Engaging children with literature in their home language
For non-English speaking parents living in Ireland, reading to their children in their home language might be a challenge because children may be more drawn towards culture-specific characters they are already familiar with through school and their peers. However, with some commitment to the goal and the right choice of book for your child, parents can increase exposure to literature in their home language and get children to enjoy it.
One effective way to get children interested in either reading or being read to in their home language is for them to connect with the main character of a story. It is even better if the character reappears in a series of books.
Below is a list of recommended book series in Romanian, Lithuanian, Spanish and Italian (the latest language addition!) that you can find at Luminita Books, an Irish based shop specialising in children’s literature in home languages.
Tup by Alex Donovici
A four series book, top-rated in Romania, about the adventures of a small bird that was born without wings, called Tup. The books show children the value of courage, friendship, tolerance, family and love.
Recommended for ages 3-6
Los Futbolísimos by Roberto Santiago
The series stars a group of 11-year-old boys and girls. They go to school together, play soccer at the Soto Alto Fútbol Club and have made a secret pact: they will always be friends, and they will always play soccer together, whatever happens. Full of humour and adventure, the books are guaranteed to keep the interest of any pre-teenagers.
Recommended for ages 9-12
Torben Kuhlmann series
Although these are four different books, the main character is always the same adorable mouse taking different identities: Edison, Lindbergh, Armstrong, Einstein. The books are interactive, full of adventure, science facts and impressive illustrations.
Recommended for ages 7-10
Petsonas ir Findusas by Sven Nordqvis
Translated from Sweedish, Sven Nordqvist’s series is loved by millions of children around the world. The adventures of farmer Pettsons and his cheeky cat Findus are full of humour and wit. In addition, the detailed illustrations will catch the eye of even the youngest readers, making this book an excellent option for family time reading.
Recommended for ages 4-7