Review Blog

Oct 25 2016

The Hello Atlas by Ben Handicott

cover image

Ill. by Kenard Pak. Wide Eyed Editions, 2016. ISBN 9781847808493
(Age: Primary) Recommended. Theme: Language; Social Atlas.This is a language atlas that can be read - but it is also linked to a child-friendly free downloadable App that 'speaks' basic phrases in each of the languages that is highlighted in the pictorial Atlas.
The book is organised by Continents, highlighting the array of languages that are spoken and gives basic information about the 'age' and features of these languages. Following this main page are picture pages with basic phrases used by each language. (Used in conjunction with the App, a child could also learn how to pronounce each phrase as well as see it written - a valuable feature for a book about language.) Even Antarctica has languages highlighted - for the researchers and scientists who are stationed there. Note: Only a small number of Aboriginal languages are highlighted in Australia, but it does mention that there are more that exist.
The text also indicates where languages are at risk of extinction and why, and also why it is good to retain an original language. For children just learning that their own language is not the only one in use in the world, this book makes a delightful resource, particularly when used in conjunction with the App (easily downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.)
Recommended (Particularly as a School Library resource for Primary Schools)
Carolyn Hull

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