Sunday, March 7, 2010
It's hard to know what kind of book will interest my daughters. Sometimes when I think I've found one that has great pictures and a good story, they'll get bored and squirm to get away. Other times, when I feel like I have to drag myself through a monotonous tale, they're riveted. Something that they are guaranteed to enjoy, however, is a book that is unique, different and fun.
The bright, clear illustrations on the cover of Mandy and Pandy Play Sports caught Big Sister E's attention right away and she was immediately clamoring to read this book. After the three of us were settled and we turned to the first page, I noticed a curious look on her face. Following her eyes, I could see what she was questioning. "Those are called Chinese characters. They are a different kind of letter, instead of A, B, C."
After a small discussion about different cultures was out of the way, the girls and I read through this book and had a great time following Mandy and Pandy on their adventure through playing sports with their friends. The whimsical and colorful illustrations continued and the simple, easy story kept both of my daughters engaged and happy. If anything, they were disappointed when we reached the last page!
As well as English and Chinese, the story is also written in pinyin (the phonetic pronunciation) so that early Chinese reading skills are taught to both children and adults. Considering I have no prior experience reading or pronouncing Chinese, we also appreciated the audio CD included with Mandy and Pandy Play Sports that showed us what it really sounded like.
Reinforcing the message that it doesn't matter if you win or lose and that it's important that you have fun and play with friends, this CD also kept my daughters' attention throughout the reading. The first time through, the book is read in English and Chinese, followed by a repetition of each line twice slowly in Chinese to practice. Finally, the story is spoken in conversational Chinese to really give the listener a chance to hear the language spoken.
Whether you have experience or a background in Chinese or not, the whole series of Mandy and Pandy books (there are six wonderful titles that retail for $12.95 each) are great for introducing the language in a relaxed, child-friendly way. The cute characters, fun adventures and simple words are entertaining and appealing to the whole family!
Thanks, Mandy and Pandy Co., for your innovative line of fun books that are not only pleasing to all ages, but cultural, too! And, for constantly providing my family and I with entertainment (except on Sundays), thanks, Mail Carrier.
(Other than the copy of Mandy and Pandy Play Sports that I was sent, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my opinion of this book, its entertaining qualities and its educational value).