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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Old Fashioned Teaching = Super High Scores?

Indian High School in Oakland has an API score of 967. There are only 3 schools in California with higher scores. My daughter's school has an API of 853. And Oakland is not the richest city in California.

The school uses a back to basics approach and tolerates no class room distractions and discipline issues. Contrast this with the class room described in How I Joined Teach for America—and Got Sued for $20 Million.

The LA Times article on the school with the super high API scores - Spitting in the eye of mainstream education - LA Times



Saturday, May 30, 2009

Learning Chinese - Why Learn Chinese

An article from Scotland, Language teaching 'lets down Scotland mentions a major reason on why to learn Chinese is economic reasons, which got me to thinking so I updated my list.

10 Reasons to Learn Chinese

1. China is emerging from a period of stagnation and again taking it's place as one of the great powers of the world. China currently has the second largest economy in the world. To take advantage of this huge economic shift and opportunities, learning to speak Chinese is a great way to give your children an advantage in the increasingly competitive business world. Not everyone in the world speaks English.

2. China has become the factory of the world and is moving up the technology food chain. Look at the balance of trade between the US and China. Per Nobel Prize Winner Robert Mundell China will become the factory of the world, in my opinion it already has. Now products are built, as well as designed in China.

3. Chinese culture is over 5000 years old. By learning the Chinese Language, Chinese you will learn another culture. Learning a language gives you a better understanding through the grammar and even how the words are derived of the culture behind them. There is a lot of Chinese Poetry that lose some meaning when translated.

4. China is a huge export market for the US. 1/5th of the world's population lives in China. Overseas Chinese dominate the economies of many countries in Asia, and speaking Mandarin gives you an edge in doing business with them. Countries with large overseas Chinese populations include Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. China has become one of the largest trading partners with the US. Over 16,000 US companies sell products in China. Trade is not only from China to the US, but also the other way. $41.8 Billion in 2006.

5. The world is becoming a global economy. Per a famous book, the world is becoming flat so communication, ideas, and goods are traveling faster and faster between countries including the US and China. Learning Chinese gives you the opportunity to take advantage of this change. It's a great ice breaker when working with people from China if you can say a few words in Chinese. This helps especially when dealing with business people on the other side of the world via conference call.

6. Learning another language gives you another viewpoint. The word he uses, that is ll of meaning, is Kaleidoscope. It does seem to help mentally as you develop new areas of your brain. It also helps as people age. I once had a fun talk with a programmer explaining how learning a new computer language helped keep his mind fresh. It will also help you when ordering Chinese food.

7. Learning Chinese will give a student a competitive advantage. Chinese is the fastest growing Foreign Language being taught in US schools. I like Mayor Daly's quote: "We want to give our young people opportunities to advance ... and [Chinese] is a great opportunity to survive in today's economy."

8. Mandarin Chinese is the most taught foreign language after English in Japan. If the Japanese are learning it, shouldn't people in the US? Mandarin Chinese is the most used language on the Internet.

9. Chinese has become very useful in government. The Austrian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.. The US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner studied Chinese and attended Beijing University. The former Utah Governor, now Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman is fluent in Chinese (he learned it as a missionary in Taiwan and has an adopted child from China).

10. Family Reasons - If you have relatives who don't speak English, but only Chinese, it's so great to be able to speak with them in Chinese. I can't tell you how proud my wife is that my daughter got selected to be the announcer this year for her Chinese Choir!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Learn Chinese Summer Sale

Since Summer is fast arriving and school is letting out, I thought it's time to help find something for those poor kids to do this summer, such as Learning Chinese! A few suggested items in my Weekly Sale! One of the items on sale, Long as a Dragon is just a great book with so many projects possible!

Long Is A Dragon - Chinese Characters
Long Is A Dragon - Chinese Writing for Kids by Peggy Goldstein
Our Price: $17.95
Sale Price: $16.95
You Save $1.00!

