When I first introduced Chinese to 老大 at age 2, I started by translating our English books. We had no Chinese board books or story books at home as I initially was not planning on teaching her Chinese. However, each attempt at trying to read her an English book in Chinese was a losing battle. She wanted to know what the English words said, frustrated that I was saying words that were not on the page. It wasn’t until 老大 was 3 that I made learning Chinese a priority. I placed my first bulk order of Chinese books (see this post for recommended bookstores), and those books changed everything. When we began to build our Chinese home library, 老大 memorized Chinese characters rapidly just by recognizing book titles around the house. She was curiously flipping through books FOR FUN and ON HER OWN!
Now we have about a thousand Chinese books in our Chinese home library, I would like to share our favorites for young children. This post has recommendations for babies and toddlers. (Please click here for our favorite books for older toddlers and early readers). Most are hardcover or board books for durability, since children at this age are still learning how to use books properly (eg, turning pages without ripping). Many of these books have audio CDs with native Chinese speakers.
All titles are linked to either to China Sprout, Amazon, or my full reviews so that you can see pictures of the books and other details. My goal is to eventually review each of the books that I recommend in this list.
*Denotes simplified Chinese + Hanyu Pinyin
^Denotes simplified Chinese + English
Amazon affiliate links provided for convenience.
Beginner bilingual English/Chinese for children
- Mandy and Pandy Say, “Ni Hao Ma?”*^ + audio CD
- Mandy and Pandy Visit the Zoo*^ + audio CD
- Mandy and Pandy Play “What Colors Do You Say?”*^ + audio CD
- Mandy and Pandy Play “Let’s Count”*^ + audio CD
- Mandy and Pandy Visit China*^ + audio CD
- Mandy and Pandy Play Sports*^ + audio CD
- Max and Mei Mei Box Set*^ + audio CD
- Priddy’s first 100 words*^ (Full review)
Numbers Colors Shapes 数字颜色形状
First 100 Words 启蒙认知100词
Happy Baby Words 快乐宝贝学单词
Happy Baby Animals 快乐宝贝认动物
For more details, please see Choosing Chinese Books for Babies and Toddlers – Montessori-Friendly Tips and Examples
Chinese Song and Rhyme Books for children
- Rhythm and Tones – Chants and Songs for Learning Chinese*^ + audio CD
- Word Songs (4 Books) + audio CD (Full review)
- Pinkfong Chinese Music Soundbook*
English children’s Books that have been translated in Chinese
- Guess How Much I Love You
- Eric Carle
- Dear Zoo 亲爱的动物园
- Chameleon 变色龙捉迷藏 (Full review)
- Who is Hiding? 谁藏起来了
- Herve Tullet
- Magic Hole – The Owl Tells Stories*
- Magic Hole – I Like Cars Best*
- Magic Hole – I Am Not Scared*
- Magic Hole – What’s This?*
- Magic Hole – Sleepless*
- Magic Hole – Where is My Home?*
- Magic Hole – Hello, Baby!*
- Magic Hole – I Can Count Numbers*
- Magic Hole – Can You Speak?*
- Magic Hole – Is That A Hole?*
- Magic Hole – What Color Is It?*
- Magic Hole – Count Numbers*
- Magic Hole – My Animal Friends*
- Magic Hole – My Favorite Vehicles*
(Review of the Magic Hole books by my homeschooling blogger friend here)
Chinese Board Books for babies and toddlers
Chinese Activity Workbooks for children
- Daily Noodles – My Fun Chinese Book: Numbers & Animals*^ (Full review)
- Big Chinese Workbook for Little Hands*^
Articles related to building a Chinese home library for children
If you’re looking for Chinese leveled readers and Chinese books for children in elementary school, check out our favorites in this post.
Where to buy Chinese books for children? Click here for a list of the most popular online bookstores!
For tips on how to teach your child Chinese, these posts are for you!
- Teach Your Child a Second Language at Home with 5 Key Steps
- How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- Raising Multilingual Children as a Non-Fluent Parent
- 10 Ways to Get Your Child to Read Throughout the Day
- 6 Fun Ways to Assess Reading Comprehension With Kids!
- Fun & Educational Chinese Activities – A How-To Guide
For more Children’s book recommendations and reviews, please check out the following websites about Chinese learning:
- Guavarama (traditional Chinese recommendations)
- Mandarin Mama (traditional Chinese recommendations)
- Growing Hearts 123 (simplified Chinese recommendations)
In your Chinese home library, what are your family’s favorite Chinese children’s books? Please feel free share your recommendations in the comments!