I have a fascinating book to share with you today! I received The Great Voyages of Zheng He for review from Kite Readers.
As you know, China holds a piece of my heart, so I was very excited about this book. I knew absolutely nothing of Zheng He, so I was very surprised to learn that in the 1400s, China had an amazing armada of over 300 ships and that Zheng He led 7 great diplomatic voyages to other countries as far away as Africa!
I, of course, took the opportunity to incorporate pictures from our trips to China when appropriate, so the kids could see these thing happened in REAL places, where I've actually been. This is the Forbidden City, which emperor Zhu Di, who appointed Zhang He Admiral of the Navy, rebuilt and expanded.
Zhu Di also strengthened The Great Wall.
The book mentions Nanjing, where we met Hannah, too.
We Americans seem to think history started in 1492 sometimes. But China was already an international superpower, receiving tribute from more than 30 foreign states when Europe was still in the Dark Ages.
This beautiful book is both written and illustrated by Demi, author of more than 100 children's books. It is available in both Kindle and hardcover editions, and is a book I think every family with Chinese kids should strongly consider adding to their home library. I'm glad for books like these, that I can use to help instill cultural pride in Katie and Hannah, and when we hit the 1400s in our chronological study of world history (next year or the following year), I will be sure we read this one again to help the kids establish what an amazing accomplishment these Great Voyages were, in the context of what was going on in the rest of the world.
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