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My Little Book of Chinese Words (Bilingual Edition) (English and Mandarin Chinese Edition) Paperback – May 1, 2008


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My Little Book of Chinese Words (Bilingual Edition) (English and Mandarin Chinese Edition) + A Nest in Springtime: A Mandarin Chinese-English bilingual book of numbers + Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Share and Sing in Two Languages [Audio CD Included]
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—This handsome picture book focuses on the visual aspect of Chinese characters. Words are introduced on the verso with the modern Chinese character and a smaller ancient character in the upper left corner of the page, so one is immediately aware of the evolution of the visual form of the word. On the right, a full-page illustration is rendered in a way that echoes the strokes of the character. For example, the picture for the character "high" shows a pagodalike building similar to the form of the calligraphy. The words are grouped so that terms such as "see," "look at," and "ear" follow "eye," whose written character is part of these other related characters, indicating the relationship of the basic word to the others. The artwork is rich and colorful; these striking linotypes at times include in their design or as their frame what appears to be boldly patterned origami paper. In fact, the whole book is artistically satisfying: the design, the colors, the thoughtfulness of the visual presentation, and the square, thick shape just the right size for easy browsing. The book is, however, problematic in terms of its usefulness. Though the pinyin translation of the Chinese characters is given, no pronunciation guide is included. In addition, the pinyin doesn't show any indication of tones. For example, "tian" is the Chinese for both "field' and "sky," but nothing indicates that the pronunciation of the two words differs slightly but significantly. Overall, this is an attractive guide to understanding Chinese characters but not to understanding the spoken language.—Barbara Scotto, Children's Literature New England, Brookline, MA
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About the Author

In her life and in her work, China has had an enormous influence on Catherine Louis. Although she lives in Switzerland, a small piece of her heart has moved far away to the land of the dragon. Louis is also the author and illustrator of Liu and the Bird, published by North-South Books.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: NorthSouth Books; Bilingual edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English, Mandarin Chinese
  • ISBN-10: 0735821747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735821743
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Language Garden Academy on February 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
This little square book is perfect for the little hands with big curiosity. Pages are printed on heavy-stock paper for durability. On each spread, the Chinese character is juxtaposed with its former pictographic form on the left-side page with nicely illustrated wood block art on the right-side page. One almost doesn't need to look at the translated English word to know what each character's meaning is. There's also pinyin to help one to figure out the pronunciation. It kept my 5-year-old buried in the pages for three days!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JY Luh on September 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book, although attractive, has several shortcomings:
1. The tones are totally omitted with the pinyin, making the learning of accurate pronunciation impossible
2. There is a blatant error in the character for spoon. The symbol used is actually the character for a knife.
3. The character for root is actually the symbol for origin or original.
4. The character for summit actually signifies the ending.

There are other errors in translation that do not reflect the spirit of each character.

It appears that the author did not consult with a native Chinese speaker prior to publishing this work. She may have actually consulted with someone of Japanese descent, thus the meanings aren't quite consistent with what the Chinese interpretation might be.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By AmazonShopper on August 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Nice illustrations, but pronunciation does not include diacritical marks or any indication of tone, making it useless as a learning tool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mom of picky baby on December 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
My daughter received this book for her birthday from a friend. It is beautifully illustrated and the characters are here as well as the pinyin and english but the pinyin tones are missing. To me if the purpose is to help learn Chinese words/characters, then providing appropriate tone to speak is required otherwise the word spoken is most likely going to be a different meaning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. LTL on July 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is adorable. I took this book to my son's school for a presentation to show some of the pages and to explain the idea about how chinese characters were formed.
The art work is beautiful and content is very interesting, but not too familiar by non-chinese speaking people.
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My Little Book of Chinese Words (Bilingual Edition) (English and Mandarin Chinese Edition)
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