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Review: My First Chinese Storybooks • Ages 5-11: A Big Spider


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I just received this book today as part of "Free Chinese Books (Second Round)". A big thanks goes out to Sinolingua, Elina and Roddy.
Chinese Title: 我的第一本中文故事书系列 • 5-11岁: 大蜘蛛
English Title: My First Chinese Storybooks • Ages 5-11: A Big Spider
ISBN: 978-7-5138-0170-6
Price: 19.90 RMB
Pages: 27


The book is intended for children (imho ages 4-7) and should be read out by it's parents. I think it's a very nice book and the story comes with very beautiful pictures that won't make you fear spiders ;-) - but it's rather a story book and not a book for language learning on it's own. If you have a child that grows up in a non-Chinese speaking country and you as a parent have some knowledge of Chinese (or your child has a Chinese teacher) then this book might be something for you. Your child should be exposed to Chinese in it's every day life otherwise the story might be a little too difficult to understand - despite the very limited vocabulary.
The story is covered on 24 pages and every double page has a big and nice picture. Below the picture is the story - once in English on the left side and once in simplified Chinese with Pinyin (above the characters and in a smaller font) on the right side. The Chinese is authentic, so you won't end up learning some sentences that nobody would say in China.
At the end of the book is a small vocabulary list that covers 20 new words. Besides these, the reader should be familiar with another 20 words. The known words are covered by HSK 1 (besides 把) and the new words are quite easy too, but sentence structure is rather HSK 3. There are some grammar points and some questions on the last page. The questions are formed in English, but should be answered in Chinese.
A MP3-DVD accompanies the book that contains the story spoken by a female speaker. She speaks clearly and in way as I would read out the story to a child - not too fast and not too slow. But I don't assume that a child would listen to it - it's rather you as a parent who has to read out the story.


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