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Bilingual African Children's Picture Books

Bilingual African Children's Picture Books

At Our Ancestories, we love curating book African children's book lists. From Kenyan storybooksbooks on African heroesour favorite picture books on African culture and history; to books from each African country, we have created several lists. 

In this post, we decided to go in a different direction by highlighting bilingual African children's books. Africa is the most linguistically diverse continent in the world, with an estimated 2,000 languages spoken. Learning African languages can be a fun thing to do with your little ones.

Here are some of our recommendations for Bilingual African Children's Picture Books.  

English - Arabic  

My Face Book

My Face Book is a delightful board book for encouraging social-emotional development in babies and toddlers. 

 Babies love looking at other babies and these charming baby faces. The babies are smiling, frowning, laughing, being silly or serious are sure to captivate and delight toddlers and babies. Children will enjoy looking at this book repeatedly. Self-expression has never been more adorable!

Recommended Age: 1 - 3 years 

I Love to Help

I love to help is perfect for kids studying English or Arabic as their second language.

Jimmy the little bunny goes to the beach with his family. There he learns about the importance of helping others. When Jimmy’s sandcastle is destroyed by the wave, they work together to build the bigger and better one. Everything works out better when we help each other.

Recommended Age: 3 - 9 years

 

English - Igbo

Happy Within

Happy Within is a children's book that will help children from around the world learn, appreciate self-love and embrace diversity. 


The message of the book is to help provide children with the support and confidence to be happy with themselves and within their own skin. No matter where in the world they are from, whether the race, the background, etc. The book includes a diverse range of characters with the message that we should all love ourselves and support one another to be the best we can be.

It is a positive children's book teaching them to be proud of themselves, proud of who they are and of their uniqueness. Teaching that happiness is not dependent on others and starts with loving yourself. Only through self-love and believing in oneself it is possible to be happy within.

The bilingual versions of this book are to help children/parents learn another language together. Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, Yoruba, Japanese, Turkish & Igbo editions have been published

Recommended Age: 2 - 7 years

My Beautiful Igbo Book

My Beautiful Igbo Book is a vividly illustrated Igbo Children's and beginner language book. Have you ever wanted to teach your kids Igbo? Well, now you can with My Beautiful Igbo Children's Book!

The first of its kind – a fantastic resource for learning the Igbo language with vibrant illustrations! My Beautiful Igbo Book Children's Book is filled with eye-catching and colorful illustrations and various sections including alphabets, numbers, family, cultural titbits, folktales like – Why the Tortoise has a Cracked Shell and more!

This book is a must for every Igbo family that wants children to learn Igbo and understand some of our Igbo traditions. This book is primarily designed for Igbo language beginners. It can also serve as a useful refresher for parents and adults.

Recommended ages: All Ages  

ABChD Igbo Board Book

ABChD Igbo Board Book is a vibrant representation of the Igbo alphabets with an illustration associated with each letter. The illustrations will help the readers (all ages) remember each letter. This will also help prompt parents to suggest additional examples to make the learning fun!

Recommended ages: All Ages  

English - Ndebele 

In the Savannah | Ko Egangeni

In the Savanna | Egangeni is bold, beautiful and full of engaging illustrations with the contrast background make reading this book a great adventure and an awesome way of introducing Ndebele language and its diverse sounds to your child. 

Recommended ages: 0 - 5 years  

My First Book of Shona and Ndebele Words

My First Book of Shona and Ndebele Words is will help little learners read essential first words in Shona and Ndebele, the two main native languages of Zimbabwe.

It is full of colorful illustrations and paired with simple first words for readers of all ages to learn.

Recommend Ages: 8-12 years

English - Setswana

In the Savannah | Ko nageng

In the Savannah | Ko nageng is filled with engaging and cheeky illustrations of the Savannah animals. It makes early learning of diverse languages enjoyable for all the little ones.

This book is suited for gradual introduction or full immersion into learning Setswana and is a great starting place to build stories about the African Savannah.

Recommended ages: 0 - 5 years 

At the Farm | Ko morakeng

At the Farm | Ko morakeng: Imagine travelling with your child to explore the type of animals one might find at a farm and learning their names in TWO different languages!

All this without having to step on cow poo, eewww, or leave the comfort of your home. This is a great way to seamlessly introduce your bilingual child to Setswana and English as well as the diversity of sounds that comes with pronounciation of the different animal names.

Recommended Ages: 0 - 5 years

English - Swahili

Mchesi Goes to the Market (Mcheshi Aenda Sokoni)

Mcheshi Goes to the Market (Mcheshi Aenda Sokoni) tells of story of Mcheshi who goes to the market to buy gifts for her family.

