中国基因 DNA of Chinese Culture (Set of 7)
Come and soak in the intricacies of Chinese culture,
wrapped in touching tales of familial love!
I highly recommend this series for bilingual parents
who are not only keen in supporting their kids' language acquisition,
but also want to nurture their kids' deep love of the Chinese culture.
These books artfully weaves in food, drink and play into introduction of our beautiful culture.
We love the 中国风 illustration style!
Set of 7 books written by 郝广才 includes:
We learn about different types of tea, different shapes of tea leaves, different colors of tea, how to brew tea! (with visual steps) and more!Share a cup of tea, or even bubble tea!
We can also go to the grocery store to check out the different types of tea on sale.
Visit a tea house for a demonstration on how to brew and drink tea!
Pair drinking of tea with eating of mooncakes, or reading some Chinese poems
Many things in Chinese cuisine are made with rice, the staple of many Asian cultures. What can we create or cook using rice? What memories do they hold even for us adults?
Check out your own pantry and try to identify what ingredients are made of wheat and rice!
Cook simple rice dishes like porridge, plain rice, or fried rice together!
A little girl misses her mum deeply while mama works far away. Tugs my heartstrings every single time.
Also reminds us of how blessed we are to see our kids daily (even if they drive us nuts sometimes!)
Pair this with an activity of wrapping, boiling and eating dumplings to make the book come alive!
Beautiful pottery connects two girls born in very different times, countries and cultures. Sparks conversations about cultural differences, international trade, intricacies of pottery art and more!
Check out classic ceramic bowls used in Singapore with roosters - the local equivalent of Chinese pottery that kids can relate to!
It's so interesting to know that tofu is used in many different cuisines! Have you tried them all? I'm totally in awe of the black and white 连环画 that capture how the tofu maker's dad used to make tofu in the olden times. Such a masterful juxtaposition of the past, present and future in this book. A must-read!
Pair it with a simple recipe of minced pork + tofu or fishball tofu soup!
We can talk about how tofu is a good source of protein, and explore other food that also gives us protein, or talk about food groups.
How many dishes can you make with tofu?
妈妈的一碗汤 Mum's Bowl of Soup
Every family has their different types of soup that mama cooks - in different seasons different soups will grace the kitchen table. This book is really interesting because it contains visual recipes!
We may not be familiar with all these soups mentioned within,
but it's definitely fun to cook a pot of soup together
and let it warm our bellies after we read this book together!
陀螺 Spinning Top
My boys call this book "会让妈妈哭的书“ haha. I haven't managed to finish reading this book to them without choking back tears.
A little boy 小羽 learns how to craft a Chinese top from scratch, from his beloved grandpa. When he grows up and goes overseas, he and his grandpa exchange gifts, and of course it's their favourite top, which bind their hearts together. Along with time, we see that Grandpa has Alzheimer's Disease and can no longer be safely left alone in his workshop. Will he recognise 小羽 when he returns?
We talked about how Alzheimer's Disease ravages the lives of dignified people in old age, how their memory fades away over time, and slowly they may lose their ability to care for themselves.
I share with them stories of families who struggle with caring for elderly with dementia when I was working as a nurse in the public hospital previously.
The interesting fact is that many times people with Alzheimer's disease cannot remember recent events, forget their family and friends, forget their way home, but their long-term memory can be relatively intact. This explains why Grandpa could still remember how to make his toys and write them down in a book, so that he could pass it on to 小羽 if he ever comes back.
I really love the imagery used - the illustrator used the changing of seasons and falling leaves to represent the changes occurring in Grandpa's lives and the loss of memories and by extension, possibly even the loss of dignity and personhood.
Recommended for Ages: 2-99
Pages: 108 (all books)
Number of books in set: 7
Language: Simplified Chinese
Interesting cultural Chinese book for those who are interested to find out about Chinese tea. The language is slightly more suitable for older children.
Thank you for the lovely review, Amy! We work really hard to curate books to help our kids grow to love our Chinese culture, and this book is one such gem! Looking forward to send over more books soon (:
This set is exquisitely written and delicately illustrated. It holds more adult themes like nostalgia, longing and even illness. It is an endearing set, and will be precious to us parents first, until children mature enough to understand better the wistful narratives. I could hold my tears back with the book on Soup, but the one with the Yo-Yo.... I bawled so hard, my husband got concerned (oops!).