A companion to Smith’s The Goodnight Book (2014) has readers saying good morning in various languages.
A little white girl dressed in yellow raincoat and boots begins with the English “Good morning,” followed by a brown-skinned boy greeting a cat with a cheery, Italian “Buongiorno.” Turn the page, and a little Japanese girl greets her kitty with “Ohayou.” All this seems ordinary until the next page reveals some less-conventional greetings, with a series of silly sounds reflecting a variety of imaginative languages pronounced by an assortment of playfully unusual creatures. “But in some far off places they say… / ‘Guden Tooka.’ ” Talking flowers and strange yet oddly familiar-looking animals will say their versions of good morning, with “Halaa,” “Mest wishes,” or “Good nuggen” all sounding slightly different from the norm. A final page shows a rising sun asking, “How do YOU say GOOD MORNING?” The cheery, painterly illustrations add to the playful tone with smiling, hairy monsters, happy rocks, or anthropomorphic rabbits or bears offering their daily greetings. Little kids often play silly sound games with their own inventive versions, and they might find this inspiring as they develop their language skills and maybe even have their ears tuned to some more traditional foreign tongues.
This book may well have some families greeting the day with a cheerful “oobie doobie,” and there’s nothing wrong with that. (Picture book. 2-4)