Ethiopia in Books: Children’s Books about Ethiopia
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Let’s discover the Ethiopian books that will help children love to read and learn about the culture of Ethiopia. These children’s books are often bilingual: published in a collaboration of Tingrinya, Afaan Omoro, Amharic, Somali, and English. If there is not an Ethiopian Bookstore nearby for these great books, this list will help connect people to great stories about Ethiopian culture.
Note: The books that are bilingual may exist in other combinations (if you see a Tingrinya and English combo, you might be able to find it in Afaan Omoro and English, or Amharic and English as well.)
27 Delightful Ethiopian Books for Children
This book about Ethiopia focuses on the unity of the Ethiopian people, as they do daily activities.
The True Story of Teff: Ethiopia’s Favorite Grain // Seenaa Dhugaa Xaafii, in Afaan Omoro and English, by Amlaku B. Eshetie
This Ethiopian book covers the history of teff from its ancient origins on farms near the Blue Nile, to its current use in making Ethiopian cuisine, the bread named injera.
Find the yellow flowers, green vegetables, and brown dirt that make up the Ethiopian landscape.
This Ethiopian children’s book covers the culture of Blue Nile and Lake Tana, the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, Ethiopian festivals, how Ethiopia plays a role in the Christian and Muslim faiths, and the fun that Ethiopia has.
Girls: The Daughters and Sisters of Ethiopia // Ijoolee Dubaraa, in Afaan Omoro and English, by Jane Kurtz
A book about the hobbies, habits, and insterests of Ethiopian girls. This book discusses Ethiopian women as they grow up – a relatable story in both Afaan Omoro and English.
Surprise on Lake Tana: An Ethiopian Adventure in Amharic and English, by Ellenore Angelidis and Leyla Angelidis
Ethiopian kids are on a boat on Lake Tana. Hippos appear on the trip, and they visit the ancient churches on the islands of Lake Tana. This adventure is told in Amharic and English.
This Wonderful Plant: The Story of Coffee // Biqiltuu Ajaa/ibaa!, in English and Afaan Omoro, by Jane Kurtz
This book tells the legend of the coffee plant, about a goatherder that found red berries. It goes on to discuss coffee’s important role as a plant in Ethiopia.
The Runaway Injera: An Ethiopian Fairy Tale in Ahmaric and English, by Jane Kurtz, translated by Mastewal Abera
This Ethiopian book is in Amharic and English. Injera, the famous Ethiopian bread dish, is on the run from excited Ethiopian kids in this version of “The Gingerbread Man.”
This book was illustrated by the women of the Ethiopian Banana Art Project. The plot is an Ethiopian girl hides behind items waiting to be discovered. As she hides, she sees the beautiful daily sights of her town and farm lands.
Three stories in on collection: Butterfly, Talk Talk Turtle and Too Brave
The Ethiopian New Year arrives with the blooming of the yellow Meskel flowers and the cool rains. This book covers New Year in the Ethiopian calendar.
Abebe Bikila won the 1960 Olympic marathon, and with that running became a national pastime in Ethiopia. It shows people running in the countrysides, running in the towns.
The Big Buna Bash: One Little Girl’s Story About Being Different and the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, by Sara C Arnold, illustrated by Roberta Malasomma
This book shows a girl celebrating the buna ceremony, the Ethiopia coffee-drinking tradition.
There are churches of ancient Christianity that exist in Ethiopia, as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are built into the cliffs. This book talks about this cultural element of Ethiopia.
An Ethiopian child loses his pencil in the market. The book travels through the market, to all the sold items and sights of the market, on the quest for this child to find their pencil.
This book shows the homes of Ethiopia, from the humble to the large. It shows that the most important part of the house is the family love inside.
Andromeda, Princess of Ethiopia: The Legend in The Stars in Amharic and English, by Worku L. Morat, Ellenore Angelidis, Leyla Angelidis
This book is about the mythological Andromeda, child of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia. She was sent to be attacked by a sea monster of Poseidon, but instead the hero Perseus rescued her.
An Ethiopia history book about Tekla, a Christian saint in the 13th century.
Let’s Make Kolo: How to Make Ethiopia’s Favorite Snack in Amharic and English, by Elizabeth Spor Taylor
A book about sweet and spicy kolo, a delicious Ethiopian snack. The book discusses how kolo is made.
This children’s book is set in Nechisar National Park and the Rift Valley, discussing the ecosystem and wildlife in the Rift Valley.
The Happiest Herder in the Land // Tiksituu Biyyattii Keessatti Hunda Caalaa Gammadaa Ta’e, English and Afaan Omoro, by Lizzie Iwicki
This is a traditional Ethiopian legend of how coffee came into existence. A goat herder is with his goat, tries the red berries, and magic happens.
Thirteen Months of Sunshine: Ethiopia’s Unique Calendar in Afaan Oromo and English, by Worku L. Mulat
This book about the Ethiopian calendar covers why the Ethiopian calendar has 13 months.
This book highlights Ethiopian history, present, and future. From the Ethiopian Nile, to Ethiopian coffee, to teff, the nation is intricately tied to farming. This book is in Amharic and English.
The Cheetahs of Long Distance Running in Ethiopia: Legendary Ethiopian Athletes in Amharic and English
There are cheetahs in Ethiopia, and then there are human cheetahs. This book covers Ethiopian runners who are worthy of the cheetah moniker.
The book covers Abebe Bikila, who won the first Olympic Gold medal for Africa, in 1960 for the marathon.
There’s Deratu Tulu, the Ethiopian woman who ran 2 miles in less than 2 minutes (and 6 gold medal winner).
There’s Belayneh Densamo, a world-record holder for running.
And Haile Gebreselassie, a 27-time world record holder.
Woodstoves have been the traditional source of power and nighttime lighting in Ethiopia. This can cause problems from the wood stoves producing smoke and requires the gathering of wood (a task for Ethiopian women, and one that hurts the forests of Ethiopia.) It then moves into work to bring solar power into rural villages.
Girls Grow Up: Ethiopia’s Fabulous Females //Ijoolleen Dubaraa Yommuu Guddatan in Afaan Oromo and English
This book covers the contributions of Ethiopian women. As Ethiopian girls grow up, they do amazing things. Some Ethiopians covered are Isabella Tewodros, the youngest scuba diver in the world and Yetnebersh Nigussie, a blind Ethiopian human rights lawyer.
From Ethiopian kids playing a social game, to the national pride around the Ethiopian team, the Walia Antelopes, this book covers the game of football in Ethiopia.
Can you find these Ethiopia Books on Download?
Many of these books about Ethiopia are available for download on Kindle, or are accessible on Kindle Prime unlimited.
A lot of these Ethiopian children’s books are $1.99 or $3.99 on Kindle download, or are accessible on Kindle Prime unlimited.