Reading dual-language children’s books is a great way to expose your child to Italian and improve your vocabulary. My daughter and I are enjoying the book Adriano, Il Cane di Pompei (Hadrian, the Dog of Pompeii), written by Matthew Frederick and illustrated by Leo Latti.
Adriano, Il Cane di Pompei is about a dog who lives in the ruins of Pompeii. Adriano enjoys his life in Pompeii of running around the ruins with his friends and eating cose buone da mangiare (treats) the tourists give him. One night he is awakened by the sounds of a group of robbers stealing a painting from one the rooms. Adriano investigates and unwittingly becomes a hero. To find out how, you’ll have to read the book.
My daughter enjoys the book because of the fun story and colorful pictures. While I enjoy those aspects too, I also like that it infuses history into the story by referencing things like il dio Dioniso (the god Dionysus). The introduction of the story also provides a short description of Pompeii.
By reading Adriano, Il Cane di Pompei aloud, I get to practice my pronunciation of Italian, and my daughter gets exposure to a foreign language. She can’t understand English or Italian very well right now, so she gives me a pass if I mispronounce a word. Check out the book, and explore the ancient city with the lovable cucciolo (pup). For more dual-language children’s books, check out my post on Cucu’ Mio Piccolono and Io Sono Piccola.
Below is some fun vocabulary from the book:
- dipinti: paintings
- turisti: tourists
- edificio: building
- antico: ancient
- sabbia: sand
- cane: dog
- ladro: thief
- opera d’arte: artwork
- visitatori: visitors
- cosa buona da mangiare: something good to eat / a treat