Tag Archives: Translation into Chinese

Little Lit Book Review: Chinese Picture Books [Part 3]

The Mother Tongue Language Festival, organised by the National Library, is held between 6 and 13 September 2014. So it is an opportune time to review some good-quality Chinese picture books, originally written in English, Japanese or French.

 

 Big Word Factory by by Agnès de LestradeTitle: The Big Word Factory by Agnès de Lestrade

Age Range: 5 years and above

Chinese standard: Intermediate

Availability: This book is available as an app, and has been considered one of the ‘Best Book Apps of 2013’. The English edition has a different title, ‘Phileas’s Fortune: A Story About Self-Expression.

 

 

 

The Big Word Factory by Agnès de Lestrade is an award-winning picture book. Originally written in French and translated into Chinese, it is a charming tale about the beauty and power of words, and the power of the heart to touch the hearts of others.

 

Synopsis

Big Word Factory by Big Word Factory by by Agnès de Lestrade

The reader is taken to a peculiar place where a factory produces words like consumer goods. Angry and elegant words are marked down as sale items. Worthless words are discarded in alleys.

In this peculiar place the people hardly speak. Speaking is too expensive and too laborious.

First they have to purchase the words. Next they have to chew and swallow each word. Finally they have to wait for an appropriate time to articulate the words.

Big Word Factory by Agnès de LestradeBut what if they can’t afford to buy words? They might be able to nab words printed on strips of paper floating by; words tossed away by those who used them carelessly and frivolously.

Phileas wants to tell Cybele, “I love you” but he cannot afford it. Instead we watch the resourceful and courageous Phileas woos Cybele with 3 other words: – Cherry, Dust, Chair.

 

My Thoughts – Heart of the Matter

Big Word Factory by Big Word Factory by by Agnès de LestradeThe Big Word Factory is a good picture book with intricate layers and textures that are waiting to be unpeeled and uncovered. Poetically written and translated, this book is a great resource for children to build their word bank [English and Chinese]. If you are a word-lover and enjoy savouring the texture and flavour of every word, this book is for you. This story is also a love story for romantics.

 

We often hear it’s not what we say but how we say it that matters. This story points to a fundamental truth: the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Phileas’ 3 words do not seem to stand a chance with rival Oscar‘s string of words. However, Phileas, heartfelt expression of each word, his gifting of these precious pearls he has struggled to gather finally tugs Cybele’s heart.

 1|2|3

 

 

Tagged , , ,

Little Lit Book Review: Chinese Picture Books [Part 2]

The Mother Tongue Language Festival, organised by the National Library, is held between 6 and 13 September 2014. So it is an opportune time to review some good-quality Chinese picture books, originally written in English, Japanese or French.

 

It's a Book! by Lane SmithTitle: It’s a Book! by Lane Smith

Age Range: 5 years and above

Chinese standard: Easy to Intermediate

 

It’s a Book!, written by award-winning author-cum-illustrator Lane Smith, is about a book loving monkey, a tech savvy jackass and a straight talking little mouse. This book has been translated to over 20 languages.

 

 

 

Synopsis

It's a Book! by Lane Smith The jackass simply does not get it. He asks, “Can it [the book] scroll down?
Can it blog? Can it tweet? Can it text? Can it play back music? Can you play games with it? Do you need a password?” The monkey replies to every question, “No, you can’t”, but the jackass’ curiosity grows. He ends up reading the book and refuses to return it to the monkey. At the end of the story, the jackass still doesn’t get it.

 

 

 

My Thoughts – A very clever, satirical concept

It's a Book! by Lane Smith

Brilliantly conceived and a hilarious read. Today many children are familiar with ebooks, ibook, digital books, interactive books and computer games but are clueless about hardback and paperback books. This makes a perfect gift for screen-obsessed children. My K2 nephew finds the story funny and the jackass silly even though he does not fully grasp some of the concepts such as blogging [写博客], text [短信] and wifi [无线上网]. But he gets the story. He is no jackass. Phew!

1|2| 3

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , ,

Little Lit Book Review: Chinese Picture Books [Part 1]

The Mother Tongue Language Festival, organised by the National Library, is held between 6 and 13 September 2014. So it is an opportune time to review some good-quality Chinese picture books, originally written in English, Japanese or French.

 

Parents who want their children to experience reading Chinese at an early age should try these books. The Chinese text in these books does not come with Hanyu Pinyin.

 


GreatGrandPasGrandPaTitle:
爷爷的爷爷的爷爷的爷爷 [Grandpa’s Grandpa’s Grandpa’s Grandpa] by Yoshifumi Hasegawa

Age Range: 3 years and above

Chinese standard: Easy

 

Grandpa’s Grandpa’s Grandpa’s Grandpa is multiple-award winning author-cum-illustrator Yoshifumi Hasegawa’s first book. This comical and creative book makes learning Chinese fun.

 

Synopsis: 

A 5-year-old boy introduces his 38-year-old father and his 72-year-old grandfather to the reader. He asks his grandfather, “What is your father like?”

GreatGrandPasGrandPa-Inside2Grandpa introduces him to his great-grandfather. His grandpa exits the page. The boy spends time with his great-grandfather and asks, “What is your father like?”

His great-grandfather introduces his father as “great-great-grandfather”. His great-grandfather exits the page. Now the boy spends time with his great-great-grandfather and asks, “What is your father like?” His great-great-grandfather introduces his father as “great-great-great-grandfather”.

The beautiful cyclical structure of this story follows the boy as he traces his lineage through each historic period and finally wonders whose grandfather he will be in the future?

 

My Thoughts – Shared Moments with Loved Ones

GreatGrandPa2

The bold, quirky illustrations add humour and depth to the boy’s story—imagining the boy sharing a meal, travelling or conversing with his ancestors—reminds us to cherish shared moments with our loved ones.

 My K2 nephew reads with glee as he keeps adding yet another “great” to the preceding “great”. Try saying “great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great-grandfather.” It is a ridiculously funny and non-threatening easy read for children learning Mandarin.

 

 

 

Title: 尿尿是什么? [What is Pee?] by Kyo Yamiwaki

Age Range: 3 years and above

Chinese standard: Easy

 

WhatisPee-CoverOriginally written by a Japanese writer, this book is perfect for potty training children, especially boys. But it is also a fun read for non-potty children learning Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The story starts when Yu Yu graduates from diapers to undies. His undies is so comfortable Yu Yu discovers he can do a series of forward rolls.

Pee-Guide3

Pee-Guide5

Yu Yu shares a moment with his imaginary friend, a frog print motif on the curtain that springs into secret life, just for him. Yu Yu explains to the frog what pee is, what causes someone to pee and how to pee. The story has a funny, final twist.

 

My thoughts – Peek into Peeing Guide

Yu Yu’s step-by-step guide on how to pee into a toilet bowl is perfect for little boys.

 1 | 2 | 3

Tagged , , ,