A colorful catalogue of endearments for children spans the globe and expands awareness by showing how love is universal.
Ogburn (A Dignity of Dragons, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli, 2010) turns her attention to terms of affection used for children. The author organizes the pet names first by language and then by country if necessary. “English-speaking people love their children very much.” In America, they may choose “pumpkin”; in England, it may be “poppet”; in Australia, it could be “possum.” Preschoolers will giggle at the humor inherent in these names. Animals (“hug bunny” in Finland, “bear cub” in Poland) and foods (“dumpling” in Russia, “my berry” in Ethiopia) are common. Older kids will admire the interesting script and character alphabets in Hindi (Devanagari), Arabic, Russian (Cyrillic) and Mandarin Chinese. Each term appears in English, in its original language and with a phonetic pronunciation to enable all ages to participate in the fun. There is a lot of information in this slim book, and Raschka’s playful illustrations of people of all colors—in cheerful rainbow hues—serves to helpfully group the characters of one country or language together.
Although not a comprehensive compendium for the reference shelf, what is found within is a huge treasure sure to be utilized by educators and eagerly consumed by future citizens of the world. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 4-8)