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Enjoy this fun idea for kids 🙂

When I was a child, I was taught that those brief poems, haiku, were a certain number of syllables. Today, I learned that the syllable count applies only to the Japanese versions of the poems, and in English, it’s more appropriate to simply keep them to three short lines — while striving for seven general principles, such as focusing on nature. Wow, a master’s degree later, and I still hadn’t been taught these eye-opening principles about this fun and important form of poetry! This book is geared toward children, and is set up like a picture book.

But it is much more than that. Yes, there are many illustrations and the text is varied in its typefaces and formatting, while the layout — with two columns on each page — breaks up the extensive text. Further, the writing is straightforward and friendly. Altogether, it makes this fairly complete look at writing Haiku engaging and thorough, and suitable for all ages, including children. The book is well-bound and printed, and packs a lot of interesting info into its 50 pages.

This is an excellent and engaging dictionary and guide to speaking and reading in Chinese. It covers Mandarin, the major version of the language. It’s very well done, and is filled with engaging photography of popular items and general topics which would be commonly used today, for example, restaurant phrases and names of specific foods, and a Internet and computing terms. Each image or scene includes Hanzi characters, a phonetic spelling, and a translation in English.

While fun to read through, it is a serious offering for all ages. The sound files, which are accessed online, are invaluable and help with pronunciation, learning the proper tones, and honestly, with following the pronunciation of vowels (I haven’t studied those symbols atop the phonetic spelling in years, lol). My own study of Mandarin is bumping along, but I highly recommend this guide as a big, big help.

My son and his wife are raising their kids in a two-language home. It’s fun and kind of exciting to see our grand kids learning so much. But it is hard to find books that everyone can enjoy and that show our appreciation for our daughter-in-law’s heritage and native language. If you find yourself in the same boat, then this would be a great book for you and yours. It features nursery rhymes in English and in Mandarin, with an audio CD included (and a links to download audio files) to help learn pronunciation, too — very helpful!

The chapters are divided into sections for indoors and outdoors, parties, playing, and nighttime activities. Although this is geared toward children, it’s a help to anyone learning Mandarin Chinese. Our daughter-in-law is now working online, teaching Chinese children to speak English, and I think she’ll be delighted to use this in her work with her young students.