The Word Collector by P.H. Reynolds

  • Komel Ahmed


Reynolds, Peter H. The Word Collector. Scholastic, 2018.

The story, written and illustrated by Peter Reynolds, is about a boy named Jerome and his discovery of words. While other children collect stamps, coins, rocks, and art, Jerome collects words. Words "catch his attention" and "jump at him." He collects "short and sweet words" and "two-syllable treats." He fills his scrapbook with all the "marvelous" words he hears, reads, and sees. But once while he’s transporting his collection, he slips and his words all get mixed up. In this jumbled up state, he starts noticing how they can be strung together to make poems and songs, and how he can use them in simple and powerful phrases. In the end, he shares his collection with children in the valley and he’s left with no words to describe how happy that makes him.

The accompanying illustrations are bright, colourful, and detailed in terms of visualizing the text. With illustrations showing diversity in characters, dialogues are written in speech bubbles while Jerome’s "words" are shown on the pieces of rectangular paper he writes them down on. The jacket illustrations show Jerome standing with a bright blue background behind him and his numerous words flying around him. The inside hardcover is yellow with only the word slips jumbled around. The last page in the book is Peter Reynold’s own words strung together to give an inspiring message: “Reach for your own words. Tell the world who you are. And how you will make it better.”

Inspiring and easy to read, this is a delightful book to help children discover the magic and power of words. Teachers and parents can help children in activities inspired by the book to play around with words and build their vocabulary. 

Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Komel Ahmed

Komel Ahmed is currently working towards her B.Ed. in Elementary Education at the University of Alberta. She loves reading with her two amazing children.

How to Cite
AhmedK. (2019). The Word Collector by P.H. Reynolds. The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature, 8(4).
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