Lockdown 2021 means I have to be a bit more relaxed about our Chinese home lesson plans and activities with my three children. I have taken the approach of letting my children read as many Chinese books as they like, whether physical copies or electronic copies. Which led to our discovery of this cute and funny series of Chinese graded readers for preschoolers, Cool Panda 酷熊猫.
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About the Cool Panda Chinese readers
Hailing from China, Cool Panda was created for children learning Chinese as a second language by MoreFunChinese. The pivotal character is of course, the adorable Cool Panda 酷熊猫. The Cool Panda series is made for primary aged children, and the topics will be very familiar to them: animals, shapes, home etc. The books are recommended for use in Confucius Institute 孔子学院, and schools learning Chinese in Georgia USA.
What we like about the Cool Panda Chinese readers
In the Level 1 Cool Panda Chinese readers, there are 40 books in total, revolving around 10 most common preschool themes:
- Numbers and colours
- Family and Clothes
- Fruits and Food
- Body Parts and Actions
- Calendar and Time
- Shapes and Positions
- Weather and Seasons
- House, Home and Daily Routines
- Chinese Culture
There are 4 books in each theme. Which means that the Chinese vocabulary words for that theme are adequately repeated throughout those 4 books. The sentences are short, one sentence per page, and that sentence is repeated throughout the book. Which reminds me very much of the Odonata preschool series Learn Sentence Structure.
The illustrations in the books are varied, ranging from cartoony Looney Tunes like graphics, to watercolour illustrations.
For additional learning, there are worksheets at the end of each book relating to the story. As the images below show, in this particular animal Chinese reader, one of the worksheets test the child’s comprehension, while the other is working on the child’s logical deduction.
My 3 year old picked up the Chinese sentence structure of each book really quickly. I would read the first two pages, and she was able to say the sentences by herself after.
The girls especially love the singalong songs that come at the end of some books. Nothing fancy there, just a simple rap-style song with barely any instrumental accompaniments which the children can pick up easily.
Where to read it
We read the entire series of the grade 1 readers on Wawayaya JoyReader Pro app, which is basically our go to app for electronic graded Chinese readers. Read our in-depth review here, and see why this is the best app for graded readers. P.s. I’m not the only one who thinks that!
With the Wawayaya JoyReader Pro app, there is a review page at the end of each reader. I love this feature as it repeats all the key Chinese vocabulary covered in that book immediately upon finishing it.
So these Chinese words are still fresh in your child’s mind, and makes for more successful retention.
You can also purchase physical copies of the Cool Panda Chinese readers on the godfather of Chinese e-commerce, Taobao, and the godmother JD.
For more information about Cool Panda, this is their official website: MoreFunChinese
What are you and your children reading at the moment? Do share!
Happy Chinese Reading!
Other Chinese readers for preschool/primary aged children to consider
Here are the other Chinese levelled readers we love in our Mandarin Homeschool.
Sage Book Readers Basic Chinese 500 – One of the most popular Chinese levelled readers for young Chinese learners.
Odonata Learn Sentence Structure Series – Great starter set for preschoolers.
Rainbow Dragon Levelled Readers – Comprehensive and interesting Chinese readers