Pictures provide wonderful introduction
to Chinese characters

  • Kids find characters easy to remember
  • Great teaching tool for parents and teachers
Features 75 Chinese characters
Plus evolution of character strokes

One of my most popular books and one of my favorites.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dragon Boat Festival Resources!

May you have your family have a Wonderful Dragon Boat Day and enjoy some Joong (sticky rice in bamboo leaves)! In the lunar calendar, today is the 5th day of the 5th Month.

More Dragon Boat Resources:


Chinese Religion - Calvanism Flourishes

Chinese Calvinism is flourishing per an article in the UK Guardian. My daughter just finished AP European History so we have been very familiar with religion in Europe (I am her study partner/tutor).

In the US, I don't think Calvanism is doing to well with ethnic Chinese. My guess would be the more Evangelical Churches that are more outgoing, rather than the traditional Protestant Churches. The article does touch on the issue of official churches vs. house churches. I"ll need to ask a friend of mine to comment on the article.

Chinese Calvinism flourishes
guardian.co.uk - UK
And in China, the place where Calvinism is spreading fastest is the elite universities, fuelled by prodigies of learning and translation. ...


Chinese-Am Veteran Actor Still Waiting for Asians to Break in to Hollywood

We may not be able to connect the name with the face, but veteran actor James Hong has been a steady fixture in the movies, theater and TV shows. We have been watching him since the Flower Drum Song with Nancy Kwan, to the pilot episode of Kung Fu with David Carradine, even amused our kids with his voice roles in Mulan and Kung Fu Panda.

Recent articles feature James Hong's musings on Hollywood's total acceptance of the Chinese. 80-year old James is definitely a veteran, acting in over 500 movies and shows. Yet, he has never really played the lead. He is still hoping that Asians will get to play lead roles as much as the Latinos and Blacks that have broken in to the limelight. CanWest News quotes Hong, ``There are so many series with black actors as leads. So why in heaven aren't there some Chinese-American series on television? There are so many good stories and situations that would make a good sitcom or drama, but it's just not being done.''

Read more about this here and here.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ChildBook Design Changes

I moved by ages to the top of ChildBook on the left navigation. Why, I thought it looked better.
I thought it was getting lost below the products navigation area.

As with all 5 minutes changes, it took a little longer to get everything how it was supposed to be :-)

Why does it seem most computer related projects due this to me?

Should I test it? Yes. Can I, unfortunately not due to system issues.

The problem when you are using somebody elses E-Commerce solution you lose flexibility, and in this case the ability to test is one of them. The positive of using a third party solution is updates, that you don't need to custom develop and pay for changes! Not to mention it's nice when you are not the only one finding bugs and then needing to pay to get the bugs fixed if you have a custom solution. At a company I worked for had developed internally a system that was world class, the challenge was when the main programmer left after the initial project was finished, getting changes done became almost impossible. So with the Y2K crises, the company went with an off the shelf solution. Not as good, but at least new versions did come out from time to time and interfacing was much easier with good documentation. Another issue with custom designs is documentation...


Dragon Boat Festival Day!

Tomorrow is May 28 is the Fifth Day of the Fifth month in the Lunar Calendar, or dragon boat festival day. Apparently it's the unluckiest day of the entire year, or is it?

What are your thoughts about this?

All I know is my credit card is due tomorrow!

My wife was not aware of the date till I mentioned it, so I guess in Taiwan it's not such a major holiday.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What is best for Writing Chinese Characters

A customer asked what they should use to write Chinese Characters after getting
Long Is A Dragon - Chinese Writing for Kids by Peggy Goldstein

The book is great since it goes through how the character developed. So for a dragon, it will start with a picture of a Dragon and you can see how the Chinese Characters evolved from this. Yes, it's made for kids, but it's a great read for adults also! It goes through this for 75 characters.

The best is the Chinese Brush with Ink to capture the strokes and the differences in thickness. Stroke direction and how the brush varies in thickness when you are into more of an art.

For fun, any brush with paint. The type used in kids projects will work.

