During a chance encounter, two nearly identical boys, one a poor beggar and the other a prince, decide to exchange places. The pauper, now living in the royal palace, is constantly filled with the dread of being discovered for who and what he really is while the Prince, dressed in rags, lives on the street enduring hardships he never thought possible. Both children soon discover that neither life is as carefree as they expected.
Mandarin Companion: New graded readers for a new generation of Chinese learners. Now you can read book in Chinese that are fun and accelerate your language learning. Every book in the Mandarin Companion series is carefully written to use characters, words, and grammar that a learner is likely to know.
Level 1 is written using approximately 300 unique Chinese characters and intended for Chinese learners at an upper-elementary level. Most learners will be able to approach this book after one to two years of formal study, depending on the learner and program. This series is designed to combine simplicity of characters with an easy-to-understand storyline that helps beginners grow their vocabulary and language comprehension abilities.
**Traditional Chinese Edition**
Made less satirical than Mark Twain's classic and simplified for younger readers, this retelling is still a lively romp. A beggar and a prince look so alike that they change places but then cannot immediately switch back. Mayer's (The Unicorn and the Lake) adaptation is serviceable if not sparkling; she retains all the key scenes of the story but flattens Twain's archaisms. While some of the original's sophisticated humor gets lost in the translation, much of it remains. For example, when Edward, the prince, tries telling pauper Tom's parents that he is really the Prince of Wales, Tom's mother responds, "Oh, poor Tom, it's all those books you read that's done this to you." And in court, when Tom is given a finger bowl, he drinks from it, announcing, "This is a very flavorless soup." Lippincott (Bruce Coville's Magic Shop series) vibrantly renders the ragged features of the paupers, and his tableaux are full of life. His palace scenes are ornate, light-filled watercolors of splendor in which the boys' homely, toothy faces seem like the only real and honest things. For readers not yet ready for Twain, this version, like its model, will make them think about their places in the world. Ages 7-up.