May 16

May Book Recommendations

By  Gigi Chan


And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”  — F.Scott Fitzgerald

See below for our book recommendations for May! In this month, we would like to share with you some new titles and series that we recommend. If you have any thoughts about these titles, please let us know!

Learning Chinese

Series: Pre-school Illustrated Chinese for Kids


With comical, colourful yet professional illustrations and story lines with strong learning objectives, the bilingual Pre-school Illustrated Chinese for Kids series can easily engage children’s interest in learning Chinese or English. Each book comes with a collection of fun stickers that children can use to accomplish the fun tasks specifically designed to familiarise them with vocabulary and sentence patterns. These engaging activities work as self-assessment after children finish reading each book of the series, and they will never have enough of it! Since this series was created collaboratively by Chinese and Canadian language experts and educators, it is educationally suitable for children learning Chinese or English. Highly recommended!

Book:  iChinese – Book 2


Geared to students preparing for the IGCSE Mandarin: Foreign Language and IB Mandarin: ab initio examinations, this book is complete with reading materials, themes, vocabulary lists, and exercises involving four language skills. The iChinese series consists of 2 volumes, with listening materials downloadable online. It is notable for tasks which help students raise intercultural awareness and learn to appreciate a culture different from theirs. Exercises using authentic materials focus on the use of all four skills, making this textbook a comprehensive and engaging guide to developing Chinese language skills at secondary school level. More importantly, iChinese Book 2 comes with full mock exam papers and answer keys for IGCSE Mandarin and IB Mandarin: ab initio, based on real exam formats.

Books in English

Series: Famous Chinese Myths Series

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The Famous Chinese Myths Series is a collection of high-quality illustrated storybooks that help English-speaking children know more about Chinese mythology, philosophy , ancient religions, and traditional folklore. With highly saturated colours and vivid images of these illustrations, these story books capture children’s imagination of these well-known Chinese tales. This series comprises 9 story books in English with Chinese translation at the end of each book, including The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea, Chang’e Flying to the Moon, Jingwei Trying to Fill Up the Sea, The Cowherd and the Weaver Maid, and Pangu Separating Heaven and Earth. At the end of some of these stories among all the divergent Chinese philosophies and traditions, the survival of ordinary people against great adversities appears to be the common theme of educational importance.

Book: The Boat to Redemption


Written by Su Tong, a new-generation writer who seemed to have left the traditional Chinese literary traditions behind and embraced a creative, provocative style, this novel is the masterpiece that won Su Tong the 2009 Man Asian Literary Prize. The scene is set during the cultural revolution. Ku Wenxue is an influential party official until he is found to have no fish-shaped birthmark on his bottom, meaning that he is not the son of a revolutionary martyr. He embarks on an adventure with his son Dongliang on a barge fleet among a group of ostracised boat people, and starts a new life on an unknown journey onboard. The story depicts the rootless lives, love and desire, the mental struggle between reality and man’s ego, and the seemingly ludicrousness of the nation’s then social and political values.

Books in Chinese




Book: 莎士比亚书店

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屹立在巴黎塞纳河左岸的莎士比亚书店, 至今已开业了97年,喻为’最具乌托邦色彩的文斋’。这书店被记载於海明威《流动的圣节》一书里,长久以来是文人聚集的沙龙,也是爱书人神往的独立书店。《莎士比亚书店》是店主西尔维亚的回忆录,以日记般形式把围绕著书店发生的日常故事记录下来。经营书店期间,店主曾因大胆出版被列为禁书的《尤利西斯》而名噪一时,这些事迹她也在书中亲自剖白,娓娓道来整个出版过程。一个个名字响噹噹的作家都在她风趣的笔下出现。西尔维亚不只是一个传奇,她的书店也是一所活生生的文学历史博物馆,承载著一整个时代的人民精神。

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