Mouse Umbrella is a “free beautifully illustrated Chinese/English children’s book.” I probably would have written about it sooner if it were e-mailed to me rather than submitted as a new blog on the CBL.
The author’s explanation:
> As an educator I was hoping you would take a look at my book and give me some feed back. This beautifully illustrated 6 page haiku is intend for Pre-K children who speak Chinese as a first language or English speaking children learning Chinese as a second language. A little mouse is enjoying a bright red cherry at a restaurant when he is washed away by a flash flood. He has only a drink umbrella to help him. Originally written and illustrated by me – Tansy O’Bryant as a bridge between Chinese speaking children and English speaking children. Chinese translation was provided by and Chinese student who was afraid to write because her characters where not perfect. It was esteeming for her to know that the act of not writing is far worse than a little “wobbly” writing. Helps children understand both the power of writing and the beauty of reading with Mouse Umbrella.
> Share it with other educators – Download your copy at http://www.wawallletters.com/free-mouse-book.html
> Tansy OBryant
It is a nice book, and the illustrations are great. The art reminds me of one of my favorite illustrators ever, Graham Oakley. It’s not the best book for studying Chinese, perhaps, but I’m sure some of my readers will enjoy it. (Anyone out there reading stories to their children from an on-screen PDF file yet?)
Actually, yes. Soft copies of kids books make for a good substitute when you have a laptop with an internet connection, but no kids books around. Though once we have a real book on hand the laptop gets put away.
It’s tough to find decent Chinese kids books in the US even in NYC Chinatown. The best kids books I found were from a book store on Nanjing Lu in Shanghai. I should have loaded my suitcase with them, but didn’t think to at the time.
It’s also fun to find the websites for Chinese children that have flash animations and sing-along type songs. Kids love them.