My First Book of Hindi Words: An ABC Rhyming Book of Hindi Language and Culture

illus. by Farida Zaman. 32p. Tuttle. Aug. 2016. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9780804845625.
PreS-Gr 2—An introduction to 26 simple Hindi words arranged in the order of the English alphabet. Each word appears in Devanagari script at the top of the page, then in Roman letters, followed by a short, rhyming stanza that defines the word contextually. Each rhyme begins with the Hindi word ("A is for akaash") and then uses the English equivalent in a sentence. Both words appear in boldface. No help with pronunciation is offered, and though most words will likely not be a challenge (e.g., tara), there are trickier ones (qadam, haathi). Bright, cartoonish acrylics depict a girl and her brother. The boy rides an elephant, spins a top, and flies a kite, while the girl drinks chai, swings, and dances. Both are shown reading, celebrating Holi, and catching mangos together. The author explains in the preface that Hindi is not the only language spoken in India and that Hindi is a "living language" impacted by English, Urdu, and more. She also notes that her vocabulary selections were based on terms children in India would likely use in their everyday lives.
VERDICT A colorful book to either introduce or reinforce Hindi language lessons for the lower elementary set.

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