Exploring the ICDL

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Dima

Written by Safa Ameer; Arabic
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My husband (who studies Arabic) had a blast finding children's books that he could read to challenge himself, and also those with English translations included to test his skills. He read and translated this adorable little Palestinian picture book for me as my bedtime story.

The little boy in the story is watched over by his friend, Dima (Arabic for cloud). One night, Dima carries him up to the moon, where he gets to meet the moon and the stars. The moon shows him her Moon Book and explains how she goes through different phases. Lovely illustrations, and lots of fun for language students!


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Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes

Written by Manlio Argueta; English, Spanish
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I came across this work when I was looking for a book to help brush up on my rusty Spanish skills. Beautiful folk-style paintings, and side-by-side English and Spanish text made this book a winner. Magical dogs, called cadejos, live in the foothills of the El Salvadoran volcanos. They live in peace with local villagers whom they protect and care for. They are hated, however, by the local landowner who is the cruel employer of the local people. When he sends soldiers made of lead to destroy the cadejos, they seek help from the volcanos who agree to heat themselves up to melt the leaden soldiers. Both the soldiers and the evil landowner are frightened away, and the villagers and cadejos celebrate their return to peace and happiness.


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The Rocket Book

Written by Peter Newell; English, French, Hebrew, Korean, Russian
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This is fantastic older book that was originally published in English, but through the help of volunteer translators, is available in French, Hebrew, Korean and Russian. Told in rhyme and accompanied by hilarious illustrations, it tells the story of a mischievous janitor’s boy who sets off a rocket in the basement of their apartment complex, and all the craziness that ensues on each of the 20 floors as the rocket bursts through.