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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Dylan's Birthday Present: Little Polyglot Adventures, Vol. 1 is a children’s concept storybook written by Victor Dias de Oliveira Santos and illustrated by Eszter Miklos. When Dylan opened the box sitting in front of his bedroom door, he found a card that said he could pick out any gift he wanted for his birthday. As he rushed into the kitchen, he knew exactly what he wanted for his birthday present -- a pet! His mom looked a bit apprehensive, and she wondered aloud just what kind of pet he wanted -- a dog? A turtle? A dinosaur? Dylan laughed at the idea of having a dinosaur for a pet; then he explained that he wanted a chicken, and he had a pretty good reason for his choice. He wanted to teach his chicken all the languages they speak in their home. Dylan’s family spoke Portuguese, Ukrainian, and English. His best friend, Emma, wondered if she could teach Kiki, Dylan’s new chicken, to speak in Zulu as well. Dylan’s new pet and young readers are exposed to six new words/phrases in different languages, and the author provides a link and a scannable QR code to hear how they are pronounced.
Dylan's Birthday Present will delight young readers, many of whom are already living in a multicultural world and have picked up their own words/phrases here and there. I particularly appreciated the fact the three languages highlighted here will not be as familiar to the vast majority of readers. The plot even highlights how Dylan’s ability to understand Portuguese is instrumental in him finding his lost chicken. This is a grand selection for storytime and offers caregivers ample opportunities to turn their young audiences into polyglot adventurers. It’s a great way to start kids sharing what languages they know and teaching each other words and phrases. Eszter Miklos’s illustrations are bright and colorful, and they work perfectly with the story. I especially liked her drawings of Kiki the polyglot chicken. Dylan's Birthday Present by Victor Dias de Oliveira Santos is highly recommended.