The Best Free Chinese Audiobooks for Kids on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅

As a non-fluent Chinese-American parent trying to teach my kids Chinese at home, I am grateful for the best free Chinese audiobooks on 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya FM!

We use the Ximalaya app almost daily to listen to children’s stories in Chinese.

Ximalaya is a main source of exposure to native Mandarin Chinese speakers. This Chinese app has improved our listening, speaking, and reading comprehension skills by leaps and bounds.

The Best Free Chinese Audiobooks for Children on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅

Free Chinese audiobooks on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅

What is 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya?

喜马拉雅 Ximalaya FM is a popular web- and app-based podcast and audiobook platform based in China.

According to China Today, the company holds approximately 70% of audio copyrights to the most popular titles in Chinese bookstores.

Therefore, if you are looking for a narration of your favorite story, you have a good chance at finding it on Ximalaya.

When we first tried Ximalaya a few years ago, I was completely overwhelmed with the abundant content.

The entire platform is in simplified Chinese (no English except for English book titles!!), and the narrators seemed to speak so quickly!

However, over the past half year, we began to use Ximalaya regularly, and it’s allowed us to enjoy so many physical books that we otherwise could not have read independently.

Ximalaya has also introduced our family to many Chinese books that had I never heard of before!

Many books from my Taobao orders were chosen based on my daughter’s favorites on Ximalaya.  There are also many that we won’t buy.  Some have a captivating plotline but strange illustrations.  And others we can simply enjoy like old fashioned storytelling.

Audiobooks are a great way for images to be up to the child’s imagination – kind of like how we adults try to read novels before a movie so the cinematography doesn’t “spoil” our notions about a narrative.

Related: 10 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read

Free Chinese Audiobooks for Children on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅

How to use Ximalaya 喜马拉雅 for free Chinese Audiobooks

Please refer to this guide for a detailed overview of how to use the Ximalaya 喜马拉雅 app and website.

This post has our favorite narrators as well as a list of popular children’s books that you can bookmark for reference.

I will update this list periodically as we discover more wonderful Chinese audiobooks!

You can click on the links below to hear stories on Ximalaya.  Clicking the links will open a new tab on your desktop computer.  On mobile, you will have to click on the red 打开 APP button [see blue arrow].

How to use Ximalaya 喜马拉雅 if you can't read Chinese

Favorite Chinese narrators on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅

Narration and audio quality are quite variable on Ximalaya.  Some narrators are dynamic and engaging and speak with clear diction; others are dull or have nails-on-chalkboard voices.

In addition, audio quality varies from professional (no static or background noise) to home recordings with young children or distracting background music.

Although I would like our kids exposed to a variety of native speakers, I am very selective of quality.  With limited time in a busy schedule, we need to make sure that we are listening to the best narrators.

Here are 6 favorite channels with a variety of popular children’s stories in Mandarin Chinese:

  1. 艾玛读绘本 (Teacher Emma reads stories)
  2. 小猴子讲故事 (Little monkey reads stories)
  3. 村长讲故事 (The Village Chief reads stories)
  4. 世界经典获奖绘本故事 (World Classic Award-Winning Picture Book Stories)
  5. 小天FM (Little Sky FM)
  6. 甜甜阿姨讲故事 (Sweet Auntie reads stories)

艾玛老师 is currently the favorite of my kids.  My 24-month-old son will actually ask for her by name!

Although most of these narrators are female, I have also included male storytellers since my kids have met only a handful of guys that speak Chinese.

Some of these narrators do have children involved, but the adult – not the child – is reading.  In any case, my daughter likes to hear the adult making brief small talk with the featured child!

Popular free Chinese audiobooks in Mandarin on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅

  1. 棕色的熊、棕色的熊,你在看什么 (Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?) 1 track
  2. 猜猜我有多爱你 (Guess How Much I Love You) – 1 track
  3. 花格子大象艾玛 (Elmer the Elephant Series) – 11 tracks
  4. 大象巴巴 (Babar the Elephant Series) – 5 tracks
  5. 奇先生妙小姐系列 (Mr. Men and Little Miss Series) – 83 tracks
  6. 贝贝熊系列 (The Berenstein Bears Series)81 tracks
  7. 可爱的鼠小弟系列 (Little Mouse Series)22 tracks
  8. 玛德琳系列 (Madeline Series) – 6 tracks
  9. 不一样的卡梅拉系列 (Different Carmela)46 tracks
  10. 彼得兔的故事 (Peter Rabbit) – 30 tracks
  11. 长大我最棒 (Learn to Get Along Series) 15 tracks
  12. 林明子 books5 tracks
  13. 彩虹鱼系列 (Rainbow Fish Series) – 7 tracks

