#BookReview: Superbeetle

"Your respect for others will be your ticket to success." Superbeetle by S. Michele Chen 4 stars Pros: Taiwan setting Chinese words Cons: Some flat characters Modern family dynamics* (see note below)   I was super excited to get ahold of this. Because of its vibrant cover, I actually thought this would be a picture book. (Warning: If your kids don’t like bugs, the cover might put them off.) However, it’s actually a lovely chapter book with images scattered … [Read more...]

Chinese Moms and Lullabies

"If you do not brave the tiger's lair, how can you capture the cub?" - Chinese proverb Even though it's past Mother's Day, I hope I still continue to honor and appreciate my mom. My mom is definitely not a tiger mom, although she did expect the best from her children. While growing up, I had a hard time reconciling my mom with the Western archetype I saw on TV (i.e. June Cleaver). As I've grown older, I now know better and admire her unique and Chinese shows of affection. Besides the continual … [Read more...]

Modern Multicultural Books for Kids

"You cannot help shoots grow by pulling them up." -Chinese proverb Not just sprouting plants but young kids' hearts are very tender. I remember my teacher reading Tikki Tikki Tembo in class. Afterward, all the kids looked my way and tried their own nonsense version of Chinese to talk to me. On the school bus, peers would make slanted eyes at me, sometimes adding, "Konnichiwa." Nobody ever teased me more than that, but maybe they were intimidated by my possible Bruce Lee kung fu skills. I'm … [Read more...]

Leaving Childhood Behind

Yihhei: unreliable or not serious (lit. playing like kids)Emperor Mahn, who ruled from 179 B.C. to 156 B.C., once conducted two military inspections.  On his journey to Bah Seuhng and Gik Muhn, he and his attendants finished their task without any impediment.  On his trip to Sai Lauh, the soldiers on guard blocked his path.  The emperor was forced to send in a man with a military warrant before they opened the gate for him.  Emperor Mahn then found the commander general and commended him, … [Read more...]