If you have a child who has ever felt frustrated, impatient, or distracted (which pretty much is everybody!), I highly recommend the《Grace 说》(Grace Said) book series for your family! 🙂
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 you’ll see why I recommend 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 to save on cost!
I try to include ISBN numbers to each language version so that it’s a little easier to track down the books!
Grace Said《Grace 说》Chinese books: Review
These 3 stories are written in the perspective of a little girl named Grace. Her father talks to her about important qualities needed to overcome 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 virtues help other people. 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!
1. Father-daughter bonding
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.
2. Simple, distinctive illustrations
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).
3. Familiar sentence structure
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 a child re-reads the story, they will gradually memorize the words and be able to chime in!
5. Encourages children to understand the important message
Lastly, I like that the child shows that she truly understands the message rather than the father just telling her how things should be.
Our experience as a non-fluent family
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 Chinese picture books; 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.
That being said, 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.
Due to easy access to junk food, soda, and juice, the United States has a widespread obesity epidemic involving children and adults. 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, and I highly recommend their free Chinese audiobooks for all kids!
Since the entire website and app is in Chinese, please refer to this guide on How to Use Ximalaya if you cannot read Chinese.
WHERE TO BUY CHINESE BOOKS FOR KIDS
For more book recommendations, please explore our favorite Chinese books for kids!
If you’re wondering where to buy Chinese books for children, please click here for a list of the most popular online bookstores!
HOW TO TEACH KIDS CHINESE
- Teach Your Child a Second Language at Home with 5 Key Steps
- Raising Multilingual Children as a Non-Fluent Parent: 7 Lessons Learned
- 20+ Ways to Get Your Child to Speak Chinese
- How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- How I Taught My Child 1000+ Chinese Characters as a Non-Fluent Speaker
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!
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