What does nik-nak® stand for?

nik-nak® is a trademark of the Belgian non-profit association Herkes. ‘Herkes’ is the Turkish word for ‘everyone’. We want every child, regardless of how it enters our society, to feel secure and accepted and be able to grow into an adult who uses his qualities. Any kind of multilingualism is an asset in every society. It offers an opening to knowledge and acceptance of differences and similarities. We support linguistic integration, world citizenship and living in diversity. We believe that these are beneficial to societies on a social, cultural and economic level. To offer this support, we publish innovative, illustrated books for young children and their parents, in which we combine two languages equally.

Where does the idea stem from?

The idea of making bilingual books rose from the experience of reading to children in families with a different mother-tongue in Antwerp. Discovering books is fun for children and enhances their linguistic skills. Books also make children curious and incite their imagination. Many parents with a different tongue feel unable to read to their children in a language they do not master (yet). Nik-nak booklets offer the opportunity to take up their role as a reader and bridge from their mother tongue to Dutch.

In the classroom or with other groups

Nik-nak® booklets can be used in any multicultural or multilingual children’s group. You can tell the story, read the book in Dutch and start your conversation with the children. You can also launch activities linked to the story or theme. Do we know this word in other languages? Who can help? Or you can split up in groups according to the children’s linguistic background (make a mix or unite languages). You can even invite parents. All children participate. Afterwards, children can take a booklet home. They can talk about it in their own words, parents can feel comfortable reading it in their own language. Adults become more involved, given the opportunity to support their child. And even they learn, being able to compare Dutch with their native tongue.

Take a look at our powerpoint with suggestions for activities per title on slideshare (in Dutch).

What is special about nik-nak® booklets?

  • Nik-nak® booklets present languages in an equal way .
  • The themes are contemporary and universal, so that they appeal to all young children.
  • Illustrations and lay out are closer to the real world than in most traditional children’s books. When picturing children, difference of origin is obvious
  • Content can be educational but reading pleasure and language acquisition are more important.
  • The booklets are often funny and support a positive self-image.
  • They invite children to respond and interact.