Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Mulan. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Mulan. Sort by date Show all posts

Mulan--Teach your kids the story of Mulan and not only Disney's versions


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Have you seen Disney's live action Mulan yet? It came out on Disney+ a couple of weeks ago for the subscribers that didn't pay for the premium subscription. I made Hazel wait until it was included in our regular subscription. Her love of Mulan was reignited recently. She loved meeting "Mulan" at Disney last February. 

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: Mulan and the Many Versions

In the beginning of the month, I shared with you a wonderful version of Mulan by Li Jian and Yijin Wert is the translator, which Tuttle Publishing sent me to review. I compared it with the Disney version or at least the movie version. I also found a few other versions of Mulan and thought I would share all of them with you. 

The first version is by Robert D. San Souci and is called Fa Mulan. As all of San Souci's books seem to be it is child friendly and tries to give an overview of the culture the story comes from. In this version she has a younger brother and elder sister, and her family knew she was going to go to war in her father's place. They bid her farewell. She rises in ranks with her victories and becomes a general. At the end of the twelve year war her family is happy to greet her and five of her companions who came home with her. She changes from her armor into her normal female clothes and her companions are shocked to learn that their general is a female. One companion hints at the possibility of a shared furture. 

The next two are the ones I compared at the beginning of the month--Disney's version and Li Jian's version. The next book, Mulan: Five Versions of a Classic Chinese Legend with Related Texts edited and translated by Shiamin Kwa and Wilt L. Idema, has five versions of the story in it. Two are poems and the other three are plays. 

Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "Ballad of Mulan" by Cameron Dokey is a young adult version. I enjoyed this version even though the story was changed from all other forms. In this version, her mother died when she was born and her father stayed away at war for most of her life. He did not return until she was fourteen and girls were usually married at age fifteen in China. She had a male best friend who lived next door (but across a creek). They spent all of their free time together. When it came time for her to learn the female arts and the friend to learn the male things, he taught her how to read, write, ride horses, shoot bows and arrows--all the male things. Her father came home to find her with more male habits than female habits. Her father was injured in the war and had upset the emperor. He is accompanied by his good friend another general. Her father falls in love a few weeks after he returns with a widow who has a hurt driver. He marries her and she becomes pregnant. The draft is announced and Mulan sneaks off during the night so her father does not have to leave his new wife and soon-to-be baby (like he had to with her mother). He is not called back to be a general but is called in the general draft which is a blow to him as well. Mulan sneaks off and when questioned at the camp about her bow and arrow (her father's friend gave it to her), she tells them this and they call his assistant who is her best friend. In this version there are three princes--the emperor's sons--and each commands a part of the army. I am going to leave it there as to not ruin the story by giving all the ending away.

The next two books contain a version of Mulan in them. They seem to be translations of the "Ballad of Mulan". The final book, Mulan's Legend and Legacy in China and the United States by Lan Dong, is not a version of Mulan, but actually looks at the things people have pulled from the story and some of the misconceptions Americans have of Ancient China. This is really a research type of book meant for teenagers or older. For example there are other women in China's history who fought in war. Some names to check out are Xun Guan, Zhu Xiu's Mother, Princess Pinyang, and Lady Liang. This book also goes through how Mulan changes through the different versions and what the image of Mulan has become. 

So that is what I found at my local library on Mulan. It is a mixture of books for children, adults and everything in between. It is interesting to see how one story changes so much when you consider the original written version is only 300 words long.

Be sure to check out our Fairy Tales in Different Cultures page for more fairy tale fun.

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: Mulan

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these books free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Mulan was a story I really knew nothing about. I had not watched the Disney film when it came out and every time Hazel and I sat down to watch it, she got scared. Mulan was the one Disney princess we did not try to see in Disney World. When I was offered to review some of Tuttle Publishing's books, I thought Mulan would be fun to review to compare with the Disney story for my Fairy Tales in Different Cultures. While receiving Mulan by Li Jian and Yijin Wert is the translator, I also received My First Book of Chinese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Faye-Lynn Wu and two other books I will be reviewing at another time.

Now before I go into anything about the stories I have to say all four books I received are beautiful books. They are high quality and the illustrations are amazing. Now the two books I am reviewing here are both about the Chinese and both have Chinese words in them.  

