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Word Builder Hardcover – February 24, 2009
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—Letters are hammered into words, words are turned into towering sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into "chapter cities" in this construction-themed introduction to the craft of writing. Paul's spare text allows the illustrations to take center stage and Cyrus takes the cue, showing himself to be a master of perspective in one awe-inspiring layout after another. Ultimately, a little construction worker has created a whole world inside a book. Finally finished, he opens it to see a train carrying the letters "Once upon a time." Word Builder will provide teachers with a great introduction to writing, especially for children just beginning to put words and sentences together. Preschoolers will be drawn to the construction motif, regardless of the subject. Though vaguely reminiscent of Denise Fleming's Alphabet Under Construction (Holt, 2002), this title goes beyond the basic alphabet book premise and has none of the cutesiness of that work.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
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Letters. Words. Sentences. Paragraphs. These are the foundations of writing, and this oversize book uses direct language and terrific artwork to show children how literal and figurative construction works. Paul’s free verse is comprised of one or two lines on each page: “Begin your new construction with twenty-six letters.” Or “Pile your words like blocks into sentence towers.” As sentences are framed into “paragraph villages” and paragraphs are stacked into “chapter cities,” a young boy in a hard hat labors mightily. As he hammers and shovels mortar, at first it is difficult to see the actual connection to letters, just a lot of close-ups of building procedures. But as the view moves back, “chapter cities” appear and children who look closely will see how the structures are built from letters. In the last spread, the boy, still wearing his hard hat, is reading the book that has been constructed. The art, rendered in pencil and digital color, seems almost three-dimensional and will fascinate readers. Teachers will find many uses for this. Grades K-3. --Ilene Cooper
Top customer reviews
The boy is hard at work with his nailer and doing a bit of rough framing because you have to "frame your sentences into paragraph villages." The cranes are out placing the paragraphs "into chapter cities." Work, work, work! You have to keep on going until you create the ultimate . . . a book!
This is an unusual book that may not appeal to all people. The text is minimal and the gist of the story is the construction of the basic elements of letters into words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters. This is a very unique way to introduce this building process. The art work is very engaging and many children will be fascinated by it. This book would be an excellent addition to any homeschool or classroom shelf.