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10 Best Chinese Books for Beginners and Kids (Simplified & Traditional Chinese)

10 Best Chinese Books for Beginners and Kids (Simplified & Traditional Chinese)

    The Chinese language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and is also considered one of the most difficult languages in the world. Nowadays, more than 40 million foreigners around the world are learning Chinese, but due to big differences from their mother tongue in grammar and they do not understand Chinese culture, it is quite difficult to learn. In my opinion, if Chinese language beginners and foreign kids want to learn Chinese well, a good Chinese book can be as important as a good Chinese teacher. In this article, I collect the 10 most popular Chinese books among Chinese beginners and kids, including simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese books. Hope will help you study Chinese easily!

Cover Photo: Jerry Wang on

1. Chinese Made Easier Book With CD (Chinese Edition)

(Price: $67.94 + up to 2% cashback at

This book is one of the better resources for students who’ve just started learning Chinese.  The application of grammatical, linguistic, and vocabulary-related skills is crucial in language learning, and finding a way to immediately contextualize the content you've acquired while having fun doing so will really help you. Chinese Made Easier Book is such a Chinese book that focuses on using Chinese rather than studying it academically and gets you conversing in Chinese more quickly.


This simplified Chinese book worked hard at trying to make the grammar explanations as simple and clear as possible, avoiding complicated linguistic terminology. Each lesson contains an activity related to the topic, in order to get you using the content as quickly as possible. Contain the following Content:

  • Introducing Yourself;

  • The Classroom;

  • The Post Office;

  • The Market;

  • Describing;

  • Telling the Time;

  • Days&Dates;

  • Giving Directions/Address;

  • Getting Public Transport;

  • Eating Out English-Chinese Vocabulary List Chinese English Vocabulary List Hints on How to Study.

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2. Chinese Made Easy for Kids Textbook 1 (Simplified Chinese) (English and Chinese Edition)

(Price: $4.97 at

It is designed for kids/beginners to learn Chinese as a foreign language by adopting a new approach. The series comprises 4 books, each book consists of one textbook with a CD and one workbook. After completing this series, students should be able to write 100 simple Chinese characters, recognize over 500 Chinese characters and develop listening and speaking skills.


The lessons focus on daily greetings, numbers, countries, colors, transportation, animals, and body parts. Everything is accompanied by pinyin. There are photos everywhere with stories and rhyming words.

3.Easy-Peasy Chinese: Mandarin Chinese for BeginnersHardcover

(Price: $10.01 + up to 4.6% cashback at

This is a highly recommended Chinese book for Beginners beginners. With useful tips, practice exercises, and fascinating insights into Chinese culture, Easy Peasy Chinese teaches you how to read, write, and speak Mandarin Chinese step by step. The accompanying audio app covers all the vocabulary in the book, helping you perfect your pronunciation and quickly get to grips with the Mandarin tones. Aimed at children aged 8+, but of appeal to beginners of all ages, it will teach you all the words and phrases you'll need to get by in China, so you can introduce yourself, read and write numbers, and chat about the weather, food, and interests.


The book covers Pinyin, the system used to spell out Chinese characters using Roman letters, and introduces the Chinese writing system, identifying more than 200 of the most frequently used Chinese characters. Bold illustrations and photographs, and a compact, super-stylish design help make the process of learning fun and accessible.

4. New Practical Chinese Reader Vol. 1 (3rd Ed.): Textbook (English and Chinese Edition)

(Price: $36.43 + up to 2% cashback at

As the second generation of the Practical Chinese Reader series, New Practical Chinese Reader(NPCR) is a series of comprehensive Chinese teaching materials for adult students in countries other than China. The two generations together have exerted an influence in the international Chinese teaching circles for over 30 years. Its third edition centers on a few international students, telling interesting stories about their life and friendship with their Chinese friends and teachers in China. 


The revision regarding the third edition adheres to the aim of making it easier to learn for students and more convenient to use for teachers and maintains the pedagogy of the integration of structure, function, and culture , striving to develop students comprehensive use of the Chinese language, especially the ability of cross-cultural communication, through the learning of language structures, functions, and relevant cultural knowledge as well as the training in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

5. Conversational Chinese 301 (3rd ed.), Vol. 1 (3 CDs) (Chinese and English Edition)

(Price: $5.09 at

Conversational Chinese 301 is a quick textbook for foreigners who are new to Chinese. This Chinese book represents the most frequently used and the most fundamental part in Chinese through the common context in daily life, making learners grasp 301 sentences in Chinese conversation within a short period and then communicate with Chinese people with easy conversation through substitution exercise and extended exercise, all of which lays a solid foundation for further study.


