Indonesian Books for Beginners

Indonesian Book Bilingual English Indonesian Annabell series

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Do you want to improve your Indonesian quickly? All language learners know the importance of expanding one’s vocabulary is one of the keys towards fluency. Because then by knowing a wide range of vocabulary, you’re able to express yourself in a more meaningful way using the right word to convey your thought and feeling. However, for some of us, reading a list of words on a regular basis may get boring pretty fast. Even worse, it may lessen our motivation to learn as time passes.

Reading a book is one of the best way to help language learners learn new vocabulary words and also retain those words in their memory. Language learners will be able to easily remember the meaning of the new words they learn by making association and understanding the new words from context.

We have picked several easy Indonesian books that we think are suitable for beginner Indonesians. Not only the sentence structures found in the books are simple enough for beginners to understand, but each of these books also has a parallel translation of English text next to its Indonesian text. This will definitely cut short the time needed to find the words’ meaning on dictionary. Less time searching, more time learning. Talk about efficiency!

In no particular order, here are our recommended books for Beginner Indonesian language learners:


Say if your range of vocabulary isn’t that superb yet, but reading FIRST WORDS INDONESIAN feels like too childish and unappealing to you, try to read this book instead. Not only you’ll get to learn new words and their literal meaning, you’ll also get to learn what those words mean when functioned as idioms. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

PIRURU THE NIGHTMARE EATER (English Indonesian bilingual book)

Do you want to take a break from reading Indonesian grammar book? Well, this Indonesian story book could be a good choice for you! Not only PIRURU THE NIGHTMARE EATER has a side-by-side English Indonesian bilingual text, which will cut out the unnecessary time spent for you flipping your dictionary searching for new words, this book also includes an Indonesian – English glossary at the end of the book. The glossary lists ALL words that appeared in the book in an alphabetical order. There is also a set of vocabulary exercises with answer keys, shall you want to cross check your answers!

This book is literally a dream comes true to all Indonesian language learners out there who’ve been searching endlessly for a good quality beginner Indonesian book!

If you are interested to find more books that also have similar features (vocabulary exercise activities along with answer keys, and also glossary), you’ll also love the other story books we’re gonna recommend below.

MAYUR THE GREEDY AND ARROGANT PEACOCK (English Indonesian bilingual book)

Similar to Piruru the Nightmare Eater, Mayur the Greedy and Arrogant Peacock, is one of Indonesian Animals bilingual book series available for grab! If you love the Piruru story, you’ll love this book as well. Though it uses animals as main characters, the scenarios portrayed in the book (and hence vocabulary words used) are of everyday lives. Not only you’ll learn many high frequency words from this book, you’ll also get to learn those words in appropriate context.

If you are a visual learner, the beautiful illustration you’ll find on each page certainly will make the new words you’ve just learned become even more memorable – as then you’d be able to make association of meaning of the new words you learn with the picture you see.



Keong Mas is a popular Javanese fairytale about a beautiful princess cursed into a golden snail. The story teaches the power of kindness, and is an all-time Indonesian children’s classic.

As language learners, we all probably have known and realized just because it’s a children’s book, doesn’t mean the vocabulary words used are a piece of cake! Especially from the eyes of a non native speaker.

Just like the other books we mentioned in this recommendation list, the text of this book is written in two different languages: Indonesian and English. The Indonesian sentence appears above the English sentence in a classic bilingual text style. So in a way, with the help of the English translation, language learners can count on the fact that they’ll be able to make meaning out of the sentences they read! Even if they have 0 knowledge in Indonesian.


Follow the journey of Timun Mas, a brave young lady with a mission to escape the Giant! Timun Mas is Indonesia’s popular folktale from Central Java.

The Story of Timun Mas is also a bilingual storybook that provides side-by-side text in Indonesian as well as English.

The Story of Timun Mas has been written especially for Indonesian language learners from beginner to intermediate level. This book includes key features that will support and consolidate your progress:

  • Activity pages and the answer keys
  • A glossary with nearly 200 most frequent words



Carefully curated to make learning Indonesian easy, Annabell and Her 5 Rabbits also includes a glossary with nearly 200 most frequent words that will support and consolidate your progress.

Would you like to start teaching your young ones at home Indonesian? It’s never too early to start exposing your children to a foreign language – in this case: Indonesian. You can start by reading some of the books recommended here as part of their bedtime routine as a start. Get them used to hear Indonesian words on a daily basis. The attractive pictures in these books will keep your children excited to follow along the story.

What do Annabell’s 5 pet rabbits do when Annabell is not around? Follow their adventures and unleash your imagination with this story. We can assure you that readers of all ages can enjoy this book.

Just like the other books in this list, each line in this book is translated into English directly for easy comprehension.

Would you like to see the book trailer to give you more ideas what the story line’s like?

Head over to our Beginner Indonesian Book Playlist on our Youtube channel:


In conclusion…

Now in the digital age, there is a plethora of good quality Indonesian books available online. Getting your hands on a good quality Indonesian book is no longer a problem.

Does any of the books we mentioned here catch your eyes? If so, which one is it? Or perhaps, have you gotten your hands on some of the books already? How do you like them? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comment section below! We’d love to hear from you! 🙂

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