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The Hanmoji
Handbook

Your Guide to the Chinese Language Through Emoji

by Jason Li, An Xiao Mina, Jennifer 8. Lee

MITeen Press

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How it works

In English, we sometimes replace a word with an emoji. Take this famous Benjamin Franklin quote for instance:

An 🍎 a day keeps the doctor away.

We all understand that 🍎 stands for apple.

Now, let's apply that to the Chinese language. Much like emojis, Chinese doesn't have an alphabet and its characters are derived from pictures of what something looks like. For instance:

木 This is the character for wood, which comes from a picture of a tree. In Hanmoji, we would write this as 🌲.

But with Chinese, there's a catch – Chinese chararacters are already made up of re-usable modules (often called radicals). Let's take our 木 🌲 example from before and put two of them side by side:

ζž— 🌲🌲

This is the Chinese character and Hanmoji for forest.

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1 minute intro

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With awards & mentions from

Regional & national organizations

The Scripps National Spelling Bee included The Hanmoji Handbook in their 2024 Great Words, Great Works books list.

The Children's Book Committee of Bank Street College of Education featured our book on their Best Children's Books of the Year 2023 list.

The Texas Library Association put us on the 2023 Texas Topaz Reading List.

Kirkus named our book as one of the Best Middle-Grade Nonfiction of 2022.

We are nominated for the Forest of Reading's 2023 Yellow Cedar Award.

We were named a FOLD Kids Book-of-the-Month for June 2022!

Our book was awarded a Kirkus Star on April 13, 2022.

Libraries, schools & shops

The Howard County Public School System put us on their Middle School Summer Reading List 2023.

A librarian at Sno-Isle Libraries included our title in Melleny's Picks for Middle School - Summer 2023.

The Queens Public Library included us on their AAPI month booklist.

The Memorial High School Library highlighted our work as one of their 2022-2023 Books of the Week.

The North High School Library also put our work on their Books of the Week.

The Burnaby Public Library listed us as one of the Best of 2022 for older kids.

Canon Park Primary featured our book as part of their Non-Fiction November: Words and Language article.

We were a Parnassus Books staff pick for October 2022.

Library Services Centre (LSC) listed our book as one their Children's Notables: Spring - Summer 2022.

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In the press

About the authors

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Jason Li

Jason Li is an independent designer, artist and educator. His practice revolves around promulgating bottom-up narratives, exploring networked technology and helping people live safely on the internet. His works have appeared at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Asian Art Museum, and on the BBC. He is an editor at Paradise Systems and a member of Zine Coop. He currently lives in Toronto.

byjasonli.com
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An Xiao Mina

An Xiao Mina is a creative strategist, writer, and artist whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Economist, The Atlantic, and Fast Company. She's worked at the intersection of technology and culture for over a decade, at places like Meedan, Hyperallergic and Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. The author of Memes to Movements, she splits her time between New York and California.

memestomovements.com
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Jennifer 8. Lee

Jennifer 8. Lee is a member the Unicode emoji subcommittee and cofounder of Emojination, a grassroots group that advocates for more inclusive and representative emoji. She is also a former New York Times reporter, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, and producer of The Search for General Tso and The Emoji Story documentaries. Lee runs the Plympton literary studio, is from New York City and lives in the cloud.

jennifer8lee.com
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