Feb 26, 2024

World Book Day: 5 Kids’ Books to Enhance Your Chinese Reading

What’s your favorite book you read when you were a kid? Do you remember those enchanting bedtime stories and fairy tales that swept you off to magical places every night? As children, we all love being immersed in tales of adventure, magic and wonder.

Yet, as we grow up, these cherished stories often find themselves tucked away on dusty bookshelves, seldom to be opened again.

However, if you’re learning Chinese, revisiting these beloved tales can be a game-changer. Reading them in Chinese is like meeting an old friend: you know the plot and context from your first language, making it much easier and quicker to pick up the nuances in Chinese.

So, in this post, we’ll share five globally loved kids’ books arranged from easy reads to more challenging tales. You’ll not only rediscover timeless stories but also gather essential Chinese words from each one, giving your language skills a welcome lift.

The Little Prince 小王子

Little prince in Chinese

The Little Prince (小王子; xiǎo wáng zǐ) lived on a small planet (星球; xīng qiú) with a very special friend, a beautiful rose (玫瑰; méi guī). Eager to explore and make new friends, he left his rose and visited different planets, meeting grown-ups (大人; dà rén) who acted in strange and silly ways.

One day, he met a pilot (飛行員/飞行员; fēi xíng yuán) stranded in the desert beside his crashed aircraft. The pilot drew a picture of a sheep (羊; yáng) for the Little Prince, which made him smile. They formed a particular bond, and the Little Prince learned about love and friendship, realizing how special his rose was. The story teaches us that “What is most important can’t be seen with just your eyes.”

Jack and the Beanstalk 傑克與魔豆/杰克与魔豆

cow or ox in Chinese

The little boy Jack (傑克/杰克; jié kè) lived with his mother in a small house, and they were very poor. One day, Jack traded their only cow (; niú) with an old man (老人; lǎo rén) for some magic beans (魔豆; mó dòu). His mother was upset and threw the beans out the window. To their surprise, a gigantic beanstalk grew overnight, reaching up to the sky.

'hen' in Chinese

Curious, Jack climbed the beanstalk and found a castle (城堡; chéng bǎo) in the clouds where a giant man (巨人; jù rén) lived. The giant had treasures like gold coins (金幣/金币; jīn bì) and a hen (母雞/母鸡; mǔ jī) that laid golden eggs. Brave Jack sneaked in, took some treasures, and quickly climbed down before the giant could catch him. Jack and his mother became rich and lived happily ever after.

Robinson Crusoe 魯濱遜漂流記/鲁滨逊漂流记

In a big storm, a ship was tossed around by the angry sea. A man named Robinson Crusoe (魯濱遜/鲁滨逊; lǔ bīn xùn) found himself all alone on a deserted island (/岛; dǎo) after the ship sank. He was sad at first but decided to make the best of it.

Crusoe built a shelter and learned how to find food and other survival skills needed. He made friends with a friendly parrot (鸚鵡/鹦鹉; yīng wǔ) and even saved a man he named Friday. Together, they turned the lonely island into a place they could call home. The story teaches us that with courage and determination, we can find happiness even in the toughest times.

Peter Pan 彼得潘

There once was a magical boy named Peter Pan (彼得潘; bǐ dé pān) who chose never to grow up. One evening, he flew into the bedroom of Wendy and her two little brothers in their cozy house in London while their parents were away. With a sprinkle of fairy (仙女; xiān nǚ) dust, he whisked them away on a fun journey to a fantastical place known as Neverland (夢幻島/梦幻岛; mèng huàn dǎo).

'mermaid' in Chinese

In Neverland, they encountered pirates (海盗; hǎi dào), mermaids (美人魚/美人鱼; měi rén yú), and the lost boys. Peter, brave and spirited, led them in exciting battles against the evil Captain Hook (虎克船長/虎克船长; hǔ kè chuán zhǎng). Through thrilling adventures, the children came to understand the value and warmth of home (家; jiā) and family (家人; jiā rén).

Harry Potter 哈利波特

'lightning' in Chinese

A young boy named Harry Potter (哈利波特; hā lì bō tè) lived a normal life until one day he discovered that he was no ordinary boy. On his forehead, he had a lightning-shaped scar (閃電印記/闪电印记; shǎn diàn yìn jì), a mark left by the evil Voldemort (伏地魔; fú dì mó).

Harry was introduced to the world of magic (魔法; mó fǎ). He learned to cast spells with a magic wand (魔杖; mó zhàng) and fly on a flying broomstick (飞行扫帚; fēi xíng sǎo zhǒu). One day, he ventured into the Forbidden Forest (黑暗森林; hēi àn sēn lín) and faced many challenges, but his courage and friends, Hermione and Ron, helped him overcome them all.

Here you have it – the five kids’ stories to help you get better at Chinese. Reading these stories is like a trip back to your childhood, and it also helps you practice your Chinese. It’s also a fantastic way to hone your Chinese reading skills and immerse yourself in authentic materials.

Don’t forget to look for these stories in Chinese at online bookshops. You can also listen to these stories in Chinese to practice the new words you learned. So, jump back into these magical stories and let your language journey unfold!

By Chineasy | A Super Chineasian

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