This delightful story deserves its charming illustrations, rendered in pen and ink and assembled digitally. They spread more cheer as Leyzer travels to France to attend a universal congress of Esperanto and share his language in person. Appended back matter relates more facts about Zamenhof and Esperanto’s simple structure. This inspiring, overlooked historical figure showed that experimentation isn’t limited to science.
Leyzer Zamenhof hated war and conflict. He lived in late-19th-century Bialystok (then part of the Russian Empire), where a diverse, distrustful population spoke many languages. He believed that a common language could bring everyone together, so he began the task of inventing that language…Unusual and fascinating.
Softly colored cartoon illustrations show various, mostly European cultures. The overall feeling is warm and optimistic. This is an inspiring story of determination and hope. Recommended in part because there are no other books about Esperanto or Zamenhof for this grade range. Especially useful for adults interested in the language who want to share their enthusiasm with their students or children in their lives.
—School Library Journal