Frida Kahlo is one of the storybooks in the Little People Big Dreams series that I picked to translate and read for this week’s Chinese Storytime. The storylines are inspirational but straightforward, which are perfect for beginner readers.

As a little girl’s mum, I want to introduce more stories like this so that she can read the book in Chinese and English by herself. Most importantly, I want her to learn that girls CAN BEAT THE ODDS AND ACHIEVE ANYTHING SHE SETS HER MIND TO!

This book has also come to the perfect timing for us because it’s the “Dress-Up” day at my daughter’s school next Wednesday. You guessed it. She’s going to dress up as Frida Kahlo!

Here is how my daughter reads this book:

 

If you are new here, you might want to check out other storybooks I’ve translated below. All Chinese translations for these books are FREE for my subscribers.

I’ve also written a bilingual book in Simplified Chinese with Pinyin and English:

This self-published book is also FREE for my subscribers.

Without further ado, here is what I’m going to cover in this blog post:

1.      Read Frida Kahlo’s story and learn Chinese with me.

If you’re a non-native parent or beginner and would like to learn how to read Frida Kahlo in Mandarin, this video is for you:

I recommend that you download the FREE Chinese translation first, make your bilingual storybook, and then read it with me to maximise the benefits.

In terms of making your bilingual storybook, you’ll need to purchase an English copy of Frida Kahlo from a bookstore, print out the Chinese translation on A4 adhesive papers, cut, peel, and stick the speech bubbles into your book will do.

To help you learn the Mandarin pronunciation, I intentionally read this story slowly in the video. If I was still too fast in speed, let me know by leaving your message in the comment area below this post. I’ll slow down a bit in the future.

At the end of the video, don’t forget to learn the eight Chinese words/phrases that I picked from this book. Keep those flashcards in one place because they are handy for you and/or your child to play Chinese word games later on.

The way we do it at home is to keep all the flashcards from the storybooks in a Mail Box. It’s easy to access and fun for my daughter to draw the flashcards to play and learn. Saves a lot of time.

From time to time, I’d get my daughter to randomly pick these flashcards from her Mail Box and read the Chinese characters back to me, or play other games. That way, I know whether she still remembers, or not, those Chinese words.

2. Download the Chinese translation of Frida Kahlo’s story for FREE.

Here is the Chinese translation for Little People Big Dreams: Frida Kahlo. It’s FREE for my subscribers.

If you haven’t joined the Panda Mama Chinese tribe yet, please consider doing so as I share good stuff like this one with my subscribers exclusively. 

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Two friendly reminders of using the downloads:

  1. The Chinese translation with Pinyin is in Simplified Chinese. Sorry, I don’t use Traditional Chinese.
  2. The speech bubbles I designed in the downloads are proportionate to the size 20cm x 24.5cm (7.87 x 9.66 inches) storybook I have. If your copy is bigger or smaller than this size, the Chinese texts might not fit into your book.

3. Expand your child’s knowledge about Frida Kahlo and her art by utilising this book.

Frida Kahlo was one of the most successful female artists in the world and an icon for creativity. Despite the poor health, accidents, numerous operations, unhappy marriage, she had never given up what she loved: painting.

As a woman, after I learned more about her when researching for this post, I couldn’t help but admire her strength and fighting spirit. As a mum to my little girl, I’m glad that I chose this book and Frida Kahlo as a role model for her to read and learn.

My daughter loves to draw. I always support her. So as a part of learning Frida Kahlo, I encouraged her to Frida’s portrait. Here is her how-to-draw Frida’s video:

Previously, I’ve also made a couple of how-to-draw videos for her. She loves these videos and watches them again, which motivates her to draw more. 

So, after translating this book, I had this idea: why didn’t I show my daughter Frida Kahlo’s art? After all, reading is to expand the minds of our little ones, right?

Honestly, I know nothing about art. I’ve seen some of Frida Kahlo’s paintings before somewhere but never thought about exploring who she was and what she did.

So, I started to research her and her art, and found out there were five Frida Kahlo’s paintings hidden in the storybook! They are:

  1. Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress(穿天鹅绒衣服的自画像, 1926
  2. Frida and Diego Rivera (弗里达和迭戈, 1931)
  3. The Two Fridas(两个弗里达, 1939
  4. Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird(带刺的项链和蜂鸟, 1940)
  5. Viva la Vida, Watermelons(生命万岁, 1954)
frida kahlo chinese storytime
frida kahlo story in chinese

Of course, Frida Kahlo had many masterpieces. But, for a young child, let’s keep it simple and stick with the basics by starting with the five in the book.

If your child is up for it, you can explore further by following the links I’ve provided above.

Note, the five links above are in English. If you want to read more info about these five paintings in Simplified Chinese, please go to this link here.

As a reference, here is how I introduced Frida Kahlo’s five paintings to my 6-year-old:

  1. Have these paintings print out first with the links I’ve provided above. (Note: I can’t include the five Frida Kahlo’s paintings in the downloads because there may be copyright issues. You’ll have to print online and make them to flashcards as shown in the photo above. Use them at home only).
  2. Show these five paintings/flashcards to your child and ask them to SPOT them while reading the Frida Kahlo book.
  3. Tell her the names of the five paintings in English and Chinese, and tell her the years Frida Kahlo had completed them.
  4. Explain why the paintings looked like that in simple words. Or read the background info of the pictures to your child with the links I provided above ( yes, you may need to read yourself first). 
  5. If your child loves to draw, then maybe you can help your child learn to draw Frida Kahlo’s portrait. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube.

The last step (#5)  was actually my daughter’s idea. I’ve recorded a video of her drawing Frida Kahlo portrait, which I’ll share in the coming days on the Panda Mama Chinese YouTube channel.

Before I end this post, I’m grateful for the author Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, and the illustrator Gee Fan Eng of this book. Their book has inspired me to teach my daughter Chinese, Frida Kahlo, and her art.

In this process, I have learned a lot about Frida Kahlo. Remember the saying: when one teaches, two learn! I can’t agree more.

I hope you and/or your child can benefit too.

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier,  Frida Kahlo was the 1st book I translated out of the Little People Big Dreams series. It’ll be more to come for sure, so stay tuned for my future updates.

Questions:

Could you think of any other way to enjoy this book? Leave your comments below or start a conversation on  Panda Mama Chinese Facebook community. If my blog post or the learning resources I created could help you in any way, please help to spread the word by sharing and subscribing to my blog.

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