For just practicing, a pen works fine. Many teachers just use pens as a nice simple way to practice.

There is also two books that go into more detail:
The Chinese Calligraphy Bible and A Complete Guide to Chinese Calligraphy that goes into more detail on this (designed for adults).

Long Is A Dragon is one of my favorite books,

Long Is A Dragon - Chinese Characters
Long Is A Dragon - Chinese Writing for Kids by Peggy Goldstein
Our Price: $17.95

Pictures provide wonderful introduction
to Chinese characters

  • Kids find characters easy to remember
  • Great teaching tool for parents and teachers
Features 75 Chinese characters
Plus evolution of character strokes

One of my most popular books and one of my favorites.


China and North Korea - What to do?

Good article about the relationship between China and North Korea and the options that China has and their probable response.

China debates its bond with North Korea - LA Times.

No mention of my idea where the US should address China's concerns if North Korea collapses. All China needs to do is recognize North Korean's as refugees. Perhaps if the US offered to pay all the care of them and help ship them to South Korea (who does not want the economic headache of a North Korean collapse right now).


Monday, May 25, 2009

China and N. Korea's Nukes

China is unhappy with North Korea's latest stunt, a successful Atomic Bomb Test. Why is China upset? Because some in Japan are already talking about the being able to do first strikes. And what if South Korea and Japan stop trusting in the US nuclear shield? They will go nuclear very fast.

China can quickly cause the collapse of North Korea if it wanted to by severing trade links. So why does it not? Why does it catch North Korea refugees and send them back to North Korea to unpleasant fates in NK Gulags. Why does it send food and other supplies to North Korea allowing the nation to keep on surviving? If it just declared any North Korean who gets to China will be considered a refugee and allowed to go to South Korea, that would depopulate the North very quickly.

1. China does not want another non-communist nation on it's borders, especially one that has US troops in it (South Korea). If that is the case, I suggest the US make a statement that if the two Korea's unify US troops will withdraw or not be stationed above the 49th parallel.

2. China does not want to deal with the flood of North Korean refugees.

3. South Korea does not want to take the economic hit that reunification would entail at this time. They saw what happened to West Germany when the two Germany's united, and East Germany was in much better shape than North Korea.

BTW - China is indirectly responsible for North Korea's nukes. How, they supplied plans on the actual design of an atomic bomb to Pakistan. When Libya got out of the Atom bomb business, some of the blue prints they turned over were in Chinese. They had gotten them from Pakistan. China saw it in their interest at one time to have Pakistan go nuclear, as a counter weight to India (which China fought a war with).

My personal opinion I wish China would do everything it could to hasten the fall of the North Korean government. It would make for a much better world.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

China's New Tactics to avoid Bad Publicity

Basically China is using more finesse in avoiding the spot light on areas that it would rather avoid discussion on . For Mother's of Tienanmen protesters, they allowed a ceremony as long as no foreign press was invited. By doing this China avoided an ugly incident.

Openness in China About Memoir Proves Short-Lived - NY Times.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dragon Boat Craft Class

http://blog.roodo.com/esgvla looks interesting. It's a Dragon BZoat Festival Hand cefat contest and it also has a part teaching how to do some crafts. It's at the Taiwan Culture Center in tomorow.

I wonder if I can enter my Dragon Boat Coloring Pages or Dragon Boat Worksheets?


Universal Jurisdiction and China

Spanish Judges have the ability under Spanish Law through a concept known as Universal Jurisdiction which gives them the ability to investigate serious human right violations. So far this has included the US and Israel.

For China, the Spanish Judges have two investigations into Falun Gong, and another into Tibet.

I see the investigations as biased, since there is no investigations of North Korea that had as much as 3 Million died in the last famine that was artificially concentrated on areas that were not as politically reliable, Syria that leveled their fourth largest city, Homa, when it rose in revolt, or what Iran has done with Torture with journalists and dissents, including a Canadian Lady Journalist who was killed in police custody.

