识字儿歌 (Shízì er gē / Word Songs) is an excellent set of 4 illustrated books plus 4 black-and-white workbooks and a CD. I highly recommend this for children who are starting to learn Chinese. The simplified Chinese text is printed clearly with pinyin below each word. In addition, the set also includes 4 black-and-white workbooks. 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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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: China Sprout
识字儿歌 Chinese Word Songs Books + CD: Review
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 pinyin; the English translation of the focus word for 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. However, 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!
- Covers a wide range of basic Chinese vocabulary
- High quality, clear CD; music is not distracting
- 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.
- No page numbers
- I found this set in only one store (China Sprout), so I worry about these books going out of print after writing this review!
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 always follows along the book while listening! We have not used the activity books since my daughter prefers our hands-on activities and we have not started learning how to write yet.
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. I think these are a great supplement, I hope that we will use it when my daughter learns to write Chinese.
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!
To see more Chinese children’s book recommendations, click here!
For tips on how to encourage more Chinese reading throughout the day, click here!