When my children read 玛蒂娜故事书 I Love Martine books, they feel like they are experiencing a French family’s real life. In addition to the rich narrative, the illustrations are incredibly realistic and detailed.
Originally written in French in the 1950s, the 60-book series has been translated in several languages, including simplified and traditional Chinese. Topics range from normal, daily routine to special adventures.
Contents of this review:
- Background about the I Love Martine Chinese Version 玛蒂娜故事书系列
- Mandarin Chinese narration for 玛蒂娜故事书
- What we like about the I Love Martine Chinese Version 玛蒂娜故事书系列
- The big downside to the I Love Martine Chinese Books
- How we store the I Love Martine Chinese Books
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1. Background about the I Love Martine Chinese Version 玛蒂娜故事书系列
I Love Martine 玛蒂娜故事书 is one of those few series that a wide age range of children can enjoy. I first heard about these books from Guavarama’s review of the traditional Chinese version, and I knew I needed to add them to our home library!
My almost 3-year-old son and my almost 6-year-old daughter are fascinated by the photograph-like pictures. Since the action is so vivid, we can spend a lot of time observing and discussing the visual story.
Compared to typical picture books which have only a few lines of text per page, 玛蒂娜故事书 stories are longer with many paragraphs of text. These advanced picture books stretch Chinese vocabulary and listening/reading comprehension.
However, they are just the right level of challenge as the small text is accompanied by plenty of visual prompts that help her memorize new Chinese characters.
2. Mandarin Chinese narration for 玛蒂娜故事书
Listening to the audio narration also helps my daughter learn to read new 玛蒂娜故事书 books.
You can listen to 悦悦妈讲故事 read all 60 stories on her Ximalaya channel for free!
Luka Reading Robot also reads 玛蒂娜故事书! This robot has high-quality narration and encourages children to read books independently!
If you’d like to hear my daughter’s Chinese reading progress, have a listen to my daughter’s narration of 《玛蒂娜住进了医院》 toward the middle-end of the post.
3. What we like about the I Love Martine Chinese Version 玛蒂娜故事书系列
One of the best parts about the series is that my children are learning concepts that they have not experienced.
For example, a few stories take place in winter and enlighten my Californian children on appropriate cold-weather attire. (My kids have never seen snow). These stories introduce fun cold weather sports (eg, skiing) as well as accidents that can happen on slippery ice (dog falling through).
Other stories involve regular, everyday life (eg, cooking), and my children get to experience them through Martine’s eyes. Since my daughter attends weekly ballet class, she was very intrigued to learn that Martine also dances.
In the beginning of the ballet story, the book shows the name of each dance position in Chinese. Just by reading the book, my daughter learned the Chinese translations through the descriptive illustrations and Chinese labels.
Each story has a take-home message – a moral that encourages thinking and discussion on how it applies to our own family.
4. The big downside to the I Love Martine Chinese Books
As an Asian-American family living in a non-diverse town, I’m always looking for diversity in books. Since 99% of my daughter’s classmates are Caucasian, we want our media to feature Asians and people of color.
To be frank, this huge set of books adds a lot of whiteness! Moreover, there was one book where the children appropriated “Indian” culture, dressing up as a dark-skinned servant during pretend play.
Some families may prefer to remove these types of books from their libraries while others may use them as discussion opportunities.
As my daughter has read many of these on her own before I even realized the content, I’ve been making sure that we have regular discussions about racism so that she can learn to recognize these problems in stories that I might not get to read with her.
We also make sure to balance these stories with lots of books featuring realistic illustrations of minorities as protagonists.
5. How we store the I Love Martine Chinese Books
Organization of our home library is important for our family to find the books we want to read.
For this large set of 60 Chinese paperback books, I use a rope basket to hold the books. The handles on the basket make it a little easier to take in and out of the shelf.
In the United States, you can find inexpensive baskets at Home Goods and Marshalls. We have many sets of these baskets on Amazon (similar here) which are washable and have held up well over the years.
Due to the convenience of the basket, my children can flip through and find the books they want to read.
Although I wish our basket was a little stiffer to hold up these books, the softer shape makes it easier to squeeze in the corner of our bookcase.
