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weather: sunny
outside: 20°C
mood: pensive
A few titles I can recall:

It's been a while, so I don't know the latest in Political Correctness as applied to any of these stories. I thought I'd heard something about "The Five Chinese Brothers" being offensive, but I don't remember what it was. I remember rolling up my eyes at the accusations and dismissing them as a matter of people making asinine interpretations. I do remember that I really liked the story when I was 6.

Knowing the original Ballad of Mulan as I do, I would do my best to steer my own children away from the Disney movie version. It's a personal preference. It's the same snobbishness that people feel when they dislike the movie adaptation of a book.

By the time I heard of the name Pearl S. Buck (biography), I was already too busy to look up any of her books. But her biography looks very interesting and I've heard nothing but good reviews about her books, so I think it could be worthwhile to check out some of her titles.

* The Amazon Editorial Review says:

...an old Chinese folktale about how the people of China came to give their children short names after traditionally giving their "first and honored" sons grand, long names. Tikki tikki tembo (which means "the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world") and his brother Chang (which means "little or nothing")...

Heh. The Chinese would never name a child something with a negative connotation. But it is true that the majority of firstborn childrens' names are more elegant, nicer, etc. than the other siblings'.

I'm not sure which character they're thinking "Chang" is, but the one I'm thinking of means "superior", "developed", "elder", "senior".


Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
d2leddy
Jul. 25th, 2004 01:23 pm (UTC)
I remember Ping! :)
bride
Jul. 25th, 2004 01:29 pm (UTC)
I LOVED that review on Amazon that said the book was a manual for the UNIX ping utility =D =D
(no subject) - d2leddy - Jul. 25th, 2004 01:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
ingole
Jul. 25th, 2004 01:25 pm (UTC)
I haven't actually read the story of Mulan, but I must admit it is my favourite of all the recent Disney animated musicals.
bride
Jul. 25th, 2004 01:28 pm (UTC)
I should post it one day =)
(no subject) - ingole - Jul. 25th, 2004 01:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
messyjessy
Jul. 25th, 2004 01:28 pm (UTC)
Tikki Tikki Tembo is my absolute favorite children's book. A couple years ago my friend gave me a copy for my birthday.
bride
Jul. 25th, 2004 01:44 pm (UTC)
I want a copy of The Story About Ping to go next to my UNIX books =D
(Deleted comment)
bride
Jul. 25th, 2004 01:33 pm (UTC)
Ooo, thanks! =)
rcantilles
Jul. 25th, 2004 01:36 pm (UTC)
I recently saw The Sons of the Dragon King in a bookstore and perused through it. The artwork was pretty, and I thought the story was pretty amusing.
bride
Jul. 25th, 2004 01:44 pm (UTC)
Y'know, I vaguely remember that one. But thanks! =)
bokane
Jul. 25th, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC)
Agreed with wintersweet - I remember liking Lawrence Yep's books a lot, though as I recall they deal mostly with the immigrant experience.

The book that first got me interested in Chinese, when I was like 5, was You Can Write Chinese. I think it's by Kurt Weise (Or Wiese, or Weiss). It's some basic characters, given in their kaishu forms with a picture mnemonic next to them, and the Wade-Giles romanization. That sounds really dry, but it's not - and if it got one kid started on a lifelong interest in sinology, it may work for others.
bokane
Jul. 25th, 2004 02:35 pm (UTC)
http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/wcpa/ow/495223dd9416dff0.html is the best I can do; I guess it's out of print.

Also, I had these great kids' adaptations of Journey to the West. It was serialized, with each book being one of the major escapades, and had pretty cool illustrations. I think Sinolingua or Foreign Languages Press put them out.
(no subject) - bride - Jul. 25th, 2004 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
tinyflamingo
Jul. 25th, 2004 04:01 pm (UTC)
I remember those books. Wonderful!

I profess ignorance at the "true" story of Mulan. I vaguely remember that it was certainly not all Disney-happy, though.
bride
Jul. 25th, 2004 04:09 pm (UTC)
It is a happy ending, but it's much more serious and poignant than the Disney movie.
tinyflamingo
Jul. 25th, 2004 04:06 pm (UTC)
I also remember a book about a little...Japanese? girl who was an artist, like her father. Girls were not encouraged in these roles, but her father was proud of her. Her mother was not, beacause she was always messy, late, and unladylike. She had an older brother at university of whom they were all proud. He was friends with a great scholar. I remember the daughter wanting to redeem herself on New Year's (?) when they rang a hundred and something bells. I remember her mother also really, really being proud of her when she made some meal for company when her mom wasn't home. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about, because I'd love to find it.
bride
Jul. 25th, 2004 04:12 pm (UTC)
... I vaguely remember it... but the only Japanese girl story my brain is coming up with is Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, but that's not it.

*uuungh* *wrack brain* *wrack brain* =\
(no subject) - tinyflamingo - Jul. 25th, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bride - Jul. 25th, 2004 07:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tinyflamingo - Jul. 25th, 2004 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
fianna
Jul. 25th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh I loved Tikki Tikki Tembo! That was one of my favorite books as a child : )
bride
Jul. 25th, 2004 07:15 pm (UTC)
Haha! I love that icon, it's so appropriate =D
razorw
Jul. 25th, 2004 09:15 pm (UTC)
I've also heard not to give children names that are 'too good' either, as it may 'jinx' them. --Ray
katlyn
Jul. 25th, 2004 11:03 pm (UTC)
Yay Tikki Tikki Tembo!

I -used- to have the whole name memorized... now I can only remember "No Sa Rembo" then it's something about cherries in my head. ;P

(I just asked my husband if he had ever read Tikki Tikki Tembo, and he said, "Yah... wasn't it about a ferret that killed snakes?" Dude... it's NOT Rikki Tikki Tavi. :} )
(Deleted comment)
ugly_boy
Jul. 26th, 2004 12:11 am (UTC)
It's a challenge to find any books about non-white characters, for children or otherwise. Books that do feature minorities often dwell on the subject of being a minority. Books about Asian-Americans are about "Asian-Americans" and not about people who happen to be Asian-American. I find this very irritating.

I remember rolling up my eyes at the accusations and dismissing them as a matter of people making asinine interpretations.

That reminds me of this. As someone who could be described as "mulatto" and finds the term archaic and offensive, I find the connection rather thin.

bride
Jul. 26th, 2004 05:00 pm (UTC)
I think "MooLatte" is a dumb name regardless, but I agree - to associate it with "mulatto" is a pretty big stretch =P =}
(no subject) - ugly_boy - Jul. 27th, 2004 12:02 am (UTC) - Expand
ugly_boy
Jul. 26th, 2004 12:25 am (UTC)
I just thought of a story that I used to like as a child! It's about a (Chinese I think) woman who makes dumplings and then gets swallowed up into the earth (or something) and there are these strange monsters...

The detalis are quite shaky in my mind, but I remember enjoying this story. I will ask my mom about it in the morning.
jenny_rambles
Jul. 26th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC)
I Loved That Book
I'm sure my spelling is going to be way off - but Tiki Tiki Tembo, No Sa Rembo, Chari Bari Ruchi Pip Peri Pembo has fallen in the well!
Wow - that was all from memory from my childhood. My sister listened to that book on tape all the time.
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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