Books About Chinese Culture


 
Five Chinese Brothers (Turtleback School & Library)

Five Chinese Brothers
by Claire Huchet Bishoplued, English. ISBN: 9780833529985

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The classic story about five clever brothers, each with a different extraordinary ability is "a dramatic retelling of an old Chinese tale." (The New York Public Library)." . . . when Bishop makes the tall brother stretch, the sea-swallower work, or the robust one hold his breath, young children will laugh and laugh."--"New York Herald Tribune Books."

 

 

 

 

Daisy Comes Home

Daisy Comes Home
by Jan Brett Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399236181

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Inspired in part by the classic story of Ping, the adventurous young duck on the Yangtze River, Brett's (The Mitten) spirited, intricately illustrated tale centers on Daisy, the smallest of Mei Mei's six hens. Escaping the taunts of the larger hens, the beleaguered creature leaves the henhouse one rainy night to sleep in an egg basket at the edge of the Li River. But soon the rising water reaches the basket, and the current sweeps Daisy downstream. While a distraught Mei Mei searches for her, Daisy encounters (and cleverly escapes from) a dog, a water buffalo and a troop of monkeys before being snatched up by a fisherman who can't wait to sell her at market. Mei Mei's nick-of-time rescue of Daisy will bring smiles to young faces as will Daisy's new status in the hen house.

In the main frame of each paneled spread, Brett depicts in fine detail the diverse wildlife and lush vegetation found along the Li, while smaller images in the corners amplify elements of the plot. Incorporating simulated bamboo patterns, basket weaves and painted pottery, the artist's trademark borders and embellishments intriguingly evoke the timeless setting. The elegance of the illustrations gains a touch of whimsy as Brett hides some surprises in the distant mountains.

 

 

 

 

Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale

Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale
by Ying Chang Compestine Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780525420682

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When a boy goes to the market to buy food and comes home with an old wok instead, his parents wonder what they'll eat for dinner. But then the wok rolls out of the poor family's house with a "skippity-hoppity-ho!" and returns from the rich man's home with a feast in tow!

With spirited text and lively illustrations, this story reminds readers about the importance of generosity.

 

 

 

 

Story of Noodles

Story of Noodles
by Ying Chang Compestine Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780823416004

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The annual cooking contest is coming up. Learn how the creative Kang boys may have invented the first noodle dish and three different techniques for eating them. Then try slurping some yourself with the "long-life noodle" recipe included at the end of this book.

 

 

 

 

 


Finding Joy

Finding Joy
by Marion Coste Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781590781920

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This well-written story features a Chinese baby whose birth parents feel that they have no room for girls and sadly arrange for her to be found; she is then placed in an orphanage. Coste relates this heartbreaking event in gentle, nonjudgmental terms. A white American couple with grown children, who missed the sight of little hands and chubby legs, feel that their familys not complete and decide to adopt a daughter from China. Shu-li is renamed Joy. Chens painterly watercolor spreads are appealing, with realistic depictions of both races. They complement the simple elegance of the text. The authors note offers an explanation of China's policies and traditions that cause parents to prefer boy babies. It is both comprehensive and easy for even young children to understand.

 

 

 

 

Story about Ping

Story about Ping
by Marjorie Flack Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780448421650

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Since 1933, "The Story About Ping" has captivated generations of readers, but never before has it been available in a mass-market paperback format. No one can deny the appeal of the book's hero, the spirited little duck who lives on a boat in the Yangtze River. Full color.

 

 

 

 

 

Behold...the Dragons! Behold...the Dragons!

Behold...the Dragons! Behold...the Dragons!
by Gail Gibbons Library Binding, English. ISBN: 9780688155278

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Once people believed in dragons, but not today. Still, we continue to celebrate these fantastic creatures in stories, movies, and songs. In fact, dragons are so popular there is a science just to study them!

In a book that is carefully researched, brimming with energy and charm, and full of fascinating facts, Gail Gibbons tells readers all about dragons -- their origins, their place in mythology and folktales, and why we are still so fascinated with them today.

 

 

 

 

Orange Peel's Pocket

Orange Peel's Pocket
by Rose Lewis Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780810983946

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One day in class, Orange Peel--who got her nickname by eating orange peels when she was little--and her classmates learn about China. Everyone starts to ask Orange Peel questions about the country because they know that's where she was born. But she doesn't have all the answers. So Orange Peel joins her mother on her neighborhood errands to find out.

