Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Les P'tites Poules... in Chinese

This is another post on Chinese books. Lesley-Anne found this series of books in the library a few years ago and she thoroughly enjoyed them. It's actually a translation of the French series of books called Les P'tites Poules by Christian Jolibois (author) and Christian Heinrich (illustrator). The stories are of little effervescent chickens and their very funny adventures.

One of my quarrels with Chinese fiction books for children is that they either tend to be very moralistic or just plain boring. But this series is different (maybe because it's not originally written in Chinese!) The pictures are brilliantly animated, very reminiscent of the style of the Nicholas books (incidentally also by French author and illustrator). The storylines are so comical that you can't help laughing when you read them.

For instance, in Book 1, the story tells of Carmela the chicken who was not interested in learning how to lay eggs like all the other chickens in the coop.

She dreamed of going out to sea in search of magical creatures so she ran away one night. Unfortunately, she was caught by a pirate ship whose crew wanted to eat her, so she struck a bargain to provide them with eggs everyday if they would spare her life. Which she almost couldn't deliver since she never practised laying eggs! Hilarious.

Eventually she managed to find her way back to the coop with a rooster mate and they produced a little rebel of their own, Carmelito, who decided he wanted to own a star... and that's Book 2.

I estimate the books to be pitched at the lower primary level, so they're just right for Andre now. I have no idea what's the name of the series in Chinese but the title of the first book is 我想去看海 under the author Jolibois. I think there are 8 or 9 books in the series. At the library, if you find the first one, you should be able to find the rest.


tjmummy said...

I LOVE this series too!
I only found out about this when we moved over here to China and I scoured amazon.com.cn and saw high ratings and rave reviews for this set. Being curious, I bought it and am so taken by it myself. My kids love the illustrations and find many of the stories very hilarious.
Adults can appreciate the hot air balloon part where the brothers really let a chicken, sheep and duck go up on the first flight (in history).
Totally imaginative and funny.

I had to read everything to my kids though, but I saw the level at the back (for local Chinese kids), it says 5 yr old can read by themselves. Wow.

monlim said...

Wow, you're in China? I never realised! So your kids must be quite fluent in Chinese eh? Yup, saw the reading level at the back but that's for local China Chinese (ie Chinese as 1st language). Have to tell myself that, otherwise will have to admit that my kids' Chinese standard is really koyak :P

Alcovelet said...

Tks for the rec, Mon! Am off to see where I can get it, with a discount, keke.

Lilian said...

Aiyoh, the illustrations kill me, the chickens are so cute! Cannot tahan, must buy if only for the pictures :)

tjmummy said...

yes, in China because of hubby's work, but err.. my kids are far from being fluent.

hopefully they will pick up more soon. we were in USA for 2 yrs before this stint, so their most formative language-learning years were there and now they are too ang moh.

Relatives back in Spore have LOTS to comment on that. sigh.

that's why I browsed amazon.com.cn and bought those books! :-)

monlim said...

TJMummy: Kudos to you for your efforts! Well, the good part is that kids tend to pick up language faster than adults so don't fret, they might just pick up more Chinese yet :)

sunflower70 said...

The name of this series is 不一样的卡梅拉, so far there are 9 books published and sold in market. But there are only first 6 books in Singapore National Library. I search and download the other 3 books in PDF version from the Chinese website. My kids love them so much. Yes, my 5 yo dd can read it fluently by herself. We are really impressed by her reading. Highly recommended to all the primary boys and girls. Its Chinese language vocabulary is vivid.

Anonymous said...

Any idea if this series is available translated into english? Can't seem to find it! :(

monlim said...

Anon: No idea, sorry!

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