Audiobook: A Chinese Wonder Book by Norman Hinsdale Pitman

Published by Spoken Realms

Narrated by: Cindy Kay, Caroline McLaughlin, Nancy Wu, Emily Woo Zeller, Feodor Chin, Brian Nishii and Ramon de Ocampo.

A collection of 15 beloved Chinese myths, legends, and folktales that are rich in tradition and culture. Each story transports the listener back to ancient times and is filled with excitement, adventure, magic, and laughter.

Stories include:

  • “The Golden Beetle or Why the Dog Hates the Cat”
  • “The Great Bell”
  • “The Strange Tale of Doctor Dog”
  • “How Footbinding Started”
  • “The Talking Fish”
  • “Bamboo and the Turtle”
  • “The Mad Goose and the Tiger Forest”
  • “The Nodding Tiger”
  • “The Princess Kwan-Yin”
  • “The Two Jugglers”
  • “The Phantom Vessel”
  • “The Wooden Tablet”
  • “The Golden Nugget”
  • “The Man Who Would Not Scold”
  • “Lu-San, Daughter of Heaven”

Written by Norman Hinsdale Pitman, a professor and author living in China, who collected traditional Chinese folktales. Listeners will be entertained and learn about the ancient culture in China.

This audiobook is read by a collection of very talented narrators and is a perfect showcase of what narrators can offer to a book. I can see myself listening to these stories multiple times just so I can enjoy that storytime feeling you don’t get to enjoy as an adult. Having several narrators involved was a treat!

The stories themselves are a good mix, a collection of moral tales about the importance of virtue, hard work and honouring one’s parents (the collection was heavy on this last one, filial piety is not my strong point so I tried not to look too sheepish), wrapped up in a captivating package with talking animals and magic. 
I was raised on Brothers Grimm and Celtic fairytales (see: leave your parents behind, don’t talk to wolves in nightdresses and stealing is sometimes wrong, but not always), so I was fascinated by the contrast in core values within the stories.

I’d recommend this collection for anyone in need of some bitesize stories (15-20 minutes) and magic in their lives. 

Proceeds from the sale of this audiobook will be donated to the The Asian American Foundation to help create cultural understanding and stop Asian hate – something that’s been on my mind particularly for the last couple of years, I’m fully in support of anything that encourages people to step away from ignorance.

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