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- About the Book
The five stories in this series have enjoyed wide popularity in China, their themes frequently reappearing in operas, movies, and paintings, and in many literary forms. Profusely illustrated and presented in simplified character form, they add an element of enjoyment to the hard task of mastering Chinese characters.
Each self-contained reader is correlated with the lessons of Beginning Chinese Reader by John DeFrancis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963). The stories can, of course, be read by students who are learning Chinese from other beginning reading texts.
The following study aids are provided in each reader to facilitate individual study and increase recognition of simplified characters:
-STROKE INDEX OF CHARACTERS: new characters not yet covered in the corresponding lessons of Beginning Chinese Reader, and simplified characters with their regular variants.
-NOTES: new characters, terms, and structures with translations of more difficult phrases (in sequential order).
-PINYIN INDEX: cumulative glossary.
- John DeFrancis (1911- 2009) John DeFrancis (1911–2009), Emeritus Professor of Chinese at the University of Hawai'i, graduated from Yale in 1933 and immediately departed for China to pursue his interests. In three years of study and travel, he covered over 4,000 miles in Northwest China and Mongolia, across the Gobi Desert, and down the Yellow River, immersing himself in grassroots contact with the language and people. Upon his return to the United States, DeFrancis earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He taught at several institutions nationwide. Dr. DeFrancis is the author of dozens of articles and books on spoken and written Chinese, among them a widely used 12-volume set of educational materials and Visible Speech: The Diverse Oneness of Writing Systems (UH Press, 1989).