References: Spanish Judges Cross Borders - Washington Post


Friday, May 22, 2009

Getting a Chinese Picture Dictionary

Chinese picture dictionaries help make learning Chinese easier for children.

Kids with picture dictionaries can become familiar with the dictionary’s content through the pictures. Chinese words can be worked on later.

Most picture dictionaries already have colored pictures. You may be interested in some Chinese word books that double as coloring books. Children are more likely to remember pictures they themselves colored.

If you are thinking of getting your child a Chinese picture dictionary, here are some reminders to maximize its use:

  1. Choose if you're getting a Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese picture dictionary for your child.
  2. Pick whether your child will like a colored dictionary, or those with pictures that can be colored.
  3. Chinese picture dictionaries have more or less the following features:

· Pictures. Check the quality of the drawings if they appeal to your child.

· English word

· Chinese character

· Pinyin equivalent

· Use the word in a sentence

  1. Let your child become familiar with the pictures.
  2. You can sit with your child and point out pictures in the dictionary and the Chinese words for these.
  3. Encourage your child to open the Chinese picture dictionary when ever the child is interested in anything in daily life. For example, your child becomes excited a bird is in the house. You can ask them to get the dictionary after the excitement has gone down and you can both look over the Chinese word for bird. You can also look at the sentence provided if the dictionary has it.

If you want to encourage your child to remember more words, Chinese flash cards can be of great help to repeat and practice Chinese words already learned.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Society usage in China

One of those taboo words in China is Society. My guess is the Society of Women Engineers in China probably has a different name. Why is it a taboo name, because what does society mean? To close to a potentially revolutionary name.

Another organization around the world is know as ______ Society. In China it's called a club.


Chinese for Teens – Materials to Help them Practice this Summer

Summer break is around the corner and small and big kids alike are looking forward to fun days ahead. We parents would like them to have fun but wouldn’t it be nice if we could sneak in some learning time for them as well?

You might or might not be met with rolling eyes when you suggest further Chinese practice, but I'm quite sure by this time you know how to get around having them gain extra learning without their noticing (or at least we like to believe they don't notice).

  • For kids who thrive on textbook learning – even in summer – there are plenty of excellent textbooks written for teens beginning Chinese as a second language. Kuaile Hanyu has a textbook/reader and follows teen students as they visit China and try to converse in basic Chinese. Lessons used in the book are more about teens and keeps in mind the more advanced language skills of adolescents.
  • Videos. No talking baby pandas please for these young adults. There are interesting documentary videos hosted by young people that will have them pick up Chinese words and see more about Chinese culture as well. Favorites are: “New Year in Ping Wei”, “Land of the Dragon,” “Families from China” and "Chinese Cooking for Kids DVD".
  • If you can’t get your teen off the computer to do Chinese lessons, why not bring the Chinese lesson to the computer instead? Kuaile Hanyu also has a 3-level software that features videos of exchange students visiting China , some practice tests and games. (Maybe you can haggle for your teen to look through the Kuaile Hanyu textbook reader as well? No? Just try?)
  • A lot of Chinese words and grammar can be picked up from songs it will be a waste to not to try this medium. Thankfully, songs from other countries are not as hard to look for these days. Why not try to sit down together in front of the internet and look through Chinese singers that teens like? Maybe you can help download Chinese songs your child likes, and do it as the parents of smaller kids learning Chinese do. Play it while in the car or while having some down time at home. (Ear plugs can be of help here.)
  • Books are an excellent antidote to whines of boredom after the computer is shut down. Kids who are used to reading Chinese can read Chinese Harry Potter in Simplified or Traditional characters. For those who want to REALLY keep their kids unplugged for a longer time, Chinese Harry Potter bundle set is also available. Yes, all books number 1-7 are included so your teen can read in Chinese that first day Harry received his invitation to study at Hogwarts, to the time Harry has a family with… never mind. Just read so I don’t spill. Chinese translations of the The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit, plus also Eragon, can keep your teen busy reading for days and speeding up those Chinese reading skills as well.

