10 books to expose kids to foreign language giveaway

10 Books to Expose Kids to a Foreign Language: HUGE GIVEAWAY

The summer is a great time to expose kids to a foreign language. I received a huge box of books from Tuttle Publishing that are perfect for this and I am giving most of them away. Please see the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

What languages would your kids be interested in? Are you using any great sites, books or videos? Please share!


Teaching Kids Mandarin Chinese

Ah, Mandarin Chinese … such a struggle to learn! With four tones making one sound mean four different words, it’s a different way to view a language. The writing system is also challenging. No alphabet (though Pinyin is used to for pronunciation). Instead, one character for every word. My kids are trying to learn Chinese with varying degrees of resistance.

Still, just exposing them to a new way of looking at a language is helpful. And songs, games and picture books can perhaps get them interested in exploring Mandarin.

Is Chinese the language of the future? Probably. It certainly won’t hurt to dip a toe in!

We love the Follow Jade DVD series. Sadly, there are just two but here is a free clip.

I Know How to Ni-hao by Susanne Aspley, illustrated by Lucas Richards

This illustrated bi-lingual picture book still manages to pack in a lot of vocabulary words but also includes rhyming sentences. It includes with items related to school, animals, numbers, household objects, and even outer space. I love how it includes a few pages of games in the back and also a bi-lingual glossary. It’s the perfect dose of foreign language for a summer! Combine it with a video to master correct pronunciation. [picture book, for ages 2 and up]

My First Book of Chinese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Faye-Lynn Wu, illustrated by Aya Padrón

A perfect first book introduction to Chinese for any age. It combines Chinese culture with Chinese characters along with rhyming English text. There is a Chinese word in each rhyme written out in English. The Chinese character is also on the page. I think you will still have trouble pronouncing the Chinese word correctly unless you speak Chinese though. [picture book, ages 2 and up]

Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes (with audio CD) by Faye-Lynn Wu, illustrated by Kieren Dutcher

The nursery rhymes are bi-lingual and the audio CD makes it easy to hear the Chinese words. [picture book, ages 2 and up]


Related Posts:

Teach Kids Chinese Through Songs

Chinese Words are Easy!

40 Most Common Chinese Words

Teach Kids Chinese Words in a Fun and Easy Way

Learn Chinese Words and Culture Through Books

Introducing Your Kids to Chinese and Spanish

How to Pronounce Pinyin (Cheat Sheet)

Learn Chinese Words with Bingo Game


Teaching Kids Korean

My mother-in-law would love my kids to learn Korean and so far, only PickyKidPix is interested. Korean is an alphabet language much like English. Here’s a video on how to pronounce the Korean alphabet.

My First Book of Korean Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Henry J. Amen IV and Kybyong Park, illustrated by Aya Padrón

With just one book, your kids will be exposed  to Korean culture and the Korean alphabet in a rhyming beautifully illustrated picture book. [picture book, ages 2 and up]

All About Korea: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More by Ann Martin Bowler, illustrated by Soosoonam Bary

If you wanted one book to cover Korea from songs, folk tales, food, and crafts, this would be it. It’s perfect for exploring the culture of Korea. You could mine this book for months if you wanted to do an in-depth unit on Korea, or treat it as a reference book and skip around. It’s the kind of book where you learn something new every time you flip through it. It won the 2012 Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award! [non-fiction picture book, ages 4 and up]

Korean Nursery Rhymes: Wild Geese, Land of Goblins and Other Favorite Songs and Rhymes (with CD) by Danielle Wright, illustrated by Helen Acraman

Songs are a very effective way to expose kids to a language. The repetition needed to remember new foreign words is quite palatable through catchy tumes and nursery rhymes! These are the nursery rhymes and songs that Korean kids grow up with; their “Mother Goose” if you may. [picture book with CD, ages 1 and up]


Teaching Kids Japanese

Japanese is actually not so different from Spanish in terms of pronunciation. Like Spanish, it’s consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel. There is a basic “alphabet” called Hiragana of 47 letters that are used to make words and to show how characters are pronounced.

Then, there is Katakana which is another alphabet of about 50 letters used to spell out and pronounce foreign words.

Finally, Japanese borrows Chinese characters in which each character means a word which the Japanese call Kanji. Like Chinese, each character means one word. The pronunciation is totally different from Chinese though.

Here’s a video on how to pronounce Hiragana.

