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Willkommen! Let’s collect German resources :)


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Hallo! We are a bilingual German-English household. I am trying to teach my young children German and have collected some books and workbooks over the years. Here are my favorite resources:

YouTube - my children enjoy Janosch and Sendung mit der Maus.

Amazon.de - besides the obvious children’s books, I’ve purchased some great text-, and workbooks for learning to read, intended for German Grundschulkinder. 

Librivox - you can search by language and find all the Gebrüder Grimm fairy tales in audiobooks, for free.

What are your favorite resources?

 

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You're making me feel old because when my kids were young we didn't have streaming services and things like that weren't available on YouTube or from Amazon.de yet.  

We had a great Saturday School with a huge lending library of print, audio, and video, so I mostly got stuff there...  for summer work, I did get them workbooks off of Amazon.de.  I've noticed lately that US Amazon has been getting a lot more German books and other resources, so check there too...  I'm mostly buying for myself these days, and I can find most stuff on the US site in good used condition.  Also kindle books and audio.  But I'm not as sure about kids' books and workbooks.

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52 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

You're making me feel old because when my kids were young we didn't have streaming services and things like that weren't available on YouTube or from Amazon.de yet.  

We had a great Saturday School with a huge lending library of print, audio, and video, so I mostly got stuff there...  for summer work, I did get them workbooks off of Amazon.de.  I've noticed lately that US Amazon has been getting a lot more German books and other resources, so check there too...  I'm mostly buying for myself these days, and I can find most stuff on the US site in good used condition.  Also kindle books and audio.  But I'm not as sure about kids' books and workbooks.

Where do they sell used German books on Amazon US? I would like to get some books for myself, but the .de shipping is so costly.

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22 minutes ago, GracieJane said:

Where do they sell used German books on Amazon US? I would like to get some books for myself, but the .de shipping is so costly.

Just search for the title you want in German.  Many seem to come from a store called Momox, which I think ships from Germany, but if you order from Amazon US they still only charge $3.99 shipping. 

For example, here's Pippi Langstrumpf on Amazon US.  Free audiobook with US Audible, new hardcover is $11.16 + $3.99 shipping, but there's a used version for $4.49 plus $3.99 shipping.

Here's Emil und die Detektive, which is available in all kinds of formats - in this case for some reason a new version (8.33 + Free shipping!) is cheaper than a used one (??)

And they even have a lot of Janosch - here's one.

When my kids were young, I couldn't find anything in German on Amazon US, but now I can find almost anything I look for...  I just typed in "Grammatik" - and apparently there's a whole host of German grammar books in German as well.  Ooo - and you can get the Kunterbunt Fibel there too - that's what my kids' Saturday School used for 1st grade.

ETA: Just reread you were also looking for yourself, not just the kids.  Same thing.  I read a lot of books in German.  I sometimes have a hard time finding German authors who aren't too depressing or take themselves way too seriously, but I have found some -  I'll also read Scandinavian books translated into German.  I tend to read print books, but Amazon US now has a wide selection of German books on audio and kindle as well.

 

Edited by Matryoshka
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30 minutes ago, GracieJane said:

Thank you! You are amazing! Now I am definitely going to look for some Scandinavian authors translated into German. 🙂

I've been reading the Erlendur mysteries by Arnaldur Indriðason (from Icelandic).  There's lots of other Nordic Noir; this series isn't quite as dark as some, I don't think.  I have not been tempted yet by the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series yet, but that was in Swedish.  The Frederik Bachman books... (Man Called Ove) are lighter and also from Swedish.  Tove Jansson of Moomintroll fame wrote in Swedish, and I'm just discovering her books for adults.  Are you on Goodreads?  I have a German shelf there...  🙂   I'm about to embark upon Das achte Leben, which is a door-stopper written in German by a Georgian (the country) author that's been getting a lot of attention on recommended book lists.

Speaking of Swedish stuff translated to German - you do know Petersson und Findus?  There are books, but my kids especially loved the DVDs of that. And of course anything Astrid Lindgren, esp. Pippi.

They also loved Benjamin Blümchen and Briefe von Felix (both German) - Felix of course has the wonderful books with the letters you can take out and read, but also has movies.  Oh, and CDs with songs from Rolf Zuckowski and every Easter we'd watch his film Hasengeschichte: Ich bin stark.  I think the film can now be found on You Tube?  We had a videotape, lol.

