Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What We're Reading - Books For Kids From China


I recently picked up a book in the bilingual section of the library to read to my girls.  Hannah is 7 and Katie is 5.


The book is called Ming's Adventure in the Forbidden City.  It's a sweet little adventure story of a boy visiting Beijing with his father and opening a door and stepping back in time to the days of the emperors.


After reading it, I discovered there are a bunch more books by the same author in the same format.  I ended up ordering a couple to add to our little collection of China books.


Hannah and Katie recently moved into the same bedroom, which makes reading bedtime stories together easier.  I'm ashamed to admit that bedtime reading together had fallen by the wayside while we were in survival mode, so I'm really delighted to be sharing my love for books with my little girls again.


Another book I found at the library has to do with fortune cookies.  While not from China, they're a Chinese American invention.  Although some people say they were originally created by a Japanese person and capitalized on by the Chinese, the concept of putting a message into a pastry is Chinese (mainland China) in origin, from the 13th and 14th century, when secret messages were delivered in moon cakes.  If the cover art looks familiar to you, it's because author Grace Lin has several other neat children's books with Chinese themes, including The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale, which was a gift we received when Hannah came home.  I just checked, and yup, it still makes me cry.


We have several of the Zodiac animal books in this series.  We have many different animals represented in our family, and I hope to eventually have each of them.  As a matter of fact, we have a bunch of other Chinese New Year books, too, including another of Grace Lin's books.


We are fortunate to live near the author Allison Branscombe, and she was promoting her new book at Chinese New Year events that we attended this year, so I picked up a copy.  All About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More for Kids  This is still a little above my girls' comprehension level, but it's a lovely book.


I was a bit premature in hoping that Hannah was ready for chapter book on her last birthday, and requested and received The Year of the Book for her from the grandparents.  Although she could sound out the words at just turned 7, at the end of the page, she had no idea what she'd read or what was happening in the story.  I put that one on the shelf for a while, and I'm thinking perhaps now, as she's turning 8 this month, I'll read it aloud to them and see if she is able to follow the story yet.  This book is part of a series, and if she gets interested in it, she might be ready to pick the subsequent books up on her own and begin reading chapter books for pleasure in addition to picture books.


Daisy Comes Home is the story of a chicken's adventure and how she learned to stand up for herself.  The illustrations are precious!

While not specifically a book about China, I like to include Everybody Cooks Rice in this lineup because it brings home the idea that people all around the world, and up and down our own streets are the same in some ways.  One of the families featured is from China.


This one is also not specifically about China, but about the idea that mamas and babies belong together.  It's written with many different types of bird families depicted, and I thought it was a reassuring message for adopted kids, You Nest Here With Me, repeated throughout the story.


We have many different books about pandas, from DK to Usborne to readers to picture books.  In addition to being native to China, pandas are just plain cute!  I might have a thing for pandas.

I hope to instill a love for China and Chinese culture in my girls, and books are one way we can do that.

Linking up with:  Family Fun Friday, The Adoption Talk Linkup, Read Aloud Wednesday, and What To Read Wednesday.

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13 comments:

  1. Great choices! We don't have little ones from China, but I love having books from different cultures in our children's library. I will have to check these ut!

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    1. We enjoy learning about other people, places, and times, too. :) There's such a rich world out there that books can bring into the home, isn't there?

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  2. I peeked at this list the other day, and just came back to comment. My daughter saw The Year of the Book over my shoulder as I was scrolling through and announced she REALLY wants to read it just based on the cover photo. Great list!

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    1. Oh, that's cool! Thanks for sharing, Erin! :) Let me know how she likes it. I saw there are 4 now; when we got this one, only the first 3 were out.

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  3. This a great list! My son started researching the great wall of China yesterday. This will be great to add to his interest.

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    1. How neat! Perfect timing! The Great Wall was totally amazing. Standing on it, realizing it was built by people who lived thousands of years ago, seeing it's vastness stretch away as far as the eye can see... it's awe inspiring!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your list of picture books on China! My little girl can't wait to read some of these! She has a heart for children in China and says when she gets older she wants to go there to tell them about Jesus. Love your heart for adoption as we are adoptive parents too!

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    1. That's so incredibly sweet, Michelle! How old is she? There's a church on Shamian Island that we saw, but you have to show your non-Chinese passport to enter. There is certainly a need for eager young missionaries there.

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  5. Books are so important in a child's life. Thank you for sharing with us at #AnythingGoes link up

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    1. Books must be important around here! Our 10 bookcases are full to bursting! :)

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  6. As a coach to adoptive families, this collection makes a wonderful resource.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Gayle! We've since picked up a few more titles. Perhaps I'll have to update this. :)

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    2. I look forward to learning what you recommend.

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