Etymology may not be your cup of tea but as a former translator living in a foreign country, it's something that's of interest to me, and something that I like to talk about with my children. Kalimagier, co-published by Les Editions Ricochet in France and Lazhari Labter Editions in Algeria, is a perfect way of introducing children to the evolution of languages.
Qahoua - Café
My children are bilingual (French / English) - two languages, two cultures - I believe this enriches their lives. I'm tempted to say that the whole family is trilingual because we've also invented our own "dialect", a mish-mash of both languages, "franglais".
Al-Roubaâ - Arobase
Kalimagier presents one hundred words in French and Arabic, clearly showing from which language the word originates as well as giving help on pronunciation. Quoton becomes Coton, Zarafa - Girafe, Canapé - Kanabi...
Rouement - Roulma
Of course I wouldn't be telling you about this beautiful book if you had to have a perfect grasp of French or Arabic. Kalimagier is a picture book, superbly illustrated by Marie Mahler, whose work I've mentioned before. The colours are splendid and every page is a delight, frameable in fact! It's most certainly worth the 17 Euros I spent at Christmas!
Amir al-Bahr - Amiral
This a lovely book for children and adults alike. It's clear, intelligent and richly illustrated. We all love it and I think it deserves greater recognition - hopefully it will make its way onto your bookshelves ?!
Kalimagier by Lazhari Labter, Nadia Roman and Marie Mahler