Are you up to it? Think you can sneak in speeding up your child's Chinese this summer?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SAT Coaching barely worth it?

SAT Coaching Found to Boost Scores -- Barely - Wall Street Journal.

My daughter is going to one of those SAT tutorings this summer and it ain't cheap. I don't like the price, but I view it as worth it. Some tutoring is worth it, and others are not. It all depends on the test center. I did teach an SAT course and I appreciate the worth of good study materials. There is also some psychology behind the test questions which can help in figuring out the right question. My daughter took a sample test and did pretty good, but I have high expectations on what a summer of heavy duty tutoring will do to her scores.

I also had a nice chat with the owner of the test center an she is currently getting math tutoring there. I have been impressed with how much her Math has improved (Math Analysis) which seems to be half Calculus and whatever you take before that. We tried another Math tutoring place last year and it just did not work out (no improvement and my daughter worked unbelievably hard at it with my wife). Another tip for Math Classes - get the right teacher, having the right teacher in the regular Math Class makes a huge difference. And there are sites out there that rate High School Teachers, I found a bunch at my daughter's school to my surprise.


Asian Glass Ceiling

Despite their success, Asians not rising to heights of Silicon Valley's corporate world - San Jose Mercury News (Silicon Valley)

In Silicon Valley the percentage of Asian execs and board members is way below the percentage in the work force.

Per the article, possible reasons include:
  • Cultural deference to superiors, which U.S. managers may view as a worker lacking confidence or knowledge

  • Lack of strong English skills

  • Failure to invest enough effort in networking.

While East Asian cultures and educational systems tend to encourage technical excellence and respect for authority, they may not do as good a job developing leadership and communication skills per Gee and Hom

"The culture says you don't have to raise your hand — just do a good job," Hom said.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why are so many Chinese Products poorly made?

Poorly made - Why so many Chinese products are born to be bad. Book Review from the Economist.

Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game (Hardcover)

Read the review in the Economist. Scary, fascinating, enthralling... Same with on Amazon.

I disagree a bit with the reasoning behind on the why.

My thoughts on the why:
  1. Rule of law (who cares if there is little chance of legal action in China).
  2. Focus on short term results/relationship
  3. Amoral attitude in business/lack of ethics


Sunday, May 17, 2009

The piano's status in U.S. living rooms is declining

The piano's status in U.S. living rooms is declining - LA Times.

Not from what I see in the Chinese community in the US. It seems all my daughter's friends are taking Piano. But, at the piano competitions, testing, etc. the majority of students at the ones we go to in the Los Angeles area seem to be either Korean or Chinese.

The change in status of the Piano could explain the headache I have had trying to sell the upright piano we have. We bought a Grand Piano, because per my daughter's teacher my daughter's skill had outgrown an upright, since the keys have a different feel to them. And of course this happened as the bottom of the piano market fell. There have been a lot of piano stores closing in the Los Angeles area. Pianos when the economy is doing well is a great business, but when the economy does not do well, down goes the sale of Pianos.


As Detroit Crumbles, China Emerges

As Detroit Crumbles, China Emerges - Washington Post
Key Points:
  • China this year may displace Japan as the largest producer of cars in the world.
  • Chinese Auto Manufacturers may buy Saturn, Hummer, Saab, etc. getting technology and system know how they are currently lacking.
  • Sales are up 25% compared to last year as of April in China.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

US China Ambassador - Adopted Parent

Great pick for Ambassador to China by President Obama.

1. Parent of a child adopted from China.
2. Speaks Mandarin (learned as a missionary in China).
3. Governor - so understands importance of jobs
4. Served as US ambassador to Singapore
5. Former deputy trade ambassador under GWB.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Cover Changes

A challenge I have had is when the publisher changes the cover. This happens with books I get for personal reading. Go to the store, new cover, and now you have two of them! So I would start checking to see if this was a reprint. Some of the Chinese books I got today have new covers. Luckily, since I have the publishers part number and ISBN, I believe I have the duplicate issue under control. Now I just need to scan in the new covers.

