The Five Chinese Brothers

The Five Chinese Brothers


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The classic picture book about five clever brothers, each with a different extraordinary ability, has been in print for almost 80 years.

"An original nonsense tale told with...spirit and gusto." — The Horn Book

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780698113572
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/28/1996
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 62,913
Product dimensions: 7.06(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.18(d)
Lexile: 600L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Claire Huchet Bishop (1899 – 1993) was a children's novelist and librarian. She was the winner of the Newbery Honor for Pancakes-Paris and All Alone, and the Josette Frank Award for Twenty and Ten. The Five Chinese Brothers won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1959.

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Five Chinese Brothers 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my 25 year old daughter for her birthday as a reminder of this book that she liked as a small child. She is looking forward to reading it again.
allawishus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I guess there is controversy over this title because of the depictions of the Asian characters as all looking alike. There is a problem with the idea of a major plot point being that all the Chinese brothers look alike (considering it's a racist presumption that all Asians look alike, or whatever). Also, if I'm correct in assuming it's based off "The Seven Chinese Brothers," in that folk tale (the variations I've read, anyway) all the brothers look different. So to have changed the story so they all look alike is odd. And probably racist.But anyway, I gather the story is one that a lot of people read as kids, so it's somewhat of a classic. But I hadn't read it and therefore don't have any particular emotional attachment to it. It's got a lot of the violent folklore/fairy tale tropes that make modern readers uncomfortable (i.e. being burned at the stake and other modes of execution attempted). I liked the idea of trying to swallow the ocean in order to catch fish. But other than that, I remain pretty firmly unimpressed. I didn't think it's logical that a judge would allow the various brothers to go home each time a method of execution failed. Also why would they try to suffocate someone with whipped cream? (I've never given any thought to this method of execution but it seems relatively uncommon!)
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book my husband loved from his childhood, I purchased this for him to relive the moment. The five brothers each have a special gift/power, when used at the right time, it will save one of them from an unjust death.
fatlamb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interested and wanting to know of all the fuss and offensive issues behind The Five Chinese Brothers I read the book in a couple of different ways. First I read the book with the text and pictures (as most people would read a book). Secondly, I read the book with only the text and I also read the book with no text by only looking at the pictures. The story is great, clever, and funny. I can see why a young child would laugh laugh laugh through the story, the notion of getting into trouble and finding a way to get out of trouble and to "out smart" the others. The pictures do play an important roll in the story, are the brothers all the same looking because they are quintuplets or because they all look the same due to the fact that they are forefingers. The brothers had to look the same to be able to pull of the trickery that they did, to escape death. The depiction of the brothers yellow skin, traditional Chinese hats with pigtails, and slanted eyes, is that blatant racism or stereotyping to help the reader in 1938.Not just the depiction of the characters in the story some may take offense to some of the content in the story, death of a child and the repeated tries of the death penalty. Sure this book is not for everyone, I enjoyed the story, it was clever and funny. The picture of the brother "stretching" to keep his head above the water was my favorite. Ages 4-5 and upBishop, Claire H, and Kurt Wiese. The Five Chinese Brothers. New York: Coward-McCann, 1938.Travers, P L, and Mary Shepard. Mary Poppins. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co, 1934.
mmsharp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A story about 5 brothers who all have special powers. They all find a reason to use their powers in one way or another. A great book to keep childrens attention.
quaintlittlehead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I always loved the humour of this book as a child and yet struggled with the moral: five look-alike brothers with unusual features each escape the death penalty for the first brother's crime by tricking the executioner. As I look back on this book as an adult, however, I see that there is an open door here for discussion with children of the issue of wrongful punishment, social justice, accidents versus intentional crimes, and how God might cosmically alter circumstances so that the innocent do not suffer. These are big issues for such a small book, of course, but this is one of those books in which you instantly fall in love with the characters and then ask yourself later, "why I am rooting for them after all that they're doing?" As such, this would be a good gateway for discussion of this type of issue in understanding other literature: how authors can sometimes make the bad guys seem good, and vice versa, and how or whether one can decide what is really in a person's heart. Beyond that, the story gets children anticipating patterns as they see the same sort of thing happening from one brother to the next, and wonder exactly how it will play out, developing their problem-solving skills as they see the unique solutions. It is always fun to revisit this book, and I have never met a child who didn't love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HugsEtc More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad I was able to find this book! It seems kind of odd for a kid's book, but I've always loved it. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this one! Read to me as a child and NEVER forgot the magic and the message.
vard More than 1 year ago
I bought this for a 3rd generation reader. I read it as a child, loved it,my kids loved it and my Grandson chose it to be read to his class at school!It has a message!
Kayla3 More than 1 year ago
I don't know why, but this book has intrigued me since I was a child. It has always been one of my favorites because it allowed me to use my imagination. My 3 children each loved this book. Not a glitzy, colorfully illustrated book, but the story line is fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this book in elementary school and I loved it. Now, I am enjoying this book with my children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 43 years old, and still remember this book from when I was in elementary school. It was an all time favorite of mine!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of my favorite books as a child because I was so impressed at how the four 'other' brothers loyally came to the aid of their first brother for his 'so-called' crime and then outwitted the executioner with each of their given talents and gifts only to get their convicted brother aquitted. Although this book is short, my child had as many questions about the book as it would take to fill an entire book of its own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this should be red more often.You really would enjoy this book.It has very goood pic.It's a very good for chinese people.It's a very great culture book.You could read this any where.It can also calm you down when you are in a bad mood.I'm a 4th grader writing this articale.I'm very smart.Read this to you'r family anytime you want.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This children's classic was both my husband's and my favorite book as a child. I'm not sure if it is the fantasy of being invincible, or the idea that a family sticks so close together in tough times that makes this storyline so intriguing. The pictures are equally entertaining. I think it is a great tale that is simple and enjoyable for all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my fathers favorite book when he was a kid, its been mine since the first time he read it to me and I've just purchased it for my own kids. Clearly its a timeless book. Every generation will love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book keeped my attention every step of the way. Two thubs up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been looking for this book for quite some time for my son. I'm so excited I found it. I'm buying it today. This is a classic book that will last from one generation to the next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book brings back memories. It's been published ages ago but, it has remained a pleasant read. Mine grandmother used to read us this story and we were certainly thrilled by it! Very witty...very funny!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this book when I was a little kid. I really loved it, and I know any kid that reads it will too! It is a very well written book.