Websites and Apps with FREE Multilingual Books for Kids

Building a multilingual home library can be costly and challenging for non-native overseas families.  Thankfully, in this digital era, many websites and apps offer books for kids in Chinese, Korean, English, French, Spanish, and other languages!

Websites with free mutlilingual books for kids

If you’re a parent raising multilingual children or a language teacher for kids, these resources are meant for you! Here are some of the best websites and apps with free multilingual books for children. The first 5 multilingual book resources are available in numerous languages; the last 8 are free Chinese books for kids.

Try this: 15 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read

Free Multilingual Books for Kids

1. Mutilingual books from Unite for Literacy

Unite for Literacy Websites and Apps with FREE Multilingual Books for Kids, free Chinese books for kids


This is a wonderful resource for beginner language learners who need listening practice. The books introduce vocabulary and simple sentence structures about common everyday topics through simple stories and questions and answers.

Almost all images are clear photographs, which I prefer over the typical cartoon. In addition, the people include diverse physical appearances.

The downside is that the text is in English or Spanish only.

Available languages (check under “narration”): Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Cup’ik, Danish, French, German, Greek (Ελληνικά), Hindi (हिंदी), Karenni, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese

Related: 5 Reasons Books are the Best Gifts for Multilingual Kids

2. Multilingual Books from Storybooks Canada

Storybooks Canada Websites and Apps with FREE Multilingual Books for Kids


Storybooks Canada has dozens of stories from the African Storybook with text and audio in Canada’s most widely spoken languages.

Available languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese (Mandarin), English, German, Korean, French, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, and Urdu!

For families learning Chinese, you’ll be happy to know that simplified and traditional Chinese are offered, as well as Mandarin and Cantonese!

Related: 30 Important Children’s Books About Black History in Chinese and English

3. Multilingual Books from World Stories

World Stories United Kingdom Websites and Apps with FREE Multilingual Books for Kids


World Stories offers a growing collection of multilingual books in the most common languages in the United Kingdom.  Registration is free but required for access to stories.

While I like that the focus is on the audio narration due to the lack of animation and minimal illustrations, I found the website to be a bit slow and confusing.  I had to click around a bit to figure out how to listen to audio and was stuck on music for a while. 

However, this website has great potential to help many multilingual families.

Available languages: Akan, Albanian, Arabic, Cantonese, Danish, English, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Kannada, Mandarin, Manx, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Scots, Scots Doric, Scottish Gaelic, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, Welsh, Yoruba, Zulu

4. Bible App for Kids

Bible App for Kids YouVersion


The Bible App for Kids has animated bible stories in numerous languages. Although we usually read the Bible as a family in English, we have occasionally used the Chinese version of the app.

While we prefer to use a physical bible, the app is helpful for families who need more minority language exposure and can’t get a regular bible in their language.

In our experience, the downside is the distracting animation and games.  Each page allows for “exploration” of the image through touch. 

When my kids used the “interactive” features, they did not focus on listening and impulsively touched everything on the screen.  The games are also not useful for reinforcing Biblical concepts in the target language.

Available languages: Afrikaans, Arabic, Belarusian, Bengali, Cantonese, Chinese (Mandarin – Simplified & Traditional Chinese), Dutch, English (UK), English (US), Farsi, Filipino (Tagalog), Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hindi, Indonesia, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu

Read this: The Best Children’s Bibles and Devotions in Chinese, Korean, and English

5. Audible


Audible is an Amazon company that streams stories in 6 different languages on your desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet.

Available languages: Japanese, Spanish, German, French, and Italian. Limited options in Chinese.

Explore this: How I Taught My Child 1000 Chinese Characters as a Non-Fluent Speaker

Apps with Free Mandarin Chinese books for Kids

1. Ximalaya FM

喜马拉雅FM Ximalaya app free Chinese stories, audiobooks, music for kids

Website: ; App: 喜马拉雅FM

This is our family’s favorite resource for free Chinese audiobooks.  They have thousands of Chinese stories and even free Chinese music.

Ximalaya requires basic Chinese listening comprehension skills.  If you are just starting to learn Chinese, the narration will be too advanced compared to the resources listed above.

To learn more about Ximalaya, please check out the following articles:

2. 凯叔讲故事

凯叔讲故事 free Chinese audiobooks for kids in Mandarin Chinese

App: 凯叔讲故事 on iTunes

凯叔讲故事 has numerous free Chinese stories for children in Mandarin Chinese!  What’s unique about it is that a gentleman narrates many stories in contrast to most children’s stories narrated by women.  This is important for kids like ours who have primarily interacted in Chinese with females due to the lack of diversity in our local community.

3. 火火兔

火火兔讲故事 app free Chinese audiobooks for kids

App: 火火兔讲故事 on iTunes

This app has a wealth of free Chinese stories and songs in Mandarin Chinese!  The Chinese audiobooks are best suited for preschool and early elementary school-aged children.

