Sixteen animals from 15 different countries around the globe say hello in their native languages.
Each country is named on the page and represented by an animal. A sign hanging from a tree branch near a lynx reads “Romania,” while the “Netherlands” is written on a poster decorating a rabbit’s cozy living room. Some of the countries are represented by their national animal. A Russian brown bear, dressed in a muffler, hat, and warm boots, plays with matryoshka dolls, and the giant panda in China sits amid bamboo, eating with chopsticks from a bowl. Most of the pages feature iconic symbols associated with that country: The Italian wolf sits before a meal of pizza, spaghetti, and gelato, saying, “Ciao,” for instance. Each boldface greeting is followed by its pronunciation spelled out in parentheses. Reflecting global realities, some languages are used more than once: The beaver in Canada, rooster in France, and the lemur in Madagascar all say, “Bonjour.” At the same time, the moose in Canada says, “Hello,” and the bilingual lemur greets readers in Malagasy as well. The last double-page spread identifies each animal by species and language but not by country, so some flipping back and forth is necessary. Illustrations are colorful and vivid, but the animals can be difficult to recognize due to the stylization of their depictions.
This book has a lot going on, but a little work is necessary to take it all in. (Picture book. 1-3)