Mar 20, 2012

The Word Collector

The Word Collector by Sonja Wimmer
Illustrated by Sonja Wimmer
Translated by Jon Brokenbrow
Published by Cuento de Luz

     Luna, whose name means "Moon" in Spanish, was a little girl that lived high up in the sky.  She was passionate about words and collected them. She collected "funny words that tickle your palate when you say them, words so beautiful that they make you cry, friendly words that embrace your soul."  But when she notices that less words are reaching her up in the sky, that people are forgetting all the beautiful words, Luna knows is time to act. "She put all of the words she had in a big suitcase, and set off with them on a journey."  Luna embarks on a journey that will help her spread the power of positive words all over the world.
     The Word Collector is a beautiful picture book, an ode to language and words.  Sonja Wimmer plays with fonts and text placement along the story, making us trace the path of the words along the page.  The changes in type and orientation of the text are complemented by whimsical illustrations that take us to a dreamlike world.  Each page asks to be savored, each detail taken into account. I loved the fact that even after the translation of the text from Spanish to English, there were places where words in Spanish could still be spotted (framed picture that reads "las palabras locas", or a paper airplane made from a Spanish newspaper). There is an addendum where the text is written in a more conventional manner to make it easier to read -good idea to go here first, if you're trying to share it as a read aloud.
     The Word Collector will capture any reader, young and old, who loves language and words. With  lyrical text, beautiful language and illustrations, this is a delightful addition to any home or classroom library.


  1. I LOVE this book! It is beautifully illustrated...and masterfully written. My students wanted to find their own words to collect after reading this book.

  2. I LOVE this book. It is beautifully illustrated...and the word choices- masterful. Students begin to start looking for words of their own after reading this book.

  3. This book sounds great. I really want to get it for my son who is going to be an etymologist. Even though he is in middle school has read at a college level since second grade, I think he can still get a lot out of picture books. I am also going to read it to my third graders. Thanks for recommending this story!

  4. Ruth Cullham had mentioned this book in The Writing Thief as a mentor text to teach "selecting striking words and phrases." I want this book and can't wait to use it in my classroom.