In 15th-century Korea, King Sejong was distressed. The complicated Chinese characters used for reading and writing meant only rich, educated people could read-and that was just the way they wanted it. But King Sejong thought all Koreans should be able to read and write, so he worked in secret for years to create a new Korean alphabet. King Sejong’s strong leadership and determination to bring equality to his country make his 600-year-old story as relevant as ever.
Itzel And The Ocelot
A gorgeous picture book inspired by a traditional Central American Indigenous story about a snake with the power to bring the rain, told in lyrical language and evocative art, and subtly conveying an environmental theme.
Itzel listens as her nana tells the story of when the giant snake would be awakened from its sleep: “And first with a whisper that would rustle the leaves, and then with a deep thunderous cry, the giant snake would bring the arrival of the rainy season.” But now, since many no longer believe in the snake, her nana says, “It has returned to the place where the water is born.” Now, Itzel and her nana are desperate for rain to water their bone-dry crops. So Itzel decides she must find and awaken the snake herself. She sets out in the night alone, but soon she is joined by an ocelot, and a bevy of other jungle creatures in need of the rain. And Itzel worries, is she leading them on a fruitless journey?
Pie In The Sky
Knowing very little English, eleven-year-old Jingwen feels like an alien when his family immigrates to Australia, but copes with loneliness and the loss of his father by baking elaborate cakes.
Lety Out Loud
Lety Muñoz’s first language is Spanish, and she likes to take her time putting her words together. She loves volunteering at the Furry Friends Animal Shelter because the dogs and cats there don’t care if she can’t always find the right word. When the shelter needs a volunteer to write animal profiles, Lety jumps at the chance. But grumpy classmate Hunter also wants to write profiles — so now they have to work as a team. Hunter’s not much of a team player, though. He devises a secret competition to decide who will be the official shelter scribe. Whoever helps get their animals adopted the fastest wins. The loser scoops dog food. Lety reluctantly agrees, but she’s worried that if the shelter finds out about the contest, they’ll kick her out of the volunteer program. Then she’ll never be able to adopt Spike, her favorite dog at the shelter!
This book has been included in WOW’s Language and Learning: Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Booklist. For our current list, visit our Booklist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.
What a Wonderful Word
This handpicked collection of untranslatable words from all over the world celebrates the magic of language, with gorgeous original artwork and fascinating facts about each word and the culture it comes from.
Featured in Volume XIII, Issue 2 of WOW Review.
Indian Signals and Sign Language
Photographs and text describe non-verbal signals used by the Indians of the Great Plains, including more than 800 signs, smoke signals, picture writing and the language of feathers and body paint.
It Had To Be Done
In early 1942, during the darkest months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a group of 29 Navajo Marines, young and fresh out of boot camp, were taken into a room with bars on the windows and a guard at the door. Their task: devise a top-secret code that would thwart the sharpest cryptanalytic minds in Imperial Japan. And they succeeded.
The Language of Angels
In 1885, few Jews in Israel used the holy language of their ancestors, and Hebrew was in danger of being lost—until Ben Zion and his father got involved. Through the help of his father and a community of children, Ben modernized the ancient language, creating a lexicon of new, modern words to bring Hebrew back into common usage. Historically influenced dialogue, engaging characters, and colorful art offer a linguistic journey about how language develops and how one person’s perseverance can make a real difference.
My First Book Of Hindi Words
Organized as an ABC rhyming book, My First Book of Hindi Words incorporates common Hindi words into charming English-language rhymes, beginning with: A is for akash. A sky so blue where little birds fly and big planes, too.
My First Book of Korean Words: An ABC Rhyming Book
My First Book of Korean Words is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces young children to Korean language and culture through everyday words.
Featured in WOW Review Volume IX, Issue 3.