My First Book of Japanese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Michelle Haney Brown, illustrated by Aya Padrón

With ABC rhymes, this picture book is perfect for introducing preschool aged kids to the Japanese language but because Kanji and Hiragana are included, it also works perfectly for older kids trying to learn Japanese. [picture book, ages 2 and up]

My First Japanese Kanji Book: Learning Kanji the fun and easy way by Anna Sato and Eriko Sato

Want to learn to write Japanese Kanji characters? You can write in this book or just read the bi-lingual poems. It’s an illustrated picture book AND a workbook, all nicely hard-bound. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

My Awesome Japan Adventure: A Diary About the Best 4 Months Ever by Rebecca Otawa

There is a two page introduction to the Japanese writing system which includes two “alphabets” (Katakana and Hiragana) and characters called Kanji which are the same as Chinese characters. There are also some common greetings in Japanese written out in English. The format of book is a notebook graphic novel that mainly focuses on Japanese culture. This would be a really fun way to learn about Japan. [notebook style graphic novel for ages 6 and up]


Related Posts:

Bi-Lingual Japanese English Books for Kids


Teaching Kids Spanish

I Know How to Hola by Suzanne Aspey, illustrated by Lucas Richards

This is the same book as I Know How to Ni-hao but in Spanish. We will use both to compare and contrast. [picture book, for ages 2 and up]

I found a great site by a native speaker to teach kids Spanish called Spanish Bookworld. The language videos are organized by topic and are free!

Related posts:

Learn Spanish Through Songs

Simon Says in Spanish

Introducing Your Kids to Chinese and Spanish

Spanish Songs CD



Huge Giveaway of Books to Expose Kids to a Foreign Language

Please indicate which language package you are interested in. Feel free to pick your first, second and third choice.

Package 1: Exposing Kids to Korean Language and Culture

books to expose kids to foreign language giveaway

Package 2: Exposing Kids to Japanese Language and Culture

books to expose kids to foreign language giveaway

Package 3: Teaching Kids to Write Japanese

books to expose kids to foreign language giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

10 books to expose kids to foreign language giveaway

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay the postage and handling for my giveaways.

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Teaching Kids Spanish on Pinterest.

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Teaching Kids Chinese on Pinterest.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Cathy

    Great choices on learning the Korean language. I’m unfamiliar with the Japanese language books so they’re now on my list to check out!

  2. Valerie

    I’d like Package 3 – Writing Japanese. 2nd choice is Package 2 and 3rd choice is Package 1.

  3. Kaymee

    I have been wanting to get into different languages with my kids but haven’t found the right program yet. These books look like a great start! I’d choose Korean then Spanish then Chinese! Thanks for the great posts! I love your book lists

  4. What very important post and a great list of great books and sites. With so many cultures, I think it is so important for children to e introduced to other languages. And, they are also great for adopted Asian or Latino childen. I had fun with Jade’s blog. I studied Spanish and Russan. When learning Russian in college, my professor wouldn’t let us use books unil the second quarter. We had to listen and learn. And, I found it so helpful, It gives you a great understanding of how children learn language. I’ve always been a proponent of teaching kids at a young age.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn JohnsonMy Profile

    • Hi Patricia,
      I like the listen and learn approach too! I think it’s much harder to learn to converse if the foreign language curriculum is too heavily textbook and grammar based. I like learning a language the way babies learn; single words, then short phrases, then verbs incorrectly conjugated and pronouns also incorrectly used. Just trying to communicate without worrying about correct sentences helps with speaking and comprehension I think.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…10 Books to Expose Kids to a Foreign Language: HUGE GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  5. I would like package 2, then 1 and finally 3.

  6. What a great collection of resources! I am interested in packaged 3, then 2, then 1.

    Thanks for the fun giveaway!
    maryanne recently posted…Creative Summer Fun for KidsMy Profile

  7. Tara

    I would like my kids to learn Mandarin, but my son is very interested in learning to write Japanese Kanji.

  8. What a wonderful resource! We lived in Hawaii for a few years and we really enjoyed learning Japanese culture with our friends from Japan and friends with the Japanese heritage. My daughter still sings Japanese songs from time to time. Languages and cultures are wonderful for kids. Thank you for this great giveaway!

  9. Leslie N

    I would love package 2 the most then package 3. Although it is not a foreign language, I would love for my child to learn American Sign Language.

  10. Kristen

    I’d like to learn Italian.

  11. I would love for my kids to learn Spanish because we live in Southern California and we have a large spanish-speaking population. I would also be open to them learning any other language, as well!
    Erika recently posted…Almost Paradise!My Profile

  12. Jodi

    My nephews are tiny tots, so I would love packages 2, 1 than 3.

  13. Isabelle

    What a great idea, I am totally new to Asian languages and am extremely interested in sharing them with my son. I have already started with English and French. I am interested in also teaching Spanish. My preferences are either package 1 and 2, with 1 being the first….

  14. Sally

    These are great books, and are just the level my students love. In order, I’d choose 3,1,2.
    Thanks for doing this!

  15. Wonderful giveaway! I’d love to win Package 2, then 3, and finally 1.

    We’ve started reading to our toddler in French, Spanish and Italian but there aren’t many formal classes for children under three here in Sydney, which I think is unfortunate.
    Stephanie recently posted…Summer Reading Giveaway!My Profile

  16. Genevieve

    I would like my daughter to learn Spanish, Russian or German!