I wonder if I should also keep an image of the old cover?


Dragon Boat Festival making you hungry? Try Joong or Zong Zi

During Dragon Boat Festivals, the food in demand is the Zong Zi, or Joong, a kind of Chinese rice tamale.

It is said that after patriot-poet Qu Yuan perished in the water, fisher folk throw rice into the river to ensure that Qu Yuan's spirit will be well-fed and that the fish and River Dragon will not feed on his body. The story also goes that a little later, about 200 years after his death, the spirit of Qu Yuan told the fisher folk that the rice they are leaving for him are being eaten. To avoid this, the spirit advised the fishermen to wrap the rice intended for him in bamboo leaves and tie this in red, blue, white, yellow and black string. The Imperial colors will protect the rice from the River Dragon and make sure the rice goes to the designated spirit.

I've been looking about for a nice, easy recipe for Zong Zi. While my favorite reference book on Chinese culture, The Good Luck Life has a nice Zong Zi/ Joong recipe, I still looked about for something that seems simpler to prepare, and ingredients easier to find.

I found this from the eG Froum, this is hzrt8w's recipe, thanks so much. I am not copying the recipe word per word, but to give you an idea of how it is done and what it contains.

For the cooking nuts who really want the recipe, you can ask around or try the recipe in The Good Luck Life.

Day 1.
  • Soak the following the day before in separate bowls, making sure there is enough water for each : Sticky rice, mung beans, conpoy, black mushrooms, raw peanuts.
  • Cut the pork, marinade into special sauce.
  • Soak bamboo leaves, making sure they are weighed down into the water.

Day 2.
  • Soak dried shrimp for a short while only, drain. Drain all ingredients soaked the night before. Slice mushrooms, conpoy, also Chinese sausages, get yolk from salted eggs.
  • Pan-fry soaked shrimp, add mushrooms, add cooking wine and soy sauce. Set aside.
  • Get sticky rice, add soy sauce, some cooking oil and salt.
  • Get soaked bamboo leaves. Pour some boiling water on it to sterilize and also soften.
  • Wrap Joong by: Take 1-3 bamboo leaves this will be the rice's container. Add sticky rice, mung beans, pork, saled egg yolk, shredded conpoy, 1 or 2 chestnuts, then shrimp, mushroom and peanuts. Finish by adding mung beans again, then rice. Close with another leaf. Tie with string.
  • The wrapped joongs are put in a pot and boiled for about 2 hours.
There you go, a very general way to make Zong Zi. I hope you'll be interested to make some for the family, and if you do, please tell us about it :-) (If not, maybe a nearby chinese deli has some? heehee.)

Happy Dragon Boat Fest eating!


Types of Chinese Dragons - they have hierarchy too

Since we’re in Dragon Boat Festival mode anyway (it’s coming soon, May 28, 2009!) let’s talk about the mythical creature that is the focus of this festival – The Chinese Dragon.

Dragons in Western culture are fearsome beasts. In Chinese culture, however, dragons are deeply respected, even revered. The Chinese believe that dragons symbolize fertility, vitality and strength. Even if you look at pictures, the Western dragon is scary, while Chinese dragons are beautiful to look at, even cute sometimes.

The usual kinds of Chinese dragon is the Long, Li, Jiao and Mang.

Long Dragon. The supreme dragon, symbol of the Imperial Court. Among all kinds of Chinese dragons, Long is the Ruling Class dragon. It is very powerful and is said to have 5 claws. It is also believed to be a combination of different animals. The Long dragon has the head of a camel, horns of a deer, ears of a cow, neck of a snake, stomach of a frog, scales of a fish, eyes of a rabbit, claws of a hawk and footprints of a tiger.

Li Dragon. The water dragon, ruler of the rivers, seas rain and directions of the compass. The Li breathes water and sea foam. It is believed to have no horns.

