By: 吴承恩, adapted by 吕进, illustrated by 吴家哗.
Originally published in: China
Language: Simplified Chinese
Pages per book: 68
Lines per page: 3
Price per book: $6.50
Audio book: Luka or scan QR code on book cover to access free audio recording. Luka reads this set of books only in Role Play Mode (an interpretation or story-telling mode, not word by word).
After reviewing countless versions of the classic Journey to the West books, we ultimately chose to carry 2 beautiful sets that we love. If you are looking for a first introductory set with Pinyin, consider this Monkey King Journey to the West Beginner's 10-book set 西游记幼儿美绘本 (xī yóu jì yòu ér měi huì běn); if you are looking for a more complete Monkey King experience for your little Monkey King fan, The Monkey King Classic Collection 32-book set 美猴王系列丛书 (měi hóu wáng xì liè cóng shū) is a must-have set for your Chinese children's book collection.
Treat this 10-book set as your children's first introduction to the fascinating world of the Monkey King. We love this set because:
- The language was adapted to be comprehensible for children as young as 3 years old. Still, children should be conversational in Chinese to enjoy this set to its fullest.
- Each book covers 3 abridged stories from the original novel, edited especially for very young readers.
- The illustrations in these books are filled with elements of Chinese tradition, yet are still fun and contemporary, the result of the illustrator's 10 years of research and obsession with these classic stories.
- Pinyin helps experienced readers enjoy this set independently
Created in the 16th century in the Ming Dynasty, the original Journey to the West 西游记 (xī yóu jì) / Monkey King 美猴王 (měi hóu wáng) story was one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It had deep roots in Chinese folk religion, mythology, Taoist and Buddhist philosophies. The novel was at once a comic fantasy full of adventure, a humorous satire of bureaucracy, and a celebration of virtue and teamwork. It is still revered in China as a source of modern day idioms, values and religious attitudes. It has inspired endless artistic, cultural and literary creations in China and beyond.
It is said that "the English had Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and the Chinese had Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West". Both brought to life epic worlds with fantastic characters, creatures, plots and landscapes.
Because of 西游记 The Journey to the West's significance in the Chinese culture and language, a number of Chinese teaching programs use it as their main curriculum.
Main plot: During the legendary pilgrimage of the Tang dynasty, Buddhist monk Xuanzang traveled to the "Western Regions (Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent) to obtain Buddhist sacred texts. The Gautama Buddha provided him four protectors and disciples, 孙悟空 Sun Wukong (美猴王, the Monkey King), 猪八戒 Zhu Bajie (the carefree Pig), 沙悟净 Sha Wujing (loyal, reliable, and hardworking man), and a dragon prince turned white horse 白龙马 Bai Long Ma. The team of five return after much suffering and many treacherous encounters with nature and powerful goblins who hope to eat up Xuanzang's flesh in exchange of immortality.
Book titles 西游记幼儿美绘本 xī yóu jì yòu ér měi huì běn西游记第一卷 Journey to the West 1
西游记第二卷 Journey to the West 2
西游记第三卷 Journey to the West 3
西游记第四卷 Journey to the West 4
西游记第五卷 Journey to the West 5
西游记第六卷 Journey to the West 6
西游记第七卷 Journey to the West 7
西游记第八卷 Journey to the West 8
西游记第九卷 Journey to the West 9
西游记第十卷 Journey to the West 10
Is my child ready for this set?
"Read to me": Children ages 3+ will enjoy having these books read to them either by Luka or a caregiver. Are you interested in this set, but, not sure whether your child would like them? Reading the interactive E-book adaption of the 1964 classic film 大闹天宫 Hovoc in Heaven on the Ellabook App would be a great way to experience a section of The Monkey King stories.
"Read by myself": Children ages 6+ who know 800+ Chinese characters should be able to enjoy this series with the assistance of Pinyin.
Option to pair with Luka: Luka reads all 10 of the Journey to the West books, a rich audio book resource for Chinese learners!
Set Luka in front of a book, and it will read aloud any page your child turns to. For busy parents who are wrestling with time to sit down with their children as they gravitate towards longer book reading sessions, Luka will really be helpful! Luka creates a unique, independent physical book reading experience even if your child can't read by herself yet.