DOCTOR ESPERANTO AND THE LANGUAGE OF HOPE by Mara Rockliff

DOCTOR ESPERANTO AND THE LANGUAGE OF HOPE

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Leyzer Zamenhof hated war and conflict.

He lived in late-19th-century Bialystok (then part of the Russian Empire), where a diverse, distrustful population spoke many languages. He believed that a common language could bring everyone together, so he began the task of inventing that language. His first attempts were failures, lacking predictable patterns. Adjusting words that already existed worked better, especially those that had similar construction or sounds and could be put together in a logical structure. But while he was studying medicine in Moscow, his early work was destroyed. With his wife’s help, he began again, revising and refining his concepts. He signed his work “Dr. Esperanto,” his language’s word for “one who hopes.” Eventually, a large group of followers from all over the world came to love this language of peace and honor the person who created it. Rockliff recounts the events simply, focusing on insights into Leyzer’s motives and processes in the construction of Esperanto vocabulary, but much is omitted from the primary narrative. Material in the afterword more clearly explains the development of the language and further relevant details about Zamenhof, including the fact that he was a Jew. Dzierzawska’s digitally assembled pencil-and-ink illustrations complement the text and depict time and setting, also providing visual mapping of vocabulary development. The languages that Zamenhof used as a base for Esperanto are never named in the text or labeled in the illustrations, nor, frustratingly, are the Esperanto phrases translated.

Unusual and fascinating but flawed. (sources) (Picture book/biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-7636-8915-5
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2019




MORE BY MARA ROCKLIFF

ChildrenBORN TO SWING by Mara Rockliff
by Mara Rockliff
ChildrenAROUND AMERICA TO WIN THE VOTE by Mara Rockliff
by Mara Rockliff
ChildrenANYTHING BUT ORDINARY ADDIE by Mara Rockliff
by Mara Rockliff

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenWILL'S WORDS by Jane Sutcliffe
by Jane Sutcliffe
ChildrenTHE BOY WHO LOVED WORDS by Roni Schotter
by Roni Schotter
ChildrenTHE WORD COLLECTOR by Sonja Wimmer
by Sonja Wimmer
ChildrenTHE RIGHT WORD by Jen Bryant
by Jen Bryant