My First Book of Chinese Words goes through our alphabet and gives a Chinese word for that letter. Most of the time the pronunciation of the word begins with the letter. Then it describes the word and also shows you the word in Chinese (and some are in both traditional and simplified). The words themselves teach you more about the Chinese culture. This book is truly a beautiful lesson on culture and language. 

Now onto our fairy tale for this week. The story in this book is in both English and Chinese. It tells the story of Mulan in a non-frightening way based on The Ballad of Mulan. The Ballad of Mulan is a poem written over 1500 years ago in China. It has over 300 words and depicts the legend of the heroine Mulan. This poem is how the story was passed down through the generations. 

In the story in the book Mulan goes to fight in her father's place because he is too old. She has a sister and brother. The brother is too young. Mulan loves to ride horses and shoot arrows and is very good at martial arts before she leaves for war. She dresses as a male so she can fight. Her parents do not want her to go, but they know they have no other choice. Her sister and brother help her prepare for war. She is so good at warfare they have her fighting in the frontline. After twelve years of fighting, the war ends and she gets to return home. The emperor gathers all the heroes to award them for their deeds, but Mulan refuses everything and just asks for a fast horse to return to her family. Some of her fellow soldiers follow her. She goes in and hugs all of her family and then changes from the soldier uniform into her female clothes. She puts on some cosmetics and does her hair. When she greets her fellow soldiers they are surprised to see she is a woman. 

The story in the book is spread out on 42 pages with beautiful illustrations and both the words in English and Chinese. It is truly a wonderful book. 

Now Disney of course changes the story a bit, as they do with all their movies. First they show Mulan as being a failure as a women and dishonoring her family by not being able to be matched with a husband. Next they add the ancestors coming back to life to send a magical being to help bring Mulan home. Of course the magical being does not get awakened and instead she gets their slave dragon that always is messing things up. She also does not have any siblings, but lives with her parents and grandmother. 

She sneaks off in her father's armor with his draft notice. She takes her beloved horse who understands her and she seems to understand completely as well. When she reports for duty and is to be trained she has very little skills in fighting and actually gets told to leave. She however stays and perseveres. They go off to war and find the main army to have been killed (with her leading officer's father the general of the main army). Now their sad army must fight the Hun. She gets smart and aims the fire power at snow hanging on a ledge and buries the enemy in the snow. She however gets injured and the doctor lets them know she is a woman. Her fellow soldiers leave her there since it is a dishonor to have a woman fight. They could have killed her, but since she saved their lives they do not. She however realizes the enemy did not die in the snow. She runs off to warn her soldiers and the emperor. No one will listen to her, but she is able to help them save the emperor and China. They honor Mulan as a woman and the emperor gives her his seal and the enemy's sword since she will not take a position in his cabinet.

Women in Wars -- Introduction-- Women's History Month


As I thought about Women's History Month I knew I wanted to really touch on women in history that may be forgotten. Today women are members of the Armed Forces, but not that long ago they were not allowed. I decided I would focus on women who played important roles in wars. This month I will share about women in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and the two World Wars. Today I thought I would start with some women who fought wars before America was a country. I have focused on the legend of Mulan in the past. She is one of the women who reportedly disguised herself as a man to fight in a war. Then there was the Greek goddess, Athena, who was the goddess of war, as well as the Amazons, the race of women warriors in Greek mythology. Even the Aztecs had a warrior goddess, Itzpapalotl. Then we know of Joan of Arc and how she led the French army through battles. And we shared about Artemisia in the past. Today let's talk about some of the other women you may not have heard about that fought in real wars and battles. As I started researching women in wars I found The Book of Heroines: Tales of History's Gutsiest Gals by Stephanie Warren Drimmer. All of the women, goddesses and legends mentioned in this post are featured in this book. This book is one of the sources for my entire post. I will list others that I used to find out more about the women and share books for kids when possible. (Note: I have not checked out these books but found them searching my local library website and Amazon.)

Chinese Tea Party -- Tea Parties Around the World

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.  Some of the links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

Now a series of Tea Parties Around the World would not be complete without looking at Chinese tea. Let's face it, the China is where tea began. January seemed like the perfect time for us to look at China since we were looking at the Chinese New Year already. I will admit writing this post has been intimidating me and I keep putting it off. How can I do the long history of tea in China justice? I have decided just to share with you my references and what we enjoyed as we looked at China and the history of tea. 

