Are you trying to learn Chinese and you are overwhelmed with how many characters you would need to learn? While there are 50,000 characters, a Chinese friend told me that for basic reading I would only need to learn about 3,000 of them. My head was swimming in a sea of characters, only need to learn 3,000? I had a thought that training to climb Mt. Everest might be easier.
As destiny would have it, I finally had my first introduction to Chinese characters this weekend. I stopped off at the Amazon bookstore. As I am writing a children’s picture book, I decided to do some research. I sauntered over to the children’s book section. I looked at ALL sorts of books, not many caught my attention even though some had been on the “best sellers” list. For me, the illustrations for many of the books were way too busy. What happened to simplicity, I thought?
THEN, I took a few steps to right, looked up to the top shelf and a beautifully illustrated book caught my eye called, “The Pet Dragon,” by Christoph Niemann. It was very sweet and innocent looking and who doesn’t love a story with a dragon! As I opened the book the author/illustrator wrote a message that he had been in China and learned his first Chinese characters there. Excited with what he learned, he wanted to share this with us, his result is this picture book.
He cleverly writes his story teaching us Chinese characters by adding them into the illustrations, so we can visually remember the Chinese characters in a humorous way. Here I show you a few pages from the book, so you can better understand what I mean.
This is lovely book. I would highly recommend buying it as a gift. I could see children wanting to read it over and over as they practice writing Chinese characters. Well done, Mr. Niemann!