By: 吴承恩, 火棘果子 (Adaptor), 朱青贞 & 周大光 (Illustrators)
Originally Published in: China
Language: Simplified Chinese
Pages per book: 74
Lines per page: 3
Luka® can read these books!
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 the 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); but if you are looking for a more complete Monkey King experience for your little Monkey King fan, look no further than this Monkey King Classic Collection 32-book set 美猴王系列丛书 (měi hóu wáng xì liè cóng shū). This beautiful set of books is a timeless must-have for any Chinese children's book collection.
We love this book series because:
- The series covers 32 main stories from the original novel, retelling the major plots of the complete Journey to the West stories, while other Monkey King Children’s book series usually is not as extensive.
- Luka reads all 32 books in this series! Each book is a 30 to 40 minutes engaging screen free audio book experience!
- The stories were originally created for native Chinese speakers age 5-8 so the text is challenging but comprehensible for non-native learners conversational in Chinese. The language has been modernized to help children follow them, but essential Chinese idioms and expressions have been preserved.
- The series was created by a team of 32 top Chinese artists and historians, making it a timeless classic. The vibrant illustrations mirror the artistic style of the wildly popular 1964 animation 大闹天宫(dà nào tiān gōng) Hovoc in Heaven. That film, created at the height of China’s 2nd Golden Cinema Era (before the Cultural Revolution effectively shut down the film industry in China), influenced generations of Chinese and instantly inspired nostalgia in much of the Chinese diaspora to this day. Like the film, this 32-book series of Monkey King books for children is characterized by an illustration style heavily influenced by Peking opera, giving even deeper insight into Chinese cultures than ordinary Chinese children's books. .
Created in the 16th century in the Ming Dynasty, the original Journey to the West 西游记 / Monkey King 美猴王 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 adventure fantacy, 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.
If there is one Chinese superhero that every Chinese kid knows and idolizes, it is the Monkey King!
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 美猴王系列丛书 měi hóu wáng xì liè cóng shū:
第一辑 Season One
1. 《猴王出世》(Hóu wáng chū shì) Born of the Monkey King
2. 《大闹天宫》(Dà nào tiān gōng) Havoc in Heaven
3. 《悟空归正》(Wù kōng guī zhèng) Wu Kong's Return to the Right
4.《大闹黑风山》(Dà nào hēi fēng shān) The Black Wind Mountain
5. 《猪八戒做女婿》(Zhū bā jiè zuò xù) Zhu Baijie (Pigsy) the Son-in-law
6. 《流沙河》(Liú shā hé》The Liu Sha River
7. 《偷吃人参果》(Tōu chī rén cān guǒ) The Ginseng Fruits
8. 《巧斗黄袍怪》(Qiǎo dǒu huáng páo guài) The Yellow Cape Monster
第二辑 Season Two
9. 《莲花洞》(Lián huā dòng) The Locus Flower Cave
10.《智降狮猁王》(Zhì jiàng shī lì wáng) The King of Shi Li
11. 《勇擒红孩儿》(Yǒng qín hóng hái ér) The Red Boy
12. 《变法斗三仙》(Biàn fǎ dǒu sān xiān) The Three Gods
13. 《大战通天河》(Dà zhàn tōng tiān hé) The Battle on the Tong Tian River
14. 《勇斗青牛精》(Yǒng dǒu qīng niú jīng) The Black Ox Demon
15. 《子母河》(Zǐ mǔ hé》 Zi Mu River
16. 《西梁女国》(Xī liáng nu guó) The Kingdom of Girls
第三辑 Season Three
17.《真假美猴王》(Zhēn jiǎ měi hóu wáng) Who is the Real Monkey King
18.《三调芭蕉扇》(Sān diào bā jiāo shàn) The Banana Fan
19.《大战九头怪》(Dà zhàn jiǔ tóu guài) The Nine-headed Demon
20.《扫平假西天》(Sǎo píng jiǎ xī tiān) The Fake Western
21.《 七绝山》(Qī jué shān) Qi Jue Mountain
22.《计盗紫金铃》(Jì dào zǐ jīn líng) The Zi Jin Bell
23.《盘丝洞》(Pán sī dòng) The Pan Si Cave
24.《伏妖救群婴》(Fú yāo jiù qún yīng) Save the Babies
第四辑 Season Four
25.《四探无底洞》(Sì tàn wú dǐ dòng) The Bottomless Cave
26. 《无僧国》(Wú sēng guó) The Kingdom without Monks
27.《连环洞》(Lián huán dòng) Chain of Caves
28.《劝善施雨》(uàn shàn shī yǔ) The Rain and Kindness
29.《计闹钉耙宴》(Jì nào dīng bà yàn) The Rake Banquet
30. 《挟捉犀牛精》(Xié zhuō xī niú jīng) The Rhinoceros Demon
31.《弄法救死魂》(Nòng fǎ jiù sǐ hún) Saving the Lost Soul
32. 《取回真经》(Qǔ huí zhēn jīng) Mission Accomplished
Is my child ready for this set?
"Read to me":
Ages 7+ will enjoy having these books read to them either by Luka® or a caregiver.
"Read by myself":
The limited text per page and the prevalence of common language make it a good "bridge book" for readers. The involved plot and detailed illustrations will capture the interest of experienced readers ages 9+.
Option to pair with Luka®:
Consider adding Luka®, the reading robot, to your order. Luka® reads 70,000 books in Mandarin Chinese!
Set Luka® in front of the book, and it will read aloud any page your child turns to-- creating a unique, independent physical book reading experience even if your child isn't ready to read by themselves. Click to read our founders' personal review of Luka here.