If you’re an Asian American parent like me, you probably struggle to find books for your kids that have the right blend of age appropriateness and entertainment while still offering a glimpse into the history and culture of your ancestry. Just in time for Chinese New Year, a new children’s e-book is available on Amazon. While the topic isn’t Chinese New Year, it does tackle the topic of why the Great Wall exists in China. The book is titled “The Emperor Who Built the Great Wall” and is written by Jillian Lin. During the introductory period on February 19 and 20, 2015 you can get the book for free. After the 20th it will be priced at $2.99.
As a kid’s book, I really liked the historical story telling, but some of it may not be appropriate for the really young ones (especially the part about attempted murder of the emperor, and the many who died building the wall), but is a good early reader if your child already has a good grasp of morals and understanding around life and death.
I was especially appreciative of the end of the book which offered additional facts in a “Did you know?” section. The drawings were colorful, and well done.
My own daughter liked the book, but mostly because she’s already fascinated with the terracotta warriors after seeing the exhibit last year at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the book covers that history as well. The Great Wall isn’t something she has a particular interest in, but now that she’s read the book, I’m going to go back and show her the pictures I have of myself on the Great Wall, from when I visited back in 1995 and in 2002.
The only other thing I would have like to see in the book and didn’t would have been incorporation of some Chinese characters into the story. I’m always looking for kids books that help teach some of the simpler Chinese characters to reinforce my daughter’s Chinese school experience. Overall worth a download if you’re looking for something to share with your child for Chinese New Year.