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HedgePig

"My Little Chinese Story Books" - New Series of Readers (500-1000 character level)

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HedgePig

I've recently come across a series called "My Little Chinese Story Books" by Victor Siye Bao. I [edit: had not] seen these mentioned before and they seem to be newly published. Although they are aimed more at children than adults, they could be quite useful for "leaving beginner stage" learners, particularly given the dearth of reading material at this level. I've only look at two in any detail - there are around forty altogether - but they seem to be very similar in approach:

1) Simplified Chinese, heavily illustrated.

2) I would guess that they are aimed at people with knowledge of 500-1000 characters, or maybe a bit more.

3) Each story is about 500 characters long. There are one to three lines of characters on each page.

4) There is Pinyin above the characters. However the Pinyin is not too intrusive as the characters are much larger and therefore very clear to read. Furthermore at the end of the story is repeated on a single page, just using the Chinese characters. (Hooray!)

5) There is a vocaubulary list with about 20 words at the back of the book. However there is no full English translation.

6) There is an accompanying CD with a flash program that "reads" through the story, page by page, with the words being highlighted, KTV style. This is an exact repeat of the book layout, along with the illustrations. It also goes through the characters-only section - although I find this difficult to read on the computer screen as the resolution is poor.

7) In China the listed price is 15 yuan, including the CD. They are cheaper on amazon.cn

8) There are around 40 books in the series.

9) Published by Peking University Press. A few sample ISBN no.'s are 9787301144176 and 9787301170632

I hope this is of some interest.

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HedgePig

Some further updates just in case it's of interest.

After going back to the bookstall, I realise that not all of the books include the full Chinese text (with no pinyin) at the back. The full text seems to have started around no. 20 or so. Some of those that do include the full Chinese text also use a rather styalised font (modern, rather childish) which I don't like.

Here are some stats from based on the two books I've read. They haven't been checked but might help give an idea. Based on this, perhaps the level is perhaps a little lower than I initially estimated. (Rather like my own Chinese.)

小甜甜 机器人 Combined

Total Characters 486 511 997

Unique Characters 194 187 287

HSK 1 182 164 253

HSK 2 10 19 28

HSK 3+ 2 4 6

Note my definition of HSK level 1,2,3+ is whether the character first appears at that level, not the word. As you can see the stories are largely using HSK1 level characters.

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character

Reviving an old thread to say that these are available on the Amazon Kindle store. I bought one; the pages are full-color images and look fine on an iPad 3's Kindle app. While the book is nicely produced, for the price I would recommend the Chinese Breeze books instead for the much greater amount of Chinese writing.

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