Boba Emotions: A Bilingual Book in English and Cantonese with Traditional Characters and Jyutping

Bitty Bao. Feb. 2024. 22p. Board $12.99. ISBN 9781958833315.
K-Gr 2–Like the other books in the series, this one is written in pinyin and script in three different ways: Cantonese (separate script and distinct pronunciation), Simplified Mandarin (simplified script and Mandarin dialect used in China, Malaysia, and Singapore), and Traditional Mandarin (traditional script and Mandarin dialect used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau). The book is fully bilingual with English, the chosen Chinese script, and the pinyin (Latin alphabet transliteration) for that dialect. Boba is a delightful tea drink, usually cold, always sweetened, that is popular in many parts of the world. Boba refers also to the gelatinous, chewy tapioca pearls that are usually added into the tea drink. Each spread has on the left a drawing of a typical boba drink, with a facial expression and the word the describing the emotion in English, Chinese script, and its respective pinyin, and on the right side, the emotion is used a sentence, such as, “I feel nervous” with a color chart showing where it falls against the pleasantness versus energy axis with no titles for the axis. The emotions covered are angry, nervous, happy, proud, excited, calm, grateful, afraid, embarrassed, and sad. The book ends with a color chart for emotions with the axis labeled; the colors picked for the emotions are not made clear and the chart for emotions lists 64 feelings, which might be too many words for a toddler board book. Additionally, the color choices might be too close to each other and might not work with people with color blindness.
VERDICT Recommended for a slightly older age group than the usual board book audience, but still, quite a find.

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