We have over 15 sound books in Chinese and Korean, and I couldn’t help but add one more Chinese Nursery Rhymes Sound Book to the collection. Our new book from Bao Bao Learns Chinese has lovely music and features 6 popular Chinese children’s songs.
I wish we had this Chinese nursery rhymes book when we started our Chinese learning journey a few years ago.
It’s perfect for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners learning Mandarin, and I’m glad we have it now!
Video demonstration and shopping link are at the end of the post!
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Chinese Music Book of Nursery Rhymes – Why we love this Sound Book
Like all children, my 5.5-year-old daughter and 2.5-year-old son LOVE music! They love to sing and dance, and they have learned so many Mandarin Chinese words through popular Asian and translated Western nursery rhymes.
Bao Bao Learns Chinese was created by Peipei Zhou, a Chinese-American mom who noticed the lack of readily available Mandarin resources for American children.
Pei Pei Zhou sings each of the 6 songs in the Chinese nursery rhymes music sound book. Her lovely vocals are accompanied by gentle guitar and piano.
I can’t tell you how relieved I am about this refreshing change from the digitized and childish sounds of many of our Chinese and Korean sound books (eg, Pinkfong)!
My son even asked me where the singer was, because “她唱得像个真人 / 她唱得像個真人 (Tā chàng dé xiàng gè zhēnrén / She sings like a real person, mommy!”
6 Chinese songs in the Sound Book
The music sound book comes with 3 popular Chinese songs and 3 Western nursery rhymes.
Chinese & English Nursery rhyme titles and the duration of each song are as follows:
- 小蜘蛛 (Xiǎo zhīzhū / Itsy Bitsy Spider): 55 seconds
- 两只老虎 (Liǎng zhī lǎohǔ/ Two Tigers): 39 seconds
- 找朋友 (Zhǎo péngyǒu / Find A Friend): 55 seconds
- 划小船 (Huà xiǎochuán / Row Row Row Your Boat): 36 seconds
- 世上只有妈妈好 (Shìshàng zhǐyǒu māmā hǎo / Mama Is The Best In This World: 1 minute & 31 seconds
- 小星星 (Xiǎo xīng xīng / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star): 1 minute & 33 seconds
Related: 100+ Mandarin Chinese Songs for Kids
Nursery rhyme Lyrics with Chinese, Pinyin, and English!
I love that this Chinese nursery rhymes book has been designed for both non-fluent and fluent families to enjoy!
The Simplified Chinese text is larger than the accompanying Hanyu Pinyin which helps illiterate parents sound out the pronunciation of the Chinese characters.
English translations are placed to the left of each phrase.
Most lyrics are typed in black font and generally easy to read despite colorful backgrounds. The exception is the last song (Twinkle Twinkle) which uses white font against a dark background.
Technical Features of the Chinese Nursery Rhymes Sound book
As with typical board books, each page is thick, durable, and resilient from toddler hands.
The front of the book has a panel on the right with 6 song buttons which toggle the music on and off.
On the back cover, you’ll find a switch that controls the power and volume (Off/Low/High).
Two AAA batteries are included in the child-safe battery compartment in the back cover.
My almost 3-year-old son is able to navigate all buttons independently without my help! He loves that he’s able to listen to the Chinese nursery rhymes all by himself!
Chinese nursery rhymes video demonstration
This video shows how 小蜘蛛 and 世上只有妈妈好 sounds, how to play and stop a song, and how to adjust the volume.
Mandarin Chinese video pronunciation guide for beginners
To help beginner Chinese learners master each Chinese song lyric, the Bao Bao Learns Chinese team has video pronunciation guides on their website!
Clearly, they have thought about what a new learner needs to maximize the benefits from this Chinese nursery rhymes book!
When I first began to learn Chinese with my daughter a few years, ago, this is exactly the type of resource I wish I had!
Here’s an example of a video narration of Itsy Bitsy Spider in Chinese:
What I wish was different about the Chinese nursery rhymes sound book
I think this book could be improved in 3 areas.
- Although the 两只老虎 / Two Tigers song is very popular in China, with one tiger missing eyes and another missing its tail, the traditional lyric “真奇怪 (Zhēn qíguài / That’s strange) ” is insensitive to animals and persons with disabilities. Instead of this phrase, we replace with “没关系 (Méiguānxì / It’s okay), and it was a good teaching moment for my kids.
- I wish that the illustrations showed children instead of animals. Although pandas are considered the national treasure of China, I feel like they are overused in introductory Chinese resources. While my toddler son enjoyed the illustrations, they did not hold my daughter’s attention too long. Instead, I wish that there were illustrations of kids playing and acting related to the song lyrics which I think would attract a wider age range of children.
- The song buttons are also not as intuitive as other sound books that we have. Typical sound books shows a portion of the illustration that goes with the song, but the illustrations in this book are a bit homogeneous. The different shapes are also not necessary.
What my children thought of the Chinese Music Nursery Rhyme Book
That all being said, my younger child is 2 years 10 months and quickly figured out which song corresponds to which illustration and was able to turn the pages independently. It was so cute to see him dancing to the music!
My 5.5-year-old old daughter really enjoyed the music and wanted to memorize the lyrics of the Chinese translations she had not learned before (Itsy Bitsy Spider and Row Your Boat.)
She was really excited when she heard the guitar in the background of most songs since that is my husband’s main instrument. The 世上只有妈妈好 song also has piano, my daughter’s instrument!
I think this Chinese Music Book of Nursery Rhymes is a wonderful resource for children to play and enjoy Chinese music independently and with their families.
New Mandarin learners will be grateful for the support of Pinyin and English translations plus clear video pronunciation guides!
I hope to see more Chinese music books like this become available for our children’s generation.
I recommend this Chinese nursery rhymes book for all families who want their children to learn Mandarin!
Where to buy Bao Bao Learns Chinese Nursery Rhymes Sound Book
How to Teach Kids Chinese
When parents and caregivers are consistently providing them input, children will learn to speak the minority language.
Initially, the process may seem intimidating, but you can nurture them with music and fun Chinese activities.
In addition, Chinese books are important for building vocabulary and cultivating a love of learning Chinese!
Here are more articles that can help jump start your family’s Chinese learning journey:
- Raising Multilingual Children as a Non-Fluent Parent: 7 Lessons Learned
- 5 Reasons Books are the Best Gifts for Multilingual Kids
- How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- How I Taught My Child 1000+ Chinese Characters as a Non-Fluent Speaker