识字儿歌 (Shízì er gē / Word Songs) is a wonderful set of 4 illustrated Chinese books plus 4 black-and-white workbooks and a Mandarin audio CD.
Both of my kids love this set, and I highly recommend this for children and parents who are starting to learn how to speak Chinese.
In this post, I have included lots of pictures of the inside of the books!
At the end of this article, please watch the video for an example of the audio CD!
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识字儿歌 Chinese Word Songs Books + CD: Review
Title: 识字儿歌 (Shízì er gē / Word Songs)
- 我的脸 9813068310
- 大自然 9813068329
- 动物 9813068337
- 植物 9813068345
Author: 余广达 (Yu, Guang Da)
Publisher: 新加坡 (Singapore) Asiapac Books, 1996.
Type: Nursery rhymes, activity book, audiobook
Language: Simplified Chinese with pinyin, minimal English
Where to buy: Please see comments for the link to Asiapac Bookstore which carries this set. It is current sold-out everywhere.
识字儿歌 Chinese Word Songs includes 4 books divided in the following topics:
- 我的脸 (My Face)
- 大自然 (Nature)
- 动物 (Animals)
- 植物 (Plants)
Each colorful book has 7 Chinese nursery rhymes, with 28 Chinese nursery rhymes in total.
In addition, 4 activity books reinforce the concepts of each book.
The nursery rhymes are written simplified Chinese and Hanyu pinyin. There are some English translations for the focus word of each nursery rhyme.
The audio CD has 30 tracks: the 28 nursery rhymes are prefaced by an introductory track and followed by a closing track.
The first and last tracks have both English and Chinese.
For the rest of the tracks, a man and woman take turns narrating the nursery rhymes in Mandarin Chinese with soft music in the background.
What we like about this 识字儿歌 Chinese Word Songs:
- Illustrations: simple, colorful, and proportional
- A great variety of catchy nursery rhymes that are different that the traditional Chinese nursery rhymes
- Pinyin in small font – perfect for non-fluent parents like me and not too distracting!
- Covers a wide range of basic Chinese vocabulary
- High quality, clear CD; music is in the background
- My 4-year-old daughter can listen to the CD anytime she wants with her CD player (click here to buy). All of our CDs are stored in a convenient CD wallet (click here to buy).
- Activity books have writing practice and simple games. Since the book is black-and-white, children can color the pages if desired.
- No page numbers
- Out of print
When I first bought this set, my daughter was upset that the nursery rhymes were spoken instead of sung.
But shortly after listening to the first few tracks, she was enthralled and listened to the whole CD in one sitting!
She has since listened to the CD several times and follows along the book while listening!
We have not used the activity books since my daughter prefers our hands-on activities.
At the time of this review, we have not done much Chinese writing in general.
Pictures of 我的脸 (My Face) book
Pictures of 大自然 (Nature) book
Pictures of 动物 (Animals) book
Pictures of 植物 (Plants) book
Pictures of the activity books
The pages of the activity books are thinner than the colorful nursery rhyme books and easily creased as you can see below.
The text is in simplified Chinese only, no pinyin.
Video of 识字儿歌 Chinese Word Songs, tracks 1, 2, and 3
In summary, I highly recommend 识字儿歌 Chinese Word Songs Books + CD for children!
FREE CHINESE AUDIOBOOKS
Many websites and apps offer FREE multilingual books for kids!
Ximalaya FM is our favorite, and I highly recommend their free Chinese audiobooks for all kids!
Since the entire website and app is in Chinese, please refer to this guide on How to Use Ximalaya if you cannot read Chinese.
WHERE TO BUY CHINESE BOOKS FOR KIDS
If you’re wondering where to buy kids’ books, please click here for a list of the most popular online Chinese bookstores!