It is a fun bilingual story for young readers. 

Recommended Age: All Ages 

 

Kuku Kumi - It is all Swahili to me

Kuku Kumi - It is all Swahili to me is full of colourful African scenes and simple and vivid illustrations that will help kids discover Swahili numbers and sounds of the story.

The book introduces children to counting in Kiswahili with a helpful pronunciation guide making it a valuable educational tool to support diaspora families, homeschoolers, and those seeking to raise a bilingual or multilingual children.

Recommended Ages: 0 - 5 years.

Love is Kind: A Swahili English Bilingual Book

Love is Kind: A Swahili English Bilingual Book is an inspiring story of a delightful young owl's chaotic life in a remote, wild, corner of the Serengeti in Tanzania, East Africa.

Every year in the jungle animals gather to debate on what makes a good mate, but for Bundi the African owl when it comes to debating, she really struggles. This year, when her animal friends fight because they can't agree on whose saying is best, Bundi is left feeling scared, and wants to run and hide in a safe place to find rest.

But something special happens, amazingly she finds her voice and sings a beautiful song on how we can choose to be kind to others in our actions each day.

Recommended Ages: 0 - 10 years.

Pikipiki Moja: My Swahili Rhyme and Numbers Book

Pikipiki Moja: My Swahili Rhyme and Numbers Book: From the pikipiki moja (one motorcycle), pipi (two lollies) and the delightful kuku kumi (ten chickens), the fun word-sounds, creative rhymes and colorful African scenes create an entertaining approach to reading-out-loud that will have every child chuckling from morning to night: “pikipiki moja, pipi bili.…kuku kumi”.

This book also helps your child learn to count in Swahili. 

Recommended Ages: All Ages

Swahili Colours

Swahili Colours: Children will love the colourful photographs and wonderful word sounds in Swahili Colours.

With a simple point-and-say lay out, this delightful book builds bilingual vocabulary and language skills, especially for children from diaspora community (or anyone who wants to learn Swahili).

Recommended Ages: 0 - 18 years

 

English - Yoruba

Kaaro Tomi, Good Morning Tomi

Kaaro Tomi, Good Morning Tomi: Follows Tomi as he wishes everyone a Good Morning in this Yoruba/English bilingual picture book.

With a simple story and beautiful illustrations this is the perfect book to share with your child to introduce a different language and the concept of saying good morning. Follow along with either the Yoruba or English story.

Recommended Ages: 0 - 6 years

Taiwo and Kehinde: Our Morning Routine

Taiwo and Kehinde: Our Morning Routine: follows girl - boy Nigerian twins, Taiwo and Kehinde. They do everything together, especially in the morning.

Follow them as they brush their teeth, make their beds, and so much more full of colourful African scenes and simple and vivid illustrations that will teach kids the basics of this beautiful Nigerian language, Yoruba. 

Recommended Ages: All Ages

 

My First Yoruba Alphabets Picture Book with English Translations

My First Yoruba Alphabets Picture Book with English Translations: teaches kids the basics of Yoruba.  

The book has Yoruba Alphabets, Yoruba Words, and English Translations. 

Recommended Ages: 2 - 12 years.

Bilingual Children's Word Book English and Yoruba

Bilingual Children's Word Book English and Yoruba: contains 100 words with colorful and playful images. Great for visual learning and easy to teach children.

Words are from every day objects at home, body parts, animals, fruits, vegetables, clothes, and seasons. Student will be able to identify the objects and learn the words in English and Yoruba language

Recommended Ages: All Ages

Daddy and I

Daddy and I is a playful book celebrating the joyous times, never-ending fun and competition between a father and son.

The book features both English (rhyming) and Yoruba versions of the story.This book is perfect for any parent teaching their child Yoruba.

Recommended Ages: All Ages

 

English - Zulu 

 

My First Zulu ( isiZulu ) Alphabets Picture Book with English Translations

My First Zulu (isiZulu) Alphabets Picture Book with English Translations: teaches kids the basics of Zulu (isiZulu).  

The book has Zulu (isiZulu) Alphabets, Zulu (isiZulu) Words, and English Translations. 

Recommend Ages: 2 - 12 years

Zulu Alphabet Book for Kids: isiZulu Alphabets

Textures is about all the textures around us. This innovative board book will take your kids on an African safari as they learn about safari animals.

You will enjoy the tactile teaching and your kids will love the discovery in Textures.

Recommend Ages: 2-4 years.

Idia of the Benin Kingdom
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Idia of the Benin Kingdom

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Idia of the Benin Kingdom: Workbook
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Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba
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Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba

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Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba: Workbook
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Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba: Workbook

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