Hidden Gems: Online Books in Many Languages

Here at the library, we recently learned about a website called Unite for Literacy that offers an online library of digital picture books.  The books are written in English, but you can click and have them read to you in more than twenty languages.  You can sort by language to see which ones are available in (for example) Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Tagalog, or Vietnamese.  (Just a tip– pick the language you really want, because if you check something out of curiosity it isn’t easy to go back to the list.)  Some of the books offer a video of an interpretation in American Sign Language.  The books feature bright, inviting color photographs.

It reminded me of a link on the library website to the International Children’s Digital Library.  They have a goal of making as many “outstanding” children’s books as possible available in as many languages as possible.  On this website, you can see the text of the books in different languages.  There is a mixture of older books and contemporary ones, ranging from picture books to chapter books.  Some books appear in their original languages and some are in translation.  You can search for a certain language (I found 14 books in Urdu) and search by keyword (“Pratham” brings up books by that publisher in a variety of languages spoken in India, including English).  You will also see some titles in English and Spanish from U.S. publishers like Scholastic and Penguin that you might have seen on the shelf in the library.

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