Mina Learns Chinese is a growing series by Chinese American author, Katrina Liu! We’re so grateful that she generously shared 3 of her bilingual books with our family, and we’ve continued to buy more of her books on our own! Last year, we interviewed author Katrina Liu, and our children still adore her stories!
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I’ll share details on why these bilingual books are so wonderful for children – and parents – learning Chinese.
Mina Learns Chinese Books for Children with Pinyin and English
Author: Katrina Liu
Titles and where to buy:
- I Found It!
- Mina’s Ups and Downs
- I Love My Grandpa
- Mina’s Scavenger Hunt
- Mina’s First Day of School
What age are Mina Learns Chinese books for?
These Chinese picture books are perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and Kindergartners. Kids in lower elementary school may also enjoy these stories.
Although my 6-year-old second grader is has been reading Chinese chapter books, she still enjoys reading cute and relatable picture books.
What do we love about the Mina Learns Chinese books?
Realistic stories about the author’s daughter
We need more stories with relatable, Asian protagonists! While white and animal protagonists dominate children’s literature, only 8.7% of stories feature Asian protagonists.
The Mina Learns Chinese series celebrates common childhood experiences, such as attending school, bonding with grandparents, playing games, and more.
Since these books are based on true stories, the narrative consists of regular, everyday parenting vocabulary. Mina Learns Chinese stories can help help non-fluent families learn to speak and read Chinese!
Simplified AND traditional Chinese with English + Pinyin
Each of these books are available in simplified or traditional Chinese.
In addition, the books also have Hanyu Pinyin and English.
Fluent Mandarin narration
The audio narration for each Mina Learns Chinese story is available on the author Katrina Liu’s website! This is a huge blessing for non-fluent families who need to hear fluent Mandarin Chinese!
Fluent Cantonese narration
Cantonese Mommy (Michelle Huang) has narrated 4 of these books in fluent Cantonese:
The Chinese characters are large in black, readable font. I appreciate that the author was receptive to feedback about making the Pinyin and English relatively small. The phonetic support and translation are visible for who those who need it. However, the Chinese characters stand out the most.
Photos inside Mina Learns Chinese books for kids
Here’s the inside of Mina’s Ups and Downs. For this book about emotions, the names of each feeling is highlighted in pink font for emphasis.
The following photos shows pages of Mina’s Scavenger Hunt (top) and I love my Grandpa (bottom).
Below is a peek inside “I Found It!” in English, simplified Chinese, and Pinyin.
Have you read the Mina Learns Chinese books with your children or students?
What did you think of the books, and which is your child’s favorite?
Are you reading the simplified or traditional Chinese books with your kids? And do you rely on the Pinyin and English translations, too?
We’d love to hear in the comments below!
Where to buy Chinese books for kids
If you’re wondering where to buy kids’ books, please click here for a list of the most popular online Chinese bookstores!