10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese

By That's, February 19, 2020

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Mastering Chinese can be difficult. One of the easiest ways to improve your language skills is by learning chengyu — traditional Chinese idiomatic expressions. Help your kids fine tune their Mandarin language skills with these illustrated and bilingual chengyu books, on sale right now.

1. Illustrated Idiom Stories: A Boat Side To Locate A Sword

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
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Book description from publisher:

“A man from the state of Chu accidentally dropped his precious sword into the water while ferrying across a river. He duly made a notch at the side of the boat right where the sword went overboard. When the ferry docked, he hurried to the mark he had made, and dove into the river. To his great surprise, his sword was nowhere to be found.”

2. Illustrated Idiom Stories: Uprooting Seedlings To Spur Growth

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
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Book description from publisher:

“During the Spring and Autumn period, there lived a peasant in the state of Song who was frustrated because his rice seedlings were growing slower than a snail crawls. The simple-minded man decided to give Mother Nature a nudge, so he pulled on the seedlings to increase their height.”

3. Illustrated Idiom Stories: Borrowing Arrows With Thatched Boats

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
Image via thMart

Book description from publisher:

“This story comes from the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Looking for a way to humiliate his famous ally Zhuge Liang, General Zhou Yu challenged him to craft 100,000 arrows in just ten days. Zhuge Liang realized it was a trap, but promised to deliver the arrows in just three days! Zhuge Liang took advantage of his suspicious enemy Cao Cao to make good on his word. But how?”

4. Illustrated Idiom Stories: The Box Of Silver That Wasn’t There

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
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Book description from publisher:

“This is an anecdote about a fellow who amassed a pile of silver ingots. He buried his treasure for safe-keeping, and hung a sign right above it: ‘Notice: 300 Taels of Silver Not Buried Here!’ But when he awoke the following morning, a new notice was posted – and his silver was gone!”

5. Illustrated Idiom Stories: Six Blind Men’s Encounter With An Elephant

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
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Book description from publisher:

“Six blind men walking on a road found their way forward blocked. One by one, they touched the obstacle, and each determined that it was something quite distinct: a pole, a fan, a pillar, a wall, a radish and a rope. How could that be?”

6. Illustrated Idiom Stories: Grinding A Needle From A Pestle

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
Image via thMart

Book description from publisher:

“The illustrious Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai was not at all studious when young. One day he chanced upon an old woman grinding an iron pole against a rock. Her goal: To make a fine embroidery needle. Inspired by her determination, Li Bai mended his ways and studied hard.”

7. Illustrated Idiom Stories: Never Too Late To Mend The Sheepfold

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
Image via thMart

Book description from publisher:

“One night a wolf gnawed a hole in a sheepherder’s pen, and returned the following night to steal a lamb. Reasoning that just one of his sheep had gone missing – while the rest of his flock remained untouched – the sheepherder initially ignored advice to fix the fence. But more of his sheep were snatched in the nights that followed, and he finally realized that he’d best mend the pen.”

8. Illustrated Idiom Stories: Plugging One’s Ears To Steal A Noisy Bell

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
Image via thMart

Book description from publisher:

“Zhang San was a notorious thief who lived in the state of Jin during the Spring and Autumn Period. Determined to steal a priceless bronze bell undetected, first he plugged his ears to ensure silence. To make it easier to transport, he banged it with a hammer to break it into pieces. Imagine his surprise when the bell’s owner caught him red-handed!”

9. Illustrated Idiom Stories: Dragon, Lover Lord Ye

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
Image via thMart

Book description from publisher:

“Lord Ye was a dragon devotee. Mythical serpents decorated his furniture and snaked along the walls into every corner of his abode. Pleased to learn of the human’s devotion, the Dragon King graced him with a visit. But the sight of a real-life dragon made the chicken-hearted Lord Ye crawl under his bed and beg for his life.”

10. Illustrated Idiom Stories: Borrowing Light Through A Crack In The Wall

10 Books to Help Your Kids Master Chinese
Image via thMart

Book description from publisher:

“During the Western Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, there lived a boy named Kuang Heng. He adored reading, but his family couldn’t afford his education – or even a candle for him to read at night. The ingenious youth devised a way to read by the light emanating from his neighbor’s mansion. Eventually, he became a famous prime minster and served two emperors.”

Click here to see more books.


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