by Fitsame Teferra Woldemichael 

This beautifully illustrated book of words is ideal for a child learning Amharic with both Feedel and English spellings for hundreds of items or concepts.   Like many of of Habte Books, one market for this book is Ethiopian children who have been brought up outside Ethiopia – without an Amharic speaker – who will benefit from the pronunciation of Amharic words and those children who return to Ethiopia and have to learn Amharic as a second language.  It would also be an equally useful book for Ethiopian children learning to read English.

The contents include the common words needed to establish a good vocabulary to read and write in Amharic (or English) with pages devoted to subjects such as the home, animals, colours and emotions.  The illustrations and design by Angelina Edler and Martin Poks are particularly endearing.  They have used cartoon like characters in bold colours using full page illustrations with each item clearly labelled.  There is plenty of humour and a delightful female Ethiopian character who appears on many of the 32 pages.  The last two pages include a full vocabulary in alphabetical order – useful for young students. This book is also available in other Ethiopian languages (Tigrigna and Affan Oromo) and Mein Erstes Amharisch Bildwörterbuch is available in German. 

Habte books is a multilingual children’s book publisher based in Addis Ababa established with the mission of promoting a reading culture in Ethiopia through the creation of Ethiopian characters which children can easily relate to. Habte also collects and published folktales passed down from generations to maintain Ethiopian culture in Ethiopian children both abroad and at home. Details of all their books can be found online   (contact and