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Jin Jin the Dragon: 01/13/10
Sean is halfway through this second year of dual immersion Chinese / English in elementary school. Along with learning the language comes learning the culture and stories. What he has learned has begun to shape how I look for books for him when I'm at the library. One of the recent books I picked was Jin Jin the Dragon by Grace Chang and illustrated by Chong Chang.
What attracted me to Jin Jin the Dragon beyond the adorable baby dragon on the cover is the inclusion of Chinese characters throughout the book. As Jin Jin is trying to learn what she is, she also learns how to read Chinese. Her lessons are included in the book as part of the story.
The book has the characters for mountain 山 , field 田 , fish 魚 , fire 火 , turtle 龟 , person 人 among others. Most of these are characters Sean has already learned so he was able to read the clues that pop up through out the book.
Jin Jin the Dragon we happened to read at the same time Sean was reading Dragon of the Red Dawn (review coming) which features the Japanese version of the rain dragon. It was fun to compare and contrast the similar dragons. He has also used what he learned in the book in school.