What is the Kada 故事 App?
Kada 故事 Book App is huge Chinese digital library app, for preschool to primary age Chinese readers. Think of it as the equivalent of Get Epic! for Simplified Chinese books. For a flat subscription fee, you have access to their entire Chinese digital library which boasts 10,000 picture books. Yap, you read that right, it has 10,000 books… (Actually if you add in the audio books which numbers 20,000, that is a whopping 30,000 books!) Wow! I doubt we can read all the books in our Mandarin Homeschooling time!
(They also offer another payment option to purchase access for any one book series in their library. More on that in the Pricing section below. )
Overall, the book selection is pretty good. It really aims to please the pickiest of young Chinese readers. I guess when you have 30,000 books in your digital library you can’t go wrong!!
As you can see from the images below, Kada 故事 App have a lot of the popular cartoon affiliated books. You want Paw Patrol in Chinese? They have it. Disney Princess? They have it. Octonauts? They have it. Kada Books quite simply, has the biggest selection of popular Simplified Chinese picture books I have seen in all the Chinese ebook apps I have tried out so far.
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About the app
The Kada book app is really easy to use. All the books are visually displayed by the book cover and title. They are also neatly organised into series. So if you want to read the Disney classic tales, you can simply find one, and the rest of the books in that series will be shown on the right side of your screen. In addition, related titles are also displayed.
Thus, reading and selecting books of your interest area is super easy.
In addition, you can also find Chinese ebooks by
- Reading age
- Topics such as
- 习惯培养 Habits
- 卡通人物 Cartoon characters
- 童话故事 Fairytales
- 国学启蒙 Chinese classic tales
- 启蒙认识 Budding Knowledge
- 科普百科 Scientific Knowledge
- 安全教育 Safety Education
- 情商培养 Relationship and Social Development
- 品格养成 Character Development
- 幼小衔接 Preschool Bridging Concepts
An insight into the books
Books are all in landscape mode. The colours are vivid and bright, as you would expect from a print copy of the book.
Look at the Snow White sample page, and you will see that some of the words are highlighted in different colours for emphasis.
The Chinese words tend to be on the smaller size.
When you start reading a book for the first time, you have the option of “Read to me”, or “Read independently”.
In our Mandarin Homeschool, I like to read to my children. However, there are times when my half-bucket Chinese 半桶水 fails 😅 (Oops!) and that’s when Mummy can click on the magical “Read to me” button for help.
The “read to me” function is great, but I just find it too passive as my children will just sit and look at the book. Not much difference from watching a YouTube storybook. And I am not sure how much of the story my children will pick up from it.
The voices for the stories are very pleasing and harmonic, which makes listening to it a breeze.
Kada 故事 app is by far the only Chinese reading app we have tried out that has a darkened reading light mode (护眼模式). I personally don’t like using this mode, as these are picture books, not chapter books. The darkened light mode just made the picture books tinted in green…So nah… I will pass on that.
Below is a video insight into a few of the Chinese books you can find on the Kada 故事 app. I have selected 4 different types of books to give you a good idea of the content and narration.
1. 灰姑娘 Disney’s Cinderella
2. 老虎 Tigers (Bilingual – Chinese/English)
3. 小房子The Little House
4. 狐假虎威 成语故事
On top of being a massive Chinese ebook digital library, Kada 故事 Books also have audio books within the app.
You can set a maximum reading time of 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 60 minutes.
For an additional cost, the Kada 故事 Books app also offer A.I lessons, as well as WeChat lessons with a native Chinese teacher online. Honestly, this is the point where it all gets a bit too overwhelming for us…
If you click on the lessons link on the app, there are videos, additional materials, and a bombardment of messages and information. I actually shut down my iPad and refused to use the app for 2 weeks, because all the advertisements were always popping up in my face!! Not to mention all the WeChat messages I got!!!
My purpose was to find a Chinese digital library for my children, so I have books in their interest area to read with them. Perhaps you will find all these additional lessons a benefit, but to me it was simply too much.
Books we liked in Kada 故事 App
We liked the Disney Princess books for Er Bao. Daobao enjoyed the Octonauts series, as well as National Geographic Kids series. Xiao Bao loved all the Guido Van Genechten illustrated books such as “Little White Fish” and the Miffy books.
Say you are looking for a specific Chinese book, what are the chances you can find it?
I typed in “dinosaurs” and the book title ”恐龙 ” brought up all the dinosaur books, fiction and non-fiction. It seems to be searching by title as well as topic.
Overall, pretty good.
All the books are in Simplified Chinese only. No pinyin. No English translation. No English language for the app.
So really, this app is strictly for native Chinese parents who can speak the language.
If you are not a Chinese native speaker, and require English language within the app, check out Ellabook. It has an English interface and similar (and in my opinion better books).
What we like about the app
As a Chinese digital library app, it has enough popular titles to engage readers of all age range, and reading ability. There are also some award winning translated books which will please picky parents too.
Freebies!!! There are plenty of free ebooks, and free audio books that you can read without paying, which are rotated weekly every Monday and Thursday. See images below for an idea of the freebies.
What we dislike about the app
A case of too much is really just too much. The Kada 故事 app has so much on the app it is constantly trying to sell you, that it ends up feeling like a pesky salesman who refuses to take his foot out of the door.
Also, it doesn’t allow for different reader profiles,
Mandarin Homeschool Recommendation
If you are looking to add some popular mainstream cartoon affiliated Chinese books to your collection, then the Kada 故事 app will do that job nicely. The book selection is huge, so you will be able to find something in that specific topic area, or a themed book for your homeschooling needs.
I would say definitely download the app for all the freebies it offers. And do your best to look pass all the pop up messages.
That said, if you are looking for quality Chinese interactive books, I recommend you try out Ellabook. The Chinese ebooks in Ellabook are really well-curated. Call me a book snob if you will. But if I had no budget constraints, those are the exact books I will purchase in print. There are some overlap in terms of book selection for Ellabook and Kada 故事 Book. My children and I personally prefer the interactive mode of Ellabook, which is absolutely dazzling and delightful to read. Read the full review here to see if it is a good fit for your family.
Now, if you want to teach your children to read, and need a systematic Chinese reader app, then your best bet is the Wawayaya JoyReader Pro app. All books are organised into reading level, so while the books aren’t the most interesting, this app is the easiest one you can use to track your child’s reading skills. Full review is available for you to read and decide if this is right for your children’s reading needs.
Subscription is required to access for the “all you can read”option. Pricing as follows:
- Three month’s access RMB$118/ AUD$27.99
- One year’s access RMB$365/AUD$84.99
- Lifetime access RMB$588/ AUD$139.99
Yes you read that right! AUD$140 for access to 10,000 Chinese ebooks and 20,000 audiobooks. So cheap!!!
Alternatively, you can also purchase individual series of books for an average of RMB$40.
For instance, Disney Princess classic tales can be purchased for RMB50 for 24 books. Please note you will need WeChat payment 微信支付 for this mode of purchase.
Other Chinese ebooks app to consider
What other Chinese ebooks app have you tried out and liked?
Please share with us!