Jiao Dragon. The earth dragon. It is believed that hills and mountains are the Jiao dragon’s back.

Mang Dragon. The Mang dragon is the dragon of the masses. It is ordinary and has 3 or 4 claws.

There they are, all 4 Chinese dragons. Next time you see a depiction of a Chinese dragon, especially this Dragon Boat Festival, see ifyou can identify which dragon you are looking at.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Twitter Name Change

I changed names, http://twitter.com/childbook

Originally I had learn learnchinesecb to get the word Learn Chinese in there, then I thought, hmm, my name is childbook and that should be the name I am using for tweeting to avoid confusion. And for those marketing mavens, I am sure it makes more sense from a branding prospective. My companies name is not learnchinesecb, so it does not make sense to use it. Even if what I am selling is Learning Chinese Materials for kids, which was my reasoning for picking the learnchinesecb name originally.

Now, should I have gotten my business name with the word China in it, or Chinese, or Asian 11 years ago? May be, but I chose childbook and it does not make sense to change it now. Even if those offers for mega money for my domain name sound so interesting! The problem is they smell like a scam.

Apologies for the mix-up on twitter, I did not update the URL in my newsletter to the new one.

Hopefully this long explanation makes sense...




Explosive! Chinese Premier Biography

From the Inside, Out - review of the biography of PRISONER OF THE STATE, The Secret Journal of Zhao Ziyang.

Explosive, and it backs up the Tiananmen Papers. The biography goes into details on what happened during the Tiananmen Square incident and how the decision was done and the inside politics. Very interesting on what could have happened if Zhao Ziyang had been listed to and stayed in power.


Follow Jade! Learn Chinese Lessons in Video – How lessons are presented

Follow Jade! Learn Chinese DVD- Let’s Visit Chinese Kindergarten is a very well made video for pre-schoolers to learn basic Chinese words and phrases. This video is very well made, and customers really like it.

As I have been curious why customers like the Follow Jade! videos so much, I sat down and watched the first video -- Let’s Visit Chinese Kindergarten -- again. To be honest, I enjoyed watching this video.

Lessons in the first DVD cover : Greetings, colors, numbers, drinks and some song words. Kids will also be able to see Chinese pre-schoolers in the classroom.

If you are interested in how the video delivers, here is the lesson pattern of how Jade teaches kids the Follow Jade! DVD:

1) Interesting introduction with Chinese kids or multi-racial kids.

2) Jade runs through the Chinese words. She explains or connects the words/ sounds to other familiar objects. She talks in a manner that young children will understand. Her face and voice are very soothing, I think pre-schoolers are drawn to her because of this.

3) Jade will also talk to kids in the video and ask about the words just discussed using interesting objects. I like how Jade connects with the children in the video.

4) A visual activity follows. Interesting graphics are flashed, with Jade talking in the background, asking which is which. She also tests viewers by first asking if a wrong answer is correct.

5) Segments of Chinese pre-school kids in the classroom are also shown. The kindergarten students are so cute. As expected, the candidness of both active and shy kids are charming. This segment will surely interest young viewers.

6) Songs with the children are fun and words are easier to recall.

If you want your kids to learn some basic Chinese words, Follow Jade DVD is a good choice. It is also a good video for families with soon-to-be preschool kids. Kids will be able to see how kindergarten is a place for fun learning. The video also exposes kids to other same-age children in another part of the world.

All lessons in the Follow Jade! DVD are based on teacher Jade Qian’s experience in teaching children and families to speak Chinese.

Follow Jade! Let’s Visit Chinese Kindergarten is available at childbook.com.

You may also like to check out Follow Jade 2 – Let’s go to Market.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Top Reviewed Products 11-20 Sale

Weekly Sale!

Top 11-20 Products by Number of Reviews!

Sale Ends Monday! Limited to Quantity on hand!


