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Must-Read Chinese Books for Your Beach Summer Vacasion!

Must-Read Chinese Books for Your Beach Summer Vacasion!

Before I know it, summer is already here! As the school year comes to a close, I find myself caught up in a whirlwind of sleepless nights, arranging summer camps for my two boys and baby girl, and scrambling to establish new routines. But now, we've reached that long-awaited moment—a few precious days for the entire family to escape to the beach! And what better way to enhance our summer getaway than bringing a collection of Chinese books that capture the essence of the season?

These stories revolve around family adventures on sandy shores, in refreshing swimming pools, and within the depths of the vast ocean. Brimming with lightheartedness and humor, these classic tales serve as both entertainment and a fantastic opportunity for children to learn Chinese vocabulary that describes the sights and activities they will encounter during their vacation. Some of these stories might even inspire you to incorporate book plots into your own exciting holiday activities.

In my family, whether we go camping, fishing, or embark on international trips, we always make it a point to bring along books that complement our chosen adventures. After all, children learn best when they can connect their learning to the "here" and "now" of their experiences.

Here are some of our favoriate summer and beach Chinese children’s books and they would be a great reading list for JoJo's summer reading challenge.  Be sure to bring along Luka, the faithful reading robot along. Luka is capable of reading all the books I have recommended below, with the exception of Little Brother Mouse Goes to the Beach.  Before packing these books into your suitcase, allow Luka to read a page or two from each one. This way, Luka can accompany you on your trip and continue reading these books offline during your vacation adventures.

夏日的一天 (xià rì de yì tiān) One Day in Summer 

夏日的一天 One Day in Summer Book Cover and Inside

By Koshiro Hata, 彭懿 (translator) 

We love this classic Japanese story about a little boy who is on a journey to catch a stag beetle. Since his brother is not home today, he has to catch the stag beetle by himself. He runs towards the mountains, across the field, and past the cow corral and finally catches the stag beetle.    

Included in the Curious George 8-Book Set 
By Margret & H.A. Rey,  (translator) 

Join everyone's favorite monkey on an adventure to the beach!  The familiar adorable art style with large pictures compliments the simple sentences on each page.  There's plenty of words related to the beach, summer, and the fun activities that go along with it.  A must read for all ages. 

阿秋的海边奇遇 (ā qiū dí hǎi biān qí yù) Chu's Day at the Beach

阿秋的海边奇遇 Chu's Day at the Beach Book Cover and Inside

By Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex, 邢培健(translator) 

Meet Chu, everyone's favorite sneezing panda bear, as he goes on a fun trip to the beach! These books' everyday language is simple enough for young Chinese beginners, while the books' humorous illustrations still hold the attention of older more advanced learners.    

小玻去度假 (xiǎo dùjià) Spot Goes On Holiday 

小玻去度假 (xiǎo bō qù dùjià) Spot Goes On Holiday Book Cover and Inside

By: Eric Hill, translated by 彭懿,杨琳琳 etc.   

 

Adorable pup Spot is going on a trip to the beach!  The simple, easy to read sentences combined with the series' famous illustrations make this perfect for young readers to get their feet wet (pun intended!) in reading Chinese!  After one read, they'll be coming back again and again for more of Spot!  

鼠小弟去海 (shǔ xiǎodì  hǎibiān) Little Brother Mouse Goes to the Beach  

鼠小弟去海边 Little Brother Mouse Goes to the Beach Book Cover and Inside

Included in the Little Brother Mouse Series Chinese books 13-22 (10-book set)

By Yoshio Nakae(Author), Noriko Ueno (Illustrator), 童立方 (translator)   

From the beloved Japanese series classic, join Little Brother Mouse and family on the beach for a funny summer trip! The amount of text on each page varies between 1 word and 4 short lines. Phrases and sentence structures are simple and repetitive, providing young children an effective, rewarding learning-to-read experience.  

7只老鼠在海 (qī zhī lǎo shǔ zài hǎi biān) 7 Little Mice at the Beach 

 7只老鼠在海边 7 Little Mice at the Beach Book cover and inside

Included in The 7 Little Mice 4-Book Set 
By Kazuo Iwamura 

In summer, the septuplets go to the beach with mom and dad. Dad can't swim and gets stuck on an island, what will they do?  

Twins, triplets, quintuplets...you'd think that would be a lot of siblings! This, however, is an even crazier story about septuplets-- seven little mice!    

The simplicity of life, the warmth of a big family, the abundance of love,  and the visual feast of mother nature portrayed in the exquisite, detailed illustrations invite young readers to spend hours pouring over the pages of Iwamura's works.  

玛蒂娜学游泳 (mǎ xué yóuyǒng) Martine Learns To Swim 

玛蒂娜学游泳 Martine Learns To Swim Book Cover and Inside

Included in the Martine Collection Preschool- 10 Chinese Children’s Books and the Martine Classic Collection- 60 Chinese Children’s Books 
By Gilbert Dehaye and Marcel Marlier   

The Martine book series has unexpectedly claimed the top spot on many boys' favorite books list, closely followed by a collection of cars and trucks books. This adorable tale of young Martine takes her to a local swimming pool.  Martine learns how to keep her eyes open underwater (and even finds a necklace!), how to swim fast by relaxing her arms and legs, and breathing rhythmically.  After all of her training, Martine is able to confidentially jump into the pool and swim like a pro! 

