nonfiction nuggets…how do you say yum yum in Copenhagen?

Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds, by Linda Sue Park and Julia Durango, illustrated by Sue Ramá

In Yiddish kids say “Geshmak!”  In German , it’s “Leckah!”  In Danish, they say “Nam-nam!”  And in Farsi, it’s “Bah-bah!”  All these kids are saying the same thing!  What is it?  Well, in English, we say, “Yum!”

This colorful, cheerful, inventive book compares the way kids say the same thing, in different languages, all over the world.  We find out how to say Ha ha! in Arabic, and Yikes! in Japanese.  Ah-choo! in Greek and Wow! in Swedish.  Eight “people sounds” are included,each translated into four languages.

For each exclamatory word, the four translations span a two-page spread, colorfully portrayed with a child from that region.  You can try to guess from the expression on their faces just what it is they’re saying.  Then, open the flap to reveal a new two-page spread with the English translation and a picture featuring multi-ethnic kids in action.  There’s all the colorfulness of a new box of Crayolas here!  And these inside-the-flap pictures tell a delightful story of a yummy, ice-cream-cone day in an urban marketsquare which suddenly goes quite haywire and must be put to rights. 


An interesting Author’s Note explains a few intriguing ins and outs of language translation, and tells where some of the lesser-known languages used in the book are spoken.  Linda Sue Park has also authored a book translating animal sounds  (what says ouah-ouah?)  called Mung-Mung: A Foldout Book of Animal Sounds.  Great way to introduce the lovely spice and flavor of our world’s languages to young children.

Amazon link:  Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds