As a non-fluent Chinese-American parent trying to teach my kids Chinese at home, I am grateful for the Chinese audiobooks on 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya FM! We use the Ximalaya app almost daily to listen to free children’s stories in Chinese. It is our main source of exposure to native Mandarin Chinese speakers, and I credit this resource for improving our listening, speaking, and reading comprehension by leaps and bounds. The contents of this post are organized as follows:
- What is 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya?
- How to use 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya?
- How we use 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya for reading practice
- Favorite Chinese narrators on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
- Popular picture books narrated in Mandarin Chinese
- Bridge & chapter books narrated in Mandarin Chinese
- Stories about Chinese Festivals narrated in Mandarin Chinese
1. 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.
2. How to use Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
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].
3. 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 reviewing the story several times, my daughter memorizes most or all of the narration. Then, she is able to learn new characters from the text by remembering the recording.
4. 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:
- 艾玛读绘本 (Teacher Emma reads stories)
- 小猴子讲故事 (Little monkey reads stories)
- 村长讲故事 (The Village Chief reads stories)
- 世界经典获奖绘本故事 (World Classic Award-Winning Picture Book Stories)
- 小天FM (Little Sky FM)
- 甜甜阿姨讲故事 (Sweet Auntie reads stories)
艾玛老师 is probably 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 never met any guys that speak Chinese! Please note that 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!
5. Popular picture books narrated in Mandarin Chinese on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
- 棕色的熊、棕色的熊，你在看什么 (Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?)
- 猜猜我有多爱你 (Guess How Much I Love You)
- 花格子大象艾玛 (Elmer the Elephant Series) – 11 tracks
- 大象巴巴 (Babar the Elephant Series) – 5 tracks
- 奇先生妙小姐系列 (Mr. Men and Little Miss Series) – 83 tracks
- 贝贝熊系列 (The Berenstein Bears Series) – 81 tracks
- 可爱的鼠小弟系列 (Little Mouse Series) – 22 tracks
- 玛德琳系列 (Madeline Series) – 6 tracks
- 不一样的卡梅拉系列 (Different Carmela) – 46 tracks
- 彼得兔的故事 (Peter Rabbit) – 30 tracks
- 长大我最棒 (Learn to Get Along Series) – 15 tracks
- Books by 林明子 – 5 tracks
- 彩虹鱼系列 (Rainbow Fish Series) – 7 tracks
- 一片叶子落下来 (The Fall of Freddie the Leaf)
6. Bridge & chapter books narrated in Mandarin Chinese on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
- 亲爱的小熊系列 (Little Bear Series) – 17 tracks
- 青蛙和蟾蜍系列 (Frog and Toad Series) – 20 tracks
- 玛蒂娜故事书系列 (Martine Series) – 60 tracks
- 神奇校车系列 (Magic School Bus Series) – 22 tracks
- 夏洛的网 (Charlotte’s Web) – 31 tracks
- 海蒂 (Heidi) – 15 tracks
- 小王子 (Le Petit Prince) – 27 tracks
- 父与子全集 (Father and Son) – 89 tracks
- 克雷洛夫寓言 (Aesop’s Fables) – 42 tracks
- 米小圈上学记系列 (Genuine Rice Circle Series) – 258 tracks
- 杜利特医生航海记 (Dr. Dolittle) – 59 tracks
- 哈利波特 (Harry Potter Series) – 13 tracks
- 三毛流浪记 (The Wanderings of SanMao) – 35 tracks
7. Stories about Chinese Festivals narrated in Mandarin Chinese
Do you have other favorite stories on Ximalaya that should be added to this list? Please share in the comments below!
WHERE TO BUY CHINESE BOOKS FOR KIDS
For more Chinese book recommendations for kids, please visit and bookmark this link of our favorite books! Every week, I will be adding book reviews to this website!
If you’re wondering where to buy Chinese books for children, please click here for a list of the most popular online bookstores!
To shop low book prices on TaoBao, here is the How-To Guide for using TaobaoRing.
RECOMMENDED ARTICLES ABOUT HOW TO TEACH KIDS CHINESE
If you need 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 Get Your Child To Speak the Minority Language
- 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!
BILINGUAL ENGLISH AND CHINESE FACEBOOK PARENT GROUP
As always, please let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll try my best to answer them! Please leave a note in the comments! Or better yet, you are welcome to ask other parents in our Facebook group, Montessori-inspired Kids Learning Chinese and English. This is a community of parents worldwide who are excited to share bilingual book recommendations, Montessori tips, learning materials, and hands-on activities!I also recommend these Facebook groups:
- Raising Bilingual Parents in Chinese & English
- Christian Parents Raising Bilingual Children in English & Chinese
You can also follow me on Facebook where I share my latest posts as well as favorite articles about children’s education, Chinese resources, and hands-on activities from other websites! In addition, on Instagram, I share activity highlights and how we integrate Chinese-learning in our daily family life!
Happy reading, friends!