Book Review: C Is for China

Reading Level

Ages 4-8

Other Books in This Series

• B Is for Brazil
• I Is for India
• W Is for World

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You as a reader know you're in for a treat when the first page describes an abacus, one of the world's oldest inventions that is yet being used in some parts of the world, including in China. A Is for Abacus is the first concept in the great little book C Is for China by Sungwan So.

This great little book is a worthy addition to the Round-the-World series from Frances Lincoln. The focus here is on China, and the method of learning is one page at a time, each letter of the English alphabet corresponding to one facet of the Chinese culture that readers who live elsewhere might not know.

Page after page of Chinese culture is revealed, showing a country that is young and old at the very same time. Concepts include family life, fitness, recreation, folklore, and traditions. One of the country's most enduring traditions, respect for one's elders, is referenced multiple times. The concept of government and law enforcement is represented as well. This book is more serious in tone than the others in the series.

Still, the tone is light-hearted in pictures that illustrate children, such as the one below.

The book also mentions the different religions of China, a welcome addition to any introduction to the Middle Kingdom. The only thing that this reviewer found wanting in this wonderful book was the introduction of other Chinese inventions (such as paper). Overall, though, the reader of this book will come away with a much better understanding of life in China.

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