I was so excited to find Mandarin learning resources at our library the other month. We visited the library in a neighboring town, and while they had rows of Spanish bilingual books, their Mandarin Chinese section was small enough for me to check completely out - 3 books. And while technically they do have both English and Mandarin Chinese characters, they don't include the pinyin-so for someone trying to learn Mandarin-they provide only a glimpse into cultural and historical aspects of China, but none of the sounds.
Mouse Match by Ed Young
A traditional tale about parents of a young mouse who search for the best groom for their daughter. They seek the sun, clouds, mountains.... each object referring them to another, greater, more powerful being until they end up at a mouse. I don't get the draw of this story whatsoever. The artwork was dark and the book opens up accordion style to show the whole story at once (not really very practical). The Chinese characters are on the reverse side with no artwork. My daughter has a decent attention span and patience for books, but this one was not a hit. I quickly had to change from reading the words to talking with her about the pictures - which is fine for working on her love of reading. I was just disappointed that this was not a tool to help us with Mandarin.
The Magic Brocade, A Tale of China Retold by Aaron Shepard and Illustrated by Xiaojun Li
Lady White Snake, A Tale from Chinese Opera Retold by Aaron Shepard and Illustrated by Song Nan Zhang
This is not a children's book. I think the target audience would be for someone high school age or older who was going to see the opera in person. It has a lot of helpful information in the back about the history of locations and items in the story. The pictures have a lot going on with them-so E and I were able to look at those together. The Chinese characters are on the same page as the English in this book as well.