What Is Your Language? by Debra Leventhal

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Music and language notes turn a multicultural picture book into a song, as a young traveler meets children in other countries and learns to say ""yes"" and ""no"" at every stop.

About Debra Leventhal

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Monica Wellington was born in London and lived in Europe until she moved to the United States at age seven. As a child she always loved to draw and paint, but it wasn't until she went to college that she realized she wanted to be an artist for her profession. She went to the University of Michigan's School of Art to earn her BFA and studied pottery, painting and printmaking. After art school, while traveling and living in a number of different countries, she had various art related jobs, which were all good background and preparation for doing children's books. She has both written and illustrated the majority of her books. She says, "I usually start a book visually, with an idea of what I want to paint pictures about. The pictures may come first before the words for me. Both the pictures and words go through many revisions, and I am often still working on the final words after I finish the pictures." She says that doing children?s books is great. "I get to have a job where I spend my days doing totally what I love to do. And it is very gratifying that my work goes out into the world and is shared with other people. I feel incrediably lucky for all this!" Since 1994 she has taught illustration at the School of Visual Arts. She lives in New York City with her daughter Lydia.
Published January 1, 1994 by Dutton Juvenile. 32 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Travel, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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The simple four-line verse is repeated with only the language and its word for ``yes'' changing: ``...My language is Arabic./This is the way it sounds: na'aam na'aam [six times].'' Adults may find the persistent chant monotonous, but the book does offer a first taste of languages and their variety.

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