Monday, 7 November 2016

The Hello Atlas by Ben Handicott and Kenard Pak (Wide Eyed Editions)

Ooh! Now here's something unique and different, a fantastic atlas but this time one that celebrates diversity and language right across the globe...
In "The Hello Atlas" we're exploring the world's voices - not just how to say "Hello" in many different languages and dialects, but lots of other phrases and words that show just how amazing humans are - and how amazing our ability to communicate really is.

This fascinating book builds on Wide Eyed Editions' strong catalogue of non-fiction titles, brilliantly written and illustrated by Ben Handicott and Kenard Pak.

Our amazing language journey begins fairly close to home in Europe as we see how many languages have some basic commonality, which is a fascinating fact in itself. We also learn how, historically, certain languages were spread across the globe by trade and exploration back in the days when getting anywhere meant setting sail in a creaky old ship, to cross vast oceans on journeys that would take months.

Languages of the far east, beautiful to listen to thanks to the accompanying app for this book!
As our route expands we learn that English isn't the only widely-spoken language on the planet. Spanish, Mandarin and even Portuguese are also widely spoken outside their parent territories, and we learn that of the few thousand languages left, only a relatively small percentage are widely spoken and maintained, handed down from generation to generation.

Europe - a melting pot of amazing languages and culture (who wouldn't want to remain part of that, I ask you!)
It really is a truly amazing book this and it's the first time we've seen a book that encourages us to span the globe and learn more about language. There's an accompanying app to download along with the book so that children can actually hear and learn the phrases detailed within.

An utterly fantastic idea from start to finish, and gorgeously presented as you'd expect from Wide Eyed Editions. "The Hello Atlas" is out now.