Why teach your kid two languages?
In a country like India, being bilingual is not only a skill but rather a necessity. Be it because you want your kid to know his native tongue or you live in a state with a different language, learning two languages can be mandatory. And even if you have no definite reason, studies suggest that being bilingual is beneficial for babies. It increases their vocabulary, instils open-mindedness and acceptance and increases their ability to focus. Books are also the answers to how to develop personality. The best way to teach your kid multiple languages is through personal communication aka talking and reading. In India, you have numerous instruments to help you with, one of them being dual language books for children. These inexpensive and easily accessible books are available in multiple languages and are filled with vibrant illustrations. So, the next time your kid wants to read a story, hand them one book from the list below.
The Top 10 Dual-Language Books for Children
Bilingual Fairy Tales the Little Red Riding Hood – English/Hindi
This version of The Little Red Riding Hood is published by Harper Collins India. The is part of the fairy tale series that comes in both English and Hindi. The story, written by Grimm brothers, revolves around the adventure of a little girl in her red hood as she goes to her grandmother’s house. The 32 paged book is one of the best dual language books for children of all ages.
Look Up: Bilingual Picture Book – English/Hindi
Are you looking for dual language children’s books in English and Hindi? If yes, then South Asian Book Award winner Kavitha Punniyamurthi’s Look Up is a perfect choice. One of the best dual language books for children, this book is filled with bright colors and cheerful illustrations to make both the parents and children happy. You can read this to your kid or can help them read it themselves. The story is about two kids, Mimi and Gulu, who lie on a green hill and watch clouds. Watch them discover and imagine different shapes and objects that they see in the clouds.
My Best Friend – English/Hindi
My Best Friend is another one of the fantastic dual language books for children available in India. It is written by Anupa Lal and illustrated by Suvidha Mistry. The colorful and short book is best designed for preschool reading level. It is available in English and Hindi and will help you teach the basics of both this language to your little one. The story is a simple guide that shows your child what are best friends and how to know if you already have one. This is a perfect bedtime reading material.
Aana and Chena – English/Hindi
When it comes to important life lessons about confidence, Aana and Chena is the perfect dual language books for children. The book is written by Sowmya Rajendran and comes in Hindi and English. The story is about Aana the elephant, who isn’t very confident about his looks and feels down about it. But according to his friend Chena, the yam, Ana is beautiful. Learn how Aana discovers beauty in himself with the help of his friend Chena. The book is written beautifully in both languages and comes with a fantastic cover illustration that will surely catch children’s attention.
It’s My Colour!/Eta Aamar Rong! – English/Bengali
It’s My Colour or Eta Aamar Rong is one of the many bilingual books for 2nd graders written and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Nancy Raj. The book is written in English while the transaction is done by Indrani Krishnaier. The fully coloured book is a brilliant medium to teach and entertain little kids. Each page features one colour that the child finds in things around him. We see different objects squabble over who owns that particular colour. The book is a perfect mixture of whimsical art and fundamental information.
Das Din- English/Hindi
Das Din is a counting book aimed at preschoolers from the age of 1 to 3. Written by Pridhee, the book teaches your toddler the numbers both in Hindi and in English. It is a basic yet fundamental book for your preschoolers. To keep your toddler invested, the book is designed to provide the maximum interactive experience. The books are equipped with lift flaps and pull tabs that help your toddler learn while also engaging him in the best way possible.
A Gift from the Sea – English/Telugu
A Gift from the Sea is dual language children’s books in English and Telugu. The story is about a little girl called Rani who spends a day at the beach searching for the perfect gift for her grandmother. On the beach, she finds many different items lying on the sand, like a slipper, flowers and even a starfish! This is one of the best dual language books for pre-school. Teachers and Parents can read this book with the kids and find out what item Rani decided to take back to her grandmother in the end.
Baby Beboo Bear – English/ Gujarati
Deepa Balsavar’s famous Baby Beboo Bear teaches young kids the need to prevent animal cruelty. The 24 pages softcover book is written in English as well as Gujarati for parents and teachers who want to teach their children these two languages. The book tells us the story of Beboo, a black sloth bear. Beboo who lives in the jungle but his friends and family aren’t so lucky. They are caught by humans and made to dance for their entertainment. The book features photographs that accurately capture the plight of these poor wild animals. This book will teach your kids to have compassion for both domestic and animals as they too have feelings.
Meri Bindi – English/Hindi
Meri Bindi is one of the popular dual language books for children. It is written by Anu Anand and is aimed at kids from the age of 3-5. This entertaining short story is written in both English and Hindi. It features two girls Noor and Neel as tiger friend Moochhar Singh takes them on a journey through a colorful world where everyone is wearing bindis in numerous shapes and sizes. The Hindi words come with English translation as well as direction on how to pronounce them, making it an ideal medium to learn the vernacular.
Balu’s basket – English/Hindi
Balu’s Basket is a children’s book that is aimed for the kids in preschool to nursery reading level. The story is written in both Hindi and in English. It features a curious child Balu who comes across a basket. Find out what is in the basket and what Balu does with it. The book is filled with colorful and interesting illustrations that are sure to make your child reach for this multiple times.
It has been evident through research that knowing multiple languages increases the cognitive abilities of your child, making them be more creative and flexible. Being bilingual also gives them an edge during education and employment as it is a highly coveted skill in the current globalized world. So, what are you waiting for? Get them an interesting bilingual book or audiobook today and watch them prosper in life. What language are you most keen to teach your child?