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The Chinese Boy and Girl   By: (1859-1942)

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The Chinese Boy and Girl by Isaac Taylor Headland is a delightful and insightful glimpse into the lives of Chinese children during the late 19th century. Through a series of captivating stories and anecdotes, Headland provides readers with a rich understanding of Chinese culture, traditions, and values.

The book begins by introducing us to a young Chinese boy, O-Toyo, who becomes the reader's guide throughout the narrative. Through his eyes, we witness the daily life and struggles faced by Chinese children, providing a unique perspective on their upbringing and education. O-Toyo's adventures, friendships, and lessons learned serve as a vehicle to explore various aspects of Chinese society, including family dynamics, gender roles, and the importance of virtues like respect, loyalty, and filial piety.

Headland's writing style is engaging and accessible, making it a perfect read for both children and adults. His vivid descriptions transport readers to the bustling streets of China, where they can almost taste the delicious food, hear the sounds of the busy markets, and feel the warmth of the community. The stories are not only entertaining but also educational, offering valuable insights into Chinese customs and practices.

One of the standout aspects of this book is the author's ability to bridge cultural gaps and foster empathy. Through O-Toyo's experiences, Headland effectively challenges stereotypes and misconceptions that readers may have had about Chinese culture. The Chinese Boy and Girl serves as a powerful reminder that despite our differences, the hopes, dreams, and challenges faced by children all around the world are remarkably similar.

Moreover, the book also highlights the universal nature of childhood. While the setting may be different, the emotions experienced by O-Toyo and his friends - joy, sadness, curiosity, and fear - are instantly relatable. This universality makes the book accessible to readers from all backgrounds, fostering a sense of connection and understanding.

However, it is important to note that The Chinese Boy and Girl should be read within its historical context. Published in 1900, some aspects of the book may seem outdated or reflect the prevailing attitudes of that time. Nevertheless, it is worth appreciating the author's efforts to promote cross-cultural understanding and promote empathy between the East and the West.

Overall, The Chinese Boy and Girl is an enchanting book that provides readers with an engaging and educational journey through the lives of Chinese children. Isaac Taylor Headland's masterful storytelling and his ability to humanize characters from a different culture make this book a valuable and worthwhile read for anyone interested in Chinese culture, history, or simply a heartwarming tale of friendship and discovery.

First Page:





Author of Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes


No thorough study of Chinese child life can be made until the wall of Chinese exclusiveness is broken down and the homes of the East are thrown open to the people of the West. Glimpses of that life however, are available, sufficient in number and character to give a fairly good idea of what it must be. The playground is by no means always hidden, least of all when it is the street. The Chinese nurse brings her Chinese rhymes, stories and games into the foreigner's home for the amusement of its little ones.

Chinese kindergarten methods and appliances have no superior in their ingenuity and their ability to interest, as well as instruct. In the matter of travelling shows and jugglers also, no country is better supplied, and these are chiefly for the entertainment of the little ones.

To the careful observer of these different phases it becomes apparent that the Chinese child is well supplied with methods of exercise and amusement, also that he has much in common with the children of other lands. A large collection of toys shows many duplicates of those common in the West, and from the nursery rhymes of at least two out of the eighteen provinces it appears that the Chinese nursery is rich in Mother Goose... Continue reading book >>

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