What do kids write in, in Chinese schools?
January 30, 2006 3:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an image of a notebook that is used in schools in China.

I need to see a picture of the notebook that is, I'm told, used by all schoolchildren in China. A search revealed that Archie McPhee sells what they claim is that notebook, but I can't be sure that this is the authentic thing.
Here's what they sell; can anyone in China confirm or deny that this is what kids there use? And if not, can you tell me where I can find a photo of the real notebooks?
posted by TochterAusElysium to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total)
In China, children's notebooks have squares, not lines. Like extra large graph paper. The blocks are for individual characters, and have lighter lines dividing each block into four quadrants.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:09 PM on January 30, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, StickyCarpet, that's helpful. Does the cover in that photo look right? Still would love to see a picture of the real thing.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 4:27 PM on January 30, 2006

Right. That kind of notebook. I'm sure I was alone on thinking it was something else (Those Chinese; handing out computers to everybody...)
posted by AwkwardPause at 4:42 PM on January 30, 2006

There's an illustration here that shows what the inside pages might look like.
posted by ersatzkat at 4:51 PM on January 30, 2006

The pictured item looks much too nice for a child's notebook. Expect lower quality printing, and the special graph paper pages others have mentioned. Not to mention that the front should be on the back... i.e. the spine should be on the right when looking at the book face-up, right-side-up. (I think there are different graph patterns for different ages)

Go to a Chinese bookstore. It probably won't be much like an english bookstore, the ones I'm familiar with stock a strange combination of books, manga, stationary, magazines, DVDs... I would look for a brightly lit store with a lot of Chinese language magazines in the window.
posted by Chuckles at 5:25 PM on January 30, 2006

Here's a Hong Kong child writing in a notebook...
posted by Chuckles at 5:31 PM on January 30, 2006

The dotted quadrant lines would disappear somewhere around the third grade.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:41 PM on January 30, 2006

Best answer: Okay, I tried searching for Chinese exercise book and found Xie Zi Bu, and Tian Zi Bu.

The pictures still aren't very invormative... Ebay doesn't appear to have anything.
posted by Chuckles at 5:49 PM on January 30, 2006

More stuff from ChineseMall.com.
posted by Chuckles at 5:51 PM on January 30, 2006

Here is what the younger kids use to learn to write with.

Here are two images of the notebook I was given by my school, (for writing teaching plans so the inside pages are different then those that the students would use), when I arrived. I teach at high school and I would say it is a pretty good match for the Archie McPhee genereic one.
posted by geekyguy at 6:38 PM on January 30, 2006

All those images show spine on the left, which is consistent with what I was just told, and not consistent with my above statement. Apparently, only formal calligraphy books would have spine on the right, following the traditional top-to-bottom, right-to-left ordering of characters. The left-to-right, top-to-bottom, western ordering of characters is more common.
posted by Chuckles at 7:23 PM on January 30, 2006

Best answer: The image on mcphee.com is that of a 'Worker's Notebook', so it's definitely not meant for school children.

The cover geekguy linked to says 'Lesson Preparation Book', and the book is actually for teachers.

The term 'notebook' is a bit ambiguous, but it seems like you only want exercise books used in Chinese classes. In that case, Chuckle's 'Xie Zi Bu' & 'Tian Zi Bu' are what you want. The smaller rectangular box on top of the square box is for marking out the 'pinyin' or romanized pronunciation of a character.

When the kids get beyond grade 1-2, they start writing in 'Zuo Wen Bu'(作文簿) or composition books like this, (inside).
posted by of strange foe at 9:44 PM on January 30, 2006

The note book in the first link is very common in China probably because it is so cheap. The paper is pretty poor quality, the brown paper on the outside is basically supermarket bag paper and the stuff on the inside is very thin.
posted by afu at 11:21 PM on January 30, 2006

Response by poster: Very good answers - thanks all. These cover the range of info I needed. AskMeFi rules again!
posted by TochterAusElysium at 10:27 AM on January 31, 2006

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