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Two Great Books to Learn about China

Two Great Books to Learn about China

I have two great little books that are similar to something you would pick up in a museum gift shop if traveling to another country. I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that when I travel I always come home with a book related to my destination.  I have not been to China, but I would love to receive little books like this from any friend who’s traveled there.

What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?: Life in China’s Forbidden City

What Was It Like Mr. Emperor by  Chiu Kwong-chiu

The book discusses the hows and whys and whats of being an emperor in China, starting back centuries to modern day. It is amazing to learn how many emperors China has had and also their history.  Much of the book will be over little kids’ heads but the comic illustrations help with understanding.  A brilliant foldout in the center of adds to the charm of the book. Did you know that emperors have numerous wives and sub wives and servants all kinds of staff? It’s mindboggling. Also, some of the emperors earned their titles in not nice ways and some emperors were downright bad leaders.

So great introduction to Chinese history. This is a coffee table book that you will read over and over because it contains so much good stuff. I don’t think it’s meant to be read in one sitting.

Next up is the adorable Bowls of Happiness.

Bowls of Happiness by Brian Tse

Intertwined with the history of Chinese bowls is the story of little piggy and her special bowl. It’s so cute! Did you know that colors and symbols have great significance in China? Yeah I didn’t and now I want my own special bowl of happiness. The beautiful watercolor illustrations are too rich to be left in a child’s bookshelf. Leave this book on the coffee table too. Next time you’re eating from a bowl, take notice of the decorations; there could be hidden meanings.

These two books are a good fit for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

Perfect for the study of Chinese holidays too, I think?

By Pam

My passion is advocating for diversity in children's and YA literature.