Many of the shops they visit are owned by people who also were born in China. Each has a story to tell Orange Peel. She visits Mr. Fan the tailor, who speaks about silk; Ma Sang, who owns an antiques store and also writes poetry; Mrs. Liu at the flower shop; Mr. Yu, whose restaurant makes "best there ever was" noodle soup; and Jasmine at the ice cream shop. Orange Peel can't wait to tell the kids at school about China's influence on all of these things, but first she discovers a number of gifts that have been slipped into her pocket by the store owners: silk, a poem, a peony, a noodle soup recipe, and a lucky red knot. Orange Peel is overjoyed, as the treasures she's found link her to the place where she was born.

 

 

  

 

Yeh-Shen

Yeh-Shen
by Ai-Ling Louie Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399209000

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This version of the Cinderella story, in which a young girl overcomes the wickedness of her stepsister and stepmother to become the bride of a prince, is based on ancient Chinese manuscripts written 1000 years before the earliest European version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Tikki Tikki Tembo
by Arlene Mosel Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780805006629

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"Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo!"

When an eldest son fell into a well and too much time was spent trying to pronounce his name instead of being spent in getting help, the Chinese, according to legend, decided to give all their children short names.

Three decades and more than one million copies later children still love hearing about the boy with the long name who fell down the well. Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent's classic re-creation of an ancient Chinese folktale has hooked legions of children, teachers, and parents, who return, generation after generation, to learn about the danger of having such an honorable name as Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo.

 

 

 

 

Pea Blossom

Pea Blossom
by Amy Lowry Poole Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780823418640

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In a small garden near the great city of Beijing, five peas rest patiently in the same shell. As the peas grow, so do their dreams. It is the smallest pea whose journey transforms the life of a mother and daughter in this rendition of a Hans Christian Andersen tale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ma Jiang & the Orange Ants

Ma Jiang & the Orange Ants
by Barbara Ann Porte Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780531302415

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When her father and brother are called away to war, Ma Jiang finds a unique way to trap the orange ants that her mother sells in order to make a living. Capturing and selling orange ants (thus named because they prey on insects that eat oranges) to the owners of orange groves has been the livelihood of the Ma family for many years. One day, though, the men in the family are taken away to serve in the emperor's army and no one is left to search for the ants in the high trees and wild bamboo; neither Jiang nor her mother knows how. Jiang's mother weaves to support them, but her meager earnings aren't enough to feed them or Bao, the baby of the family. When all seems lost, it is clever Jiang who finds the answer to their dilemma in Bao's sticky little fingers -- and gets the Mas back into the orange ant business.

 

 

 

 


King Pom and the Fox

King Pom and the Fox
by Jessica Souhami Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781845074784

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Li Ming looks so proud guarding his one pomegranate tree that people laughingly call him "King Pom." But when he catches a big red fox stealing a pomegranate, the fox makes a deal with him -- "Get me out of here and I'll make you rich!" Suddenly, the laughing stops. Li Ming gets fine clothes, magnificent horses, a splendid palace, and the hand of a princess in marriage! But is the fox's generosity real?

This ancient, action-packed Chinese version of Puss-in-Boots, featuring vibrant illustrations and a fox instead of a cat, is just the book to make youngsters demand repeat readings.

 

 


 

Cat and Rat

Cat and Rat
by Ed Young Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780805029772

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In this intriguing picture book, Caldecott Medalist Young (Seven Blind Mice) retells a Chinese folktale about the origins of the zodiac. The Jade Emperor of Heaven invites all the animals in the land to participate in a race through the thickest part of the forest and across the river at its widest point; the first 12 to finish will have a year in the Chinese calendar named after them. Young focuses on Cat and Rat, originally best friends. But when Cat and Rat convince Buffalo to let them ride on his back across the river, greedy Rat tricks them both and wins first place for himself. How the other animals cross the finish line and how Cat arrives too late to be included in the zodiac explains not only the character of each of the zodiac signs but cleverly suggests how the enmity between cats and rats began.

 

 

 

 

My Mei Mei

My Mei Mei
by Ed Young Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399243394

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This charming personal story by a Caldecott Medalist is the tale of a little girl who learns what being a big sister is all about and the real meaning of family.