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Wonderful Words: Poems About Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening    by Lee Bennett Hopkins & Karen Barbour order for
Wonderful Words
by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This wonderful book includes 15 poems that celebrate different aspects of words and language, ranging from Emily Dickinson's '1212' to 'Listen' by Lee Bennett Hopkins, who compiled the collection. Karen Barbour's bold, exotic illustrations unleash the reader's imagination.

The poems open aptly with Dickinson's '1212' ... 'A word is dead / When it is said, / Some say. / I say it just / Begins to live / That day.' Pat Mora sings of 'Words Free as Confetti' - 'I'll say, say, say you, / taste you sweet as plump plums, /bitter as old lemons.' Rebecca Kai Dotlich says 'Let's Talk' ... 'about old dogs we love. / And speaking of love, / the turtledove.' I especially enjoyed Heidi Roemer's 'Night Dance' - 'Haiku dart about / like hummingbirds - asleep I / dream - exquisite words.'

Eve Merriam addresses 'Metaphor' in her verses; David McCord explains 'How to Learn to Say a Long, Hard Word'; Ann Whitford Paul constructs a 'Word Builder'; Tom Robert Shields personifies 'I Am the Book'; Patricia and Fredrick McKissack 'Share the Adventure' of reading; Carl Sandburg gives a 'Primer Lesson' on 'proud words'; Karla Kuskin, Nikki Grimes and Alice Schertle explore the creative process in 'Finding a Poem', 'The Dream', and 'Writing Past Midnight', respectively; and Richard Armour ends it all with 'The Period'.

Explore the joy of reading and the creative process of writing together through this delightful verse collection of Wonderful Words.

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