The International Children’s Digital Library, a joint project of the University of Maryland and the Internet Archive, is both worthwhile and fun. Its main goal is “to create a collection of more than 10,000 books in at least 100 languages that is freely available to children, teachers, librarians, parents, and scholars throughout the world via the Internet”; at the moment they’ve only got 23 languages, but that’s a good start, and includes Khmer and Niuean as well as the less exotic Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish, each with a large selection. I hope they’ll expand the Russian section, which at present has only five titles (just one more than Khmer), but one of those is 10 knizhek dlya detei, which contains ten separate books illustrated by A.F. Pakhomov, so that helps alleviate the drought. This splendid find is brought to you via wood s lot.


  1. OT; a fascinating, well-written article by Edward Said on classical Arabic vs. modern standard Arabic vs. the colloquial. .

  2. A wonderful resource, and not only for children: It gives me some textbooks to work on as I try to teach myself Persian, for example. Once again, hats off to the Hat.

  3. Aidan: Said is always interesting, but I’m afraid that struck me as far more about himself than about Arabic. It seemed awfully unfocused; in fact, I wonder if it was ever edited, or if it was one of those half-finished pieces authors leave behind that get published by their heirs (to the distress of the author’s shade). Anyway, thanks for passing it on — I’m glad to have read it.

  4. That’s odd: they’ve got Niuean, Tongan, and Samoan, but no Hawaiian, which you’d think would be easier to come by.

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