Because I’m borderline OCD, I attempted to organize all my bridge book sets by level to incrementally scaffold Little Man’s reading level.
Little Man finished 四五快读 a month ago and we are slowly making headway into reading real books. We are starting with simple picture books to boost his confidence. Because most simplified books have NO PINYIN, there are new characters for him to learn even in the most basic books.
Most picture books are not ideal for beginners due to the small font and distracting background. As such I’m planning to move him into bridge book territory soon due to larger font size and clear black print on white background. (Refer to my post here about differences between readers, picture books and bridge)
- I have not read most of them yet so cannot comment on whether they are good or not.
- They are organized by length of book and difficulty of content. A lot of the bridge books from Taiwan/China have cultural elements that are difficult for my American son to understand.
- Most of them were purchased from Taobao (read: How to Buy Chinese Books from Taobao), with the exception of Odonata from Malaysia.
- I use a 3-step process to guide my son’s reading:
- Step 1. I read the book to him and explain all the unknown vocabulary to him a few days prior to having him read it. This familiarizes him with the story thereby making it much easier for him to read.
- Step 2. He reads it.
- Step 3. He reads it again the next day. I always have him read the same book two days in a row. The second time he is always much faster, fluent and reinforces the new characters.
This is a very tentative list! I will update as we go through it. For your reference, he currently knows about 800 characters and reads pinyin 90% accurately.
Summer Reading List 2018
可爱的鼠小弟 (Set of 22, picture books) 5/30/18
🇫🇷 超人兔 (Set of 7, picture books) 6/6/18
🇨🇳 我会读 (Set of 8, readers w/ pinyin) 6/12/18
🇲🇾 Odonata Preschool Readers (Set of 48, readers) 8/19/18
🇺🇸 亲爱的小熊 (Set of 5, bridge) 6/22/18
🇹🇼 聪明孩子安全有绝招 (Set of 12, bridge) 7/4/18
🇺🇸 青蛙和蟾蜍 (Set of 4, bridge) 7/13/18
🇹🇼 乐读123 (Set of 18, bridge w/ pinyin) 8/17/18
🇯🇵 黄色小水桶 (Set of 5, bridge) 8/27/18
Reading List 2018-2019
Update 8/27/18: We completed all the books on our summer reading list – YAY! Little Man currently knows 1000+ characters and reads pinyin fluently. I decided to omit pinyin books from our reading list as he can read them on his own. We will continue to read non-pinyin books together for him to learn new characters.
Due to limited time on weekdays, I plan to have my son read short stories (~1500 characters) on weekdays and longer stories (3000-5000 characters) on weekends. Some of the Reading 123 series has several short stories/chapters per book so I’m putting it in the short story category.
Little Man is quite confident in his reading and has been making decisions on what he wants to read next, e.g. he expressed interest in reading 亮亮 even though it’s in Traditional text. I am happy to follow his lead. I will update this list as we go through it so you get an idea of reading levels and progression.
🇹🇼 亮亮的成長 (Set of 25, picture books, 繁體)
🇨🇳 小豆包，第一辑 (Set of 5, bridge)
🇹🇼 阅读123，第一辑 (Set of 10, bridge)
🇹🇼 字的童话 (Set of 7, short story collection)
🇹🇼 无奇不有魔法学校 (Set of 12, bridge)
🇯🇵 小妖怪 (Set of 6, bridge)
🇯🇵 谁在摇铃铛 (Set of 4, bridge)
🇯🇵 启发童话小巴士，第三辑 Raccoon (Set of 5, bridge)
🇯🇵 启发童话小巴士，第二辑 Refrigerator (Set of 5, bridge)
🇯🇵 启发童话小巴士，第四辑 Witch (Set of 5, bridge)