Free Chinese bridge & chapter books in Mandarin Chinese

  1. 亲爱的小熊系列 (Little Bear Series)17 tracks
  2. 青蛙和蟾蜍系列 (Frog and Toad Series)20 tracks (Frog and Toad review here)
  3. 一片叶子落下来 (The Fall of Freddie the Leaf)1 track
  4. 玛蒂娜故事书系列 (Martine Series)60 tracks
  5. 神奇校车系列 (Magic School Bus Series)22 tracks
  6. 夏洛的网 (Charlotte’s Web) – 31 tracks
  7. 海蒂 (Heidi) – 15 tracks
  8. 小王子 (Le Petit Prince) – 27 tracks
  9. 父与子全集 (Father and Son) – 89 tracks
  10. 克雷洛夫寓言 (Aesop’s Fables) – 42 tracks
  11. 米小圈上学记:一二三年级 (Genuine Rice Circle School Series) –  257 tracks
  12. 杜利特医生航海记 (Dr. Dolittle) – 59 tracks
  13. 哈利波特 (Harry Potter Series) – 13 tracks
  14. 三毛流浪记 (The Wanderings of SanMao)  – 35 tracks

Free Audiobooks about Chinese Festivals in Mandarin Chinese

  1. 中国传统节日系列 (Chinese Festivals)10 tracks
  2. 中国记忆, 传统节日系列 (Chinese Festivals) – 12 tracks
  3. 团圆 (Reunion) – 1 track

Discover more: Chinese Lunar New Year Books and Audiobooks for Kids!

How we use 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya for reading practice

We often listen to the story without the book to encourage concentration with listening and imagination of the described scenes.

After hearing the story several times, my daughter memorizes most or all of the narration.

Then, she is able to remember new Chinese characters by recalling the recording.

Read more here: 5 Ways My Child and I Are Learning Mandarin Chinese from Audiobooks

Does your family use Ximalaya?

Do you have other favorite stories on Ximalaya that should be added to this list?

Please share in the comments below!

More Chinese books for kids

For all book recommendations, explore our favorite Chinese books for kids!

If you’re wondering where to buy kids’ books, click here for the most popular online Chinese bookstores!

Happy reading, friends!

11 Comments

  1. Thanks for this list! We enjoyed some of the stories very much. Just wondering about the physical book editions of some of these audio books, as we would like to get the physical copies too, so that the kids can match the words to the stories, if they so prefer.
    Would you happen to know the physical book editions of for instance, Peter Rabbit, Father and Son and Aesop’s?

    Thanks!

  2. hi Betty, could I ask if it is possible to see the pages of the book on ximalaya as it reads, or does the picture only show the cover of the book on the mobile app?
    thanks

  3. Hi Betty,

    Do you play it directly via your phone or are you able to cast it to a speaker like Google Home?

    1. Hi Victoria! Sorry for the late reply. I usually play the audiobooks on my phone, but if your speakers have Bluetooth, I think you might be able to play the stories through that.

  4. I am wondering how safe is it to use this app? I think it does required a phone number? I really want to listen to a novel on that site, it was free for a period of time but now it is not. I would like to buy it but I do not wish to download the app or give up my phone number. So sad.

    1. Hi, I downloaded the Ximalaya app years ago and have just heard that there seems to regional restrictions for new users. We don’t use the app much anymore since we mainly use our Luka Reading Robot. But I think you can still access the free stories on the Ximalaya website through your internet browser. You can also listen to free audiobooks on these other websites. And if you don’t mind subscribing or a little screen-time, other readers have told me that they like the Ellabook App.

  5. Hi, Betty, I tried to download the Himalaya app on my phone, but it seems like it has very limited Chinese content? Does it have a different version for Chinese content?
    Thanks.

    1. Hi, yes, Ximalaya (with an X rather than an H) is the main Chinese app, but I recently heard that there seems to be new geographical restrictions for new users. I think you can still access the free stories on the Ximalaya website through your internet browser. Sorry this is such an old post that needs to be updated – thought about archiving it but I think the changes don’t affect existing app users. We actually don’t use Ximalaya much anymore since my kids read with our Luka Reading Owl. If you’re looking for other free Chinese audiobooks, you can try these websites. Another popular option is the Ellabook App, which has lightly animated audiobooks.

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