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Little Brother Mouse Series: Chinese Book Review 可爱的鼠小弟

Name: Little Brother Mouse Series Sets 1 and 2 可爱的鼠小弟
Author: Yoshio Nakae
Number of books in set: 22
~ Number of pages: around 30 (varies between titles, but only half the pages have text)
~ Number of lines per page:  0 – 4
~ Total length of the book: ~300 characters per story
~ Characters required by child to read it independently: 600~700
Luka compatible: No
Pinyin: No
Available in Singapore NLB: Yes
Original language of publication: Japanese

Summary of Little Brother Mouse

Little Brother Mouse series was our first bridging book after finishing Le Le Chinese graded readers, and it was an excellent follow-on. It’s adorable and filled with giggles. Throughout the set of 22, it recounts the stories of a Little Brother Mouse (鼠小弟) and his animal friends. This is an award-winning Japanese classic and was well enjoyed by my children too. The vocabulary/characters are ways and repetitive, so it’s even easier than many graded readers we have tried – in fact, we could have (should have?) even tried it even before finishing Sage 500. It’s a great first book to try with a preschooler.

The first set of Little Mouse Series 可爱的鼠小弟 has 12 books. The second set has 10 books.

What we love about this book

Cons

Titles in Little Brother Mouse Series

Little Mouse Series I Titles:

可爱的鼠小弟1:鼠小弟的小背心 Little Mouse’s vest
​可爱的鼠小弟2:想吃苹果的鼠小弟 Little Mouse wants to eat an apple
可爱的鼠小弟3:鼠小弟的又一件小背心 Little Mouse’s other small vest
可爱的鼠小弟4:鼠小弟和鼠小妹 Little Mouse and Sister Mouse
可爱的鼠小弟5:鼠小弟,鼠小弟 Little Mouse, Little Mouse
可爱的鼠小弟6:又来了!鼠小弟的小背心  Again! Little Mouse’s vest!
可爱的鼠小弟7:鼠小弟的生日 Little Mouse’s birthday
可爱的鼠小弟8:打破杯子的鼠小弟 Little Mouse breaks a cup
可爱的鼠小弟9:鼠小弟和大象哥哥 Little Mouse and Big Elephant
可爱的鼠小弟10:鼠小弟荡秋千 Little Mouse on a swing
可爱的鼠小弟11:鼠小弟和音乐会 Little Mouse and the concert
可爱的鼠小弟12:换换吧!鼠小弟的小背心 ​Little Mouse swaps his vest

​Little Mouse Series II Titles: 
 可爱的鼠小弟 13:鼠小妹的松饼 Muffins!
可爱的鼠小弟 14 :鼠小弟堆雪人 Little Mouse makes a snowman
可爱的鼠小弟15 :又来了!鼠小妹的松饼 Again! Muffins!
可爱的鼠小弟16 :鼠小妹的圣诞树 Little Mouse’s Christmas tree
可爱的鼠小弟17 :鼠小弟的礼物 Little Mouse’s gift
可爱的鼠小弟18 :鼠小弟捉迷藏 Hide and Seek
可爱的鼠小弟19 :鼠小弟玩跷跷板 Little Mouse plays on the seesaw
可爱的鼠小弟20 :鼠小弟,长大以后做什么?What do you do when you grow up?
可爱的鼠小弟21 :只能是红的!鼠小弟的小背心 It can only be red! Little Mouse’s vest.
可爱的鼠小弟22 :鼠小弟去海边 Little Mouse goes to the beach

Insides of the book

Font is small, but on a plain background so limited distractions
Illustrations are simple, hand drawn pencil pictures – it feels like a nice follow on to Le Le readers, given the obvious similarities

Where to buy Little Brother Mouse in Singapore?

Firstly, the Singapore NLB libraries have this, and it can be borrowed.

For buying it, there are hardcover and softcover options. I’d really recommend the softcover ones, so it takes up much less space on your bookshelf, as there are 22 of them, and the stories are so short.

There are many great bookstores in Singapore, which I’ve reviewed in an earlier post, where you can also find some 10% promo codes. At the time of writing this post, My Story Treasury and Under the Moonlight stocked this set.

Other similar Chinese Bridging Books?

I would class Little Mouse Series series a “Chinese Bridging books” …. a term coined for books that span the space between learning to read, and reading to learn (or literature for literacy, versus literature for leisure).   These types of in-between books aren’t exactly easy to find on the shelves of the local library (especially the simplest books), unfortunately, as the appeal is a very niche one – since for children from fluent Chinese families, most of these books would be too simple.  There are some book sets that explicitly brand themselves as ‘bridging’, and there are others that don’t, but would fit the category also. 

The difficulty for us has been finding interesting “bridging” literature for an older child, especially when their English reading stage could be so far ahead of their Chinese level.  The ‘beginner’ books are just boring, with the limited storyline, and can make reading more of a chore than anything else.

Little Brother Mouse is one of the simplest series which we’ve found. On my blog, I’ve attempted to create reviews of our Chinese bridging books, from easiest to hardest, in terms of breadth of characters and length of the book. The image below shows how these books fit together.

Comparison of Chinese bridge books by length and complexity

Please visit my Summary of Chinese Bridging Books to find more detail on the other books shown in the diagram above.

Enjoy the reading journey with your children!

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