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On 5/24/2020 at 8:52 PM, Matryoshka said:

I've been reading the Erlendur mysteries by Arnaldur Indriðason (from Icelandic).  There's lots of other Nordic Noir; this series isn't quite as dark as some, I don't think.  I have not been tempted yet by the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series yet, but that was in Swedish.  The Frederik Bachman books... (Man Called Ove) are lighter and also from Swedish.  Tove Jansson of Moomintroll fame wrote in Swedish, and I'm just discovering her books for adults.  Are you on Goodreads?  I have a German shelf there...  🙂   I'm about to embark upon Das achte Leben, which is a door-stopper written in German by a Georgian (the country) author that's been getting a lot of attention on recommended book lists.

Speaking of Swedish stuff translated to German - you do know Petersson und Findus?  There are books, but my kids especially loved the DVDs of that. And of course anything Astrid Lindgren, esp. Pippi.

They also loved Benjamin Blümchen and Briefe von Felix (both German) - Felix of course has the wonderful books with the letters you can take out and read, but also has movies.  Oh, and CDs with songs from Rolf Zuckowski and every Easter we'd watch his film Hasengeschichte: Ich bin stark.  I think the film can now be found on You Tube?  We had a videotape, lol.

I forgot about Benjamin Blümchen, thank you! I just rediscovered Babar der Elefant and I’m saving Ronja Räubertochter for when my kids are a little older.

I am so excited to find some used book options on Amazon; I just discovered that a lot of German classics (Goethe, Rilke, Wagner, etc.) can be purchased as like Oberstufen readers. 🙂 Yay!

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8 minutes ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

Ronja Räubertochter  :  Related only to this (my kids are bilingual French/English, learning German as a foreign language)- this book is so good!  We read it in English, but loved it so much more than Pippi!  

I love Ronja!  I was introduced to it by the movie (Swedish), in which I was somehow thoroughly amused that Swedes think it's completely appropriate to have a bunch of (fat, middle-aged) naked men cavorting (they are delousing in the snow) in a movie that is for young children.  Nothing is hidden, shall we say.  The Germans did not censor that part.  I don't think it's available in English?  I read the book sometime after that.  🥰

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On 5/24/2020 at 6:56 PM, GracieJane said:

Where do they sell used German books on Amazon US? I would like to get some books for myself, but the .de shipping is so costly.

How old are your kids? My youngest just turned 5 and I've been considering thinning out our bookshelves, but lacked the impetus so far (as well as not really being ready to admit that we've outgrown a lot of our preschool/toddler/baby books). PM me if you'd like to consider some used books, and I'll take some pictures. Most of the ones I would be getting rid of are probably board books, but we have an extensive collection of them. Some show wear, but are still very usable, and others show almost no wear, because we got them right as my kids were starting to move away from board books. ( I'm keeping my Stufe 1-3 readers and chapter books for my 5 and 6 year olds, who haven't learned to read in German, yet, and read alouds.)

If not (and that's totally fine), our best bet has been bookdepository. Shipping is always free, which is nice from overseas. Most of our books were brought home in suitcases though - we travelled there and just took a set of empty, nested suitcases (we travelled light, so took two suitcases of clothes for all six of us, and everyone else took empty bags) and then hit up the used bookstores in Berlin for EVERY single children's book they had!! lol. With some careful packing, every suitcase we brought home weight in at 22.5-22.9 kg, and we brought home two per person in our six person family, so an *awful* lot of books... I also found someone stateside about 5 years ahead of me in the "raising bilingual kiddos" game who sold me a bunch of used board books when my kiddos were younger.

Another resource we have found and appreciate is that Disney+ often has German tracks and subtitles available (based on availability and release dates and all of that, of course). It's hit or miss, of course, but good. We had an audible.de membership for the last decade, but there's so much available streaming now that we paused that subscription, but our audible library contains almost 200 German audiobooks.. Kindle unlimited has a good number of German books, and allows you to filter by language. We've even found some resources on Hoopla. There are German libraries that offer similar, streaming services, but I have yet to figure out a way to get access to them. Also, every Netflix original show we've looked at had German tracks. Not as good as actual German shows, most of the time, but my children absolutely adored watching Julie's Green room and The Who Was? Show in German on Netflix, and we did a lot of watching of Magic school bus returns and other original Netflix series (One strange rock, now that their older, also has German tracks, for example.)

My kids also like Sending mit dem Elefanten (for younger kids than Maus) and we bought the boxed set of Was int Was? that they enjoy watching. 

