kids activities

Chinese books for festivals and other Chinese stories

Today is the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year, which means we will no longer have bak kuah, pineapple tarts and other unhealthy snacks constantly in our faces the whole day!!

Last year some mummies shared some interesting books on 中秋节 the Midautumn Festival, and I managed to find these and more at our libraries. Thankfully many of the books have HanYuPinYin, and I also borrowed several more from each range of books.

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All 3 books are different, and we liked reading different accounts. Our families aren’t particularly traditional, and I never really stopped to wonder about how festivals come about, for example, lanterns and moon cakes during the Mid Autumn Festival, so I’m really learning alongside the kids!

After borrowing these 3, I also borrowed many more from each collection. I’m thankful that they love listening to the stories, but of course I read one line and then translate it. My priority now is to get the kids interested in the culture and the language, and they love listening to all the stories. There were also a few books on the story of the 年 monster and Chinese New Year.

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I like the range of books from Malaysian Publisher Odanta because there is a part for the mother (or adult) to read as a narrator, and then the child can read the easier dialogue. I got my eldest to do the dialogues while I read the mother’s narration, and he has learnt from listening to audio books and stories, to read with varied the tones for characters. His  younger siblings were so tickled by it. I also like this story concept because it means that the story has more depth, rather than a book full of simple words, and yet the dialogue is simple enough for some kids to read so they are also participating instead of passive listeners.

We also enjoyed this other series (below) from the Beijing Language and Culture University Press (I think most are writen by author Carol Chen) and I will be looking out for more at the library. I loved that it had vocabulary translated into English which was so convenient! They were my favourite series for folk tales. There were even some festivals that no one had heard of. I guess not all festivals are living festivals or practised here in our parts anymore 🙂

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I should probably have taken a photo of the covers AND the text first instead of the extended reading page right?! But I’ve returned the books to the library. Ooops! The extended reading for more advanced readers AND a separate vocabulary list for the extended reading!

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The kids liked these sets of books (below) for their illustrations and intriguing stories, but I found these the most difficult of the 3 to read and had to check for many words, especially those that refer to feudal times (Imperial palace, court advisors etc) which we never use in ordinary life. I tried to read them beforehand and look up any words with that I didn’t know with my Pleco app. I even wrote down the meanings (in English) in a notebook. Effort or not?? But in the end Simeon the series were just too lengthy for us to appreciate.

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Do check them out in your nearby library! All books can be found in a special section under JP 398.2 XX [FOL] – I’m guessing the FOL refers to folk tales or the like? English books have a special section just for fairy tales, which are also all under 398.2.

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3 thoughts on “Chinese books for festivals and other Chinese stories

  1. Wow so many books on the different festivals! I didn’t know there were so many relevant Chinese books available. Great idea to get your eldest to help with the reading. Always outsource when you can, erm I mean, he’s learning, right? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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