Chinese History Lesson -- Back to School Ideas

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

So far we have had lessons on building imaginations, books for young learners, and science. Today we are going to look at world history with books about Chinese history. We will start with What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? by Chiu Kwong-chiu and Eileen Ng and translation by Ben Wang.

She Takes a Stand Book Review

Disclosure: Chicago Review Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Now it may be the way my mother brought me up, but I love reading stories about strong women. I also love teaching Hazel about strong women. When I first saw the book, She Takes a Stand: 16 Fearless Activists Who Have Changed the World by Michael Elsohn Ross, I thought I might be able to read about each woman to Hazel. We tried this, but several of them were beyond her true understanding and she was always asking questions about what it meant. We decided we would have to save it for when she was older, but I got to enjoy reading it. 

Mary and Mary Magdalene for Women's History Month

With today being Palm Sunday and Easter a week away, I thought we would learn more about two of the women who loved Jesus, his mother, Mary, and Mary Magdalene. Besides the Bible I wanted to share with Hazel what is known about these to Biblical women. I found a few books on each of them. We have only been able to read one from each person, but I found these books on Amazon or available at our public library.

Women in Professional Baseball for Women's History Month

As I mentioned last week in my Women Inventors post, I see Women's History Month as a time to show Hazel women who were successful doing many different things. This year I found a bunch of books about women playing professional baseball. I remembered the movie A League of Their Own and I thought how fun to teach her about women in a non-traditional role and in a sport. It also helps that she has been hearing about the Boston Red Sox at school. 

Women Inventors

Each year for Women's History Month, I try to find books at the library about different women for Hazel to hear their stories and know the difference women play in history. This year one of our focuses has been on women inventors. I found nine women who invented something and have a book at about Hazel level written on them. Some of these books I have not read yet since they are requested from other libraries and have not arrived, so I am guessing a bit on the levels. I will share a bit about each women in this post: Ruth Wakefield, Grace Hopper, Gertrude Elion, Hedy Lemarr, Martha Coston, Stephanie Kwolek, Margaret Knight, Mary Anderson and Amanda Jones.

Chinese Zodiac and Chinese New Year Book Reviews

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs Chinese New Year Blog Series and Giveaway. More details about all of this below including the giveaway!!
Seal Nakhon Si Thammarat

Seal Nakhon Si ThammaratBy Fine Arts Department (กรมศิลปากร) of Thailand. 

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Multicultural Product Review-- A Little Mandarin

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from A Little Mandarin as part of the Multicultural Kids Product Promotion Services. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Today I get to review for you an award winning CD. The CD is A Little Mandarin by Toni Wang, a Shanghai born New York City mother. This CD has fifteen classic Chinese songs. Many are to familiar tunes and some are the familiar songs in Chinese. The music is very upbeat and perfect for little ears to hear. Here is a little introduction to it, so you can check it out yourself.

Multicultural Monday: All About China -- Book Review

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

Today I am going to share our exploration of China. The fourth book in Tuttle's All About series has recently been published. It is All About China by Allison "Aixin" Branscombe. Like the other books: Indonesia, Japan and Korea, All About China gives a wonderful overview of what it is like to live in China. The book is full of information, stories, crafts and recipes. In the beginning the reader is introduced to two Chinese children who share their lives throughout the book. 

Book Review: The Pandas and Their Chopsticks and Other Animal Stories by Demi

Have you entered my current giveaway?
Disclosure: Wisdom Tales Press gave me a copy of this product free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am going to share a fun book which was recently released by Wisdom Tales Press. The book is The Pandas and Their Chopsticks And Other Animal Stories by Demi. I asked to review this book because lately Hazel has been really into panda bears and figured she would love it.

This book takes ten classic Asian animal fables and adapts them to have universal appeal. Each of the ten stories has a moral or lesson stated at the end. Needless to say Hazel loved it.  I enjoyed reading the fun stories and with morals like learning to share, being careful around people who brag, it is sometimes better to listen than talk, our faults will follow us unless we change them, who couldn't love to read and teach your child these lessons. Some of the morals were written in words that Hazel had trouble understanding, so each one was a starting point to talk about what it means with the story to illustrate it. I always love books that give us a starting point for conversations about things that matter in life.

