Now you can read books in Chinese that are fun and accelerate your language learning. Every book in the Mandarin Companion series is carefully written to use characters, words, and grammar that a learner is likely to know. Level 1 is written using approximately 300 unique Chinese characters and intended for Chinese learners at an upper-elementary level. Most learners will be able to approach this book after one to two years of formal study, depending on the learner and program. This series is designed to combine simplicity of characters with an easy-to-understand storyline that helps beginners grow their vocabulary and language comprehension abilities. Based on 'Rip Van Winkle' by Washington Irving. Zhou Xuefa (Rip Van Winkle) is well loved by everyone in his town, everyone except his nagging wife. With his faithful dog Blackie, Zhou Xuefa spends his time playing with kids, helping neighbors, and discussing politics in the teahouse. One day after a bad scolding from his wife, he goes for a walk into the mountains and meets a mysterious old man who appears to be from an ancient time. The man invites him into his mountain home for a meal and after drinking some wine, Zhou Xuefa falls into a deep sleep. He awakes to a time very different than what he once knew.