Book Review: 小熊 Little Bear

Age:5
Grade Level: 0-6 yrs old (read to), 1st grade (read)
Pages: 59
Sage Level: Level 3 (orange series) book 3
Publisher: Grimmes Press

little bear

This year, I’m super happy that there are so many children I know who are using Sagebooks and learning zhuyin.  Though some of us don’t live close to each other, I can see their children’s progress via FB.  To me, it’s kind of like a virtual classroom.  Having a community of learners makes learning Chinese so much relevant to my children.

Yesterday, I showed Astroboy a video of one of his friends reading.  He immediately wanted me to record him.  We happened to have the Little Bear lying around so that’s what we read.  Now mind you, before watching the video, Astroboy wouldn’t have wanted to read the book.  It’s too long for him.  But he was inspired by the video and re-read 2 pages 2-3 times, just so he can read a bit more each time before my iPhone runs to of space.

Little Bear is one of my top must have’s if you have a beginning reader and want to build a library for them.  The language is super simple, the story funny and perfect for a 5 and 6 year old.  And most importantly, the characters are simple enough that you can read it while doing Sagebooks.

Oh, so the Little Bear Series is called 小熊看世界, it got republished by Grimmes Press in June, 2015.  Originally it was published with Hsin Yi Publishing an came with English CDs.  I don’t know if the new version has CDs.  There are 5 books in the series:

  • 給小熊的吻 A Kiss for Little Bear
  • 爺爺奶奶家  Litte Bear’s Visit
  • 認識新朋友 Little Bear’s Friends
  • 熊爸爸回家 Father Bear Comes Home
  • 小熊 Little Bear

It can be daunting for the child who’s still learning to read to see such a long book in front of them.  Also, I remember for Thumper, I couldn’t read the book to her till she was about 4.5 or 5 due to comprehension.  She was not one of those children who is happy to listen to stories, like Astroboy, even if she can’t understand what’s going on.

I would recommend waiting till you’re in the 3rd or 4th series of Sagebooks to read this (so know 300+ characters). Obviously the child needs to know zhuyin well enough.   Otherwise, you’re practicing reading zhuyin.  Astroboy, I can see, is still reading zhuyin for the characters he does know, because he doesn’t know enough yet.  I had him cover the zhuyin like I do when I read to him, and he was better about it.

Anyways, here’s a video of Astroboy reading, after the 3rd time practicing. He was way slower the first 2 times.  And I didn’t bother correcting his zhuyin while he read.   Perhaps your children will find it fun to watch someone read.

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