Chinese Book Recommendation: one two three Dim Sum

  • Post last modified:7 October 2021
  • Post comments:1 Comment

About the book

Language: Simplified Chinese, pinyin and English

ISBN-13 : 978-1950500017

Targeted at toddlers, this bilingual counting book is colorful and bright. It teaches numbers while counting to 10 with dim sum related food items, such as soy sauce packets, shu mai, barbeque pork buns. The illustrations are simple and cute.

For each number, the numeral is displayed prominently with the English word, then another column with the Chinese word, and pinyin. On the next page is a simple illustration, an English and Chinese description, along with the pinyin. The layout is clear and easy, perfect for you to read to the little ones.

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one two three dim sum book review
Book insight one two three Dim Sum

What I like about this book

It is a nice simple read for toddlers. I love that the topic is on dim sum. Most Chinese counting books are about animals, so this was a nice departure from the usual topic. And we love to eat dim sum! So this was a nice way to introduce my children to the different food items.

This is the second Chinese book we have read by Rich Lo. My problem with his first Chinese New Year Colors was I felt he did not describe his illustrations. He did it his time in his book, which I feel makes the book more enjoyable.

Read my review of Chinese New Year Colors here.

The Chinese motifs in the background of each page are a nice touch to the design layout. Try and find the lanterns, the dragons, and the carps!

What I dislike about this book

The Chinese translation is a bit awkward. For instance, egg custard is translated as 鸡蛋蛋挞. Nobody says that! We just say 蛋挞.

The number 2 is a problematic number for non-native Chinese speaker. When you count in Chinese, you say 两 instead of 二. It would have been helpful for non-native speakers if the author had put in a little footnote to address this issue.

So, 2 chopsticks should be 两根筷子 instead of 二根筷子. Perhaps he could have drawn two people queuing up to order dim sum, then you can say number 2 in line, 排第二。

For further reading on usage of this slightly tricky number, read this article.

one two three dim sum book review
The problematic number 2


Despite the awkward translation, I do still recommend this book for toddlers who are learning Chinese for the following reasons.

1. It’s gorgeous.

2. It talks about yummy dim sum!

Do make sure you get the board book instead of the hardcover though.

Where to purchase

Amazon stocks this in board book and kindle version. Alternatively Book Depository has the board book version.

E-book version also available on Epic! book app. Click here to know more about this massive reading app. If not, you can also grab an e-copy on Apple Books

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