Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The International Children's Digital Library

The wonderful and wide-ranging Animalarium blog (specifically, this beautiful post) directed me towards the International Children's Digital Library, a site I can't believe I didn't know of. It's amazing: a repository for full digital copies of children's books from around the world, both in and out of copyright, complete with the original texts and illustrations. You can read every book they have online, and many are available in multiple languages.

Here are just a few of the books I found in my first wander round the site. From their huge Farsi holdings...


The Call of the Mountain, by Mohammadrezaa Baayraami




The Emperor of Words, by Ahmad Akbarpour


 
The frankly amazing-looking The Fable of Afsaneh,
by Mohammad Reza Yusefi and Ali Namvar

Here are a couple of pages from that...


 

From the Yiddish collection, The Golden Peacock, a collection of songs and rhymes...

 


From the ex-Yugoslav collection...


Otto the Spider, by Manuela Vladić-Maštruko (Croatian)



A Collection of Poems for Children, by Milovan Danojlić and Nikola Masniković (Serbian)

There are tonnes of great things there. From a Swedish book of fairy stories...



From a German book of Japanese fairy tales...


 
 

And from the English-language collection...


 
 
 
 

I've barely scratched the surface of the site. It has a child-oriented search system (ie by cover colour, language, reading age, type of main character), so there's a certain amount of serendipity involved in finding things. But given that there are almost 500 books in English, nearly the same number in Farsi, and even 240 in Mongolian, I'm unlikely to exhaust it quickly.

2 comments:

Laura@popdesign said...

Thanks for the mention and compliment! When I discovered the amazing digital library website I had the same reaction of disbelief. And of course, I only discovered it by accident while I was looking for pictures of Shabaviz books... I love the web because often you get rewarded for your curiosity!

jem said...

Thanks for the signpost to this site. It's amazing. I can't wait to lose myself for hours. Perhaps even better than the English books are the ones where you have to guess at the story from the images alone.