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Book Review: 朱尔多日记 Zhu Er’s Diary

This review is of a bridging book set 朱尔多日记 (Zhū ěr’s Diary), which is ideal for middle-to-upper primary school readers. My daughter borrowed it recently from the library.  Until that point, I really thought we’d heard of most of the better known early chapter booksets from mainland China, especially those written in diary format, but apparently not.  朱尔多日记 has been a welcomed discovery.   

Key Information on 朱尔多日记 series

Synopsis of 朱尔多日记

Think of the American favorite Diary of a Wimpy Kid…… .  what’s different in 朱尔多日记 is that the main protagonist, Zhu Er, is a schoolboy in Mainland China.    Zhu Er is one mischievous kid, who brings readers on a journey filled with antics, humour, and daily musings in his partially-doodled diary.  In fact some of the book covers in this set are so similar to that of the Chinese version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, that you’d be forgiven for confusing the two. 

The concept is also somewhat similar to the infamous Mi Xiao Quan Diaries 米小圈 , in that the series comprises of several books for every level of school which Zhu Er goes through.  Each book is filled with the joys, jokes and secrets of the schoolyard and his classmates.  It’s funny and grotesque all in one.  The books are more text intense than Mi Xiao Quan, but have pinyin above all characters.

Huang Yu, the author, is a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, with a psychology / counselling background.  You’ll see bits of this shine through in the stories.  The books have sold more than 6 million copies (which probably isn’t a big milestone for China market) and have won several awards.  The same author has written over 100 other books (100 books!!!!!), most of which are built around positive mindset-building stories which children will relate to.

What my daughter likes about the series

What a parent will like about the series

Insides of 朱尔多日记

朱尔多日记 has considerably more text than Mi Xiao Quan diaries

Where to buy it from

We borrowed our books from the library.  Buying it in Singapore I’ve only seen it listed at Maya Yuyi (honestly that’s the best place to buy books for upper primary age kids in Singapore… no one’s paying me to say this either!  If you know a better place with dependable recommendations, please drop me a line).

If my child likes this, what are other similar books in Simplified Chinese?

Some books which my children really enjoyed at a similar reading level and are:

I would love to know what books you think are great at this same level! Please add any ideas below.

If you’re in Singapore, join the conversation with other like-minded parents at the FB Group Ni Hao Singapore Primary School learning, which I host along with a few other Singapore-based bloggers including Ms Claudia Lee Kimura.

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