Bookjoy, Wordjoy by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raul Colón

Bookjoy, Wordjoy  poems by Pat Mora
illustrations by Raul Colón
Published by Lee & Low Books
Bookjoy, Wordjoy is a jubilant, enthusiastic, delicious invitation to read, speak, write, play and dream with words. Each exuberant illustration is paired with (mostly) free verse poems that are occasionally bilingual, sprinkling in spicy Spanish words. Every page encourages readers to find their own book joy and word joy, be it in the library or in your imagination, with loved ones and with song, at home or out in the world. While I am always looking for different voices (other than mine) to inspire my students to love reading and writing, I am thrilled to find someone else to show them how wonderful words are. Working closely with kids for the last five years, especially many who are English language learners (and fully recognizing what a strange language English is when it comes to spelling and pronunciation especially) I automatically define words when speaking and check to see if students know words when I'm reading out loud. Just yesterday I used  - and defined - one of my current favorite words (I always have a  rotating shortlist of favorite words that serve as background music for my thoughts) for kids as we were wrapping up playing with a parachute in the library, telling them this was the penultimate game of "Cat & Mouse." Mora's poem, "Collecting Words," puts on the page this experience and the feeling that certain words give me, connecting feelings with words. I'll leave you with a stanza (that contains another favorite word of mine) here:

I collect short, hard words like brick
soft words, lullaby,
cozy words, snug,
funny words, rambunctious,
scary words, sssssssssssssnake
jumpy words, hic-up,
big words, onomatopoeia - oink, oink.

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