I’ve finally gotten around to reviewing the Punjabi books I was sent by the lovely Kiran.
I’m so keen on Arjun learning Punjabi from a young age. It’s a part of our heritage and I want him to be able to communicate with his great grandma and also be able to teach his children it one day (what a weird thought! – Arjun with kids!). Although he’s a little young yet, I’m always on the hunt for props and tools that’ll help me teach him as he gets older.
When I was younger I used to really dislike going to Punjabi school. I remember every Sunday my dad would have to bribe us with the prospect of langar at the end (which always worked by the way – yep always been a fatty!). He told us that one day we’d be grateful for his perseverance. He was right. It means I can communicate with my relatives when in India, with my great grandparents and the Giani (priest) at the Gurdwara, it means I can write cute Punjabi cards to my great grandparents who are always thrilled to receive something they can read, and above all, it mean I can read my paat – one of the greatest gift my father has given me was to encourage me to learn Punjabi. I take so much comfort from paat (reciting prayers) and without him I probably never would’ve had that.
Both books are full of vibrant colour and are quite fun in nature. They’re simplistic and the animations are bold and simple making it easier for children to understand.
Both books offer the English word, phonetic pronunciation and the plural pronunciation if applicable. They are more aimed at learning to speak Punjabi than to read or write.
Book 1: Have Fun with Punjabi … Introducing Mother Tongue to Children
This book (as the title says) is an introduction to the basics of Punjabi for little ones.
Counting: what I really like about this section of the book is that it actually shows you blocks coloured in to depict the number. For me, this is really important as Arjun learns to count. I recently attended a Parent Partnership meeting at Arjun’s nursery and it was so insightful – they stressed the importance of the difference between a child counting (memorising a routine) and actually understanding what the numbers mean. The book teaches you how to pronounce numbers continuously up to 30 and then in tens thereafter up to 100. The only thing I’d add to this section is the Punjabi number so children can identify and learn to read Punjabi numbers.
Food and vegetables: This is really good as I feel that once Arjun is talking, he’ll be able to relate by identifying the pictures of the vegetables with those vegetables in the kitchen encouraging him to say them.
What have we learnt so far: This section combines the top three sections outlined in to one. So the number of fruit or vegetables illustrated along with the colour of them. This is really unique in that it combines learnings and tests the plurals too as the child’s learnings progress.
Drinks: the drinks section includes basic drinks that we use on a daily basis like water, juice, milk and tea so are very relatable. Arjun is already familiar with “paani” (water) and “doodoo” (milk).
This is a great first book for learning Punjabi basics and first words. I’m looking forward to using this book as Arjun begins talking more.
Book 2: Have Fun with Punjabi … Exploring Language with Children
Family: this is great for learning relations especially as Indian family relations can be so complicated! Did you know that there is a different name for a father’s younger brother (Chacha Ji) and older brother (Thaya Ji)?! The only thing I’ll be doing is customising my version so that the picture of the daddy, grandfathers and applicable uncles have turbans so it’s more relatable for Arjun 🙂
Body: this covers the basics of body parts including the face. I’ll probably combine the pronunciation of words with pointing to the relevant part of the body as he’s probably too young to relate the picture to his own body. Hopefully this will help me teach him the Punjabi equivalent to “head shoulders knees and toes” (sir modeh goddeh pehr”)!.
Home: this section covers areas in the home for example kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. combine with first books. I often use English words to describe where things are so combining this with that will be useful in teaching Arjun areas of the home.
Animals: this section is great as his favourite thing ever are animals. I wouldn’t normally have thought to teach him animals unless we were at the zoo or farm (not that often) so this will prompt me to.
What Mummy Says to Me: this includes all the standard things a mummy would say to her baby. All of which I can relate to!
Both books are great to learn to speak Punjabi and would be brilliant combined with Punjabi spellings for when they are older to help with reading and writing first words. I’d recommend the books for a basis with Punjabi speech. Arjun’s going to have a lot of fun with them!
Although I’m aware of most words included in the book, having a physical book in front of us will help me to consciously encourage Arjun to learn Punjabi as he gets older.
You can purchase both books from here at £6.99 each.