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Title: 100層樓的家 (yi bai3 ceng2 lou2 de5 jia)/The 100 Story House
Publisher: 小魯文化事業股份有限公司 (Hsiao Lu Publishing Co. LTD., 2010)
Level: Beginning Reader, Picture Book, Fiction
Summary: A boy who wants to look at the stars is invited by someone to go to the top floor of a 100 story building. The book follows him as he climbs up 100 stories and you see who lives on each floor as he climbs to the top.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
5 Minute Review: Despite it being a bit hard for me to read to my children due to my mediocre Chinese skills (and the book’s lack of zhuyin), my children really love to flip through the book and look at all the illustrations.
Cookie Monster (7.5) and Gamera (5.5) can read most of the content and trip over a character here and there (just like me – I don’t know whether to be proud of them or sad about myself). There really isn’t too much story or plot – just a lot of awesome pictures.
One cool thing about this book is that because it’s about a boy climbing UP a 100 story building, you also experience the book that way by flipping UP through the book to read it.
Here is a video of Glow Worm (3.75) flipping through the pages and telling himself the story.
I say be proud of them 🙂 But I feel your pain. I was reading 睡美人 to my kids yesterday and although I could pronounce all the words (through the zhuyin), I didn’t know what half the words meant. It was only because I knew the story in English that I could sort of guess along the Chinese. Ack!
Yeah, I run in to this same problem trying to read Chinese stories to my daughter. Kudos to those of you with sufficient fluency to read these types of stories to your kids. That’s pretty cool!
I’m not Chinese, but I studied Mandarin in college — simplified characters, with new characters introduced along with Pinyin at first. I’ve really had to hunt for very basic, engaging stories that use simplified characters that I mostly recognize. It makes me very glad that I learned to use radicals to look up characters in a dictionary, though.
There are graded readers out there that use very basic characters and progressively get more complex, the further along that you get in the series. Some of these I think have Pinyin and English translations. I imagine that there must also be versions out there with Zhuyin. These are the types of books that I am trying to start with in exposing my daughter to Chinese. Well, those, and bilingual books, whereby I can look up the Chinese translation, based on the English. I’m just getting started, so we’ll see how it goes.
I’d love to be able to read stories to my daughter like the one in this review. Alas, I am not quite there yet. But with practice, maybe I could eventually get there. = )