I am always getting asked which are my favorite books for introducing Arabic to young children. Below are the six Arabic-English illustrated dictionaries that I have in my home that I always used with my own three girls.
And yes, I would recommend buying as many as you can since it was always nice we were able to leave them in so many rooms in the house. What is the point of having to track down a book, just so you can track down a word? The one in the kitchen got the most use, I must admit!
And of course it doesn’t hurt that each child has an Arabic Alphabet Animal poster in their room so they start and end the day looking at the Arabic alphabet. (Shameless plug 🙂
Amery, Heather. First 1000 Words in Arabic. Tulsa, OK: Usborne Publishing Ltd, 2001.
This is an introduction to 1000 common words in classical Arabic. Arranged thematically, many of the pages show an everyday scene, surrounded by pictures of objects from the scene with their Arabic names. An Arabic/English dictionary of all the words is included.
Dumont, Deborah. Hippocrene Children’s Illustrated Arabic Dictionary: English-Arabic/Arabic-English. New York: Hippocrene Books, 2001.
-Designed to be a child’s very first foreign language dictionary (5-10 years). 500 entries, each accompanied by a large illustration.
Lebanon Library Authors. MyFirst Word Book English-Arabic. Lebanon Library Publishers, 1991. -This bountiful hard cover book of words in a typical preschooler’s world contains close to 1000 words for common items in both Arabic & English. Crisp photographs and a few supplemental drawings of familiar household objects, foods, toys and clothing are neatly arranged on the spreads. Ages 4-8.
Siddiqa, Juma. My Arabic Words Book. New York: Iman Publishing, 2007.
-My Arabic Words Book presents each letter of the 28-character alphabet along with a vocabulary word, in both Arabic and English, on each page, making it the perfect introduction to the language. Delightful illustrations bring the vocabulary words to life, and there is a pronunciation guide to help with special characters.
Turhan, Sedat & Hagin Sally. Milet Picture Dictionary: English-Arabic. Chicago, IL: Milet Publishing, 2003.
-This thoroughly original dictionary features vibrant pictures that stimulate creativity as children learn to identify objects and words.
Whitesides, Barbara. Sugar comes from Arabic. Northampton, MA: Interlink Pub Group, 2009.
-No other Arabic alphabet book demystifies the letters in such a comfortable way, by introducing them in English alphabetical order of the Roman alphabet and using the spelling of English names and words as a way to learn the Arabic. Look up matching letters, follow the directions, and soon you’ll be writing your own name in Arabic!
If you’d like to see more books that teach about Arabic