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Book Reviews

Chineasy for Children by Shaolan (A Book Review)

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Chineasy for Children by Shaolan

Publisher: Thames and Hudson
Pages: 80
Format: Hardcover

Do your children know more than one language? My kids are both learning Spanish at school and I take them to free language classes (Spanish and French) offered for kids at one of our local libraries.

I’ve always wanted to learn Chinese/Mandarin so this book provides the perfect learning opportunity for both me and the kids! Chineasy for Children is so easy to grasp and quickly be able to understand 100 common words (characters) in Chinese.

Introductory spreads explain how Chinese is written in pictograms―characters form building blocks for other words and sentences. Subsequent spreads feature lively scenes that help children to recognize over 100 Chinese characters. The book is organized by themes such as numbers, family, animals, nature and food, each section covering vocabulary within that topic. Stories about the development of characters and customs provide the perfect introduction to Chinese culture, while games and activities allow children to put into practice what they have learned. The book also features a picture library of characters for avid linguists to memorize as well as guidance on Mandarin pronunciation.

I like using this book with the kids and on my own!  I think it’s a fantastic introduction to Chinese for kids and adults alike.  Apart from the lively illustrations and simplicity of the book, I appreciate reading about the history behind some of the characters.  For example, the character for the word father shows the shape of two axes crossed together.  This character represents a time when it was common for a man to chop wood with an axe to make a fire for his family.

There are also thought provoking Chinese proverbs featured throughout and fun questions to think about.  The answer key is provided in the back of the book along with useful notes for parents and teachers.  Chineasy for Children is perfect for homeschooling or anyone who wants to learn to understand some of the most common Chinese characters.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Your turn: Do your children know more than one language?  Have you or your children learned any Chinese characters?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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