Foreign Language Friday: Italian Children’s Books

The purpose of Foreign Language Friday is to encourage language learners to read, share, and discover books in languages other than their native language (in my case, Italian). Feel free to borrow the image above and create your own post. Please stop by and let me know if you do!

We love everything we’ve read by Agostini Traini and Nicoletta Costa. When C was a couple years old, I decided to purchase some Italian language books directly from Libreria IBS in Italy. I was so happy to find these two titles, both published by Emme Edizioni. Tante storie means many stories… so I felt like I was really getting my money’s worth, since I had to pay overseas shipping costs and all. 🙂
La mucca Moka and La nuvola Olga are both written using only present tense verbs and very simple vocabulary. If you don’t know a word, you can definitely figure out its meaning from the illustration on the page (they are picture books, after all). The stories are sweet, clever, and a lot of fun.
One thing to keep in mind with La nuvola Olga: it is typeset in a European style cursive (see example below). This may take a little getting used to for some readers, especially if you haven’t encountered it before. Isn’t this adorable, though?

These titles are a great way to naturally expose children to the Italian language. They aren’t translations of English stories (which sometimes end up a little more awkward or complicated than the original) and they aren’t dry stories deliberately created for foreign language learning. These are books Italian children commonly read and enjoy, just as American little ones love the adventures of Harry the Dirty Dog or Corduroy. Sometimes you can find gently used copies on Amazon (both are available as of today for under $20 each) but even if you have to order them from overseas, both books are nice, sturdy hardcovers that hold up well over time.