If you have a child who has ever felt frustrated, impatient, or distracted (which pretty much is everybody!), I highly recommend the《Grace 说》series for your family! 🙂 I love these picture books by Eric Liao, because they teach children about important qualities needed to overcome obstacles. You’ll be happy to know that the books are available in both simplified and traditional Chinese (hooray!). We have the simplified Chinese version, and I’ll share why I encourage this series for your family!
Grace Said《Grace 说》series by Eric Liao
- 作者 (Author): Eric Liao
- Book Titles:
- Grace 说恒心 / Grace 說恆心 (Grace Said Persistence)
- Grace 说专心 / Grace 說專心 (Grace Said Focus)
- Grace 说耐心 / Grace 說耐心 (Grace Said Patience)
- Where to buy:
Shopping links to popular bookstores are provided for convenience, but I hope that you can find these in your local library! I try to include ISBN numbers to each language version so that it’s a little easier to track down the books!
Review of the Grace 说 Chinese books
These 3 stories are written in the perspective of a little girl named Grace. Her father talks to her about important qualities needed to face challenges. Each book focuses on a quality (eg, persistence, focus, patience) with relatable examples in Grace’s life.
Throughout each story, phrases of encouragement are repeated to reinforce the take home message. For example, Grace requires persistence to play the piano and other activities, so each example is followed with “你一定做得到 (Nǐ yīdìng zuò dédào / You can do it!)”. When discussing focus, Grace’s father explains that you are looking only at what’s in front of you (eg, Legos) and taking it all in (rather than getting distracted by a nearby butterfly in the illustrations). In regards to patience, Grace learns that she doesn’t need to get frustrated while waiting.
After the father and Grace talk about examples in her life, they also see how these characteristics help other people, such as watching a chef prepare a cake. At the end of the story, we know that Grace truly understands the lesson because she goes on to teach her school friends about persistence, focus, and patience.
Why we love the Grace 说 Chinese books
I love these stories for many reasons. More importantly, my kids love them! First, the bond between the father and his daughter, Grace, is evident. It’s refreshing to see a positive example of a father as an involved parent. Second, the line illustrations are simple with a pop of red color for Grace’s dress, and yellow for the symbol representing the highlighted quality (eg, hour glass sand timer for patience). The consistency of the pictures paired with the rhythmic and slightly repetitive sentence structure allows for the story to be remembered by a child. As child re-read the story, the will gradually memorize is and be able to chime in! Lastly, I like that the child shows that she truly understands the message rather than the father just telling her how things should be.
As a non-native Chinese speaker, I felt that each of the stories were easy to understand. The language is straightforward with no idioms. The font is larger than most picture books, and all text is on a separate page from the illustrations. Therefore, it’s a great series for reading practice.
My daughter read these books last summer at age 4.5 years old with knowledge of ~1000 characters. The Grace 说恒心 and Grace 说耐心 books had a few new Chinese characters, but Grace 说专心 had more unfamiliar Chinese characters that we have since learned.
The only downside
As a pediatrician, I was disappointed that the first example in the Grace 说耐心 book was Grace waiting for candy. The father says that she can deserve candy if she is patient, rewarding her patience. This problem is common throughout children’s books, not only the Grace said books. Children’s books commonly feature unhealthy foods instead of healthy fruits and vegetable, perhaps reflecting the diet of many families. In the United States, an obesity epidemic involving children and adults due to easy access of junk food, soda, and juice. However, kids often feel connected to their favorite characters in books as role models. Therefore, authors and illustrators should consider how they portray food in stories.
That all being said, these books are wonderful! For our family, the candy can serve as a great discussion opportunity with my children. We experience this frequently in real life where other children may be eating candy and desserts, but my kids are patiently declining. Since my son has numerous food allergies, my family has to avoid many foods for his safety. As a result, my children are used to the test of patience when it comes to food!
What’s inside the Grace Said books?
Here are some pictures of each of these 3 books!
Grace 说恒心 / Grace 說恆心 (Grace Said Persistence)
Grace 说专心 / Grace 說專心 (Grace Said Focus)
Grace 说耐心 / Grace 說耐心 (Grace Said Patience)
In summary, I highly recommend this series that teaches young children how to overcome challenges in a relatable way!
FREE CHINESE AUDIOBOOKS
Ximalaya FM has thousands of Chinese stories for children for free! Our favorites are listed in this post. Since the entire website and app is in Chinese, please refer to this guide if you cannot read Chinese.
WHERE TO BUY CHINESE BOOKS FOR KIDS
For more Chinese book recommendations for kids, please visit and bookmark this link of our favorite books! Every week, I will be adding book reviews to this website!
If you’re wondering where to buy Chinese books for children, please click here for a list of the most popular online bookstores!
RECOMMENDED ARTICLES ABOUT HOW TO TEACH KIDS CHINESE
- Tips on creating a Chinese learning environment at home
- Teach Your Child a Second Language at Home with 5 Key Steps
- Raising Multilingual Children as a Non-Fluent Parent: 7 Lessons Learned in 2018
- How To Get Your Child To Speak the Minority Language
- Encourage A Child to Love and Speak the Minority Language with 5 Strategies
- How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- 5 Reasons Books are the Best Gifts for Multilingual Kids
- Teaching kids how to read Chinese
RECOMMENDED BILINGUAL FACEBOOK PARENTING GROUPS
As always, please let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll try my best to answer them! Please leave a note in the comments! I also highly recommend reaching out to parents in Facebook support groups:
- Montessori-inspired Kids Learning Chinese and English
- Christian Parents Raising Bilingual Children in English & Chinese
- Raising Bilingual Parents in Chinese & English
You can also follow me on Facebook where I share my latest posts as well as favorite articles about children’s education, Chinese resources, and hands-on activities from other websites! In addition, on Instagram, I share activity highlights and how we integrate Chinese-learning in our daily family life!
Happy reading, friends!