The Boy Who Loved Words

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The Boy Who Loved Words

by Roni Schotter, illustrated by Giselle Potter

Ages 7-10, 40 pages

Some children collect feathers, shells, or stones, but Selig collects words. Whenever Selig hears a new word he enjoys, he quickly writes it on a piece of paper and stuffs it into his pockets. Most children play ball or jump rope outside, however Selig listens and watches words used to then add to his growing word collection. Classmates call him Wordsworth and hurt his feeling when they call him an oddball. Even his parents are puzzled by his word collection. Selig has an unusual dream with a genie who declares that he isn’t an oddball, but is a lover of words. Immediately, Selig awakes and realizes his purpose is to share his words with others. For example, he adds the words sprinkles, scrumptious, luscious, and morsels to a bakery. Eventually, Selig meets his match with a girl who sings words.

The Boy Who Loved Words contains wonderful words and introduces new vocabulary. lists this book for ages 4-8, but I think even older children can utilize this book. The language is more complex with short paragraphs on each page. This is an excellent book to teach with writing and throw away boring words. The book provides a glossary with all the descriptive words. I wrote another word collector book review, Max’s Words, which I suggest for younger ages.

Selig loved everything about words – the sound of them in his ears (tintinnabulating!), the taste of them on his tongue (tantalizing!), the thought of them when they percolated in his brain (stirring!), and, most especially, the feel of them when they moved his heart (Mama!).

– Roni Schotter (The Boy Who Loved Words, page 2)

11 thoughts on “The Boy Who Loved Words

    Angeline M said:
    October 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

    This looks like a fabulous book for our grandson! My list garnered from you blog is growing rapidly!

      Caroline responded:
      October 15, 2011 at 10:34 am

      I was searching for different ‘word’ books. I’m glad you enjoy the books I feature. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

    katerinazisiadou said:
    October 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Caroline, I wonder if this book is also suitable for children learning English as a second language?…
    My daughter is 9,5 years old, a genuine bookworm, English is her third language. She started English at school last year, but the first four months the children couldn’t really work and learn, because the english-schoolbooks were not delivered on time.
    I enjoy the book reviews you write, and I often wonder whether the reviewed book would be easy enough for my daughter. The problem in this case is she needs easy language use, but themes that would interest a 10 year old…
    By the way, have you read the book: “Boom!” by Mark Haddon? (published by David Fickling Books) It is one of very few English children’s books I can find in the bookstores near here. I was tempted to buy it, but thought of asking you first…

      Caroline responded:
      October 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      I can see that being a difficult challenge finding books that interest a ten year old without being too simple and boring. I think she would enjoy ‘The Boy Who Loved Books’ because I honestly don’t view it as a ‘young’ picture book. Some of the words may be unfamiliar for just learning English, but the words may be new for all learners.

      No, I’ve never read the book ‘Boom!’. I just researched on Amazon and it looks interesting: two students overhear their teachers and discover they are aliens. It’s featured as young adult, so the words and expressions may be more advanced but I’m not sure.

      It must be tough if there’s little English children’s books to pick from. Are the ‘classics’ such as ‘The Secret Garden’ in English there? I was in China and for some reason all the older and classic books were available in English. I’d love the challenge to find some books. 🙂 Happy reading!

        katerinazisiadou said:
        October 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

        Thank you so much for your quick reply!
        I think I’ll order “The Boy who loved Words” through the local bookshop, this way I can first have a look in it, before actually buying it.
        “Boom!” was placed here between books for 10-12 year old children. Thanks for the warning, I’ll have a better look.
        And the classics…. Too bad I don’t have my large collection anymore! My mother was too keen in throwing/giving ‘childish’ things away… To be honest I hadn’t thought of the classics, but I’m afraid that “The Secret Garden” is still quite difficult for my daughter, they’re still doing very basic stuff at school.
        I’m sure that english books for foreign children exist, at least they must exist… I suppose I can look on the internet, but I have this thing with books: I have to really see them, hold them in my hands (and even smell them!) before I buy them, especially the children’s books…. For this reason I never order them though internet.
        Thanks again! You’re doing a wonderful job in your weblog!

          Caroline responded:
          October 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm

          Well, I wouldn’t give the book a ‘warning’, instead I just don’t know the reading level. I meant the subject for her age may match, but she may not have the reading ability yet. I haven’t personally read the book.

          That’s a shame that you don’t have the books from your childhood. The important thing is to just read at her level. I can’t imagine learning a third language. Don’t feel the need to rush. Thanks for your comments.

    katerinazisiadou said:
    October 17, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Thanks for your explanation. I got mixed up because books featured as young adult here, are often about young adult themes that might involve flirting, dating, sex or really scary stories. My daughter is not busy with any of this yet. In terms of reading ability, I think that all english books are too difficult for her right now, she just has to bite through the ‘boring’-vocabulary-learning books first… I don’t want to rush her, she does that to herself because she gets bored at school.
    I’ll be reading your reviews, making a list of the ones I think that might be the most suitable for her. Thanks!

    Dayle Fraschilla said:
    October 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    My daughter’s about to turn 7, so she’s right in between both books . . . I might just have to get both and see which one she likes better!

      Caroline responded:
      October 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      It sure sounds like she’s a reader. This book is great to help with more bold and unfamiliar words. Too often people claim a picture book is only for young children, but that’s not the case.

        Dayle Fraschilla said:
        October 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm

        In my teaching literacy class in college, one of our lessons was on using picture books with older students. Picture books have many benefits!

          Caroline responded:
          October 26, 2011 at 10:12 pm

          I agree, picture books can be very powerful to draw the reader into the story. Even adults can find benefits and enjoyment. Thanks for stopping by again! 🙂

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