Please welcome my friend Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett! Her fabulous site, Miss Panda Chinese, has playful and engaging Chinese language programs for early childhood education organizations and elementary schools.
She is also the host of Playful Chinese podcast.
Her “Let’s Learn Mandarin Chinese with Miss Panda!” album has been introducing Mandarin Chinese to families that are new to the Chinese language.
We are giving away two signed books, one for each version! To enter, please go to the Rafflecopter at the bottom.
The excitement of exposing Mandarin Chinese to children has been made possible and simple with more bilingual English-Chinese picture books published in recent years. It is wonderful to see a growing number of Chinese and Chinese American authors, illustrators, and publishers proactively creating these multilingual books. They are great resources for families and teachers who want to connect kids with one of the most spoken world languages or with their heritage culture.
Many of these authors and illustrators are parents or educators with Chinese heritage and they want to pass on the richness of the Chinese language and culture to the younger generation in our growing diverse society. The books they have created are not in the textbook format but with appealing storytelling and a playful style.
In the list below I have included picture books featuring Chinese words and sounds that are published between 2020 and 2017.
Note: There are two Chinese writing systems: Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. Traditional Chinese is used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Simplified Chinese is used in China and Singapore. Many children’s books will identify which Chinese writing system they use in the book.
Picture Books with Chinese Words
First Mandarin Sounds: An Awesome Chinese Word Book (written in Simplified Chinese, Pinyin, and English) A Children’s Bilingual Book by Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, illustrated by Yu-Wen Wang
Learning while reading, playing, and listening is the key concept of First Mandarin Sounds: an awesome Chinese word book. This book guides readers to acquire essential Mandarin sounds through playful words. Words have meanings. Words build stories. Learning fun Chinese words is a step toward building early literacy in Chinese. Each word is written in English, Chinese characters, and Pinyin with online audio support. Both Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese versions are available. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
My First Book of Chinese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book of Chinese Language and Culture by Faye-Lynn Wu and Aya Padron
This is a unique Chinese word book with a beautiful touch of Chinese culture organized with the ABC structure. Each Chinese word is presented in both traditional and simplified Chinese characters as well as pinyin. The English section flows in rhyming and elaborates the meaning of the Chinese word with culture annotation. The illustration is charming. This book is a great resource to introduce the Chinese language and culture to young readers. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
My First Mandarin Words with Gordon & Li Li by Michele Wong McSween, illustrated by Nam Doan
Here you will learn counting, animals, and everyday words in English and Chinese with Gordon and Li Li. The two pandas are cousins. One is from China, and the other is from New York. They are learning each other’s language together. I first read the original three books a few years ago and found them simple enough for non-native parents to share Chinese words with young readers. English, Simplified Chinese characters, Pinyin, and a pronunciation guide are listed for each word. This new edition has all three original books in one. [picture book, ages 0 and up]
From numbers, colors, animals, clothing to food items this wordbook focuses on vocabulary building. It is arranged by thirteen groups of words that young readers will have fun identifying at home or while out and about. English, Simplified Chinese, and pinyin are displayed for each word. Audio recordings are available online. [picture book, ages 1 and up]
Here is a handy resource book for home and the classroom. There are thirty-seven topics in this picture dictionary that include words for everyday and specific real-life situations, such as going to the doctor, mobile devices, and culture just to name a few. Words are listed in English, Simplified Chinese, and Pinyin with online audio. [picture dictionary, all ages].
12 Lucky Animals: A Bilingual Baby Book by Vickie Lee, illustrated by Joey Chou
Get to know the lucky animals used for the Chinese lunar calendar! This English-Chinese bilingual board book introduces the twelve animals by order and shares each of their characteristics. The playful illustrations add joy to the reading. Is your dragon baby independent? Does your ox baby love to eat snacks? This book will surely make you smile. Animal words are in English, Simplified Chinese, and Pinyin, with a pronunciation guide. [picture book, ages 0 and up]
My First Everyday Words in Cantonese and English by Karen Yee
Chinese edition is also available.
This book is written in traditional Chinese characters with the Cantonese word and sentence structure. It’s a resource for the Cantonese language. This book has more than just vocabulary. It includes ten simple sentence patterns that go with the words listed in ten topics such as daily routines, preferences, action words, and the names of Dim Sum dishes. This book is written in English, Traditional Chinese, and Jyutping (Cantonese pronunciation guide). [picture book, ages 0 and up]
First Words – Mandarin: 100 Mandarin words to learn by Lonely Planet Kids, Andy Mansfield
It’s a word book for kids and families to prepare for their trip to Chinese speaking destinations. There are fun words kids can use to describe what they will see, where they will explore, and what they might want to eat and pack in the book with vibrant illustrations. Each word is in English, Simplified Chinese, Pinyin, and a pronunciation guide. Audio recording is available online. [picture book, ages 6 and up]
2 Signed Books of First Mandarin Sounds GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away two signed books, one for each version! To enter, please go to the Rafflecopter below.
First Mandarin Sounds an awesome word book (English, Traditional Chinese, and Pinyin version) and First Mandarin Sounds an awesome word book (English, Simplified Chinese, and Pinyin version)
Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett is the founder of Miss Panda Chinese and the host of the Playful Chinese podcast. She has taught ESL and the Chinese language to heritage and non-native speakers on four continents for over twenty years. Amanda is the Chinese language consultant for Word Party Season 4 on Netflix. She was a former executive at Warner Bros.
Her audio streaming album, “Let’s Learn Mandarin Chinese with Miss Panda!” has guided thousands of parents and kids to play in Mandarin and learn everyday Chinese. Amanda is passionate about bilingual education and cross-cultural communications. She grew up in Taiwan with parents from mainland China. She is also a parent who is raising two bilingual children. To learn more, please visit her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.