Guided Reading Level: VGrade Level Equivalent: 5
There are more than 7,000 human languages, and that number only includes spoken languages!
Wow! Add in other human languages of codes, symbols, and gestures, and the number becomes more impressive. Who knew there were so many fun and interesting ways to communicate?Add in the acoustic, chemical, and visual languages of animals, and the word "Wow" quickly becomes an understatement.
You Talking to Me? travels the world to explore the fascinating and cool ways humans and animals communicate. Learn how languages develop and how they change. Follow root words such as proto (the Greek word for first) around the globe from one language to another. Discover insider languages such as slang, gestures, and symbols. Roma gypsies used piles of rocks to share information with the next group arriving.
Consider the power of codes and symbols. Musical notes are just symbols, but they can direct orchestras and create hit songs, while the STOP traffic sign prevents millions of accidents a day with only four letters, and computer coding has changed the world. Explore the meanings of gestures: in much of the world, sticking out your tongue at someone is a sign of defiance; in Tibet, it's a sign of respect!
Domestic and wild animals do some pretty cool communicating, too. Learn about elephants and bats that talk with frequencies we cannot hear, insects and reptiles that communicate with chemicals we cannot smell, and birds and frogs that use color to advertise.
The fun fact format is appealing to both reluctant readers and curious kids.
Catherine Ham has lived and traveled in many countries. She speaks three languages fluently and "gets by" with several more. As a language specialist, she taught high school English and Afrikaans. She is the author of several best-selling knitting books and four nature nonfiction books for children.