ETA: Posted too early. Sorry. Another thing that's super useful is that one of my friends has a dad who still works over there with schools, so we routinely get German school curriculum for my kids to go through. We tried the math, but preferred our Singapore, but reading, writing, and science are very easy to integrate into our homeschool as German books / workbooks. We also get some stuff from http://lehrermarktplatz.de

Edited by 4KookieKids
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36 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

Also, every Netflix original show we've looked at had German tracks. Not as good as actual German shows, most of the time, but my children absolutely adored watching Julie's Green room and The Who Was? Show in German on Netflix, and we did a lot of watching of Magic school bus returns and other original Netflix series (One strange rock, now that their older, also has German tracks, for example.)

Speaking of little kids' shows dubbed (rather than originally in) German, my kids when they were little loved Little Bear (Der kleine Bär), which we could get the German version of from the Sat. School library, but maybe you can find it streaming online somewhere (here's one on You Tube).  Oh, and speaking of Bären, they also loved Der kleine Eisbär, which is originally in German and appears at least to be on You Tube.

Until they were somewhere in the middle grades, I allowed exactly Zero recreational TV unless it was in German (or Spanish, but we mostly did German).  So they know nothing of things like the Nickelodeon and PBS kids' shows, but all about Benjamin, kleine Bär, Lars der kleine Eisbär, Felix der Hase, Pippi, and Petersson und Findus.

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47 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Speaking of little kids' shows dubbed (rather than originally in) German, my kids when they were little loved Little Bear (Der kleine Bär), which we could get the German version of from the Sat. School library, but maybe you can find it streaming online somewhere (here's one on You Tube).  Oh, and speaking of Bären, they also loved Der kleine Eisbär, which is originally in German and appears at least to be on You Tube.

Until they were somewhere in the middle grades, I allowed exactly Zero recreational TV unless it was in German (or Spanish, but we mostly did German).  So they know nothing of things like the Nickelodeon and PBS kids' shows, but all about Benjamin, kleine Bär, Lars der kleine Eisbär, Felix der Hase, Pippi, and Petersson und Findus.

 

My kids LOVE Der kleine Eisbär audiobooks (even my 10 yo -- shhh, don't tell!). They have fun voices and animal sounds and music and all. Honestly, most German audiobooks we've found are more like radio shows/dramas for kids than just a plain audiobook. They also love the Felix CDs - such fun music! When younger, my kids also loved this series: https://www.amazon.de/Die-besten-Spiel-Bewegungslieder-Mitmachen/dp/B0058MQZA4/ref=pd_lpo_74_t_0/258-4173569-8652734?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0058MQZA4&pd_rd_r=5cea528d-8564-4d66-8bbe-58a3a43c17eb&pd_rd_w=06RgC&pd_rd_wg=WwCtq&pf_rd_p=d5c9797d-0238-4119-b220-af4cc3420918&pf_rd_r=NCPCX1A6JAVGE7AMET0V&psc=1&refRID=NCPCX1A6JAVGE7AMET0V

We watched and listened to them so much that my non-German speaking husband could sing along (without a clue as to what he was singing! lol)

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I am going to start teaching my ds2 German this year.  I learned German as an adult so I'm not bi-lingual.  I feel confident enough to teach beginning to intermediate German to my son though.   I can speak ok I'm just very rusty.  I do know the grammar even if I get tripped up when I'm speaking.    Anway, I'm looking for an A1 level text geared to kids instead of adults.  Any suggestions?

I found this and am wondering about it.

https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Lisa-Co-Kursbuch-A1-1/dp/3193015598/ref=asc_df_3193015598/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=346678714779&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10945591311053518878&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010767&hvtargid=pla-456099879102&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=72499260920&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=346678714779&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10945591311053518878&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010767&hvtargid=pla-456099879102

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On 6/4/2020 at 8:52 AM, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

Ronja Räubertochter  :  Related only to this (my kids are bilingual French/English, learning German as a foreign language)- this book is so good!  We read it in English, but loved it so much more than Pippi!  

I read this book in French when we lived in France in the early nineties. A lot of the children's books in France seemed to be translated from German 🙂

 

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1 minute ago, maize said:

I read this book in French when we lived in France in the early nineties. A lot of the children's books in France seemed to be translated from German 🙂

Ah, but this one's translated from Swedish.  Swedish has some great kids' lit.  But I can't read Swedish, so I've consumed most of it in German...

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11 hours ago, maize said:

I read this book in French when we lived in France in the early nineties. A lot of the children's books in France seemed to be translated from German 🙂

 

 

Yeah, there is not nearly as strong of a children's lit tradition in French as there is in English... hard to find kid books that are originally French rather than translations.  

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