  17. Kim

    I don’t really care all that much which language(s) my kids choose, as long as they enjoy it. My husband and I have both studied multiple languages, so we won’t be surprised if the kids follow in our footsteps. If I had to choose, in order it’d be 3,2,1. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Jennifer

    My son has asked to learn Japanese so he can communicate better with his grandmother.

  19. Liz

    My son has been so interested in Japanese, package 2 or 3.

  20. Nancy

    I am interested in packaged 3, then 2, then 1. I would like my kid to learn Spanish!

  21. Ready For Spanish has a great cd that teaches Spanish to kids. I tried to post a link but i couldn’t, so i put the link as my website. Search for it on amazon it’s Ready For Spanish presents Ready For Radio & it’s Also on ITunes. It’s great, kids love it!!!

  22. kateposeyphd

    What a wonderful blog post! Books for young readers that expose them to foreign languages are so important, and I am especially interested in translated children’s literature that provides readers with glimpses into other cultures.

    I would be most interested in packages 2, 1, and 3. They all look like they would provide a rich and rewarding experience for a reader.

    Thank you for all these wonderful resources!
    kateposeyphd recently posted…The Stuff of Dreams: Dream Boy Interview with Madelyn Rosenberg & Giveaway!My Profile

  23. Erin

    Love these!!! I’m interested in #2, #1, #3. I would love to do Spanish too! I teach in a high Hispanic population.

  24. Nicole Flynn

    Package 2 would be my first choice, followed by 3 and then package 1. My children have Japanese and German ancestry. So those are 2 languages I owe love for them to learn.

  25. Stephanie Shipley

    My first choice is package 3. I would love for my son and I to learn to speak and write some Japanese. Package 2 would be my second choice and package 1 my 3rd choice. I have wanted to learn another language for a while and I want to raise my son to be multicultural and learn other languages.

  26. Debby Chandler

    I would like my grandchildren to learn Spanish.

  27. Cindy Ray

    I like package 2 than 3 and then 1. They are all truly wonderful packages though 🙂

  28. Emily

    I would like for my son to learn french.

  29. Erika R

    I’d love to expose my godson to new languages.

  30. #2, #1, then #3…really any of them would be great
    Heidi Zapolski recently posted…Simple Glazed DonutsMy Profile

  31. Vanessa C

    My three choices go package 2, 1, and 3. Great giveaway. Thanks!

  32. Catherine Ami

    I love that Japanese video for introducing sounds!!! I could have used that when learning hiragana.

  33. Tina Ernspiker

    You could also move to Mexico 🙂
    Tina Ernspiker recently posted…Monday is Cleaning Day!My Profile

  34. This is an awesome giveaway, thanks for sharing via Mommy Monday.
    I’d love to learn Korean. I know a few phrases in Korean, I’d like to know more and teaching my kids would be a bonus.
    I NEED to teach my kids spanish, it’s sad, I’m not fluent, which means they aren’t either.
    Mrs.AOK recently posted…Introducing a NEW Summer Series: The Catcher in the BookMy Profile

  35. Aleece Michalak

    This is a great giveaway. I am interested in package 3, then 1, then 2. It’s good to know there are a lot of resources out there for all ages.

  36. Michele Amos

    I’m hoping to teach my kids Latin this year.

  37. Lisa

    I would like to encourage my niece to develop a love of learning early on and learn about her Chinese heritage.

  38. Sarah Cieslar

    I would love any of the books as I would like to donate them to refugee projects for kids on the Thai / Myanmar border. Any donation would be much appreciated. There are many organizations in which these can be donated. I often travel myself to visit villages along the border and it’s always nice to have something to take for the kids. I could also donate them to teachers who works with these kids to use in the classroom.

    Thank you.

  39. Kayla Britt

    I would love to win Package 2, then 3, then 1. I would love for my children to be exposed to Japanese.

  40. Naomie

    I want my kids to learn French, since this is where I’m from and I’m fluent in it. I just need a little help teaching them.

  41. What a fantastic post and list of resources. Exposing your kids to other cultures and languages is paramount. This world must seem very closed to people who do not. Can you imagine? The world is so rich, how could you not want to embrace it?

    Thanks for this.
    Lisa Nelson recently posted…Helping Elderly Family Members During Their Time of Need with GiveForwardMy Profile

  42. Lee Mckoen

    My daughter Is a 3rd grade teacher and i would choose french!

  43. Elaine Isaacs

    Thank you for this giveaway. I think it’s important for everyone in the world to learn basic words, like. Help, Doctors, Taxi, Bathroom, Police and many more. If anyone comes up to you, you will be able to understand them, Or no matter where we are we can ask for help. So any book would be great. Thank you for the giveaway.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge