Chitchat: Celebrating the World's Languages

Chitchat: Celebrating the World’s Languages by Jude Isabella, illustrated by Kathy Boake

Kids Can Press, 2013

44 pp.


Ages 8-12

ISBN 978-1-55453-787-7

Reviewed by J. Boissonneault

In this non-fiction book, the author proposes an introduction to the development of the world's languages.  Through short sections, the reader is introduced to various facets of language such as its origin, how it has changed over time, how humans and animals differ or show similarities when it comes to communication, what is the purpose of grammar and punctuation and how words appear and disappear.  Some written and sign languages are also introduced.   The main text is written in an accessible manner and presented surrounded by sidebars, illustrations or short activities.  Because it gives a good overview of numerous language-related topics while presenting fun examples and interesting facts, this book might be a good starting point for a research, or simply a fun manner to increase awareness to the existence of multiple languages.  In addition to being very informative, this large and colorful book also proposes some puzzles to solve and includes a glossary and an index.  Although intended for children in grades 3 to 6, the written content might be best suited for advanced readers, while the childish illustrations might appeal more to younger kids.