Odonata Chinese Old & New Books: What are the Differences?

You’ve probably heard of the Odonata Chinese books and flashcards (红蜻蜓学前阅读计划), which are popular in Malaysia and Singapore.

And now you’re here to find out the differences between the old and new editions before deciding which to get. Read on…


Odonata Publishing is an established publisher of Chinese books in Malaysia, where there are students who study Chinese as a first language. In these schools, Math and Sciences are also taught in Chinese.

This means high-quality Chinese reading materials are published.

Odonata’s preschool reading programme was first published from 2000 to 2009.

After years of popularity, it has been updated, with the first book of the new edition released in 2020.

In this article, I shall refer to the editions as 2020 Edition (new) and Pre-2020 Edition (old).


2020 EditionPre-2020 Edition
TitleMing Ming & Li Li: Read Stories Learn Words
Preschool Reading Programme
Year Published2020 and onwards2000 to 2009
Number of core books / storiesFirst 100 words: 1
200 words: 1
300 words: 1
400 words: 1
500 words: 1
600 words: 1

Published: 6 (as at Jul 2021)
Planned: 12 books / 12 stories
First 100 words: 8
200 words: 8
300-400 words: 8
500-800 words: 8
800-1200 words: 8

Total: 40 books / 40 stories
Number of supplementary books / storiesPurchase separately

Interactive Story Books series:
First 100 words: 2 books x 3 stories
200 words: 2 books x 3 stories
300 words: 4 books
400 words: 6 books

Total: 14 books / 22 stories
No. of pages in each book~6314
Weight of each book~150g~60g
Word choicesImproved, more commonly used words today

For the first 600 words, about 400+ words remain the same, 100+ words changed.
From 2000-2009
StorylineImproved, designed to be more relatable to today’s childrenFrom 2000-2009
IllustrationsImproved (refer to sample photos)Previous (refer to sample photos)
AvailabilityIn stock

No update on when new books (700 to 1200) will be released
While stocks last

Publisher will stop printing these books after they sell out
ActivitiesIncluded in each book
E.g. Maze, matching
Purchase separately
(Learn Mandarin Chinese series, 10 books)
Writing BooksPurchase separately
(Learn to Write series, 10 books)
Word Cards / FlashcardsAvailable for each book

6 boxes for first 600 words

(Planned: 12 boxes for 1200 words)
While stocks last

In print:
– 8 boxes: 100 to 600, 900, 1200 words

Out of print:
– 700, 800, 1000, 1100 words
CDsWhile stocks last

In print:
– 200 to 800 words

Out of print:
– 100, 900 to 1200 words
When this is suitable If your child is young (before primary school), get these published books and the later ones as they are published.

Mastering 600 words by Primary 1 will provide a strong foundation for entering primary school.
If your child is already in Primary School, get this set of books (up to 1200 words) & in-print flashcards while stocks last.

Mastering 1200 words by Primary 3 to 4 will provide a strong foundation for upper primary.

Zooming in…

Here are sample photos of the new 2020 Edition:

Here’s the older Pre-2020 Edition:


At Owlissimo, our children grew up using the Pre-2020 Edition and have a strong foundation in reading Chinese.

They started at around 5+ to 6+ years old and the older ones mastered all 1200 words at around 8+ to 9+ years old. Our youngest mastered 600 words at 7.5 years old.

If your child is still young (before primary school), we recommend the new 2020 Edition for the improved story lines, illustrations and possibility of collecting the entire series until 1200 words as your child grows.

If your child is already in primary school, then you may wish to get the entire Pre-2020 Edition of books and flashcards before they go out of print.

Get yours now!

Owlissimo is Odonata’s authorised retailer in Singapore. We ship to Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, the U.S., Canada and more destinations.

Get the Super Saver Sets for exclusive bulk shipping savings.

Use discount code “odonata10” for 10% off.

Check out Odonata’s range of books and word cards / flashcards now:


It should be more technically correct to use “characters” instead of “words” in this article. Using “words” is to ease readability for most of our readers.


Owlissimo is planning workshops on how to use word cards and books to help your child learn to read Chinese effectively and efficiently. Stay tuned for updates.

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