4 Picture Books to Help Your Kids Understand Chinese Culture

By That's, February 17, 2020

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Help your children understand Chinese culture with these four beautifully illustrated books!

1. 24 Solar Terms Fairy Tale

24 Solar Terms Fairy Tale

Traditional Chinese culture is fascinating, and now kids are able to learn more about it with the bilingual picture book 24 Solar Terms Fairy Tale. This charming book teaches children all about the ancient principle of the 24 Solar Terms. Traditionally used to instruct agricultural activities and people’s daily routines, this calendar continues to be used around China and in other East Asian countries to this day. 

24 Solar Terms Fairy Tale
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Young readers will take a fun-filled journey with the adorable woodland elf Little Prince to experience the magic of the Earth’s changes within the four major seasons of the year. Accompanied by his animal-friends, kids can discover the idyllic beauty of the Solar Terms along with Little Prince.

This mesmerizing book is great for kids and parents to learn about the traditional culture of the Middle Kingdom together, as well as develop their Chinese-English language skills. 

2. I Am Chinese Festival

I Am Chinese Festival
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Why is the Spring Festival celebrated? What are all the red envelopes for? Why are people setting off noisy firecrackers? Bérénice Zandonai’s bilingual picture book I am Chinese Festival answers these very questions with the help of poems, fun facts and colorful illustrations. The book, published by China Intercontinental Press, explains the origins and customs of 12 traditional Chinese festivals in both English and Chinese. The reader gets to follow the adventures of the book’s little protagonist as she travels through the landscapes of all the different festivals.

I Am Chinese Festival
Image via thMart

In addition to Chinese New Year, the book also introduces traditional celebrations such as the Mid-Autumn, Dragon Boat and Lantern Festivals. The language is simple and the descriptions are easy for kids to understand. Each section of the book starts with a short poem about a festival, and the next pages are dedicated to describing the celebration in more detail through informative ‘Knowledge Link’ paragraphs. Common traditions are also illustrated along with their English and Chinese names. 

With its fun and captivating format, the book is a great way for kids to learn and get excited about Chinese culture and traditions. It also helps children and adults alike familiarize themselves with Mandarin characters and their pronunciations. Readers can scan a QR code on the back of the book to listen to both its Chinese and English audio versions.

3. A Sense of Nature

A Sense of Nature
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Harmony between nature and humankind is one of the key ideals at the heart of traditional Chinese culture. Inspired by Chinese spiritual teachings, esteemed artist and photographer Cheng Yan presents some of his most popular wildlife photography in A Sense of Nature as an homage to man and beast living as one. 

Dedicated to “those who love life and nature and cherish all living things,” this stunning bilingual photo book is ideal for animal lovers and wildlife photography enthusiasts alike. 

A Sense of Nature
Image via thMart

Each chapter begins with a short, poetic piece of text that represents how humans should view the species within the particular chapter. With this proverb in mind, readers are able to emotionally connect to a range of beautiful close-up portraits, action and panoramic shots of all sorts of species in their natural environments. 

A Sense of Nature
Image via thMart

The intimacy of these vivid shots expresses Cheng’s underlying message that we should show more love, responsibility and respect to all living things. This is a powerful book, both visually and emotionally, in which the love of nature and art encourages readers to explore their relationships with the environment.

4. Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year
Image via thMart

There are many traditions that take place throughout Chinese New Year. From the crackling sound of fireworks, to the delicious smell of the family reunion dinner, to the hustle and bustle of temple fairs – all of these customs embody the most important traditional festival for Chinese people. In this book, you’ll discover some happy moments enjoyed by Chinese people through gorgeous, full-color illustrations. 

Chinese Spring Festival
Image via thMart

Learn all about centuries-old Chinese cultural traditions in an easy-to-understand, English-language format. Happy Chinese New Year covers everything from classic customs to holiday clothing so that you can get a better understanding of this important festival.

Click here to see more books.


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Top image via Pexels

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