For English-speaking parents

How Snowflake Books can affect your kid's future?

Q: Are Snowflake books designed for those who are learning Chinese language?

A: Snowflake books are attractive and valuable supplements to formal language courses by providing reading practice and access to the wider context of Chinese life. They do not make up a formal language course in themselves.

Snowflake books are especially useful for parents and teachers who would like to introduce aspects of Chinese culture and language to their children who are not taking formal courses in Mandarin.

Q: I don’t know anything about Mandarin, how can I use your books?

A: As we know, most people learn languages at a young age by assimilation and not through formal study. Snowflake books introduce young children naturally to Mandarin through traditional legends and beautiful authentic pictures. This forms an early interest and foundation for later learning. 

Q: Are your bilingual picture books for Chinese or English readers?

A: Both. Snowflake books provide practice in reading for English children learning Chinese and for Chinese children learning English. While we aim to familiarise English children with Chinese culture, Chinese children will also learn about their own culture and legends.

Q: Do I have to learn some Chinese language first to enjoy reading Snowflake Books?

A: Not at all. The English translations of the stories are complete in themselves and can be read to young children just as though the books were English story books, with many original and delightful pictures which can be used to talk children through the stories.

Q: How unique are your books compared to other language learning materials?

A: There are many forms of language materials. Strong features of our Simplified editions are short concise sentences in both languages, suitable for young children and for older beginners. The traditional legends and stories have been researched by a Taiwanese educationalist and translated cooperatively by a bi-lingual team.

Our books are beautiful and designed to be especially attractive to young children, with detailed full colour illustrations on every page. Our team of artists use a variety of styles but take care to portray authentic details of traditional costumes and objects. These books are printed on quality paper and have quality sewn bindings which mean they can be loved and passed down the generations and treasured as heirlooms. They are much more than mere textbooks.

Q: Chinese seems impossible to learn. Why do I need your books?

A: Chinese is becoming a useful language for native English speakers. Sufficient understanding of the language can open a different world and more opportunities, particularly for young people. By starting young with good approaches, learning Chinese will not be a mission impossible. We introduce the language by re-telling legends and stories from the mysterious old and ancient China and we use rich colourful illustrations to give you vivid ideas on how the stories were handed down in the original authentic settings. Children will find the books delightful and feel motivated to go on learn the language and culture. 

Q: Why are these legendary stories useful in the modern world?

A: These stories can help you to understand many aspects of modern Chinese life. The Chinese have many popular festivals; New Year Festival is best known in the West, but there are many others: our stories explain the deeper meanings of these for Chinese people. Modern Chinese also use many pithy ‘four character sayings’ (like proverbs) in everyday life and again the stories explain what these mean. The great importance of dragon symbols is explained and you can discover the meanings of different forms of dragons in Chinese decoration.  

Q: Can I trust the English translation?

A: Yes you can. We have a dedicated international team of authors, translators and editors. Our team collect traditional stories and research their historical contexts. The stories are written in Chinese and then translated literally into English. Based on the English translations, our editors in Oxford work together with the translators to edit and completely rewrite the stories into English children’s story style. 

More questions please see our FAQs page.