OTHER WORDLY by Yee-Lum Mak and illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley. Chronicle Books (www.chroniclekids.com), 2016, 56 pp., $14.99. ISBN 978-1-4521-2534-3.
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The subtitle for this artsy and adorable book is “words both strange and lovely from around the world.”
Yee-Lum Mak and illustrator Kelsey Garrity-Riley provide some lovely descriptions of words I never knew existed, such as “smultronstalle” (page 27) from the Swedish for a “place of wild strawberries.” It’s that special place discovered, treasured and returned to for relaxation and solace, a personal idyll free from stress and sadness. Or how about the word, “erlebnisse” from the German word for “experiences, positive or negative, that we feel most deeply, and through which we truly live; not mere experiences, but Experiences” (page 43).
The book has lots of words for our experiences, including one from page 45, “gezellig,” a Dutch adjective meaning “cozy, nice, inviting, pleasant and comfortable; connoting time spent with loved ones or togetherness after a long separation.”
Or, in the case of this all-too-short book, “finifugal,” from page 53, which means “hating endings; of someone who tries to avoid or prolong the final moments of a story, relationship or some other journey.”