Babel Book Bag
The first addition to our Babel Book Bag is a wonderful introduction to the myriad of languages in the world!
Last weekend I had to buy three presents for three different birthdays in a hurry (disorganised, moi?), so I headed along to the local bookshop for a brief solo browse because where else can you guarantee to find something for a 5-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy, and a dear Nanna, at such short notice?
Having found a gorgeous book about Hygge* for Nanna to bring some warmth to her new apartment this winter, I steeled myself and headed into the children's section. I’ve been known to get lost for hours in here, but I only had 30 minutes to get in and out again with appropriate gifts so I had to focus.
Immediately I was distracted by the display of interesting map books for children, because the eldest Babel Boy is a teensy bit obsessed by maps at the moment. There are some lovely books with maps about literature and history, as well as traditional atlases aimed at younger children with all sorts of animals and interesting facts printed on them. However, my heart nearly stopped beating when I saw HELLO WORLD up on the shelf. It was love at first sight. Look at that cover!
And the inside is as full of as much joy as the cover promised. Lift the flaps (who doesn’t love these?) and you find out how to say HELLO in languages from all over the world, with facts about the languages (such as the number of speakers) and maps of each continent to pore over.
Babel Boy and I spent all evening looking at the different scripts, and we were fascinated to find French in various unexpected places as well as to discover languages we’d never heard of that are only spoken by a few thousand people on remote islands in the Pacific. It’s a book that we will enjoy together for many years I think.
At the end, there is a double page of goodbyes, and just the sheer number of ways of saying goodbye across the world is impressive - what a world we live in!
So it is without hesitation that we recommend HELLO WORLD to you and your little ones (age 5+ will probably be most interested but the Babel Girl is also intrigued at age 4). You can buy a copy of itherein our bookshop. It would, needless to say, be a wonderful present.
Bonjour, guten Tag, hola, dobri dyen, HELLO WORLD!
*it's our favourite Danish word and means a sense of cosy togetherness, like you get when you all hang out at home together and play board games by the fire on a wet autumn afternoon. Sounds lovely, eh?