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The Book Report

 

All things athletic are taking center stage in Beijing this month, just as they do in these two titles. In this month’s Book Report, the drama of sports – from preparation to competition – is portrayed in all its glory. Fiona Lee

 

The Mouse Island Marathon
(for ages 9-12)
written by Geronimo Stilton
As editor of The Rodent Gazette, mouse Geronimo Stilton is more of a scholar than star athlete. So when a friend signs him up for the 26-mile Mouse Island Marathon, he gets far more than he bargained for. Waking up in the morning is bad enough, but completing the race also means saving children from a burning school, surviving an earthquake and outracing savage beasts – and that’s only the beginning! The Mouse Island Marathon zooms along with zany humor, emphasized by the use of colorful fonts, numerous illustrations and fun-filled sidebars. The book also touts tips on exercise and in-the-know factoids about marathons can motivate every child to be as sporty as Geronimo.
Conclusion: Kids will be ready to run marathons after reading this wacky book RMB 50 at Foreign Languages Bookstore

 

Sports Day
(for ages 4-8)
written and illustrated by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen
Just like Chinese schools, British schools celebrate an annual sports day. In this charming illustrated title, two British children’s book writers – including Inkpen, the author and illustrator behind the popular Kipper books – team up to bring the gentle chaos of a British sports day to life.
The book spotlights tricky egg and spoon contests, bouncy beanbag sprints and fast-paced wheelbarrow races. Even parents get in on the fun, and neither rain nor tears seem to put a damper on the event. The vocabulary is fairly sophisticated while the pace of the story a bit slow, but children will be able to relate to the portrayals of the kids, the school administration and, last but not least, the parents.
Conclusion: Sports Day comes to life in this title
RMB 44 at Foreign Languages Bookstore

 

local lingo In China, the saying goes: 闻鸡起舞 (wén jī qǐ wǔ) “Rise to practice swordplay upon hearing the rooster crow”

 

The root of this common Chinese idiom lies behind the well-known tale of Zu Ti, who was a famed patriotic general of the Jin Dynasty (265-420). Despite his fame, Zu Ti did not find his way to great leadership overnight – in fact, as an adolescent, he was perceived by others as lazy and mischievous, showing not the slightest interest in his studies. As he grew older and became witness to the decline and fragmentation of his country, however, he was greatly affected and decided to work diligently in the study of history and military strategy so that one day he might make his country strong again.
Many years passed and, through tremendous effort and hard work, Zu Ti eventually rose to become a respected governor. Yet, despite all of his knowledge and devotion, he still was not satisfied with himself. Therefore, one night upon hearing a rooster crowing in the distance, Zu Ti woke his closest friend, the renowned poet Liu Kun, saying, “Many people believe that to hear a rooster crowing during the night is not good sign, but I think otherwise. From now on, what say you to getting up and practicing our swordplay as soon as we hear the rooster crowing?” Liu Kun readily agreed and from that day forward, the two practiced their swordplay together early every morning.
After many years of dedicated study and training, both Zu Ti and Liu Kun became distinguished warriors and are now regarded as talented and brave generals in Chinese history. Hence, to describe ambitious people who work hard, it is said that they 闻鸡起舞, or they “rise to practice swordplay upon hearing the rooster crow.” Cecily Huang

 

NUTRITION FACTS
Iron
Iron is a crucial nutrient for both children and adults because it combines with hemoglobin in red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the rest of the body. Deficiencies of iron can spell bad news for kids: poor concentration, fatigue, lowered immune function and difficulty maintaining body temperature.
There are two different types of iron found in food. Heme iron – present in animal proteins like meat, fish and eggs – is absorbed very efficiently, while non-heme iron – abundant in green vegetables, pulses, beans, fortified breakfast cereals and fruit – is not absorbed as well. Nonetheless, non-heme iron makes up most of the iron in people’s diet, and there are several ways to improve its uptake. First, eat non-heme iron as part of a meal with vitamin C-rich foods such as sliced tomatoes, orange juice or a squeeze of lemon juice. Second, eat these foods as part of a meal with animal protein – for example, mixing in vegetables and beans alongside meat as is done with chili con carne (beef and kidney beans with vitamin C-rich tomatoes).
There are also certain foods that can actually hinder non-heme iron absorption – tannin (in tea), calcium (dairy products), and phytates (found in beans and whole grains) – so drink tea separately from meals and keep dairy foods for snacking as much as possible. Nina Lenton

 

Recommended daily amounts:
11mg/day (up to 12 months), 7mg/day (1-3 years), 10mg/day (4-8 years), 8mg/day (9-13 years), 11mg/day (14- to 18-year-old boys), 15mg/day (14- to 18-year-old girls)
Amount providing 5mg iron:
Heme iron
Roast Beef (tenderloin)…………………………… 150g
Pork chops……………………………………….. 8 chops (400g)
Cooked chicken livers……………………………. 40g
Canned tuna…………………………………….. 2 cups
Eggs……………………………………………… 5 large

 

Non-heme iron
Cooked kidney beans…………..……………….. 1 cup
Green soybeans…………………..………………. 1/2 cups
Tofu……………………………………………….. 3/4 cup
Dried apricots…………………………………….. 2 cups
Cooked Spinach…………………………………… 3/4 cup

 

Nina Lenton is a registered UK dietitian living in Beijing and can be reached at nina_lenton@hotmail.com.

 

August Contest Enter to win three tickets to Star City Cinema by answering the following question:
In Chinese legend, what was the name of the long distance runner implored by giants to capture the sun?
E-mail your answer to editor@tbjkids.com.

 

 

Around the World


Aug 9 sat
Int’l Day of the World’s Indigenous People
Created in 1994 by the UN General Assembly, this day offers the global community an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity and find ways to alleviate the plight of indigenous people.

 


Aug 12 tue Middle Child’s Day
It’s too easy to get carried away with your oldest child or to dote on your youngest. So use this day as a reminder to give your middle child his or her fair share of attention.

 

Aug 15 fri
World Relaxation Day
What better excuse for a little well-deserved rest? On this day, give yourself permission to take off that multi-tasking hat, take a break between math problems and watch a sunset. Go for a walk or indulge in a relaxing massage.

 


Aug 25 mon
Kiss and Make Up Day
Whether you’re having a fight with a friend, a spat with a spouse, scolded the little ones a bit too harshly or made mom feel bad, use this day to let bygones be bygones.

 


Aug 27 wed
Mother Teresa’s Birthday
Mother Teresa found her calling at the mere age of 12, when she decided to devote her life to fighting poverty. Honor this Nobel Peace Prize winner’s birthday by donating, volunteering, or showing a bit of charity to those in less fortunate circumstances.

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