Related: The Best Educational Apps to Learn Chinese

4. 糖果姐姐說故事

糖果姐姐說故事 free Chinese stories for kids

App: 糖果姐姐說故事 on iTunes and Google Play

糖果姐姐說故事 (Candy Sister Telling Stories) is an app with narrated Bible stories as well as other stories.  The narrator’s voice is pleasant and easy to understand, but the content may be more suitable for elementary school kids and up. 

5. 咔哒故事-儿童睡前故事大全

Educational Chinese apps for children learning Mandarin Chinese

App: 咔哒故事 on iTunes

This is one of the first apps we used when we first learned to speak Chinese.  The app features many popular stories with simplified Chinese text.  Some stories are free, while others require a subscription fee.

Websites with Free Mandarin Chinese Books for Kids

Learning Chinese Through Stories


Learning Chinese through stories is one of my favorite audio resources! Their Mandarin podcasts have 3 major proficiency levels:

  1. Novice
  2. Intermediate
  3. Advanced

Each proficiency level has sublevels of high, middle, and low.

The podcasters teach common Chinese vocabulary and idioms in the context of stories. The stories have definitions of keywords with Pinyin and English translations.

Little Fox Chinese

Little fox Chinese review free Chinese audiobooks for kids


Little Fox Chinese is a free language learning curriculum that offers 5 levels of reading practice. Level one begins with pinyin, basic words, and daily expressions and progresses to longer sentences through animated stories.  The program offers hundreds and stories and songs through their website, app, and YouTube channel.

If you’re trying to minimize screen time like our family, you can print out the books and add them to your home library!

When we first started to learn Chinese a few years ago, I wish I had known of this program!  It looks like a fantastic option for beginner learners.

Huayu World

Huayu World Free Chinese Books from Taiwain - Mandarin Chinese Audiobooks


Huayu World is a Taiwan-based website with numerous free Chinese stories for children that cover various topics, including everyday life, Chinese idioms, Chinese festivals, and fiction.

The website is entirely in traditional Chinese, and the stories have Zhuyin next to the traditional Chinese characters. When viewing the Chinese stories, you can choose to have the illustrations or the Chinese words enlarged.

Stories for Teaching Chinese

New York University StarTalk Immersion Training Program free Chinese iBooks for children


The New York University StarTalk Immersion Training Program for Teachers has several narrated and beautifully illustrated stories in Mandarin Chinese.

Native families will recognize familiar traditional folktales, such as 司马光砸缸 (Si Ma Guang Breaks a Jar).

Please note that some stories discuss relatively mature content, such as the history of opium in China.  Parents should preview the stories and consider deferring some topics for elementary school-aged children and older.

Teachers and parents may also appreciate the lesson plan breakdown and options to print the PDF files of each story or view the audiobook on iBooks.

Which free multilingual books are the best for my child?

If you’re just starting to teach your child a second language, I recommend exploring Unite for Literacy and Storybooks Canada.  In addition, beginner Chinese learners will find Little Fox Chinese a valuable resource.

As your child’s proficiency improves, gradually explore more multilingual books to encourage the minority language. This will help expand your child’s listening and reading comprehension skills, vocabulary, and grammar while cultivating more connection to the language!

For our bilingual family, Chinese audiobooks have been a big help in improving our Mandarin fluency and literacy. We used to use Ximalaya regularly until we were gifted the Luka Reading Robot for convenient Chinese narration. Learning Chinese Through Stories is my other favorite source for studying new vocabulary.

Have you read any of these multilingual books for your kids?

If there is a truly superb resource I have neglected to include here, please leave a comment below so other families can learn from it, too!

Chinese books for kids

Happy reading and learning, friends!


  1. R. Marshall says:

    I am so grateful for your list of resources. I am an ESL teacher working with two students newly arrived from China. I was having a difficult time finding resources in both English and simplified Chinese, and I am excited to share these with my students.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that these resources are helpful! Thank you for sharing them with your students, and thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with me.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this information!

  3. Elizabeth Mary says:

    Hi Betty, thanks for all the info. Just wondering if you found any further Korean language apps/websites that are helpful for beginning students. Any help appreciated!


  4. Thank you for this valuable information. I will definitely use Storybooks Canada with my students. I couldn’t find any Mandarin stories on Unite for LIteracy, am I doing something wrong? I went thru written languages and narration languages. Maybe you could let me know where to look, thank you in advance

    1. Thanks for reaching out! In the Unite for Literacy Website, check the “Narration” tab for language options. The only written language options are English and Spanish, but they have audio for many more languages including Chinese 中文. Hope that helps!

  5. Ali Moaddeli says:

    I work with young adults who become involved in the justice system. Recently I have come in contact with a 17 year old Burmese refugee boy. He is not proficient in English, and present as quite uncomfortable with the western culture. I would like to furnish him young adult books in Kerrani/Kareni. Any suggestions as to where I can purchase such books?

  6. I have another good app to introduce for you:)
    1. 喜马拉雅儿童
    It is just for child. It’s better than ximalaya app.
    2.wawayaya (爱读家)
    This app for foreign language learner to study Chinese.
    A lot of good book form sigapore.

  7. This is so inspiring..
    Thank you for sharing. We really need this for sure..

  8. SOPHIA XIANG says:

    Thank you so much for sharing.

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