English versions of a math textbook series are a hot seller

A series of Shanghai math learning-aid books "One Lesson One Exercise" have proved a hit at the 2017 Shanghai Book Fair.
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

English versions of a popular Shanghai math learning-aid book series "One Lesson One Exercise" sold like hot cakes at the 2017 Shanghai Book Fair.

More than 500 were bought after it debuted at the fair, which concluded on Tuesday, its publisher announced.

Many people rushed to the booth of the East China Normal University Press to buy the books as they were only available at the book fair this month.

Only the first books for grades 1 to 5 were sold at the book fair, but all will be available at physical and online bookstores next month.

Unlike the English version of the books that were published in the United Kingdom with modifications based on the British syllabus, the local English series was directly translated from the Chinese version.

These include a total of 17 books for grades 1 to 9, two for each of the first 8 grades and one for the last.

"We published the local English version because many parents had inquired about the availability of the UK version," Jin Jing, an officer of the East China Normal University Press, told Shanghai Daily. "We produced this localized version believing that it's more suitable for Shanghai students."

"We only brought a few books to the fair at first as we have so many publications to be shown here," Jin said. "It sold out quickly and we have replenished the supply several times."

Five such books were sold within half an hour on Tuesday afternoon.

"I will send my daughter abroad for study in the future, so I come to buy one for her to learn the English terms used in math lessons," said Zhao Li, a mother who came to the fair with her 5-year-old girl.

"It might prepare her for related tests in application for schools in other countries or even overseas study in the future," she added.

The book series has also attracted interest among the city's bilingual schools.

Xia Haiping, principal of the Experimental School of Foreign Languages Affiliated to East China Normal University, said she would like to buy some of them to study their contents to see if they can be used in bilingual teaching of math.

"We use American textbooks in math teaching in English now," said Xia. "They are good, but we have to confess that Chinese math teaching has its advantages, such as systematic design of syllabus and coherent knowledge. Meanwhile, the books also match our Chinese teaching content better."

Some other visitors to the book fair also went over to the publisher's booth to take pictures to mark the publication of the English version as they had used the Chinese books when they were young.

"Every student in Shanghai has the series of books," said a young woman called Sherry. "It's our painful but interesting memory."

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