It’s kind of sad when you lose touch with your heritage. Those cultural connections can really enrich who you are and how you present yourself. As a fifth generation American, I often refer to myself as a “fake Chinese.” I don’t speak the language, don’t cook traditional dishes, know nothing of the customs or history, don’t even know where my family on either side is from originally, and I can’t drink tea without sugar. As you can imagine, I was pretty happy to find out about a new series of children’s books that teach a bit about influential figures in Chinese history.
Once Upon A Time In China… eBook Series
Once Upon A Time In China… is written by Jillian Lin and illustrated by Shi Meng. These books are geared toward young ones with basic vocabulary and vivid illustrations. However, my teen daughter enjoyed the format quite a bit and I definitely gleaned way more than expected. We received the first few books to review.
As suggested by the “once upon a time” opening phrase, the books are presented in a story form. This format draws the child in and helps them imagine life during the time period being featured. The art style appears simplistic yet is rich in color and detail. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but these are worth millions!
Historical points regarding death, slave labor, and cruelty are not omitted but are sort of glossed over so as not to be overly dramatic. Philosophy and beliefs are mentioned but in an unbiased manner. Kids ages 7+ will be fine with this. Additional information is provided at the end of the book as well as a map and quiz. These are perfect for review or to incorporate in an upcoming lesson plan on China.
So far, only two ebooks are available for purchase. However, more are on the way and I can’t wait. These are only $2.99 on Amazon. Here’s the current list of ebooks that have been released and are coming soon:
- The Emperor Who Built The Great Wall
- Confucius: King Without A Throne
- The Mountain Man of Music (to be released in April 2015)
- The Dreamer of Stars (to be released in May 2015)
- The First and Only Female Emperor (to be released in June 2015)
- The Greatest Explorer in the World (to be released in July 2015)
- The Pirate King (to be released in August 2015)
Be sure to check out the website of the author, Jillian Lin, and sign up for her email newsletter. Doing so will score you a free book from the series. I didn’t list the title of that one so you can be surprised 🙂 So give this series a try, starting with “The Emperor Who Built The Great Wall“. You’ll be happy you did!
Item(s) provided or loaned for review purposes but all opinions are my own.