Here’s a really overdue post. I intended to post this in March but due to my boy’s resistance towards learning Mandarin earlier this year, I found it impossible to do so. And because I only recommend items/ services that we’ve found useful, I had no choice but to wait to see if he would grow receptive to the new Chinese readers for Nursery/ Kindergarten level which the kind people from Penpal Whizz sent over in January. If you aren’t familiar with what the PenPal Whizz is, read my review here.
After a (long) wait of a few months, I’m glad to say that my boy is finally opening up to learning the Chinese language! *mad happy dance*
There’s an obvious window of opportunity, and I wasn’t about to let it slip by me. Actually this was about a month ago but I’ve been busy with my girl’s schedule (it was test season in Primary schools) so I’ve finally only managed to sit down to blog proper.
Back to the readers – I was gifted with two sets of Chinese readers:
Each set of readers comes with flashcards to go along with the books. Each sheet of cardstock consists of 8 words (词汇) and all you have to do when you get your set is to cut these up and store them properly so they aren’t mixed up.
Like just so-
There is a small number on the back of the cards so even if you mixed up the cards you’d be able to tell which book it belongs to. I like to label mine with the title as well on the small bag for my easy reference.
These books are PenPal Whizz compatible – you would need to download the sound files after you purchase them. But even if you don’t have the PenPal Whizz, you can still get these books for your kids as I find that having the cards to go along with the books pretty useful. And now that he’s into flashcards it’s clearly a bonus for us.
The pictures are vibrant and the text is big enough for reading and word recognition. Most of the time I have a big problem with getting suitable books with large enough font for the kids to read and recognise the words.
There are some discussion questions/games at the back of the book and if you have trouble reading the Chinese text, there’s hanyu pinyin on the last page. I think some might find this useful, especially if you aren’t proficient in the language.
Anyway, I personally don’t really like books with hanyu pinyin together with the text for the kids’ reading as there might be an over reliance on hanyu pinyin and hence less focus on the Chinese text.
So how do we use the books?
We read the book first a couple of times. As my boy is not very strong in Chinese, I do have to translate parts of it to him. After that I pick out a maximum of 3 cards each session for him to identify in the story and we read the cards a few times through.
Now the best part for my readers – the generous people from JLB Educational Technology are giving away the two sets of readers to two lucky blog readers (one set for each winner)!
You can win by simply leaving a comment on this blog post and remembering to click ‘I Commented’ in the Rafflecopter widget to qualify. The rest of the options are optional, but would render you more chances to win!
*Note: One set of readers per winning household only.