Grade Level: 5-6 yrs old (read to), mostly 1st-2nd, some 3rd-4th
She was busy updating this log tonight and telling me about how many 閱讀123 Reading 123 books she’s read in the last few weeks. So I decided to actually take a look at what she’s read so far. She binge reads and it’s taking her about 30 minutes to go through one of the Reading 123 books. At this rate, I really need to find more 3rd-4th grade books ASAP.
Reading 123 is a series put out by CWBooks. It was designed specifically as bridge books (e.g. chapter books). There are currently 60 books in the series, though I only have 48. Most of the books are considered 中低 (1st-3rd), with a few, especially the later ones, in the 中高 (3rd-6th). I think it’s more 1st-2nd and 3rd-4th.
The nice thing about this series is that the publisher has written in the back, the number of characters in each book. I believe it ranges from ~5-10k for the lower level and up to 20k for the higher level. Another thing I like is that they are not translated text like 東方出版社 Eastern Books‘ 故事摩天輪 series, plus the illustrations are mostly very nice, unlike the other bridge books series I’ve been looking at the last few days such as Hsin-Yi’s Children Reading Train (信誼 兒童閱讀列車) or gKids’ Story Fairy Tree (小天下 故事奇樹).
Yes, I’m picky.
Baby Library has a very good info page on all the books in the series, with short summaries and cover pics. The series has a lot of sub-series. For example, there is a set of books called 屁屁超人 (how do I translate that? Fart Man?). A series that some parents object to because it’s about farts. More specifically it’s about a boy who gets his super power through his super farts. He uses his super power to help the children in school, against the evil principal. There is another set about a fire breathing dragon 小火龍, a third set, one of my favorite, of rewritten Chinese folklores, and lastly, a few books about life in Taiwan 30-40 years ago, Thumper’s favorite.
There are other sets as well (mystery, non-fiction, etc). What I like is the broad range of books in the series, with some more literary and others more mass paperback appeal (e.g. Fart Man). I don’t love the Fart Man 屁屁超人 series, but I don’t object to it too much because the writing isn’t really too coarse or the characters misbehaving.
Oh, if you want to ever read a whole research paper about Reading 123 and Bridge books, check it out here.
I ended up spending 3-4 hours inputting Thumper’s books into aNobii, which is like Goodreads except you can put in Chinese books! I spent a lot of time tagging the books. The great thing is now I have a very good idea of how many books she’s read in the last 6 months and the level of the books. I also got to ask Thumper to rate the books; totally gives me an idea of what she liked and what she didn’t liked.
Below are the list of 60 books, copied from Baby Library. I’ve been told that book #13 is out of print, and the publisher now has just 1 complete set of book left in stock. Other vendors may have complete sets but the group order I put together kind of cleaned the publisher out. Not sure if they will reprint. I’m glad I got #13 蟲來沒看過 before it went out of print. I can see why it wasn’t popular. It’s non-fiction buried in fiction land. Though Thumper loved #14 about elephants (What! You can make paper out of elephant poop?!).