The Usborne Internet-Linked First Thousand Words in Chinese, by Heather Amery, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright, provides a brief introduction to Chinese language, including a rough guide to pronouncing pinyin and the 4 tones in Mandarin Chinese.
The first section shows pictures of different scenes, such as "At Home". These particular pages show the rooms in a house and the basic objects and furnishings inside the house. There is no English on these pages, only simplified Chinese characters and pinyin in very small print. They cover the kitchen, the garden, the garage, the street, the toy store, the park, the zoo, travel, the country, the farm, the seaside, the school, the hospital, the doctor's office, a party, and the store.
Next, there are pictures of foods, body parts, clothing, occupations, family members, things to do, opposites, days of the week, times of day, special days, the weather, the seasons, pets, sports, exercise, colors, shapes, numbers, the amusement park, and the circus. Phew--very comprehensive!
At the end of the book, there is a word list, listed alphabetically in pinyin, where you can look up the English translation to any word in the book that you don't know. If you have trouble pronouncing any of the words, you can go to their website and listen to all of the words in the book spoken by a native Chinese speaker. For added fun, you can look for the hidden duck in every big picture, characteristic of Stephen Cartwright's work in Usborne books.
Although the Chinese characters and pinyin seem to be very tiny in this book, I do love this book for its wonderful illustrations and practical vocabulary lists.
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