International Children's Digital Library

Website review by
Karen Wirsing, Common Sense Media
International Children's Digital Library Website Poster Image
Multi-language library opens new doors for kids.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about literature from other countries and in other languages. They can see how books and stories live on through generations, and kids can improve their comprehension and increase their letter and word recognition. International Children's Digital Library is a valuable resource designed to help books live on in their native language, provide a deeper understanding of different cultures, and foster a child's knowledge of their own heritage. A specific kids' section, with book trivia, author interviews, or homework help, would help to make this children's library more inviting to kids.

Positive Messages

Fosters an interest in global awareness and different cultures. Focuses on positive messages like peace, tolerance, and reading.

Violence & Scariness

Like with any public library, books are age-rated, so some titles for older kids delve into more mature topics, such as war and disasters.

Sexy Stuff

Some books may contain sexual content. For example, Cinderella shares a kiss with her prince.


Books are age-rated, and iffy language would only crop up in books for older kids, if at all.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Books for older kids may touch on addiction or similar issues, but this isn't the focus of the library's collection.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the International Children's Digital Library is a multicultural library that features carefully selected, age-rated and age-appropriate books. includes children's books from more than 40 countries and in 55 languages. The site is easily accessible and allows users to search for books by age, country, language, length, or genre. Parents can rest easy -- the site doesn't have any interactive areas, and the nonprofit organization uses strict policies on privacy and external links to keep kids away from inappropriate content. The limited amount of required information from members isn't sold or distributed to other parties.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byFS Librarian Mom December 10, 2013

ICDL: Multicultural Literature for Everyone

This diverse collection of picture books from around the world allows children to broaden their perspectives about other cultures. The interface is very easy to... Continue reading
Adult Written bystephaniej. March 24, 2012

Awesome resource for multinational families

Great site--perhaps not the most intuitive setup, but an incredible concept and fantastic tool for multicultural-focused families. If they'd rework the int... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old March 5, 2018

Nice for bookwormers!

I like it.Friendly language includes helping and it is child friendly.

What's it about?

With a growing collection from around the world, the International Children's Library invites kids to grow their world through online reading. The library's multilingual books are age-rated and include a variety of genres (folktales, classics, nonfiction, etc.). The library also focuses on translations, offering most books in more than one language (one book is offered in 13 languages).

Is it any good?

CHILDRENSLIBRARY.ORG has been acknowledged as one of the top 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning by the American Association of School Librarians. The foundation encourages complete tolerance and acceptance of diversity and was created to offer people access to books in their native language. As more and more families relocate internationally, they no longer have access to books from their homelands. Also, language barriers flourish causing stunts to pedagogical growth. According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), "children learn best in their mother tongue." offers a wide array of prose in many languages, introducing children to mythology, poetry, plays, short stories and much more. The books are easily accessible because of the site's great search tools that are broken down into many categories.

While this online library doesn't offer the newest best-sellers, it overflows with international locales, spell-binding stories, fascinating characters, and exciting languages that provide something for everyone. It's an excellent resource for parents who want to expose their kids to diverse cultures and languages, and for families who speak more than one language.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about all the various cultures and places they read about. How is a particular culture similar to yours, and how is it different?

  • Families can also talk about where to find different books -- from brick-and-mortar libraries, to sites like, to book apps on mobile devices.

Website details

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