Children around the world offer greetings and conversational overtures in over 125 languages.
Elaborating on the idea behind Manya Stojic’s Hello World (2002) and similar polyglot consciousness-raisers, Handicott places dozens of small figures on blank maps of each continent (even Antarctica), then introduces each speaker in a separate panel offering a friendly greeting or question. Along with sampling widely spoken languages, readers can try their tongues on “Kiaora” (Maori “Hello”), “Ti mxëë?” (“What’s your name?” in Mixe), or somewhat-longer expressions such as “Najotj’o ri nzengwats’ü” (“Pleased to meet you” in Mazahua). Lists at the end offer further short phrases for each entry, and an associated app (not available for review) supplies audio versions for help with pronunciation. This will be a necessity for just about everybody, as there are no phonetic spellings. The introductory notes about each language’s speakers and linguistic family aren't as detailed as those in Jonathan Litton’s Hello World, illustrated by L'Atelier Cartographik (2016), but there is more vocabulary, along with many more indigenous entries. Pak promotes an expansive view too, with figures that are not only not always dressed in stereotypical national costume, but even in places like Finland and Ireland are nearly all variously dark-skinned. Indeed, the legacy of colonialism seems almost entirely suppressed; a French-Canadian child and an Afrikaans-speaking child are the only obviously white figures in North America and Africa, respectively.
So many different ways to say hello or to wish someone a good day, a fine meal, or a happy birthday! (Informational picture book. 7-11)