玛蒂娜去海边 Martine At The Beach Book Cover and Inside

Included in the Martine Classic Collection- 60 Chinese Children’s Books By Gilbert Dehaye and Marcel Marlier   

Martine visits her Uncle Francois and her cousins, and right after, they all go for a fun day at the beach!  The kids (and Martine's dog) all go play at the beach, sailing little boats and even making islands in the surf.  The group even goes fishing and catches shrimp with moustaches and a crab.  Lots of fun, sailing, and even a donkey makes this story a fun time to remember! 
 
玛蒂娜学开帆船 Martine Learns To Drive A Sailboat Book Cover and Inside
By Gilbert Dehaye and Marcel Marlier   
In this fun adventure, Martine is at a school where kids learn how to sail.  Her and "Team Dolphin" live in a log cabin together.  Coach Tony is in charge of Team Dolphin, making sure they know their boats inside and out before sailing.  Everyone learns how to safely stand in a boat and what to do if a boat tips over from sudden storms.  Martine learns how to sail in a small sailboat by herself, showing off how smart she is and how much fun it can be sailing on the water...with friends, of course! 
 
玛蒂娜坐轮船 Martine On The Cruise Ship Book Cover and Inside
Included in the Martine Classic Collection- 60 Chinese Children’s Books By Gilbert Dehaye and Marcel Marlier 
This fun and easy-to-read book features Martine visiting friends in America by taking an exciting cruise (Martine lives in Belgium).  The pages feature longer sentences perfect for helping raise comprehension levels, and they're packed full with vocabulary related to activities, food, and even the weather! 
 

像螃蟹一样爬 (xiàng pang xiè yī yàng pá) The Magic School Bus Gets Crabby 

 像螃蟹一样爬 The Magic School Bus Gets Crabby Book Cover and Inside

Included in the Magic School Bus-20 Chinese Children's Books (Level 2 Reader Bridge Book Version)

By Joanna Cole (Author), Bruce Degen (Illustrator),  蒲公英童书馆 (Translator) 

The story takes young readers on an exciting underwater adventure. Join Ms. Frizzle and her class as they embark on a field trip to the beach, where they discover a magical crab-shaped submarine. With their trusty teacher at the helm, the students dive deep into the ocean to explore marine life firsthand.

Along the way, they encounter fascinating creatures like hermit crabs, lobsters, and even a giant king crab. As they navigate the ocean's depths, the students learn about the unique characteristics and behaviors of these crustaceans.

Through vivid illustrations and engaging storytelling, the story combines science education with a thrilling underwater expedition, capturing the imagination of young readers while teaching them about the wonders of marine biology.

 

鲨鱼奇遇 (shā yú qí yù) The Magic School Bus and the Shark Adventure 

鲨鱼奇遇 The Magic School Bus and the Shark Adventure 

Included in the Magic School Bus-20 Chinese Children's Books (Level 2 Reader Bridge Book Version)

By Joanna Cole (Author), Bruce Degen (Illustrator),  蒲公英童书馆 (Translator) 

The story takes young readers on an exhilarating journey deep into the ocean alongside Ms. Frizzle and her students. This time, the  magical school bus transforms into a submarine. Their destination? The fascinating world of sharks. As they dive beneath the waves, the students encounter various shark species, such as the fierce Great White Shark and the graceful Hammerhead Shark. With Ms. Frizzle's guidance, they learn about the unique characteristics, habitats, and behaviors of these incredible creatures. 

海底探险 (hǎi dǐ tàn xiǎn) On the Ocean Floor 

 海底探险 On the Ocean Floor Book Cover and Inside

Included in the Magic School Bus-12 Chinese Children's Books

By: Joanna Cole (Author), Bruce Degen (Illustrator),  蒲公英童书馆 (Translator)

Everyone's favorite teacher, Ms. Frizzle, and her magic school bus are back with these 3 incredible journeys in the ocean.  The pages feature brilliant and detailed illustrations, and the text is jam-packed with educational facts to accompany the outrageous stories of Ms. Frizzle and her class.  Readers of all ages can sink into these pages and always will want to come back for more.  

 

蹦蹦跳跳的故事-跳跳,你能教我游泳吗? (bèng bèngtiào tiào de gùshì-tiào tiào, nǐ néng jiào wǒ yóuyǒng ma?) Tiao Tiao, Can You Teach Me Swimming? 

 蹦蹦跳跳的故事-跳跳,你能教我游泳吗 Tiao Tiao, Can You Teach Me Swimming Book Cover and Inside

Included in the Beng Beng and Tiao Tiao -12 Chinese Children's Books

By: Matthias Sodtke; translated by 陈琦 

Goofy illustrations that kids love along with simple limited text packaged in the same dimensions of a chapter book make these great bridge books to build a young Chinese learner's confidence.  Join friends Hop Hop and Jump Jump going to the beach!  Plenty of vocabulary centered around activities and friendship make this the perfect summer reading book! 

As the sun shines brightly and the waves beckon, let these books accompany young readers on a journey of discovery and delight, making this summer a memorable and enriching experience filled with the magic of Chinese storytelling.

What is your favorite Chinese book about Summer?  We'd love to hear from you in the comments! 

Happy learning, 

Christine

Co-founder, JoJo Learning

Related blog: 

100 Best Chinese Children's Books by Age - 2023

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