Dou Dou Chinese Readers 📚 豆豆书
This is an engaging and useful set of Chinese readers for very young Chinese learners who are just starting to read Chinese.
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About the Dou Dou Chinese Readers
The Dou Dou Chinese readers were created by mother and daughter, Stella Beaver and Jessica Beaver. Their motivation was to create a HSK standardised early Chinese reader so that even very young children can pick up Chinese in a fun and easy manner. You can read more about them on their official website: Dou Dou Books.
If you don’t know what HSK is… it stands for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, a standard Chinese proficiency test, analogous to the English TOEFL.
There are 10 books in this series, each one only 8 pages long. It’s nicely structured such that at the front of each book, the key Chinese vocabulary are laid out nicely, with pinyin pronunciation guide, and meaning.
Titles in this first set are:
Our personal experience with the Dou Dou Chinese Readers
Ever since we received this in the mail, 小宝 Xiao Bao has been reading them almost daily, insisting that the books stay in her bed so she is can read it every night before she goes to sleep!
To be truthful, I am not sure what the appeal is. When I questioned her, she just said she enjoys it and understands it. Fair enough. Anything that can get them reading independently is a success!
Where to purchase the Dou Dou Chinese Readers
What we liked about this book
The illustrations are simple and concise, matching with the sentence shown on the page. It may not seem obvious, but having simple and easy to understand sentences that is coherent with the pictures is an essential feature for early readers. This way, even very young readers can use the illustrations to decipher the meaning of the words.
The Chinese characters are handily selected from the HSK list, so they are some of the most commonly used Chinese words a basic learner should know.
Audio recording is also included for each book which is super helpful for families who are not fluent. You just have to scan the QR code on the back of each book to access it.
I also liked that the first page introduces the key vocabulary, along with the pinyin and meaning. I personally find it a far better way of learning Mandarin Chinese not to have pinyin along with the sentences. This way, children have to remember the Chinese characters and not the romanised pinyin.
I would recommend it for young children aged between 3 to 7.
A similar Chinese levelled reader you can consider for this age group is Odonata Learn Sentence Structure Series. It’s a great starter set for preschoolers as well.