  1. All of the products on Sale in order of Number of Reviews! Last week's top 10 was well received, so I thought why not do 11-20 of the products with the top reviews. I have over 800 reviews and almost 2000 products (inventory control is a headache). And yes, I do WANT more reviews. I would like every product to have at least one review. #11 on my list has 8 reviews, and #20 has 6 reviews.
  2. I would have thought the Simplified Characters, Practical Chinese of the coloring/activity book would have more reviews instead of the Traditional Characters, Practical Chinese based on sales.
  3. I did not expect Cooking with Kids DVD
    to be rated by so many people. I have felt this is one of those under
    appreciated DVD's that more people should buy because it's done very
    well and a lot of fun.
  4. Monkey King Wreaks Havoc in Heaven - Of course! I like this one the best of the 4 books done so far.
  5. The Empty Pot is just a great read!
  6. Teach Me Chinese! - of course it would make the list. I have sold so many of these.
  7. Bao Bei DVD's - Very popular.
  8. The Frog in the Well - Very well done, but again one of those items I think should have more sales since it's done so well.
Guess How Much I Love You
Guess How Much I Love You
Our Price: $17.95
Sale Price: $16.95
You Save $1.00!
Average Customer Review: Based on 8 Reviews. Write a review.

All children want reassurance that
their parents' love runs wide and deep
  • Little Nutbrown Hare thinks he found a way to measure the boundaries of love
  • His father, Big Nutbrown Hare shows him parental love has no boundary
Early Start Mandarin Chinese with Bao Bei the Panda DVD
Early Start Mandarin Chinese with Bao Bei the Panda #1
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Volume 1: Colors and Animals

Give your preschoolers a head start on Chinese words, phrases & tones
  • Stimulating visuals
  • Repetition encourages learning
  • Uses common words and phrases for child's conversation
Chinese Food Made Easy Books, DVDs - Cooking with Kids CD
Cooking with Kids - Exploring Chinese Food, Culture, and Language
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  • A cooking feature for kids, by kids
  • A fun way to learn Mandarin Chinese tones, words, and phrases.
For ages 8-12
1-pc DVD
Learning Chinese Coloring/Activity Book, Traditional Characters, Practical Chinese
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Chinese For Children, A Coloring/Activity Book
  • Learn Chinese words for Fruits, Colors, and Numbers
  • Designed especially for young children
  • Coloring is a good way to remember Chinese words
Monkey King wreaks havoc in Heaven
Monkey King Wreaks Havoc in Heaven
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Monkey King Wreaks Havoc in Heaven
Bilingual in English & Traditional Chinese
  • Monkey King creates havoc in heaven
  • 500-year old Chinese folk tale that all ages enjoy
For ages 6-9
The Frog in the Well - Hard Cover.  Traditional and Simplified Chinese and English.   Bi-lingual.
The Frog in the Well - Hard Cover. Traditional and Simplified Chinese and English
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  • The Frog in the Well - Hard Cover.
  • Traditional and Simplified Chinese and English
  • Great book!
Teach Me Chinese! - CDL001, Children Songs in English and Chinese - Mandarin
Teach Me Chinese! - CDL001 CD and Book
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CD & Book
  • Very popular Songs in English and Chinese with a great booklet
  • Extremely popular
Early Start Mandarin Chinese with Bao Bei the Panda #3, DVD
Early Start Mandarin Chinese with Bao Bei the Panda #3
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Bao Bei and the kids have a wonderful day!

Learn basic Chinese words as they

  • Dress up
  • Have breakfast
  • Go to the beach
Chinese Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes in English and Traditional Chinese Characters
Chinese Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes
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41 traditional Chinese nursery rhymes that will be fun to learn through verses, riddles, and rhyme games. Children will love the colorful illustrations inspired by classic Chinese art on every page! In bilingual format, English and Traditional Chinese characters. Paperback.

The Empty Pot
The Empty Pot
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Very cute story that teaches the importance of telling the truth. Highly recommended. Story of an emperor who gives a test to determine the next emperor by whoever grows the best flower from seeds he provides. Written by Demi. English.


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