Learning Languages

So many of PJ Library’s families are bilingual and even multilingual. Languages spoken include Hebrew, Russian, Portuguese and 25 others! Children often learn additional languages at school or at home; some become fluent, while others get just a taste. Is it worthwhile teaching your child a language if they’re unlikely to be fluent or use it later on in life? We think so!

Learning different languages helps children to develop an interest in other cultures and the world around them, plus an appreciation of children at school who perhaps don’t have English as their first language.

Even if they pick up just a little of a new language, it may build their confidence. Perhaps on holiday they can help order from the menu at restaurants and ask for directions. Perhaps they’ll meet a new friend in the park or on the beach who speaks little English, and they can practise their new languages together.

Many PJ Library families speak Hebrew, and we love to send out Israel-themed books in April in advance of Yom Haaztmaut – Israel’s Independence Day. Often, these books, as do many other PJ Library titles, contain some Hebrew words, helping children to become familiar with words and phrases from a young age.

Learning something new, no matter how in-depth or how perfect the child becomes at it, is always worthwhile. The child learns focus and learns to be open-minded, putting them on a good path as they go through school learning new topics and ways of doing things. It makes the world seem a little smaller and celebrates difference.


Language of Angels by Richard Michelson

Language of Angels tells the story of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, who wanted to make Hebrew a spoken language again.

Happy Happy by Bara Bat-Shem

Happy Happy is a lovely introduction for young children on commonly-used Hebrew words and phrases.

Good night, Laila Tov by Laurel Snyder

Good night, Laila Tov is about a family who go camping and the recurring phrase “good night, Laila tov”