Chitchat by Jude Isabella (Kids Can Press, September 2013) is a delightful exploration of language for a young adult reader. It explores so many aspects of language that I felt like I was a little bit in heaven since I appreciate and love languages and words so much. At 48 pages, it obviously only skimmed the surface, but for a young reader, it’s tone, illustrations, and length would be just right.
Chitchat begins with how babies acquire language. It also covers how different languages are created over time, and how languages “die” or change, and emerging language issues, like slang and human-created language.
Besides the informational text packed with quirky facts and trivia about languages, the illustrations and tone of writing give it a kid-friendly boost to help guide the young reader through the book. The illustrations are not to “babyish” but also not to off-putting to make the book overwhelming. It is very well designed for the interested young reader.
Although Raisin is a bit too young to dig in to a nonfiction book with this many words on a page (it is only 48 pages, but each page has a significant number of words), I definitely plan to keep in mind for as he gets older. It’s a fascinating overview that gives humor and life to learn about the logistics of how language works in the world.
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.