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The Boy Who Loved Words    by Roni Schotter & Giselle Potter order for
Boy Who Loved Words
by Roni Schotter
Order:  USA  Can
Schwartz & Wade, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

I collect books, and if it weren't for people like the boy Selig, who collects words, books wouldn't be. Selig's Mom and Dad worried about what his future career would be from their son's curious occupation of stuffing his clothes (including socks, and under his hat) with bits of paper on which he wrote words.

Selig stored the word tantalizing as it is great on the tongue, and found tintinnabulating a pleasant whisper in the ears, and most of all he loved words that stirred the heart, such as Mama. Watching on the periphery of children playing games, he grabbed words that were attention-getters, including dribble, shuffle, huddle, scoop, and swoop. Selig's classmates laughed as they gave him the word oddball, which made him feel lonely. They nicknamed him Wordsworth.

In a dream, a Djinn appeared to him, and said - 'Oddball? Feh! You are Voidsvoith, a lover of voids. Already you have vhat people search their whole life for - an enthusiasm, a passion. What you need now is a poipose, a mission.' When Selig awakened, he loaded his rucksack with 'his entire collection of words', determined to 'find his purpose' in life. As Selig traveled, he collected more words until he became overburdened with papers. Just before he settled down to sleep in the crook of a tree, Selig hung words on the branches.

That night a restless man was out walking, looking for new words for a poem, when a rustle of wind set Selig's words free from the branches, to inspire the poet. From that night, Selig knew he had found his purpose in life - to share his words with others. And ultimately his work led him to his own happiness.

A Glossary printed inside the back cover lists some of Roni Schotter's own favorite words, like cozy, snuggle, and rutabaga. Among Schotter's award-winning children's books are Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street, and Hanukkah! Whimsical illustrations enhance the story, as Giselle Potter orchestrates each page of The Boy Who Loved Words with pieces of word-papers.

2nd Review by Hilary Williamson:

This picture book for logophiles reminded me of others - like Margaret Atwood's Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes - that celebrate the joy of discovering new words, or matching a word with the perfect meaning to a situation or feeling.

Read it aloud together, enjoy the alliteration, and share Selig's joy in a rich vocabulary, and his pleasure in enriching other's lives by sharing it with them. The Boy Who Loved Words is about the power and depth of language, and also about finding and living one's passion in life.

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