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There are so many Latin language books that teach grammar and vocabulary through a series of chapters in the style of a language learning textbook. Some people find this method of learning Latin boring. There’s a book called Fairy Tales in Latin: Fabulae Mirabiles by Victor Barocas. This Book teaches Latin by storytelling. One of the advantages of reading a book such as this is that you already know a lot of the content of this book because it’s based on some well known fairy tales. That takes the stress off of trying to decipher the meaning of each story and allows you to focus on the grammar. There’s also a glossary in the back, so you can look up any vocabulary words you don’t know. The only drawback of this book is that it’s not suitable for beginner students. The Book is intended for lower intermediate level Latin language students.
Mater Anserina: Poems in Latin for Children with Audio CD (Latin Edition) by Milena Minkova is another book I recommend. The book is designed for beginner level learners in Latin. The poems are written in both Latin and English, which is great because you can compare the poems in both English and Latin. There’s also an audio CD that comes with the book so that you can get a grasp on Latin pronunciation. At the bottom of each page is a list of vocabulary that goes with the poem. I especially like this feature because I’d rather look at the footnotes to find a word,then to dig through the glossary at the back of the book. It’s too much of a hassle, especially when you’re in the middle of reading something.
Another book I recommend is War with Hannibal: Authentic Latin Prose for the Beginning Student by Brian Beyer. Each page has notes on grammar and vocabulary. There is also some additional historical background, maps and excerpts from other authors to help the reader understand the topic. Additionally, the book contains good illustrations that catch your attention. The reason I like this book is because it’s a blend of a Latin language textbook and an engaging story that is suitable for second year Latin language students.
Although Puer Zingiberi Panis: et Fabulae Alterae (Latin Edition) by Harriette Taylor Treadwell is a book designed for children, it’s still useful for adults who are in the beginner stages of learning Latin. The Book allows a lot of repetition, which is good for those who want to constantly reinforce their understanding of Latin. If you like this type of learning where you learn Latin as you read stories, then you might actually like a more advanced level of Latin reading by the same author. The book is called Musici Bremae: et Fabulae Alterae, and like the Puer Zingiberi Panis, it contains lots of colorful pictures that aid the reader in comprehending the topic of the stories. Remember, there’s no shame in reading children’s books. Everybody has to start somewhere, and sometimes this means starting at the very bottom level of Latin.