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Say Hello

I hope this story encourages children to see that their city is filled with incredible people, and how learning can lead to new friendships.

Photo of Matthew Sindelar

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From classrooms, to busses, to places to eat, 

learning new words is incredibly neat. 


But one stands out, it’s one you should know,

because lots of friendships start with “hello.”

 

With dragons and tigers and pandas that grin, 

we all need friends who speak Mandarin. 


So look to your neighbor, and you can see, now,

“hello” in Chinese is simply “Ni Hao.” [Knee - How]


With big, loving families, it must be a wish,

to find lots of friends who can speak Spanish. 


With tacos, burritos, and sugar-cane cola,

greet others in Spanish by saying “Hola.” 


For bright colored clothing and yummy white rice,

friends speaking Korean is incredibly nice. 


But as you slow down, don’t stop and say “yo,”

because “hello” in Korean is “Annyeonghaseyo.” [On-yong-ha-say-oh]


For lots of new friends, I’ll tell you a trick,

some really great people speak Arabic.

 

But if they’re asleep, you don’t want to wake’em, 

wait ‘till morning to say “Assalamualaikum.” [Ah-suh-llama-lay-kum]


To eat lovely sushi, all that you please, 

means you need lots of friends who speak Japanese. 


To get their attention, don’t laugh with a “ha,” 

A Japanese hello is “Konnichiwa.” [Ko-knee-chee-wa]


While sitting on grass, or on a park bench,

you might meet new friends who greet you in French. 


Smile and wave, but don’t ask for a tour,

just say hello by saying “Bonjour.” 


By learning new words, afar or at home,

you can make lots of friends wherever you roam. 


Because we’re all people from head to toe,

regardless of how you say “Hello”.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

I see this book, with bright colors and new words, as a tool that encourages children to learn about others around them. I hope that caregivers use this book to facilitate a dialogue about the importance of seeing differences among others as something to be celebrated, and that by taking the time to acknowledge one another with a simple "hello," we can bring our communities even closer together.

Share your suggested book title

Say Hello

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

From classrooms, to busses, to places to eat, learning new words is incredibly neat. But one stands out, it’s one you should know, because lots of friendships start with “hello.” With dragons and tigers and pandas that grin, we all need friends who speak Mandarin. So look to your neighbor, and you can see, now, “hello” in Chinese is simply “Ni Hao.” With big, loving families, it must be a wish, to find lots of friends who can speak Spanish. With tacos, burritos, and sugar-cane cola, greet others in Spanish by saying “Hola.” For bright colored clothing and yummy white rice, friends speaking Korean is incredibly nice. But as you slow down, don’t stop and say “yo,” because “hello” in Korean is “Annyeonghaseyo.” For lots of new friends, I’ll tell you a trick, some really great people speak Arabic. But if they’re asleep, you don’t want to wake’em, wait ‘till morning to say “Assalamualaikum.” To eat lovely sushi, all that you please, means you need lots of friends who speak Japanese. To get their attention, don’t laugh with a “ha,” A Japanese hello is “Konnichiwa.” While sitting on grass, or on a park bench, you might meet new friends who greet you in French. Smile and wave, but don’t ask for a tour, just say hello by saying “Bonjour.” By learning new words, afar or at home, you can make lots of friends wherever you roam. Because we’re all people from head to toe, regardless of how you say “Hello”.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

The research methods I used involved; reading the sources provided by this competition, speaking with a speech pathologist in the community, sharing my story with an elementary school teacher to read to her students, interviewing parents, and passing out versions of my story to caregivers to get feedback. Reinforced by my meeting with the speech pathologist, my story is primarily filled with tier 1 vocabulary, and implements many sounds young children should be exposed to and able to pronounce around the age of 3 (p,b,m,n,t,d,k,g,f,s,y,h). They also encouraged me to break down the phonetics of the languages to help parents while reading. One of my largest "ah-hah" moments came from parents that talked about how they wanted stories that were fun to read, because the more fun they had reading, the more engaged their children were in the book. After letting them read a few rhymes, I could see the fun they had narrating the rhythm. For that reason, I decided to have my story rhyme

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

I hope that my readers learn to embrace their communities, and all the diversity that comes with it. My research into the immigration history and demographic breakdown of Philadelphia influenced the languages I decided to include in this story. Philadelphia is an incredibly diverse city, and I wanted to create a story that celebrates differences and works to bring the communities of Philadelphia closer together. My intention is to have the illustrations of this book reflect the languages that are spoken within the city. I want children to see that their home language, as well as all other languages, are each an integral part of what makes Philadelphia an amazing city.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

New Hampshire

Location: City

Keene

Tell us more about you / your team

I was initially drawn to this Challenge because I love to write. I thought it would simply be a fun project to focus on during the evenings after work. But as I tried to write, I couldn't think of any topic I wanted to talk about. After a lot of reflecting (and phone calls with my mom) I decided to pull from my past to create a story that might make a positive impact in the world. During my time as a linguist in the Air Force, I fell in love with languages and their ability to connect people that seem very different. I also moved a lot growing up (over 12 times), and as a new kid, I always appreciated when peers would reach out and say hello to me. By combining these two elements, I hope I have created a story that might give kids the courage to reach out and connect with others, regardless of what language they speak. I hope to help that new kid who moves to Philadelphia feel like they are at home by inspiring others to reach out with a simple "hello."

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I want the illustrations in this story to reflect where they are found within the city. I hope that the pictures will be able to show that all of these languages are what make Philadelphia (or any city) such an incredible place to live. I want a child looking at the pages in the book to see themselves as vibrant and integral part of the community, regardless of what language they hear at home. I want to highlight what makes these communities special.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • Someone trying to make the world just a little bit more inclusive.

21 comments

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Photo of Nancy Devard
Team

I like your story. What a clever idea to introduce how to say "Hello" in various languages and encourage children to be open to meeting people who are different from them. Good job, pleasant story.

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