The pages themselves are beautiful. The colors and illustrations make the story come alive with room for the imagination to full in the story as well. The stories are short and clear and presented beautifully on the pages. It is truly a wonderful book.

For more posts about books from Wisdom Tales and about Asia check out:

All About Japan By Willamarie Moore -- Book Review

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am going to review for you the wonderful book, All About Japan by Willamarie Moore. I absolutely love this series of books from Tuttle Publishing. They are packed full with so much information and they teach so much about the culture and life in the country. (I reviewed All About Indonesia by Linda Hibbs in July.) This book helps us center our exploration of Japan. It shares traditional stories, holidays, life in the city as well as the country (told by children who live there), recipes, crafts, dance, music, poetry, and so much more. 

With any book that has a recipe or craft in it, Hazel wants to try it, so we did. The book has three recipes in it and we tried two. I did not try to make Onigiri since I couldn't find the ingredients and I didn't really think Hazel would like them. We did try Okonomiyaki. It is described like a pancake with fillings but reminded me more of an omelet. I do not think I cut our fillings up enough and they fell apart on us when we flipped and removed them. Steve and I both thought they were all right and Hazel liked to eat the chicken filling instead. The pancake batter had cabbage in it which is why they are green.


The other recipe we tried was mochi cakes. We made them the day after we read "The Grateful Statues" in Japanese Children's Favorite Stories by Florence Sakade. The story is about a kind, poor couple. The old man does something kind for some statues and his kindness is rewarded with a large mochi cake. Therefore making mochi cake right afterward was perfect. Now are mochi cakes did not turn out pretty. We should have looked at pictures of them first, but Hazel was having fun making shapes out of them. We also could not find sweet rice flour or mochiko and used regular rice flour. They were not as sweet as they probably should have been. I like them though.

Mochi is often a treat for O-Shogatsu (New Year), so it seems appropriate to also show you our Nenga-jo Greeting card. Since 2015 is the year of the sheep, we used a sheep rubber stamp and Hazel wrote on the numbers. Nenga-jo are usually postcards that are sent the first three days of January.

 This book also discusses some history of Japan including the samurai warriors. They have instructions to make a samurai helmet out of newspaper. Hazel of course wanted one and then modeled it with a sword.

And what exploration of Japan would be complete without some origami? The book shares a wonderful song about frogs and gives the instructions to make an origami hopping frog.

Hazel loves making origami and wanted to make lots of frogs. You can find similar frog's instructions here.

She also loved that they could hop.
She made one of every color and then pulled out her zoo mat to put them in water. She then gathered more zoo animals to go with her frogs. I love crafts that lead to her creative play!

All About Japan is the perfect book for anyone who wants to learn more about Japan, its history, culture, etc. There are so many activities throughout it from learning about haikus to writing Kanji. We would have done more of the Kanji if we hadn't had the other books.  The other activity we did do was trying the Bon Dance. I however did not get any pictures since I was doing it with Hazel. I am also almost done with a kimono for her doll. She picked a fabric that reminds me of sakura (cherry blossoms), so I'll wait until it is finished and share it with our cherry exploration! Stay tuned!!

For more books and activities to learn about Japan check out:

Also check out some of our other reviews of Tuttle Publishing Books:

Learning some Japanese -- Book Reviews

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

As I explained last Monday, we have begun to explore Japan with some fun books from Tuttle Publishing. They sent us some beautiful books and a set of flashcards. Today we are going to look at the ones that help teach a little of the Japanese language. Last week I reviewed My First Book of Japanese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Michelle Haney Brown. This book starts to introduce a small amount about the language and really helps teach something about the culture in Japan.

This week I am going to begin with Japanese For Kids Flash Cards by Timothy G. Stout.

In this box of flash cards, you get 64 double-sided flash cards, an audio CD, a wall chart and a learning guide. Each flash card has the Japanese word written in Japanese and then the pronunciation of the Japanese word (called Komaji) and a picture of what the word means on one side. On the other side is a table with the Japanese, Komaji and English then two sentences in all three as well as a black and white copy of the picture. The 64 cards are separated into word groups: Family, Colors, Numbers, Clothes, Animals, Food, Body Parts, and My Day. The learning guide suggests working with only one group at a time to make it more manageable. 

