- Vivian Teo
READ & REVIEWED: Zheng Xiaoqiang series by Yongleduosi
The Zheng Xiaoqiang Chinese book series by Yongleduosi engages readers with a relatable protagonist who navigates friendship and school life with some help from magical objects.
Goodness knows how hard it is to find Chinese chapter books that interest my picky kids, so I'm pretty pleased that they are now happily reading the 风云人物郑小强 and 郑小强奇妙事件簿 book series by 永乐多斯 (Yongleduosi)😁
11-year-old Zheng Xiaoqiang is your regular Malaysian school boy but the things that happen to him are nothing regular, like him chancing upon magical feathers and coming into possession of binoculars that can see into the future.
Both series have the same stories, but the former is published in Malaysia (above pic) and the latter in China (see vid below), so there are slight differences in language use to make them more suitable for their intended markets. For instance, the Malaysia version has colloquial terms which we also use in Singapore, like "脸黑黑", while the China version uses "脸都绿了".
Both versions read fine to me but I'm leaning towards the Malaysia version a little more as the occasional colloquialisms do give more authenticity to the life of a Malaysian boy. I also like that Xiaoqiang's acerbic voice and keen observations add humour to the stories.
These series would be more suited to upper primary kids (10-12 years old). However, the China version comes with hanyu pinyin, which may make it less daunting for younger ones. We borrowed these from the National Library but they are also available for purchase from Chinese book retailers like Maha Yuyi and Lingzi Media.
If you know of any engaging Chinese chapter books suitable for primary school kids, do let me know! There are only so many times we can re-read our 闹闹 and 米小圈 books 😅 Hope you are having a lovely long weekend!
Disclaimer: My opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.