Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Boy Who Loved Words

The Boy Who Loved Words

Roni Schotter
Illustrator:  Giselle Potter 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
Random House, 2006   ISBN: 0375836012

Selig loved words. He loved the way they sounded; the way they rolled off his tongue when he said them; the way they tickled his brain; and the way they made his heart feel. Instead of collecting stamps or baseball cards, Selig collected words, which he wrote down on slips of paper. These precious pieces of paper were stored in his pockets, tucked into his socks, and under his hat.

Not surprisingly, Selig’s collector’s zeal for words worried his parents. How would be make his way in the world if he continued to collect words, and would he find happiness? Selig was teased in school because of his odd hobby, and he felt very lonely.

Then in a dream a genie told him that he was lucky because he had something that many people spent their entire lives searching for. Selig had a passion. All he needed to do was to take that passion and find a purpose.

In the morning, Selig packed a bag and went out into the big world to find a purpose. He soon came to appreciate that carrying around so many words was not going to be easy. He was weighed down by the weight of the words he carried, and began “shuffling and shambling” instead of “rambling and ambling.” Clearly he was going to have to offload some of words, but how? He couldn’t just throw them away.

In this delicious picture book, Roni Schotter tells a magical story that shows people how precious words are. Some readers will be inspired to use more colorful words in their lives after they read this unique tale. They will also be moved when they meet the boy who not only loved words, but who also gave them away with love.