The audio CD begins with sixteen basic words and sayings that do not lend to pictures (for examples: yes, no, hello, goodbye) which are spoken slowly in Japanese and then at a regular speed and then in English and then has four songs in Japanese. Then it goes through each flash card saying the word in Japanese slowly, then at regular speed, then in English, then reading the sentences on the back side of the card in Japanese and English. I love that Hazel gets to hear the word how it is suppose to be pronounced and not just my interpretation of it. The learning guide also has games and activities to try in Japanese to help learn some of the words in a different way and the words to the four songs in Japanese and English. We decided to focus on numbers for awhile because the next book started with numbers as well.

Did you know there are three different writing systems in Japanese? There is Kanji which is the writing system that came to Japan from China in the 6th century; Hiragana is a script women in Japan developed 1,000 years ago; and Katakana is the set of characters to represent foreign words and names. Kanji has 2,500 different characters to know. Japanese children learn these starting in elementary school and continue through high school. Hiragana has 46 different characters and sounds. Japanese children learn all of the Hiragana characters in first grade. Katakana has 46 characters to match the 46 sounds of spoken Japanese and all are learned in first grade. Japanese children also learn Romaji which is the 26 letters of the English alphabet. (Source: All About Japan: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More by Williamare Moore--a review of this one coming soon!)

Our second book for today is My First Japanese Kanji Book: Learning Kanji the fun and easy way! by Anna Sato and Eriko Sato. This book helps children learn how to write Kanji. Usually Kanji is learned after Hiragana and Katakana are already mastered. We however began with it. This book has 36 lessons. Each lesson includes a poem in Japanese and English and then lessons on some of the words from the poem. The first lesson teaches you to write the words for one, two and three. 

Each character has a certain order to how it is to be written and it is said that teachers can tell when you do not do it in the correct order. Hazel and I began trying some out first with just regular colored pencils and I realized we were not getting the thickness of the lines correctly so I pulled out some calligraphy pens. Hazel loved this activity!! She wanted to do some more while I started making dinner.
Hazel's Kanji Trials

This book comes with an MP3 Audio CD. Each lesson is on the CD with the poem read in Japanese and English. Again I love that Hazel gets to hear the correct pronunciation. (Spoken languages have never been my strong point even if I was in Honors Spanish classes throughout middle and high schools.) I also showed her how to listen to the poems on her own if she wants to try some while I am busy. This really excited her. She actually asked if we could try some lessons every day. 

My Kanji Trials
The book provides a place to practice each character, but we decided to do them on separate paper. I often donate the books eventually to our public library or Hazel's school library, so I didn't want to mess them up and it gave us both a place to work without being in the others way. 

I have to say all three of these products are a wonderful introduction to the Japanese language. Each provides a different way of learning a bit about the culture and all are of the highest quality and are beautiful. 

For more books and activities to learn about Japan check out:
Also check out some of our other reviews of Tuttle Publishing Books:

Sharing Saturday 14-31

Sharing Saturday Button

Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week and to everyone who took the time to visit what was shared!! I know I was once again inspired by so many ideas. We will be trying some of them in the next few weeks! There was not a most clicked, so this week's features are in four groups: August and Back to School, Marshmallows, Pioneers, and a few of my favorites.

August and Back to School

1) From Living Montessori Now: August 2014 Calendar Observances and Activities

2) From Gift of Curiosity: Children's Books about Starting School

3) From Exploring Literacy with Heart: Dear Bully...

4) From Mini Monets and Mommies: Cherry Glitter Art for Kids: Paint with Nature


1) From Mama to 5 Blessings: Building With Food

2) From The Surly Housewife: Letter of the Week - Letter M


1) From Life with Moore Babies: Little House on the Prairie Party

2) From Line Upon Line Learning: Pioneer Week: Covered Wagons Craft

3) From Line Upon Line Learning: Top 12 Best Picture Books about Covered Wagons

A Few of My Favorites

1) From Dabbling Momma: Flower Cutting and Fine Motor Skills

2) From Stella 123: What do ducks eat? Feeding the ducks with kids

3) From Sunshine and Hurricanes: Paint Your Own Frozen Puppets

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


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From Your Hostess:
This week we shared our exploration of Ukraine with Around the World in 12 Dishes, all the versions of Mulan we could find, Doll Clothes ideas to make and/or transform from baby clothes, a birthday party at the American Girl Doll Store and cheap doll accessories to buy or make.

Now for This Week's Party 
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