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The Monkey King

A 1-Minute Chinese Children’s Story Book

Make learning Chinese fast, easy and fun!

Written and illustrated by Rowan Kohll

Cover illustration by Chen Hao

Copyright Rowan Kohll, 2017

Smashwords Edition

Licence Notes and Legal Disclaimer:

Thank you for downloading this book.

Please remember that it is the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied or distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes. The author also reserves the right to make any changes he deems necessary to future versions of the publication.

If you enjoy reading it, please consider leaving a review, and encourage your friends to download their own copy!

With thanks to:

Granny Isobel, who asked me to write a children’s story.

Hao Chen, who drew the cover picture.

Lulu, who translated it for me.

And Jamie, who read it!

Chapter 1: Foreword

When I was a little boy, I loved reading. And one of the earliest things I remember is a wonderful book from the library.

It was the story of a magical monkey. He was travelling around a strange country with a priest, a man, and a talking pig. And, trying to catch them was an evil monster who could change her shape.

I loved this book because of the exciting story and the beautiful pictures. And then I grew up, and moved to live in China, and I learned that my favourite childhood tale was in fact an ancient Chinese story – Journey to the West – and that it is as famous in China as King Arthur or Robin Hood is in England. And so, when I became interested in writing books myself, I remembered this, and decided to try writing and drawing the story myself! And here it is – The Monkey King and The White Bone Demon, written for both readers of English and Chinese.

I hope you enjoy it!

The Monkey King – a sketch of a statue in Shanghai airport.

Chapter 2: The Story

Once upon a time, four friends went on a long journey together: the Monkey King, Monk Tang, Pigsy and Sandy.

They came to the White Tiger Mountains, home of the White Bone Demon and her monsters.

They wanted to catch and eat Monk Tang. But they knew it would be difficult, because he had the help of the Monkey King.

The White Bone Demon tried to trick Monk Tang by disguising herself as a girl.

But the Monkey King saw through the disguise and attacked her.

She tried a second time, this time disguised as a baby.

The Monkey King stopped her again.

The White Bone Demon’s third trick was to disguise herself as an old man.

This didn’t work either!

Monk Tang did not realise that these people were all an evil demon in disguise.

Angry, he told the Monkey King to leave, and never come back.

As soon as the Monkey King was gone, the White Bone Demon and her monsters attacked.

Pigsy and Sandy tried to fight them off, but there were too many demons.

They took Monk Tang away.

Pigsy ran to find the Monkey King. He told him what had happened, and asked for help.

But the Monkey King said, “Master told me to go away, so why should I help him?”

Pigsy was angry. “If you won’t help, then I’ll go to rescue Master myself!” he said.

But after he left, the Monkey King changed his mind, and secretly followed Pigsy.

Although Pigsy was brave, he was no match for the demons.

But the Monkey King used his magic to make a hundred monkeys to help him, and the demons were defeated.

The Monkey King killed the White Bone Demon with his magic staff.

And so, the four friends continued on their way, towards the setting sun, with the Monkey King leading the way.

The story of their adventures became famous, and is now called The Journey to the West!

The End

Chapter 3: Introducing 1-Minute Chinese

Now that you’ve finished reading The Monkey King, perhaps I can tell you a little about other books I have written.

Lots of people, all around the world, want to learn Chinese. Maybe you do too?

If so, I have both good news and bad news for you.

The bad news is that Chinese is a difficult language to learn.

The good news is that there is something that can help you: a special mental technique called mnemonics!

Mnemonics basically work by making a link – a “memory hook” – between a thing you want to remember and something you already know.

For example, suppose you want to learn the Chinese word for “go”. It works like this:

  1. Qù” sounds like “choo!”

  2. Now, “choo” sounds like the sound a train makes – choo-choo-choo.

  3. And what does a train do? It goes to places!

And there you are – now, when you hear the Chinese word “qù” you can think: qù…choo-choo…train…go!

Mnemonics can also be used to remember Chinese characters. Just imagine something the character looks like, and link it to the English meaning. With a little creativity, this can be quite easy. For example, the Chinese character for “water” looks strikingly like 7K (the number seven, and the letter K). So, just say to yourself: “A river, seven kilometres long” – and there you go! When you see the character, you’ll think “7K – 7 kilometres long – a river – water!” That’s a “memory chain”, which is all that mnemonics are.

If you want to make Chinese easy to learn, you will find lots more tips, tricks and shortcuts in the 1-Minute Chinese books. The first book, I Want to Learn Chinese…Now! is for people who don’t want to wait! The second book, 1-Minute Chinese, Volume 1, is a full introduction to Chinese. The third book, 1-Minute Chinese, Volume 2, can be read by the complete beginner, but it’s recommended they start at Volume 1, because Volume 2 is really for people who have begun to learn some Chinese, and now want to learn a lot.

Together, the 1-Minute Chinese books are crammed full of wonderful tips and tricks to make learning to speak and read Chinese both easy and fun! Inside, you will find…

Cartoons that make mysterious Chinese characters simple to understand and easy to remember.

Brilliant mnemonics that will help you to remember how to read, speak and understand Chinese – and even those frustrating Chinese tones!

A phrasebook that gives you the vocabulary you really need, along with appendices on colours and numbers, with full information on how to remember them and use them, as well as fascinating facts and useful tips.

An introduction the Free Gifts of Chinese – the words you know already, the two-for-the-price-of-one words, and Chinese characters you can read without learning them!

Information on the very best resources for continuing to learn Chinese in book and online form.

And remember – if you do read my books and enjoy them, please take a moment to leave a review. Thank you!

About the Author

I was born in 1980 and grew up in Swansea, UK. After studying History I realised I had no idea what to do next, and so took a course in teaching English, and hopped on a plane to China, where I have now lived for well over a decade. I am currently a teacher at an international school in Suzhou. My hobbies include travelling, juggling and clowning around with balloon models, spending time with my beautiful wife Lulu and our wonderful son Jamie, enjoying Chinese food and reading science fiction.

You can learn more about the 1-Minute Chinese series at, or contact me at


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