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Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Share and Sing in Two Languages [Audio CD Included] Hardcover – April 10, 2010
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"Singing is a joyful way to learn a language and experience a culture. You can read the book and listen to the CD included for a Chinese New Year filled with traditional children's songs." —MissPandaChinese.com Mandarin learning site
"The nursery rhymes are familiar to English speakers which makes this a really appealing book to toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary school students. The authors did a great job on the CD. The sound quality is great, and the singers have appealing voices with nice instrumental accompaniment. This would be perfect because it's visual and audio in one easy package!" —PragmaticMom.com blog
"Kids love nursery rhymes, and this book is a great way to introduce young children to English and Chinese through song." —BiculturalMama.com blog
"Children and parents can easily learn Chinese through rhymes and songs. This book also comes with an audio CD." —Travel Life magazine
Top Customer Reviews
Overall I don't recommend this book! And if you already bought this book, Please don't think that Chinese songs are like this, we do have beautiful songs!!
And to those who published this book! Please don't just think of making money, put some effort into it, it will make all of us happier!
This collection certainly is fun. Some of the tunes are new to me and some of them I already know. Each song on the CD is sung twice to a simple guitar accompaniment so the listener can hear the tune once before joining in. The text of the Chinese songs is given in simplified characters (the traditional characters can be downloaded from the publisher's website), pinyin, and English translation. The book is very nicely put together.
I do have a big complaint: Faye-Lynn has a nice voice, but the children singing along to the Chinese songs have a hard time matching pitch, which sometimes makes it difficult to discern the tune. I would guess the reason for this is that some of the songs are pitched quite low. (There is a great disparity in pitch range between different songs--I'm not sure why this is the case.) My solution for this is to transcribe the tunes so I don't have to listen to the CD any more than necessary.
Other than that complaint, I am very happy with the book and I expect that my children and I will use it for a long time. I would have rated this product five stars if the CD were not so awful.
Things we like:
* The Chinese nursery rhymes have pin yin pronunciation guides and English translations along with the Chinese characters, which helps me with words and characters I don't know
* The book intersperses English nursery rhymes with Chinese nursery rhymes, and those nearby often share related subjects (e.g., trains, animals, the Moon)
Things we're okay with:
* the illustrations are nothing special, but they're interesting enough for a baby to look at; they weren't really a factor for us, but don't have high expectations
Things we don't like:
* each of us recognize only about one-third of the nursery rhymes in our own respective languages, which is less than we expected, and many of the tunes were ones we had never heard before (not necessarily a drawback, but if you're looking for a book of familiar tunes and rhymes, you might want to check)
* there was no printed music on the page, so to figure out the tunes we didn't know, we had to use the CD (which we had hoped not to need at all, and which turned out be poorly produced)
* the recordings are so poorly made as to be unusable --- they were enough for us to figure out the unknown tunes, and that's all we'll use them for; as far as we can tell, each features an older voice and a younger voice over a guitar, and they have several problems:
- the younger voice on the Chinese recordings is so out of tune that they are painful to listen to; often times, it seems she doesn't really know the song and is trying to follow along with the older voice, who is also sometimes out of tune
- the older voice on the Chinese recordings sings with a definite Taiwanese accent, so much of the Mandarin pronunciation is improper (at least, to a mainlander); even worse, the younger voice sings with an American Taiwanese accent; these differences are very obvious to me even as a non-native speaker
- the English recordings are more reasonable, and not too unpleasant to listen to, but again the younger voice is at times out of tune or unable to keep up
- in short, the quality of the recordings is simply not up to reasonable publication standards, and you don't have to be a Chinese speaker or a musician to notice the shortcomings