Story Book Gives Nod to Canada’s Multilingualism
August 16, 2016
New Canadian Media | The stories in the Best of All Worlds represent seven of the most commonly spoken immigrant languages in Canada’s largest cities.
Reinforcing heritage languages alongside Canada’s two official languages reflects policy that has set Canada apart from other immigrant-receiving nations when it comes to diversity matters
“When children see their heritage languages in books, they instinctively understand that their languages are valued and their cultures are important in Canada,” says Gina Valle about a collection of multilingual children’s stories which she brought together in The Best of All Worlds.
Published in 2015, the illustrated book features seven stories in their original languages — Arabic, Farsi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish — as well as in English and French translations.
“It sends a strong message about what it means to be Canadian,” says Valle, founder of Diversity Matters and At One Press, the book’s publisher.
The stories were selected from the winning and finalist submissions from the Multilingual Kid Lit Award competition organized by Toronto bookstore Rainbow Caterpillar. Valle initiated the project to mark 15 years since the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established International Mother Tongue Day “to promote diversity and international understanding through multilingualism and multiculturalism.”Back