The Pet Dragon, by Christoph Niemann -- wonderful illustrated kids' book

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I linked to Christoph Niemann's New York Times blog late last year. He's a delightful illustrator who creates art in an appealing, simple style that I love so much.

His new book, The Pet Dragon: A Story about Adventure, Friendship, and Chinese Characters, is the story of a little girl who gets a baby dragon, then loses it and goes looking for it. As you can see on the cover, Chinese characters are cleverly placed over some of the things. After reading to book to my 5-year-old, we got to the back inside cover, which contains all the characters presented in the book, and I asked her the meaning of each one (there are about 30 in all). She knew at least half of them. What a fun way to learn the written Chinese language!

The Pet Dragon, by Christoph Niemann