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Tales and Traditions

Readings in Chinese Literature Series
by Yun Xiao, Hui Xiao, Ying Wang

Each of the four volumes of Tales and Traditions was written using language appropriate for learners at different levels of Chinese proficiency: from advanced-beginning in Volume 1 through advanced in Volume 4. The first volume for beginning learners contains fables and literary quotations, sayings from classical philosophers, and myths and legends. Volume 2, for intermediate learners, contains love stories, fantasies, folk stories, and more fables and literary quotations. Volumes 3 and 4 present more challenging stories for upper-intermediate and advanced level students.  With this series students will be well on their way to becoming avid, lifelong readers in Chinese.

Just as children gain literacy in their native language by reading, learners of a foreign language must read large amounts of level-appropriate books and material to attain fluency in their target language. Tales and Traditions was specially created to help learners of Chinese achieve that goal, by collecting adaptations and selections from the most well-known works in the Chinese literary and folk canon in a series of convenient supplementary readers.

Perfect for class instruction or pleasure reading outside of class, Tales and Traditions exposes students to a wealth of information essential for the development of cultural fluency in Chinese. This series of graded readings will be especially welcomed because the Advanced Placement* exam and other standardized tests of Chinese require knowledge of China’s literary, cultural, and historical traditions. 

Each reading appears in simplified and traditional characters (on facing pages), followed by a vocabulary list and questions for discussion in both Chinese and English.  English abstracts are provided in an appendix, to assist student comprehension.  Volume 1 also contains an appendix of the texts in simplified characters with pinyin for readers still learning Chinese pronunciation. A similar appendix of the texts with pinyin is available online for Volume 2.


*Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.


In this Series

  • Tales and Traditions

  • Simplified and traditional characters are shown on facing pages.
  • A vocabulary list follows each reading.
  • Includes questions for discussion and cultural comparison, in both Chinese and English.
  • An appendix contains English abstracts, to assist comprehension.
  • For students who prefer to read pinyin along with Chinese characters, an appendix of each text with pinyin annotations is included in Volume 1 (and is available online for Volume 2).

I just received the...Tales and Traditions Chinese books. They are fantastic, exactly what I was looking for.

— Cliff Paradise, Chinese language learner