New Picture Book for Kids Published in Khmer

Cambodia Airports and the NGO Sipar, an organization that supports literacy and the publishing sector in Cambodia, jointly released a Khmer- and English-language book for toddlers about transportation Wednesday morning.

“The Picture Book on Vehicles” is part of Sipar’s first collection of books for toddlers written in both English and Khmer.

“This book accompanies kids when learning their very first words,” said Hok Sothik, director of Sipar, at a book launch ceremony at the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh.

Three thousand books were printed, of which 200 were donated to children who are patients at the hospital.

“This book will help cure sick children’s spirit,” said Dr. Nhep Angkeabos, director of the hospital.

The picture book will cost $2, and the revenue will help Sipar print more copies of the same book, according to Lucie Denoix, Sipar’s communication and fundraising officer. The book will also be included in Sipar’s mobile libraries and reading corners.

“The publishing sector is still weak in Cambodia, and the quality of books released in Khmer is underdeveloped,” said Ms. Denoix.

Other than books for toddlers, Sipar has also published stories and nonfiction books in the Khmer language, as well as translations of famous children’s books such as Antoine Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince” and Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach,” according to Huot Socheata, chief editor of Sipar.

Ms. Socheata said that Sipar would like to launch more books for toddlers next year, continue to translate and perhaps create the very first e-book in Khmer.

“We want to bring the world to Cambodian children,” she said.

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