Cang Jie, The Inventor of Chinese Characters Book Review

If you want to know more about the Chinese characters and their origin, Cang Jie, The Inventor of Chinese Characters is a great book to read. I have been teaching my son the mandarin language for the past school year and this is a really good material to help him appreciate the characters even more. The Chinese characters are quite different from English and each character stands as a symbol of the word. Once you understand the meaning behind the characters, it is easier to remember what the character stands for.

Cang Jie was a Chinese historian who is helping the Emperor record all things. During his time, there were no characters yet. He invented different ways to record but eventually, he found inspiration as he recognized how different the tracks of the animals are from one another. He carefully observed the nature around him and begin making symbols for each one. This became the beginning of the Chinese characters we know today.

Cang Jie, The Inventor of Chinese Characters is written by Li Jian.  Mr. Li Jian used to be a middle school art teacher, editor for children’s books and a partner in an illustration studio. He currently owns his own illustration studio focusing on children’s fairy tales.

You may purchase this book from Tuttle Publishing . The book comes in hardcover format and has 42 pages. The book is written in a way that children will easily understand and appreciate.

For more information on Tuttle Publishing, please visit their website at http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/ and their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TuttleBooks/

Tuttle Publishing’s Easy Mandarin Chinese Review

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Easy Mandarin Chinese by Tuttle Publishing is a complete language course which focuses on daily practical conversations. It is best for those who are traveling to a Mandarin speaking country or those who wish to understand the basics of the language. It comes with an Audio CD of the lessons being spoken by a native Mandarin speaker to guide the student as he learns about the language. Mandarin language is spoken in many Asian countries and this is being taught through the PinYin or english pronunciation guide.

This book has 20 Chapters and the topics include greetings, introducing yourself, going shopping, eating, making a phone call, feeling unwell, geography, riding to the airport and farewell. It even has a glossary section where the common words are listed in pinyin with their english meaning.

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In the beginning of every chapter, there is a comic section where you see the characters talking in pinyin and in english. Then the dialogue is written again on the first page of the chapter. The lessons are written down in english in the grammar notes section. Then for application, the pattern practice follows plus the exercises. There is an answer key at the end of the book.

It is a very easy to use language book and very straight forward. My son and I have been going through the book for the past month now and we’ve been going slowly so he remembers the words he’s been learning to speak. This is very helpful as we only want to tackle basic and common phrases. Even for a non Mandarin speaker, Easy Mandarin Chinese is easy to follow and understand.

Hopefully, at the end of our school year, my son will be fluently speaking basic Mandarin so he is ready for our future travels!

For more information about this book, you may check Tuttle Publishing website and Tuttle Publishing FB page.

Diary of a Tokyo Teen Review

Tuttle Publishing‘s Diary of A Tokyo Teen is written by a Japanese-American girl who traveled solo to Tokyo from the USA before her 16th birthday. Written and drawn by Christine Mari Inzer, this is a graphic novel and travelogue of her experience in Japan as she visited her grandparents in this fascinating country.

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The exciting adventure started in Kashiwa where her grandparents live. Then she visited her favorite fast food chain which can’t be found in America, Mos Burger.

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She also introduced her cousins and the trendy teenagers you can see around the area.

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Christine traveled to Harajuku and this was what she experienced!
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Kyoto was her next stop where she shared her experience with the trains, food and the sights around her. Eventually, she found what she was looking for!

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Her family eventually arrived and they traveled to Tokyo to see more of Japan. The famous Hachiko, Japanese Ramen, sushi and Japanese culture were all featured as well.

The book is filled with personal photos, thoughts and illustrations that made the book feel more like a personal diary yet it is educational as the readers experience what it is like to travel in Japan.

This book has 128 pages and is paperback with flaps and almost the size of a letter sized bond paper. The good quality white paper used gave the illustrations the attention and the focus it deserves. The fonts used were very much like hand printed letters giving it personalized effect. Colorful and inviting, this book is ideal for children, teenagers and  young adults who want to experience what Japan is really like.

I enjoyed reading this and wasn’t surprised that my 12 year old daughter loved it too! Here is what she thought about the book:

“I really, really enjoyed reading the book! It had tons of colorful illustrations and photos. I enjoyed the book a lot because it’s fun and easy to read. I love the way the author showed me what Japan is like. It’s really funny, but at the same time you can learn new facts about Japan. I’ve read a lot of books about different countries, but I think this is one of the best! :)”

We were just talking about visiting Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and this book came! Is that a coincidence or what?

Get a copy of this book from Tuttle Publishing. Since 1948, Tuttle Publishing has been the premier publisher of English language books on Asian culture. They have books on a wide range of topics; including Asian culture, literature, architecture, gardening, cooking, martial arts, origami and crafts, travel, health and wellness, spirituality, and fine art for a worldwide audience. For more information, please visit their website, www.tuttlepublishing.com.