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The Boy Who Loved Words Hardcover – Picture Book, March 28, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 118 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-Schotter blends magical realism with a tongue-tingling narrative to create an ode to the power and purpose of language. Selig is passionate about words-their sounds (tintinnabulating!), their taste (tantalizing!), and the way they moved his heart. An avid word-hoarder, he delights in discovering new terms, recording them on paper scraps, and stowing them in pockets. Unable to comprehend their son's strange predilection, his practical-minded parents worry about his future, and his classmates cruelly add oddball to his collection. After dreaming about a Yiddish Genie who advises him to embrace his passion and seek his life's poipose, Selig embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Feeling weighted down by his vocabulary slips, he climbs a tree and carefully attaches them to the branches. Fantastically and fittingly, several of them blow into the hands of a poet who is struggling for the right adjectives to finish his verse. Selig realizes that his mission is to bestow his word wealth upon others. He tosses out luscious to accentuate a baker's wares, halts an argument with harmony, and invigorates an elderly man with spry. He grows up to find personal fulfillment and even true love. The author shares her own affection for language through the descriptive, lyrical text, italicizing particularly delectable but possibly unfamiliar terms and defining them in a two-page glossary. Potter's folk-art paintings echo the story's whimsy and set the action in an idyllic-looking, early-20th-century past. An inspiring choice for young wordsmiths and anyone who cherishes the variety and vitality of language.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. Some people collect shells or stones; young Selig collects words. Whenever he hears a new one he likes, he jots it down on a slip of paper and stuffs it into a convenient pocket, a sock, a sleeve, or a hat. When you're a kid, such eccentric behavior doesn't go unnoticed, and soon his classmates have given him a new name, "Wordsworth," and a new word to add to his collection, oddball. Ouch! But with the help of a friendly genie, who calls him "Voidsvoith, a lover of voids," Selig finds his life's purpose and romance, to boot. Potter's signature naive-style art is light and comical, while Schotter's words are a lovely celebration of the power and the music of language. A glossary of Selig's favorite words--from aflutter to windmill--adorns the book's endpapers. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Lexile Measure : AD780L
  • Grade Level : Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover : 40 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0375836015
  • ISBN-10 : 0375836012
  • Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
  • Product Dimensions : 10.38 x 0.39 x 10.38 inches
  • Publisher : Schwartz & Wade; Illustrated Edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: : English
  • Reading level : 4 - 8 years
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118 ratings
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