Where Do Words Come From?

Reycraft. May 2021. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781478874041.
PreS-Gr 2–This deceptively simple, playful book about language origin has an intriguing premise. The spare text asks the question, “Where do words come from?” and posits a variety of possibilities: wordshops, wordmines, wordstorms, wordfarms, etc. Ultimately, it says that words come from “you!” It then suggests the reader create a new word for something that has never had a name before, such as a funny face or a strangely shaped rock. The text is barely a sentence per page until the conclusion, when it posits the choices. It is an appealing concept, and one worth exploring with kids. The bold, brightly colored, graphic illustrations do the heavy lifting here. They appear digitally created, and are highly dimensional, yet not overly detailed, with an ad-like feel. Many of the pages are reminiscent of the show “Word World, ” as the images use the letters themselves to create part (or all) of certain objects, such as corn, birdhouse, and fish. One page is illustrated with images of multicultural hands creating ASL letters. Oddly the only vowel included is “i.” Despite one misstep (the letters creating the image of each individual cookie and bun are pluralized) it is an effective and interesting concept. Characters are depicted with a variety of skin colors. Children will be drawn to the bright, graphic images, and the objects made of words offer plenty of opportunities to identify language.
VERDICT A fun concept, effectively done, this will likely appeal to educators and parents alike.

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