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Summary: Mandy and her panda friend visit tourist sites in China. The story is told in both Chinese characters (with English phonetics of the text) and in English. This is a bilingual board book in English and Chinese. It comes with a CD
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 0 to 4; read yourself: 4 to 8
Interest Level: 1 to 4
Age of Child: Read with 2-year-old and 4-year-old boys.
Young Reader Reaction: We read only the English text, but I'm not sure the boys grasped the story. They identified things familiar to them (pandas, airplane), but that is all.
Adult Reader Reaction: I didn't really enjoy this book. It was an interesting lesson about Chinese culture and geography, but a little difficult for little ones to grasp the meaning of "country" and distances far away.
Pros: A simple story introduces Chinese cultural sites.
Cons: The cartoon drawings did not make much of an impact on the sites of China. Although this is a board book, the concepts are beyond the comprehension of toddlers and preschoolers.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow or skip. You would have to be pretty motivated to teach a non-native speaking 4-year-old Chinese. While the book is interesting to me as an adult, I'm not sure kids are as motivated to learn.
Educational Themes: Use this book (with older children) to learn about Chinese culture, history, and geography. The CD will introduce them to the sounds of the language, too.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. This is an unsolicited donation.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, foreign language, Chinese, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: September 2009
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