Have you been enjoying summer? It has been a wonderful season here. I made a list of summer things I wanted to do and finally checked off the last ones.
Don’t you love books that take you other places? I recently read one that I’ve been sharing with my writer friends and others who love the power of words as much as I do.
What a Wonderful Word
By Nicola Edward (author) and Luisa Uribe (illustrator)
Quick – can you think of a word that describes how you move food around in your mouth when it is too hot? (not a swear word!)
You can try the Bulu word PELINTI which is spoken by people in Ghana.
Or, a word that describes the drowsy feeling following a big meal?
Italians use the word Abbiocco which we should say after a Thanksgiving meal.
There are words in other languages that describe different feelings, actions, and emotions. In What a Wonderful Word, a global collection of words considered untranslatable into English are explained and illustrated. In addition, fascinating facts give additional insight into the people and locations included in the book.
What a Wonderful Word transports readers to other places and introduces different cultures through their language. Luisa Uribe’s soft and gentle illustrations are full of WHIMSY (“English – playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor”) and playfully show traditions and mannerisms of each chosen word and country.
This is a book that celebrates the diversity of people around the world. Many of these words should become part of everyone’s vocabulary, especially NAM JAI, which is a Thai word describing “a spirit of selfless generosity and kindness; a willingness to make sacrifices for friends and extend hospitality to strangers.”
This book is suggested for children in grades 5-8 but I have shared it with children in early elementary grades as well as adults. This is a book for everyone who loves words and learning about other people and places. I hope there will be a sequel.
Finally, I now have a word that is fitting for the view behind my home on the Kings River at the end of day. It is the Japanese word, KAWAAKARI, which means “the last gleam of light on a river’s surface at dusk.