What Makes Us Human
Stock No: WW856258
What Makes Us Human  -     By: Victor D.O. Santos

What Makes Us Human

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers / 2024 / Hardcover

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Eerdmans Books for Young Readers / 2024 / Hardcover

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Product Information

Title: What Makes Us Human
By: Victor D.O. Santos
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 48
Vendor: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2024
Dimensions: 11.00 X 8.25 (inches)
Weight: 15 ounces
ISBN: 080285625X
ISBN-13: 9780802856258
Ages: 9-12
Stock No: WW856258

Publisher's Description

 "The profundity of the topic of language itself hits its mark. A beautiful addition to all libraries." — School Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)

A poetic riddle about language, history, and culture, released in partnership with UNESCO in honor of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032). 

Can you guess what I am? I have been around a very, very long time. You hardly knew me as a baby, but now you cannot get me out of your head. There are thousands of me, all over the globe, and some of those forms are disappearing. I can connect you to the past, present, and future. Who am I—and why am I so important to humanity?

Clever and thought-provoking, What Makes Us Human is an accessible introduction to how language connects people across the world. This unique book celebrates all the amazing ways communication shapes our lives, including through text messages on phones, Braille buttons in elevators, and endangered languages at risk of disappearing.

Author Bio

Victor D.O. Santos is a linguist and children’s author who has lived in five different countries and studied ten different languages. My Dad, My Rock, his English-language debut (Scribble), was a Kirkus Best Book of 2022. Originally from Brazil, Victor now lives in Des Moines, Iowa, where he and his Ukrainian wife are raising two multicultural, multilingual children. Follow Victor on Instagram @linguacious_llc.

Anna Forlati is an artist and illustrator whose books include Yoga Poses for Kids (Albert Whitman) and My Dad, My Rock (Scribble). What Makes Us Human was featured in dPICTUS’s Unpublished Picture Book Showcase and was exhibited at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Anna has studied Greek and Latin and is currently learning Arabic. She lives in Turin, Italy. Visit Anna’s website at annaforlati.com.

Editorial Reviews

Selected for the White Ravens 2023 catalogue, by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany (Brazilian Portuguese edition)

Selected for the dPICTUS Unpublished Picture Book Showcase 4 (2022 edition), receiving 14 votes from a panel of 50 international publishers.

Selected for the 2023 Bologna Children’s Book Fair exhibition Beauty and the World: The New Nonfiction Picture Books (March 5, 2023, Bologna)

Published in partnership with UNESCO in many editions in association with the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages

The Horn Book Magazine
"Thought-provoking . . . engaging . . . Forlati’s digital illustrations represent both literal and figurative interpretations of the text and beg to be re-examined by the reader . . . [a] fine book."

School Library Journal (starred review)
"Will make readers wonder more with every turn of a page . . . Illustrations are beautifully rendered . . . The profundity of the topic of language itself hits its mark. A beautiful addition to all libraries."

"What Makes Us Human does what the best books do. It brings us together, celebrating our differences and commonalities while engaging the reader with beautiful illustrations and text that challenges and rewards."
– Sydney Smith, author/illustrator of Small in the City (a Kate Greenaway Medal & Governor General’s winner) and of Do You Remember? (a New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2023)

"A beautifully illustrated book about our shared humanity. An engaging read and wonderful concept."
– Felicita Sala, winner of the 2020 Premio Andersen for Best Illustrator and illustrator of Dark on Light, Be a Tree, and As Night Falls: Creatures That Go Wild After Dark (a New York Times’ Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2023)

"As you cross time and space and solve a riddle full of beautiful metaphors, an amazing answer awaits at the end to make us look at our existence in a new way."
– Jihyun Kim, author/illustrator of The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky (a New York Public Library Best Book for Kids of 2022)

"A thoughtfully guided quest for the identity of a narrator both foreign and familiar. Forlati's textural mixed-media illustrations offer a map of meaningful keys and symbols."
– Ellen Heck, author/illustrator of A Is for Bee (a New York Times’ Best Children’s Book of 2022)

"What Makes Us Human, through its journey of searching for the identity of the narrator, opens a vast window to understanding the world and ourselves. 'I' becomes a tree, putting down roots; a river, threading time; it transforms into a beautiful song and into the thunderous sounds of a pouring bombardment. Gradually, 'I' becomes 'You' and morphs into ’Us.'"
– Hyo-eun Kim, author/illustrator of I am the Subway (a New York Times’ Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2021)

"A splendid achievement by the author and illustrator. They convey a powerful message about language in a simple, moving, and effective way. I'm sure children will love it - and I suspect adults too will appreciate the universal appeal of the way they tell their story."
– Professor David Crystal, Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Bangor (Wales) and author of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and of Language Death

— Booklist

"[an] intoxicating consideration of the connections between language and humanity."
– Betsy Bird (School Library Journal’s A Fuse #8 Production)

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