The book explains grammar simply and clearly. Example sentences are easy to understand. Furthermore, there are lots of training programs. The revision part makes general summarization of previous grammar and focuses on training students' speaking skills.

6. Fundamentals of Chinese Characters First Edition

(Price: $26.36 at

This book is probably the best guide to Chinese characters that’s currently available. While it teaches the meanings of thousands of characters, it also teaches much, much more. The book aims to break down each character into its constituent elements and then build up a learner’s knowledge of the history and the deeper meanings of these characters over the course of each chapter.


Both Chinese radicals, and also the more difficult-to-teach phonetic elements are covered extensively throughout this book, with accompanying lists and reference tables. To make a learner’s life easier, the book is also broken down into broad topics, so you can easily study or review characters in a certain field. This book is also especially useful because it gives learners a way to associate characters with real-life objects or ideas, which is extremely important.

7. 500 Common Chinese Idioms : An Annotated Frequency Dictionary

(Price: $58.66 + up to 4% cashback at

500 Common Chinese Idioms is the ideal tool for all learners of Chinese. Based on large corpora of authentic language data, it presents the 500 most commonly used Chinese idioms or chengyu, along with a variety of synonyms, antonyms, and the most common structures, enabling the reader to make educated guesses about the meanings of hundreds of unfamiliar idioms.


Key features of this book include:

  • the idiom in both simplified and traditional characters

  • a literal English translation and English equivalents;

  • two suitable example sentences, plus explanations and usage notes;

  • a Pinyin index and stroke order index.

This practical dictionary is suitable both for class use and independent study and will be of interest to students and teachers of Chinese alike.

8. Integrated Chinese 4th Edition, Volume 1 Workbook (Simplified Chinese)

(Price: $38.32 + up to 2% cashback at

Integrated Chinese is an acclaimed Mandarin Chinese language course that delivers a cohesive system of print and digital resources for highly effective teaching and learning. First published in 1997 and now in its 4th Edition, Integrated Chinese has become the leading Chinese language textbook series in the United States and beyond.


The Workbook of this time-tested series has been fully revised to align with the needs of today s learners:

  • The core language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are given equal emphasis;

  • Lesson Opener checklists help students monitor their progress and self-assess;

  • Idiomatic language builds communicative competence and cultural literacy;

  • Streaming audio is provided for the listening comprehension exercises;

  • Visuals prompt students to answer in Chinese without translating from English;

  • Authentic realia presents language in context and helps develop predictive skills;

  • Pinyin and Tone exercises help build recognition of syllabic characters and progressively improve pronunciation;

  • Extra writing exercises expand recognition and production of Chinese characters;

  • Open-ended exercises help students personalize and internalize the language;

  • Interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational activities build proficiency and communication strategies while encouraging active use of language across different modes;

  • Cumulative review units test student progress after every five lessons.

9. Chinese for Kids Set 1

(Price: $25 at

Chinese for Kids Set 1 is a motivating set of first readers for children ages 3-8 who are beginning to learn Chinese. This book features:

  • 10 easy Chinese readers, every 16 pages with a simple storyline;

  • One line of text per page in pinyin with Traditional Chinese characters (Simplified variants incl.);

  • English translation at the back;

  • Bilingual Chinese-English vocabulary charts on the inside cover;

  • Access to online audio using the web address/URL in the books (stream or download).


Developed with teachers, the Spot Color Immersion Method combines simple sentences, humor, visual cues, repetition, and context in just one line of text per page to help beginners learn vocabulary. Children soon read each page by themselves until they proudly finish their first little book in Chinese, then all 10, an achievement that builds confidence and motivates them to continue learning. Kids learn the correct pronunciation by listening to the online audio by a native speaker.

10. Ni Hao 1 Chinese Language Course Student Textbook-Introductory Level

(Price: $46.20 at

Ni Hao 1 is the first level in the series and is designed for students who have no prior knowledge of the Chinese language. It is suited to upper primary or junior high school students. This level is also quite suitable for adults who have no prior knowledge of the language and are interested in learning Mandarin Chinese. Chinese characters are used extensively throughout the text and are accompanied by Pinyin, which acts as a pronunciation guide. Pinyin is gradually omitted as students become familiar with the characters and vocabulary.


Ni Hao 1 teaches pronunciation skills and introduces common characters, simple phrases, and sentence patterns that are needed for communicating in basic, practical situations. Grammatical structures are explained clearly and are accompanied by many examples of how to use them correctly. Background information on relevant cultural topics is also included to strengthen students’ understanding of the language. Ni Hao 1 introduces more than 280 words and phrases, and provides 84 characters to learn to write.

2021-08-13 20:44586