom and Dad! When she was a baby, Mom and Dad flew all the way to the other side of the world to adopt her and bring her home. Lucky for Mei-Mei, her parents want her to know all about her roots in China’s wonderful culture. That’s why, on her birthday, her mom always makes her a traditional Chinese treat—long noodles, for a long and happy life. And this year, Mei-Mei is big enough to help her mom make them!“
What I thought - This is another book that easily falls into the category of AWESOME. First I like that it has an adopted MC (and because I am adopted, I like books that show good examples of families built through adoption). Secondly, it involved food… and I like to eat. ;) The illustrations are bright and colorful and I like that the story is about Mei-Mei being old enough to help her mom make her special treat. There are also references to other Chinese traditions in the book so you learn some about Chinese culture.
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! In the back of the book there is a recipe for making birthday noodles which I am going to try out and I will report back to you about them on Monday because that is when I will announce the winner of the copy of Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodle that Tuttle Publishing has offered to giveaway on my blog AND because Monday is National Noodle Day! WOO! To enter all you have to do is leave a comment below! Josie (my little sister) will randomly pick a name out of a hat on Sunday, October 5th at 7pm. I will announce the winner and give my noodle review on Monday, October 6th! :D
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!