Start to read independently with these short comic stories, all written in characters that the child has learnt from Basic Chinese 500 course. The stories in this series include history, classic, language learning, science, humour, and more.
Each story comes with some background information. It would be a great opportunity for parents to engage children in related discussions.
This story is taken from a plot about a war strategy happened during the period of the Three Kingdoms (220-280 CE).
Zhuge Liang (諸葛亮) is the military adviser of Liu Bei (劉備), one of the three kings.
One day, he was holding the West Fort, with only a few civil officials, when a huge army of the enemy charged towards them. There was imminent peril.
Just when everyone in the city fell into a panic, Zhuge was very calm. He ordered the people to throw the gate wide open and to remove all the guards. He then lit a pot of incense and sat at the top of the gate, and played the Qing instrument in all serenity.
When the enemy general came and saw that, he became puzzled and believed that there must be ambush waiting for him inside. He decided to retreat. The West Fort was thus saved.
This psychological stratagem is called the Empty City Strategem which is one of the famous Thirty-Six Stratagems.
If your child is studying the Confident or Fluent Readers, this story would be perfect for them to read on their own and learn some Chinese history.
There is one new character in the comic which is not taught in the course: 敢 /gǎn/ (to dare)
In addition, a few words in picture 3 might be new to children:
The saying 肚皮大唱空城計 (one’s stomach is singing the Empty City Strategem) has nothing to do with this story. It simply means that someone is very hungry and their tummy is grumbling.
Now let’s read the comic below.