Reading is the most basic activity of language learning. In this Sprout Series of Readers, children aged 6—10 are treated to 16 beautifully illustrated, wonderfully written stories that will expose them to the world of Chinese language in a natural and engaging way. The vocabulary in this series are carefully controlled to ensure that children are challenged but not intimidated. Pinyin and English annotations at the back of each book provide additional learning support. The Sprout Series uses a total of 980 characters, of which 552 characters cover 70% of the Level A characters in the National Syllabus of Graded Words and Characters for Chinese Proficiency （HSK 基础汉字；甲级字）. 496 out of these 980 characters cover 83% of the Singapore Ministry of Education Primary 1-4 Chinese Character List（中小学华文字表；表一）. This means that while children are enjoying the stories, they are learning the most important characters that form the vocabulary foundation of the Chinese language.