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.
Thanks to native Mandarin Chinese speakers who narrate wonderful stories, Ximalaya has made a huge difference in our bilingual parenting journey. This Chinese app has improved our listening, speaking, and reading comprehension skills by leaps and bounds.
Free Chinese audiobooks on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
What is 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya?
喜马拉雅 Ximalaya FM is the largest web- and app-based podcast and audiobook platform in China. The company holds 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 hundreds of Chinese books! So many of our favorite Chinese children’s books were chosen based on my daughter’s favorites on Ximalaya. There are also many that we won’t buy. Some have a captivating plot but strange illustrations, so we can simply enjoy listening to them 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.
Try this: 15 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read
How to use Ximalaya 喜马拉雅 for free Chinese Audiobooks
Please refer to this guide on 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].
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 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
- 棕色的熊、棕色的熊，你在看什么 (Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?) – 1 track
- 猜猜我有多爱你 (Guess How Much I Love You) – 1 track
- 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
- 林明子 books – 5 tracks
- 彩虹鱼系列 (Rainbow Fish Series) – 7 tracks
Free Chinese bridge & chapter books in Mandarin Chinese
- 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 (Frog and Toad review here)
- 一片叶子落下来 (The Fall of Freddie the Leaf) – 1 track
- 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：一二三年级 (Genuine Rice Circle School Series) – 257 tracks
- 杜利特医生航海记 (Dr. Dolittle) – 59 tracks
- 哈利波特 (Harry Potter Series) – 13 tracks
Free Audiobooks about Chinese Festivals in Mandarin Chinese
- 中国传统节日系列 (Chinese Festivals) – 10 tracks
- 中国记忆, 传统节日系列 (Chinese Festivals) – 12 tracks
- 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.
Try this: 6 Ways Kids And Parents Can Learn 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 children’s books, click here for the best online Chinese bookstores!
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?
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.
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.
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.
Do you play it directly via your phone or are you able to cast it to a speaker like Google Home?
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.
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?
Hi Esmeralda! Ximalaya only features audio narration with the book cover; the inside of the books are copyrighted and not included. We bought many of our Chinese books based on Ximalaya favorites, and you can find ISBN information in our Chinese book reviews here!
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?
Hi Lea! I’m so glad that your family has been able to enjoy the Chinese audiobooks! Here are the main online Chinese bookstores that you can explore for these books. I organized the list by simplified versus traditional Chinese. Hope it helps!
oh thank you so much, Betty. will go check them out!