A brief, age-appropriate introduction to eight common world languages for toddler travelers.
Following the formula established in How Hippo Says Hello and How Gator Says Good-Bye (both 2014), Samoun tackles manners with a nondidactic and international flair. Without scolding, this book and its companion title, How Tiger Says Thank You, demonstrate courtesies common to cultures all over the world. The same eight countries (France, Russia, Egypt, India, China, Japan, Argentina, and the United States) are included in each book. A phonetic pronunciation guide is provided below each word, though sometimes the transliteration is as puzzling as the actual spelling. (Readers may find themselves wondering how to pronounce “ZHA” or “TCH.”) Smiling cartoon animals show the influence of the illustrator's prior experience as a designer for Carter's baby clothes and International Greetings. Background illustrations in muted hues hint at the flavor of each country while keeping readers focused on the words in speech bubbles. Tourist sites are not identified, though well-traveled adults may recognize many of the locations (the Hermitage in Russia, Mount Fuji in Japan, the pyramids in Egypt). The travel map on the last spread is identical in each book; perhaps the animals are traveling together.
Good manners travel well in this board book for preschool linguists. (Board book. 2-4)