6. Book titles 目录
1. 《玛蒂娜在农场》 Martine Goes To The Farm
2. 《玛蒂娜去旅行》 Martine In A Trip
3. 《玛蒂娜去海边》 Martine At The Beach
4.《玛蒂娜看马戏表演》 Martine Goes To The Circus
5. 《玛蒂娜去上学》 Martine Goes To School
6. 《玛蒂娜去园游会》 Martine Goes to The City Fair
7. 《玛蒂娜表演戏剧》 Martine And The Play
8. 《玛蒂娜去滑雪》 Martine Goes Ski
9. 《玛蒂娜野外露营》 Martine Goes Camping
10. 《玛蒂娜坐轮船》 Martine On The Cruise Ship
11. 《玛蒂娜的春夏秋冬》 Martine’s Four Seasons
12. 《玛蒂娜做家务》 Martine And The House Chores
13. 《玛蒂娜去动物园》 Martine Goes To The Zoo
14. 《玛蒂娜去购物》 Martine Goes Shopping
15. 《玛蒂娜坐飞机》 Martine On The Airplane
16. 《玛蒂娜学骑马》 Martine Learns To Ride Horses
17. 《玛蒂娜去公园》 Martine Goes to The Park
18. 《玛蒂娜当妈妈 》Martine The “Mother”
19. 《玛蒂娜过生日》 Martine’s Birthday
20. 《玛蒂娜做园艺》 Martine The Gardener
21.《玛蒂娜学骑车》 Martine Learns To Ride Bikes
22.《玛蒂娜学芭蕾》 Martine’s Ballet Class
23.《玛蒂娜参加花车游行》 Martine In The Parade
24.《玛蒂娜学烹饪》 Martine Learns To Cook
25.《 玛蒂娜学游泳》 Martine Learns To Swim
26.《玛蒂娜生病了》 Martine Is Sick
27.《玛蒂娜在姨妈家》 Martine Visits Her Aunt
28.《 玛蒂娜坐火车》 Martine On A Train
29. 《玛蒂娜学开帆船》 Martine Learns To Drive A Sailboat
30.《玛蒂娜和小麻雀》 Martine And The Sparrow
31.《玛蒂娜和小毛驴》 Martine And The Donkey
32. 《玛蒂娜过母亲节》 Martine And Mother’s Day
33.《玛蒂娜乘坐热气球》 Martine Rides The Hot Air Balloon
34.《玛蒂娜的校园生活》 Martine’s School
35.《玛蒂娜学音乐》 Martine And Music
36. 《玛蒂娜的狗狗丢了》 Martine’s Missing Dog
37.《玛蒂娜在森林里》 Martine In the Forests
38. 《玛蒂娜的生日礼物》 Martine’s Birthday Gift
39.《 玛蒂娜的怪邻居》 Martine’s Strange Neighbor
40. 《玛蒂娜不同寻常的星期三》 Martine’s Unusual Wednesday
41. 《玛蒂娜的圣诞夜》 Martine’s Christmas Eve
42. 《玛蒂娜要搬家》 Martine Moves Away
43. 《玛蒂娜的漂亮舞裙》 Martine’s Pretty Dress
44.《玛蒂娜和流浪猫》 Martine And The Homeless Cat
45.《玛蒂娜和小雪貂》 Martine Martin and The Little Ferret
46.《玛蒂娜住进了医院》 Martine In The Hospital
47.《玛蒂娜当保姆》 Martine The Babysitter
48.《玛蒂娜的发现课堂》 Martine’s Discovery Class
49.《玛蒂娜学画画》 Martine Learns To Draw
50.《玛蒂娜漫游奇境记》 Martine’s Wonderland
51.《玛蒂娜学做厨师》 Martine The Chef
52. 《玛蒂娜和神秘礼物》 Martine And The Mysterious Gift
53.《玛蒂娜和诺亚方舟》 Martine And Noah’s Ark
54. 《玛蒂娜参加古装游艺会》 Martine’s Custom Party
55.《玛蒂娜和有趣的幽灵》 Martine And The Funny Ghost
56.《玛蒂娜和小马》 Martine And The Pony
57.《玛蒂娜和让和好了》 Martine Made Up With Her Brother
58. 《玛蒂娜雨中历险》 Martine’s Rainy Day Adventure
59.《玛蒂娜保护大自然》 Martine Protects The Nature
60.《玛蒂娜和神秘王子》 Martine And The Mysterious Prince
7. Video of I Love Martine narration in Mandarin Chinese
Here is a video of my daughter reading her favorite story, 玛蒂娜住进了医院, when she was 5 years old. Sometimes I wonder if she will be a healthcare worker when she grows up, because she’s always most attracted to stories like this!
This reading is approximately 13 minutes in duration.
8. Photos of 玛蒂娜故事书系列
9. Where to buy I Love Martine Chinese Version 玛蒂娜故事书 / 我愛瑪婷
- Author: Gilbert Delahaye
- Illustrator: Marcel Marlier
- Simplified Chinese: 玛蒂娜故事书
- Traditional Chinese: 我愛瑪婷
- Where to buy: Anson Book
***Please note that the traditional Chinese title is different from the simplified Chinese version. The traditional Chinese set includes 52 books and not 60.
Have you read the I Love Martine series 玛蒂娜故事书系列?
What did your family think of the books?
Also, if you know of any Chinese series similar to this but featuring Asian protagonists or people of color, please share in the comments below! We would be grateful for your recommendations!
FREE CHINESE AUDIOBOOKS
Many websites and apps offer FREE multilingual books for kids!
Ximalaya FM is our favorite, 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.
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Tips for boosting Chinese skills
- 20+ Ways to Get Your Child to Speak Chinese
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- 5 Ways My Child and I Learn Chinese from Audiobooks
- Handmade Cards for Reading and Writing Practice (English, Chinese, and Korean)
- 5 Key Tips for Memorizing Chinese Characters (VIDEO)