Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Word Collector

The Word Collector

Peter H. Reynolds
Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
Scholastic, 2018   ISBN: 978-0545865029

All over the world there are people who collect things. They collect stamps, art, rocks, coins, baseball cards, and all kinds of objects. Jerome like to collects things too; he collects words. Every time he hears or reads a word that intrigues or delights him he writes it down on a piece of yellow paper. He collects words that are “Short and sweet,” and he also collects words that are longer. Some have so many syllables that they sound “like little songs.”

Happily Jerome glues all the words he has collected into scrapbooks, and over time his collection grows so large that he starts to categorize the words.

One day Jerome is carrying a huge pile of his scrapbooks when he slips and the books tumble to the floor. Pieces of paper covered with words go flying. Jerome begins to pick up the words, which are now all “jumbled” up. Big words are next to little words, and words that one would normally never put next to each other are side by side. Jerome begins to explore his words in a new way, stringing them together to create poems and songs, and to create sentences that are strong and “powerful.” One might think that doing this would be enough for any collector, but Jerome has a word idea that he wants to share with the world.

Peter H. Reynolds has a gift for creating books that make you think. The ideas he shares with his readers are so meaningful that they persist in our minds and hearts long after the book has been closed.

Like his stories Ish and Dot, The Word Collector, makes us pause in our busy day to consider the world around us. We are reminded of the fact that words have power; that they can make our world a richer and better place when they are used thoughtfully. Both children and adults alike will love this title, and they will appreciate the message that the author is sharing with us: love words and use them to make your life and the lives of others richer.

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